February 2004 (v6 i4)
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Prospect of pancake breakfast excites elderly woman
by J.J. Hermes, Design Director

ASHVILLE, NC — During a routine checkup at her local clinical laboratory, eighty-six-year-old grandmother Daisy Nunez was audibly excited at the prospect of ordering a hearty breakfast at a local IHOP.

"I would love a sweet stack of buttermilk pancakes," said Nunez to her daughter, Rebecca Nunez. "Pancakes are so yummy. They make me remember my days as a waitress in a diner." Despite the fact that Nunez's comment was overheard by a packed waiting room, few patients raised their head, hoping to avoid eye contact with the retired seamstress suffering failing health.

"That sounds like a great idea, Ma," said her daughter, absorbed in her copy of Newsweek. "Because I'm eighty-six, I get the senior citizen discount, you know," said Nunez to Mary Stoker, another patient in the waiting room. "If I get three pancakes and a side of toast with coffee, it only ends up costing me $5.00."

While Stoker fidgeted uncomfortably in her chair, Nunez continued.

"I worked as a waitress at a diner back in the 1950s. Boy, those were the days. The flapjacks were made on the same skillet as the bacon, and the grease sometimes mixed with the batter. Who would have thought that nowadays there would be a whole restaurant named after pancakes?

"Boy, pancakes sure sound good."

Although Stoker tried to end the discussion by looking down at her copy of People magazine, Nunez proceeded to reminisce.

"I never really wanted to be a waitress. There were days when I had dreams of writing the great American novel. I started buying lottery tickets instead, and I still do today. "Imagine winning the jackpot! I think if I won the lottery, I would give some of the money to my daughter Rebecca - that's her right next to me - and I might think about buying some more Hummels."

Hearing her name mentioned, Rebecca then nudged her mother, reminding her that no one cared about what she would do with money.

"The maple syrup used to be made from real maple trees," Nunez assured her nodding daughter.
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