6. Jeannie and The Kickin’ Chicken

“You been comin’ here your whole life too?”

“Nope,” I responded. “This is my first time here.”

So began my 15-minute conversation with Jeannie, while the two of us waited together for our take-out orders in the waiting area of The Kickin’ Chicken in Summerville. Like almost all of the people I have talked to in this part of South Carolina, Jeannie was warm and friendly. By the time she was handed her order and bid me good-bye, I felt like I’d made a new friend.

A native South Carolinian and long-time resident of Summerville, the 65ish, grandmotherly Jeannie knew her local restaurants. She had indeed been a long-time customer of The Kickin’ Chicken, describing for me the layout of the restaurant back in the day. She showed me pictures of her twenty-something daughter who grew up on The Kickin’ Chicken, and of her six-month old granddaughter, who likewise will be introduced to one of grandma’s faves in due time. Jeannie explained the benefits of a Kickin’ Chicken Rewards Card. She encouraged me to ask for a lot of the “extras” that I could get with my order for free, like an abundant amount of containers of different sauces.

Jeannie’s expertise in local dining was not limited to The Kickin’ Chicken. Careful so no one else might hear (even though the only person in earshot was the restaurant hostess), Jeannie lowered her voice and in a secretive tone shared that I would find the best and cheapest breadsticks at the Pizza Hut down the street. But for good pizza, I’d have to go to the new pizza place downtown. Don’t buy the beer there, though, she warned. For good beer, I’d need to run across to the other side of the freeway, to the new microbrewery.

When her order came, Jeannie apologized that she could not stay and chat. Her hungry family was waiting for her at home.

I wish I could have had at least a few more minutes of conversation with Jeannie.

And yes, the food was excellent. My fried chicken and waffles was yummy – even with just plain old maple syrup, without any of the extra sauces.


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Kari

    I love that so many friendly people are adding to your great story. Can’t wait for your book to come out 😉

  2. Janne Helen

    Fantastic writing – I was there waiting for my order and listening in on your conversation 😍. How wonderful to hear about the people you meet on your way, I hope you meet many more of them.

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