My father never worked at an office. He wasn’t the type of guy to even have a home office. Hell, there were times when he didn’t even have a home, much less an office. Nonetheless, the cover on his burial niche says “at the office” on it.
This requires some explaining. My father, Don McCarty, as he lik d to refer to himself when he was angry, spent a lot of time drinking coffee at a local diner called Country Kitchen. I mean, a lot of time, like all night long, every night, for years. When I wanted to see him, I would just drive up there and hang out a while.
He wasn’t the only one. He had a slew of guys (and a few women) that he was friends with who were also there almost every night, and almost all night. Vick, Tom, and the crazy lady. He was also friends with the waitresses, and the police officer that was there on the weekends (Roger). The drag queens on Saturday night, the homeless people, the weirdos, the freaks. They were all there, especially on weekends.
My dad, my sister and I would refer to this gathering place as “the office.” Hey, are you going up to the office tonight? I didn’t see you at the office yesterday. Why wasn’t Vick at the office last night? This is how we talked about it. A crazy diner, in a rust belt town, called Akron, Ohio.
So, when my father passed away in 2009, we debated putting something normal on his plaque like “rest in peace” or “when we meet again” or “always in our hearts” but nope – my sister and I decided it had to be “at the office.”