Monday, May 10, 2004

May 10, 2004

8:32 PM A bit of Serendipity … On Friday night after we finished our meal at La Piazza restaurant in Forest Park, Marlene and I were walking back to our car on Madison Street when we saw a teenager sitting on some steps next to the sidewalk. As we walked past, he called out, “Pastor Ray.” It was John Stoffer who told us he worked at the Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor next door. When we looked in the window, Marlene said, “We’ve got to go there sometime.” The next night as we were channel surfing, we saw a news report about The Brown Cow on CLTV. So tonight while Marlene went to an OPCA board meeting, I went to a nursery to buy some hanging baskets for our entryway. Since I was already on Madison Street, I decided to visit the Brown Cow, which is best described as an old-fashioned ice cream parlor with turn-of-the-century décor. It’s neat and clean and the sort of place that will be jammed with people (especially children and teenagers) once summer hits. When I walked in, the woman behind the counter looked at me and then turned her head slightly, as if to say, “Don’t I know you?” Then she said, “Hi, Pastor Ray.” Her name is Connie Brown. She and her husband Matt opened The Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor eight weeks ago. And they (along with their son Keegan) attend Calvary where they work in the pre-school area. Basically they felt like Forest Park needed an ice cream parlor (not a chain, but as she put it, “a mom and pop” operation), and a whole string of events fell into place to make it happen. The store features the original wood paneling from a photography store that opened around 1910. They opened a play area for children and the back room has tin ceiling squares, just like the old-time stores used to have. They have hired several Calvary teens to work there–and more will join them this summer. As Connie said, “It’s fun having an ice cream parlor. People are always happy to be here.” I predict they will do huge business this summer–and I think if I want to see my congregation, all I’ll need to do is visit the Brown Cow at 7314 W. Madison Street in Forest Park, 708-366-7970. They have 22 flavors of ice cream (I tried the Mango Tango Sorbet and it knocked my socks off), sodas, plus an array of Sundaes named after family members. Pay them a visit and tell them Pastor Ray sent you. 11:51 AM I have had throat problems for several weeks and haven’t been able to get rid of them. I heard that pollen counts are high right now—and I think that’s part of my problem. A friend loaned me some allergy pills, which I took, and my voice is much better today. 11:47 AM After church yesterday I went a new sub shop in Forest Park call Jimmy John’s. Not a very fancy Mother’s Day lunch but Marlene and Josh and I ate our subs in front of the TV and watched the Cubs play the Rockies. Plus Von and Vilma Matthews went out for their wedding anniversary to a nice steak place. The restaurant gave them a huge piece of chocolate cake, which they passed along to us—and that was dessert yesterday. So it all worked out great. 11:46 AM Just back from my bike ride. I rode the Prairie Path out to Glen Ellyn and back—30 miles. YTD: 996 miles.

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