As I look back, September 7 was a usual Saturday; had coffee with friends, picked up my partner-in-crime from work and then our usual antics. A quick visit with Ma and Pa Hensel followed by lunch. Then we settled in with friend Mark, where we sat by his pool and talked about all of life’s situations and solutions. There we were joined by two of my cousins, who are also Mark’s classmates. One other characteristic about certain friends is that the friendship blurs the line of family. Beyond bloodlines, he is a part of mine.
Mark is an honest man who defines friendship. When his name is mentioned the frenzied interjection is “I love Mark!” He is kind, generous and serious at the root. He is open and welcoming to all. His sense of humor is limitless. I am proud to be welcome in his life.
Pride is a common theme to advancement and growth. We had occasion to jointly celebrate advancements of the LGBT community in our city, on that same day. Worcester Gay Pride was celebrated with a parade, festival, block party and much cheer. The celebration, which is slowly replacing the grass roots and sometimes dangerous fight for equality, is becoming a touch-point of jubilant reflection. Reflection and pride go together. We’ve come along way baby! Loretta Lynn, Virginia Slims, she loves him, he loved him, she changed into him…it’s all growth and success! Success because, more often than ever, education prevails over terror. The link here is that Mark took great time to learn about me and tell me that we both appreciated hims. We were friends first. We built trust first. The bond between us is the desire to be kind, generous and seriously work on the advancement of our community; 01604, Italians and LGBTs.
Pride is a precursor to success in all parts of life including business. Spencer and I wrapped our Saturday with a romantic dinner at one of my life time favorite restaurants. A location with ties to family, pride and cultural foods. Childhood memories of eating La Scala help me recall the days when Dad and I would enter any room and were welcomed with joy and positive attention. Sometimes we ordered so much take out food that we left with Cousin Tom’s dishes wrapped in saran wrap. We bought from Cousin Tom because La Scala measured up. Today, me and my foodie buddy will wait for two seats at a bar or the corner booth for the divine foods that are offered by La Scala. We are remembered by wait staff and enjoy the comfort of dining with options like “sure, we can do that,” or “absolutely, I’ll make that special for you.” Today, La Scala measures up. Zona and Leto have four letters…we may be cousins.
Our visit included:
- Signature Sausage Antipasto (The menu states “The looks of this dish say it all!” and I can only add mountainous deliciousness. We took more than half home and on day 2 and day 3 it was still delicious! $14),
- Eggplant Rollotini (An offering of thinly sliced eggplant rolled with ricotta and spinach and topped with red sauce and mozzarella cheese. $pecial),
- Summer Chicken (Sauteed chicken with snap peas & artichokes in a roasted red pepper white wine sauce. $16).
- One of our two favorite waitresses
- Excited to see us, moreso I believe that she’s excited to be at work.
- Happy to help us enjoy our experience; willing to serve the lunch portion of the antipasto and make decaf coffee.
- Attentive to every request. Checked in/on/up, very great!
I need to go back to pride. Not that I really left. La Scala is a family business that is continuing the legacy of a prior family. My family, to be exact. The prior owners are my father’s cousins, once or more removed but italians don’t see that dividing line. Cousin Tom ran the restaurant until he retired and the New La Scala family is keeping up with the growth and the freshness that is necessary to keep a competitive edge in any food business. Thank you Kevin and Maria. A sweet part of their success is they’re always there. The Zona’s have pride. Let’s have a parade!
Reflect, Repeat and Revisit goodness and Enjoy!