We get a lot of foot traffic at the cooking school. Or, drop in traffic. People pull into the parking lot, ask questions. Sometimes they are lost, and need to know how to get somewhere, and I'm kind of no help because I do not live anywhere near here.
But, I have google maps! And we look things up, and I print out sheets of directions for them and send them on their way with prayers for traveling mercies.
Sometimes we get people who stop in because they have been driving by for years, and they're curious about what we do. So I have a packet and a spiel, and I talk up the joint and they usually leave satisfied in knowledge.
Today was different. I was on the phone solidifying a corporate party, answering questions about head count, and talking about how they want to do an Iron Chef kind of judging of the meals the two kitchens prepare.
An older gentleman came in and stood at the front counter, looking around the room at the cookbooks. While the woman was talking I leaned out and whispered to him I'd be right there. He smiled and said "take your time."
Customer Twenty Questions continued to ask things, and of course I can't tell her to shut up, quit prattling on... and the man left.
I felt badly to have lost him, finished the call and leaned out to see if he was just walking about the building.
There was no sign of him... so I came back inside. Twenty minutes later he returned...
He opened with "I have a question, but it isn't necessarily about your business." This is always a weird opening. We've had weird openings to weird questions from left field, Mars, the depths... and they're always entertaining.
"Do you know where the Center Street Cemetery is?"
Now, I'm not from around here, as I explained at the outset. I pointed to the cemetery next to our building and said "maybe?"
He smiled and said that he didn't think that was it.
You see, "My great, great, great,... great grandfather died in the late 1600s and is buried in the Center Street Cemetery. At least that is what my grandmother told me. And I came here from Minneapolis to see if I can find him, but I'm not having much luck." He told me the cemetery next to our building doesn't have anyone there from the 1600s (looks like it could) so I told him that we could go on the internet and pull up info. We found the East Parish cemetery in Newton is on Center Street, and currently is on the grounds of Boston College's Newton campus. I remembered seeing it, with its gates and trees, whilst blasting past it to head to the nightmare of Newton Center.
We measured the distance from here to there at about 2 miles, and he said he was going to head out to try and find him.
"He's been waiting for a grandson to come visit him for over 300 years. Ten more minutes won't hurt." His smile, he had such a huge smile, as he was thanking me made my day.
I hope he gets to find him. I told him to come back and report if successful. Good luck, guy from Minneapolis!