When she begins her investigation in my new novel, What’s Left, she may think her generation’s quite different from her father’s.

But her family does run a family restaurant, and that gives her a different insight:

We can always count on someone looking for a handout at the back door. We’re happy to oblige them. And they’re happy, too – the word spreads.


Restaurants are often staffed by an underworld of their own, or so I’m told. And some of the characters aren’t that far removed from the folks looking for a handout.

I’m surprised to see how many people in my own community remain invisible, especially when your eyes look instead to “normal” society.

Have you ever gone to a “soup kitchen” or charity food pantry? Have you ever worked in one? What was your experience?


If Cassia’s great-grandparents had only bought this house instead! And it’s almost pink … (Manchester, New Hampshire.)


  1. When I was in college my first year, I worked part-time at the Howard Johnson’s Restaurant as a waitress and so did quite a few other college kids too. I found it interesting and I people watched, especially the customers – a real eye-opener. If there is an underground – it’s the customers who often behavior badly.

    1. Gee, my first year of college Howard Johnson’s was what we considered a classy restaurant! Well, not quite what you’d take your prom date to, but close. My, how times have changed!

      1. Jnana, at least I have good taste in restaurants! Anyway, I wasn’t there very long. I was not the best waitress and instead I was offered on job with the Dean of the Community College and then I received a full scholarship in Art History at FSU, but Ballet was my major interest. Finally, I decided on History and Anthropology. Years later, not satisfied with that, I decided to become an RN and I received a PhD, MSN, RN (Clinical research). What did you major in at college?

      2. Political science, with a hefty dose of literature and philosophy and economics. How far we’ve come since then.
        By the way, these days I know how great food tastes … and how far short most eateries fall in comparison.

      3. Jnana, Political Science…very impressive and literature too, with philosophy and economics! Which one turned into a career? If you don’t mind me asking? I am of a curious nature, so I am told.
        You are so right about eateries, I don’t like going to restaurants because I make very healthy meals that taste very good too. 🙂

      4. Jnana, my goodness, that is fascinating. What an intriguing career, not to mention, you are a very talented poet, commentator, and writer. Thank you for sharing! Karen 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.