The Mind of Bluesleepy

End of Mama’s 1 October 2002

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 2:25 pm

I’m so excited. We made the decision to get a cable modem over the weekend when we were told by our friend that it would be $35 a month since we already have cable. We checked everything out, then made the trek to Best Buy where we found a cable modem with a rebate, and the self-install kit was free after a rebate. Couldn’t beat it! The Cox guy came out the next day and did whatever he does to our box outside, and we were all set up!!! Kurt sat here at the computer desk for a time last night just giggling to himself. It’s so nice to have a high speed connection again.

My mother and I watched the news together yesterday, although we were at separate houses. We do that sometimes… It’s a damn good thing local calls are free!! But it was sad in a way… The restaurant that stood near the bar where my mother worked during much of my early childhood has been torn down. The bar where she worked for that matter was torn down years ago, and is now a parking lot for both the park next door and the bar that used to be a club and a lunch counter.

But Mama’s Italian Kitchen was a landmark in West Ocean View, my hometown. It served the best Italian food — nothing can even come close. I don’t really remember eating there as a child, but once my mother took me there for some reason while I was in college. I had ordered the baked ravioli, which sounds like a plain dish, but in the hands of Mama’s chefs it was a gourmet meal.

When I was young, my mother was a die-hard fan of Garfield. She had so many of his comic books, and she even had a stuffed Garfield, Arlene (of the wobbly neck), and Pookie the teddy bear. (I think I have informed her that Pookie will come to me in her will, if she hasn’t already given it to me, which she may have. I have a lot of stuffed animals in storage.) And with my being able to read at a very young age, I used to read through those Garfield comic books. That’s how I learned about Garfield’s youth before he met Jon, his human. See, for those of you who aren’t aware, Garfield was born in an Italian restaurant, which led to his passion for lasagne. I used to think that Garfield was born and grew up in a place like Mama’s Italian Kitchen and the deserted building next to it. I never thought it was actually his home, but every time we passed by it, I always thought of Garfield. Still do…

But Mama’s has been torn down in the name of progress. I understand why it was torn down — the owner of the restaurant died several years ago, and it’s been empty ever since. Kurt and I found out the hard way when we drove all the way out to Ocean View just to eat one night. Ocean View is experiencing a renewal — East Ocean View is being purged of the crack houses and prostitutes, and new beach houses are being built at an astonishing rate. West Ocean View is starting to follow its example, and many old landmarks are gone… Rosey’s was torn down in June, and it had been there for years. And at least, instead of becoming just another fast food joint, the land where Mama’s had stood for so long will become part of the Ocean View Park.

Maybe in my lifetime, we will see a resurgence of interest in this almost-forgotten area, and it will again enjoy the prestige it had had before Virginia Beach became so overdeveloped. I just hope we can keep out those droves of tourists. :o)

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