And before you think I am totally and completely out of it, please remember that I spent most of the years between 1981-2015 living outside the US. Outside of occasional brief stints, I have had no contact with US based primary/secondary school eduction with my children. In fact, other than my own experience as a student aged 17 and under, DoDDs schools provide my only window into US based schools. I have no experience with Parent/Teacher Associations or whatever the current nomenclature for what I remember as the PTA. Certainly I know nothing about them or their fundraising outside of what I have read in fiction.
For those reading this and living outside the US (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK for English speaking plus the salting of French and German speakers) I effectively am as naive about such organizations as you.
How was I to know that PTAs have added “evenings out at a family restaurant” to their fundraising repertoire? Carmen knew about such things and explained it to me, but I hadn’t a clue. It did explain why our chosen location for dinner – The Silver Diner was packed with children and their families. Kindergarten through Second as it seemed to be. According to our poor waitress, the group had made a reservation for “about 25” which turned out to be a gross underestimation.
How does this work? The group makes an arrangement for a time when the restaurant normally is not that busy and in return gets an amount per head or % of sales from the group. It obviously made the kids happy, there were cheerful youngsters everywhere excited about seeing their friends. Kids coloring, parents and grandparents looking poleaxed and the waitstaff dodging the waist high crew as they attempted to take orders and deliver meals.
The young lady in line behind us as we entered explained that she could see kids from her class and was ever so excited. When one of the kids informed her that her teacher was having diner, I thought she would wiggle out of her skin. With rare exception, the kids were actually well behaved. As a group, it was almost as diverse as the Bay Area without the breakdown along ethnic lines that is all too often seen in San Francisco.
The menu was great, featuring burgers and other US people friendly food in varieties from buffalo through salmon to vegetarian (I didn’t want to ask if they had a separate grill) with a pick list for adding additional condiments. Veggies were offered in lieu of fries. The water was cold and served with lemon. In other words, nice comfort food, it the place wasn’t so filled with cheer, kids and noise that you couldn’t carry on a normal conversation.
The location faintly reminded me of the 5 & Diner that Noah and I ate at once in Scottsdale. With a major exception – the Silver Diner chain does as much as they can to be part of the “farm to table” movement and locally source their comestibles whenever possible.
Lou is progressing – and other than that – it is raining. Again.