Back for Seconds
I've never been much of a joiner. Even when I was a kid, I only managed to be a part-time girl scout, joining just around cookie sale time, and quitting soon after. It's not so much that I'm like Groucho Marx, suspicious of any club that will have me as a member. I'm afraid it has more to do with my attention span. Or lack thereof.
But there was a club, years ago, that I was not only a member of, but a founding member. And I stayed in it until we disbanded, unofficially. The club's membership never rose above two. But it didn't really need more than two members. Because the dues we paid (I think a quarter a piece) were enough for our purpose.
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The club existed solely to enable me and my friend, Cathy, about 7 years old at the time, to walk a couple of blocks from our homes to De Alba Tacqueria.
De Alba Tacqueria was on Grove St. just north of Virginia St, in one of the small shop spaces at rightSadly, I have no memory of the tacos they sold there; I'm sure they were delicious. Instead, Cathy and I bought a tablet of Ibarra chocolate, that cinnamon and almond scented chocolate used primarily to make Mexican hot chocolate.
I don't remember actually making, not once, Mexican hot chocolate. The Ibarra chocolate came in a bright yellow hexagonal box, but I’m sure I never bought a whole box. The tablets, six to a box, were loosely wrapped in paper (unlike today’s boxes, with their hermetically sealed tablets). It’s interesting De Alba was willing to sell separate tablets. Did so few people buy Mexican chocolate then?
I do remember taking our chocolate tablet back to the church on the corner. We had a few secret hideout spots there.
My favorite spot was on the side of the church, behind an iron gate. There was a staircase on the side, which no one ever seemed to use.
Sitting on the stoop, we broke our chocolate into wedges, and nibbled away, talking about what I don't remember. I'm also not entirely sure how often we met. Did we have a set day? A call to chocolate? Or did it all come down to when we had the dues available?
The view as we reclined with our chocolateWhat I’d completely forgotten was the view we had as we sat back and ate our chocolate. You have to wonder what sort of effect this early combined exposure to religion and chocolate had on me. I do remember that those chocolate afternoons were peaceful ones. And the Church of Chocolate does have some powerful alliteration!
Cathy, if you’re reading this I'd love to hear what you remember. And I wonder if it might not be time for a Chocolate Club meeting. I think I have the dues saved up.