Ordering something as simple as pizza is no small feat if you live in the country. Do city dwellers really know how good they have it? Sam Morgan knows; welcome to Country Boy Chronicles.
It’s a cold Wednesday afternoon in the winter of 2003. Samuel, a young lad, seven years of age, excitedly gets off the bus after another educational workday at Craigsville Elementary School. Sammy-boy may be a self-proclaimed “complicated guy,” but tonight, he is going to enjoy a simple pleasure: a Papa John’s personal pan pizza. He has earned this circular goodness; he has attended school every possible day for the past six weeks, and the government-sponsored institution has decided to reward him with a pizza pie baked especially for him by the Papa John himself.
The nearest pizza joint is on the side of Little North Mtn. opposite of young Sam. It’s far, and takes time to get to, but a window has finally opened, and Sam’s reality of having a personal pan pizza is within grasp.
It’s church night! Church is in Staunton, as is the target location, so the entire family piles in the rusty car to arrive early. At least a half-hour, and a couple dozen miles later, Sam arrives to receive what is rightfully his (as long as Mom had called earlier to order; otherwise he has to wait in the car). With the pizza safely wrapped in a blanket sleeve, Samuel eventually arrives safely at church. He and his pizza enjoy their time together (it was sadly the pizza’s final hour), before his 7:00 PM appointment with Jesus.
Count your blessings
Fun fact: I am the Samuel from this story. This story is true, and the nearest Papa John’s really was 24 miles away, on the other side of the mountain.
One of the biggest differences that I noticed after moving to VA Beach, was how close everything was. As I mentioned in the last article, we had to go “into town” to do errands; it took a full half hour just to acquire a simple pizza. My first time ordering a pizza delivery was in college. That’s right. No pizza joint delivered to my house; no Chinese food; no Jimmy John’s. After we moved closer to town, the nearest place was a Tastee Freez (which I doubt you’ve ever heard of) a few minutes down the road. If you didn’t want that, there was a gas station Subway a few more miles down the road. After that, anything else was at least a 20 minute drive at 55 mph from our house. From our old house, all of this would have been even further.
The next time you order pizza, think of me. Please, if you find the compassion in your heart, bring me a slice in CH 229 to make up for all the slices I couldn’t have as a child. I promise that your journey to share a piece of happiness will be shorter than Sammy-boy’s 2003 trek to acquire some.
Samuel Morgan is a staff writer for The Daily Runner.