Well, today has not been at all what I expected.

First, my bun guy couldn’t get downtown because of the parade, so at about 11:15 I booked it down to Restaurant Depot on my bike. I made it there and back in less than 30 minutes, and thankfully we ended up with buns for everyone (who wanted one)!

Then, as I was making an order, a man named Larry asked me what part of New Jersey I was from. He knew I was from New Jersey because today I happen to be wearing a green hoodie that reads “JERSEY PRIDE” across its back. It’s my all-time favorite article of clothing.

I told Larry I grew up in a town called Summit, and he responded that until two years ago he lived in nearby Maplewood. Now Larry lives in Squirrel Hill, and I live in the Strip District.

Anyway, we got to talking and he mentioned that he works for the Pittsburgh Symphony. I mentioned that I just saw the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony give a free concert and that I’d like to go to more classical performances, but that my budget is a fairly limited one these days.

So, we got to talking more and it came up that I used to play in the New Jersey Youth Symphony. Turns out that his son Jack, who is two years younger than me, did as well. Turns out I remember Jack because we were in the same chamber orchestra when I was in the sixth grade. I played the viola and he played the cello. Jack, considering his age advantage, was better than me.

In any case, Jack graduated from the University of Chicago last year. I gave Larry my card and told him to say hello to Jack for me. After that, Larry told me that I could go see the Pittsburgh Symphony as his guest sometime. He gave me his card. Turns out he’s President and CEO of the entire orchestra.

Later in the day I cut up a kielbasa and a knockwurst into bite size pieces for a man from Washington DC. I served these pieces to him without a bun. I gave them to him in a bowl with some chili and cheese. He tipped me with a t-shirt that reads “THE BIG GAME, FEBRUARY 5, 2006, DETROIT, MICHIGAN.” Aside from a large “XL” in the background it says nothing else.

Quite a day, wouldn’t you say! 45.