Take a whiff of Sista Smiff and you'll come back for more, that's fo sho!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Grassland Grill-RIP

I hate to see that the Grassland Grill is closing. The Grill has been part of the Grassland area since 1992. I watched that establishment from the very beginning days start as a little sandwich shop and grow into a thriving business. Seems business isn't what it was and I can't help but think the change in ownership probably had something to do with it. I'm not knocking the current owners...I'm just a little partial to the founder, one E. Darrin Kirby. (I'm so glad I have an excuse to write about one of my favorite families in the world!!)

Darrin is kinda like a brother to my sister and me. Our families met back in 1971 or 72 when we all attended Grassland Heights Baptist Church. Darrin was a year behind me in school but we were born the same year. We spent many a Sunday night after church at their house or our house. Some Sunday nights, we'd all go to Shoney's and at the infamous "Kids Table" we were known to doctor up glasses of water with ketchup, mustard, whatever condiments were handy....yes, we were delightful and I'm sure we thought were sooo original.

Friday nights, we ate with them at Bonanza for many years (Look Daddy! There's a monkey!" Inside joke) I have a rather large closet of Darrin Kirby stories that I could probably make some extortion money from and he, no doubt, has a tale or two to tell on me. Oh gosh, I know he does. He probably has way more on me than I do him.

Darrin's dad became one of my dad's very closest and dearest friends. He's something of a surrogate dad to me now, although I don't see him near as often as I would like. Every now and then, my phone will ring and it will be Dean Kirby calling with a question about a song or a memory of something...out of the blue. I love it when that happens.

The rest of the family...sisters Debby and Karen....they're all hysterical people and they have a slew of friends that are some hysterical people. In fact, my subtitle of this here blog is not something I made up....that "honor" goes to Lisa Underwood.

Anytime I heard anybody mention the Grill, I always had a snort of pride because Darrin worked really hard to build that business and he succeeded. Whoda thunk the same kid who get his groove on and shake it to the Commodores like he did could be a bidnessman?!??!!?

He sold it a year or so ago, after all those years of working such long hours. He did that because he is now a husband and father and didn't want to miss anything with his little girl. I'm sure he missed the Grill, but, really, I think he made the right choice.

Darrin's daddy owned the Texaco station there in Grassland for many years and his older brother, Mitch, owns and operates it today. That bunch knows everybody in the area and most of Franklin. I know when anything goes on or I hear of this or that in the Grassland/Franklin area, I can call their mother, Judi, or "Gee" as she has become known to most, and she or Dean can fill me in on what's happening.

I could probably do a hundred posts about this bunch of people and I will have to make it a point to do a Dean Kirby post before long. He is truly one of the funniest people in the human race.

One of the things about Darrin....we didn't hang out when we were teenagers. He was cool and I...wasn't...and I see him maybe once every couple years but to give you an idea how silly I am about him....the day I got married....I was cool as a cucumber, not nervous or emotional or nothing. I was ready to be Mrs. Smiff and get on with it all.

I'm sitting in the little bride room at the church before the wedding commenced and had a few minutes where I was sitting in there by myself. I was just sitting there, twiddling my thumbs and the door opens and Darrin peeked his head in. I don't remember what he said, but, it caused me to burst into tears. It was just a neat little moment we had that I've never forgotten.

I'm glad Darrin gave up the Grill to be a devoted husband and dad. Maybe some of these days he'll fire it up again. He sho can make some good cheeseburgers.

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