Mixsonian Larry



On a bright and sunny day in April with a cool breeze blowing in off the ocean I went in to do some work at Elias’s office in Indialantic. I was the only one in the office that day which was not unusual for a weekend.  After working for a couple of hours, noon was approaching so I decided to go to Pete’s Ocean Grill for lunch.  After locking up the office I drove the couple of blocks to Pete’s, parked and went in, arriving fifteen or twenty minutes before noon to get a good table, I wasn’t disappointed, finding a table by a window overlooking the beach and ocean.  The waitress was prompt, taking my usual order of a Gyro with fries and a coke. Waiting for my order, I sat there with the warm sun coming through the window reflecting upon my life while gazing out over the beach with the waves gently washing ashore and the sun reflecting off the ocean.  Pete’s Ocean Grill had a great view.

Having arrived before the lunch crowd, the waitress brought my order in a few minutes and I begin eating while more people arrived and the other tables begin to fill.  I didn’t think much of it when a group of six or eight showed up and waited by the entrance while a waitress pushed two tables together and then seated them in the front of the restaurant near the checkout counter.  It looked like a family, mother, father, son, daughter with husband and baby.  Then it hit me, the daughter was my old friend Wendy and her husband Sean and apparently their baby.  The last time I saw them was probably six or eight years ago on one my trips back to Gainesville although I did receive a Christmas card from them back in ’77. It didn’t surprise me that they were at the restaurant, after all both Wendy and Sean grew up in Indialantic and I knew that Wendy’s parents lived just a few blocks from the restaurant.

I couldn’t believe she had a baby, well actually I could, but was surprised it was so soon, well actually her and Kevin got married on my birthday back in 1973 so perhaps it wasn’t so surprising. I looked at them as they got seated, watching as Wendy took care of the baby in a stroller next to her.  I thought about getting up an to speak to them but couldn’t bring myself to do it, so I turned away and stared out the window at the ocean, with my thoughts of Wendy.  After a few minutes I hear, “Larry?” and I turn there was Wendy standing there as beautiful as I always remembered her.  We exchange greetings, she asks how I’m doing, I say, “Good, work is going well.”  I ask how she and Sean are doing and she says good, Kevin finished med school and was doing his residency and she had a baby boy and she told me his name which I immediately forgot.  She says it was really good seeing me but had to get back to the baby.  I say, “Good to see you too.”, as she turned away and went back to her table.

I sat there finishing my lunch staring out the window in silence with my thoughts of Wendy when, after ten minutes or so, the waitress came up and asked if I wanted anything more. I reply, “No, just the check please.”, and she pulls a small order pad out of her apron, looks through it tearing out my check and then saying in her southern accent, “Here you go honey.”, leaving my check on the table and then turned and walked away.  As is common for grills, waitress don’t take you money but rather you take your check and pay at a counter by the front door.  I sat there for another minute or two and finished my Coke, then after leaving a dollar bill on the table for a tip, I get up to go pay.  With Wendy and her family’s table near the checkout counter I had to pass them on the way.  I would have liked to just slip out unobserved and not saying anything to them but that wasn’t possible since I had to walk right by their table, and it would not be polite to speak to them.  So as I pass their table I stop next to Wendy and Sean and say its good to see them again, and they reply in kind and I say my goodbyes and continue on to the checkout counter where I pay my bill and leave. 

This would be the last time I would see Wendy and Sean.

Updated: 08-23-2023

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