Tuesday, July 19, 2011

So Long Soda Shop

Wow.  It's like losing a good friend.  That's how I felt today when I heard the news that the Elliston Place Soda Shop is closing on Saturday.  Over the last few years I have not eaten at the Soda Shop very often due to the proximity of my home and how often I get over to Ellison Place.  But there was a time when the Soda Shop saw my face 4 or 5 times per week.  Maybe that's why I feel like I'm losing an old friend.

The Soda Shop is perpendicular to Louise Avenue where I worked as a manager for a small local bookstore named Magical Journey.  MJ as we called it was at the time the most popular and oldest metaphysical bookstore in Nashville.  It stood alone as one of the only independent booksellers left in our fair city and was a beacon to those seeking an off the beaten path to the Divine.  

While working at MJ I got married and soon after (like a couple of hours after) pregnant.  The owner of MJ was a generous man who loved good food as much as I and often sent me after his own lunch when I would go pick up my own.  Even if we did not have lunch at the Soda Shop, many afternoons he would send me on a milkshake run.  I was often seen waddling down Louise and then Elliston to pick up the most delicious handmade milkshakes in town.  (Must be why Noah LOVES milkshakes.)

Those were good times.  Newly married, pregnant for the first time, working in my dream job with an independent bookseller....that's what the Soda Shop signifies to me.  Each day I grow older - a fact that does not escape me - and I move further away from that time of my life.  There are new times now - good times too - but those are days that I cherish as a golden time in my life.
My dear friend who gave me the news is as sad I am.  Her father ate at the Soda Shop when it first opened in the 30's while he attended VU and she did the same.  She takes her own son - a third generation milkshake lover - there during the summers.  She and I along with our kiddos are having lunch there on Thursday.  I am hoping that we are going on the right day as I am craving one last meal of Soda Shop turkey and dressing.

It has been several years since I worked at MJ, the owner passed away a couple of years ago and now the Soda Shop is closing.
Oh Soda Shop....I will lament your closing each and every time I drive down Elliston Place.  I guess all that can be said is Thanks for the Memories.  I am grateful that I knew you.