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Peach preserves a nice gift, a manners lesson at age 5

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I mentioned neighbor George Macon in last week’s column about how regular he is about greeting me at The Border Restaurant when a group of us have our Thursday morning breakfast group casual meeting at the only large roundtable.

Little did I know that he was going to bring me a jar of his homemade peach preserves in a few days (or was it that afternoon? I don’t remember).

George says since his wife is laid up with a back problem, he has taken over the annual job of making 40 jars of the delectable treat and gives a jar to many friends. This is not a one-time gift. He now does this every year. Before Barbara developed the back problem, he just made the deliveries.

I’m still a peanut butter and jelly guy and I tried the preserves this year on toasted waffles. A perfect taste treat!

It seems like once a person is friendly and outgoing, they continue this in many ways. And, oh, yes! I must not forget another great friend — Steve Lowery, who also came to our table and greeted me with a “happy birthday” after hearing our breakfast group singing happy birthday to me. I was overwhelmed with his broad smile and warm greeting. It’s good to have happy birthday greetings sung again traditionally by restaurant waiters.

It’s been 72 years since I graduated from Glassboro High School in New Jersey. It’s so far away to Jersey where they now hold an annual luncheon instead of a full-fledged reunion like we had for many years before so many people had passed away.

We attended the 40th in Pennsylvania and the 85th in Cape May, New Jersey.

It was interesting to see classmates as we gathered on an elevator and asked if they knew me, and none did. I was sporting a beard which I had started that year. I had an advantage — we printed the program here.

Strangely, I don’t have memories of hardly any of my birthday celebrations, except for my fifth after moving to New Jersey when I was three years old.

I know we celebrated each one, but I just can’t remember them except later in life after marrying Peggy Garren in 1954, who had just graduated from Wake Forest College a year earlier. Her hometown was in Asheville and we drove there about three or four times per year to visit her many relatives there. Families always got together there and I guess Peggy was always the center of interest.

A correction: I remember explicitly my fifth birthday celebration party at our new homeplace on a farm. I was thrilled when opening many presents from relatives and a few new friends. How could I forget the cruel way I mentioned to my grandmother we called Nana when I told her disappointedly after opening her present to me, and I didn’t like airplanes. I told her I like cars, not airplanes.

Oh boy, did I ever learn a lesson in manners! And the strange thing — I can remember every little bit of the incident — 85 years later.

Bob Allen, publisher emeritus of The Wake Weekly, invites comments at 919-556-3059 or