Gwendolyn was my grandma. She lived with us in my family home in Robstown, Texas, when I was a child. She was a pig farmer in Oklahoma, and grew up during the Great Depression. She taught me to eat gristle off of chicken bones. She drove a farm tractor and could throw haybails all day on a cup of coffee. Grandma smoked like a chimney and swore like a pirate. At a glance she could tell you what was wrong with your horse, and help you get the medication tube down his nose to fix it. She drove her green 1954 Ford Fairlane--the kind with the rocket tail lights--until it would not roll anymore, because my grandfather built it and she loved him. She was the only person I ever knew who could calmly reach into a bucket full of live crabs.
Grandma was the last of an era shaped by limitations. You ate what you had, you did what you could, and took pleasure in small things. She exemplified a kind of simple strength, that durable old-school "make do" attitude that I want to uphold in the way we do things here. Grandma did good. We can too.
Restaurant Gwendolyn 152 E. Pecan, #100 San Antonio, TX 78205 210.222.1849 © 2011 Restaurant Gwendolyn. All Rights Reserved.