| I met Leroy while helping on Al-Mudhif, a Marine veteran
first day of Parris Island boot camp
happened to be 9/11. He'd been
expecting a peacetime stint but ended up doing
three infantry tours
in Iraq. Compared to that, the Philly Taco Challenge seemed
tame, so when he asked if I wanted to try it, what
could I say?
(I found out later it was his first time, too.)
He's an affable
guide; on the long walk up Passyunk he pointed out all
the best jawns, and at the wide intersection at 9th
he explained the differences between Geno's
(rightwing, racist, cheap meat) vs. Pat's
(actual cuts of steak). We got giant
slices at Lorenzo's,
saw how you could
a whole hoagie
in one. The cashier
was the first ever to
comment on my They
Live T-shirt: "Is that
Before I could explain it was a film, she
seeing it--"the one with the glasses!" Then she asked
knew Soylent Green. I
started to say, "It's people," then
exclaimed, "It's pizza! It's pizza!" Got our "wit Whiz"
cheesesteaks at Ishkabibble's and found an
picnic table in the shade of a tree-lined traffic median.
I'd been a bit self-conscious about doing such a
tourist schtick, but then a passing local
legit!" It was delicious. And not long after, I
felt like this.