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Life still has two shifts

By Mark Rosman
Staff Writer

I can see my life changing in front of my eyes and I suppose it is just natural progression. The clearest evidence of that change came without notice two weeks ago when I went out to dinner at a restaurant in Monroe Township.

I was on my way back from a lovely walk along the shore in the Laurence Harbor section of Old Bridge on a sun-splashed afternoon when my friend suggested a dinner option in Monroe Township.

She said there was a restaurant where we could order dinner including salad, main course, dessert and a beverage at a bargain price. The Italian dinner sounded fine with me and so we headed west.

There was apparently no rush and I was enjoying the drive until about halfway through the trip from Old Bridge to Monroe when she casually mentioned that in order to get the full dinner at the bargain price we had to be seated by 5:30 p.m.

It was then that my life changed (hopefully not forever).

Having driven throughout western Monmouth and southern Middlesex counties since 1977 at all hours of the day and night, I know my way around the back roads from Old Bridge through Marlboro and into Monroe Township.

Let’s just say that with a bit of speed, a touch of the car’s horn and a lust for chicken parmigiana, we were seated at 5:28 p.m.

The dinner was delicious.

It only occurred to me a day later that what I had done was to act like a fool. I had rushed to make an early bird dinner. I’m telling you, it happens just that fast and you don’t even know it at the time.

I suppose you can say I am caught between two worlds. That was evident when I went to the Cabin in Howell on a recent Saturday night to see the Eddie Testa Band.

Eddie is a Freehold native who has been performing in the area for more than 30 years. His band has hundreds of faithful followers who show up each weekend to hear a set that often runs three hours and is peppered with songs from Motown greats, Bruce Springsteen, the Beatles and many other popular artists.

The crowd at the band’s shows these days skews a little bit – how can I say this without offending anyone I may run into this month? – older.

Is the idea to stay out late on Saturday, trying to recapture a little of the glory days, or is it to enjoy the early bird special on Sunday?

Having recently enjoyed both, I am voting for that double play.

Mark Rosman is a managing editor with Newspaper Media Group. He may be reached by email at mrosman@newspapermediagroup.com

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