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Who’s Ted?

You can call me anything — except late for dinner.

Ted grew up in the 1930’s at the height of the Great Depression in Southern West Virginia. If employed, most people worked in the coal fields. As one of eight kids, there was not always enough food to feed the whole family. By the time Ted had a family of his own, he had become the “cook of the neighborhood.” Even though he and his family lived in a small city, he always had a big garden. All the neighbors knew that Ted over-planted tomatoes, corn, zucchini, squash, green beans, cucumbers and everything else under the sun so that he could keep the whole neighborhood chock full of produce. This ritual happened every spring and summer. He’d share the fruits of his labor with his neighbors, saying, “Gotta give all this away so it doesn’t go to waste.”

Back in the day, there was always someone knocking on Ted’s front door: from door-to-door encyclopedia and vacuum cleaner salespeople, to mail and delivery carriers, to pop-in visits from neighborhood friends. It didn’t matter who, Ted always took them by surprise asking them if they’d had lunch. A simple grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup was his staple – and that pot was always on the stove. Ted would hold court in the kitchen or on the front porch, often with a beer in hand, pontificating with all who would join in. “You can call me anything – except late for dinner,” was one of those “Dad” sayings that was repeated so many times throughout the years that all his children could do was groan and roll their eyes.

Ted knew that food was the great equalizer. It was his way of keepin’ it real. He firmly believed (and told his family often) that making a meal and dining together was one of the most civilized things we could do with our fellow man. He was the perfect host and would’ve been a natural in the restaurant business. Though he never did own his own place, his children opened Ted’s Bulletin in his honor. We know he would have had fun here!

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