Thursday, January 6, 2011


Her name is Harriet Johnson, but all of you who have been around Jake's for a few years know her as Pineapple.

Pineapple is not a big lady but her aura and personality were one of the more electric of my past waitstaff from the old place. Everyone knew her. I remember a driver asking if we had fresh pineapple once and introduced her with a round of laughs.

For whatever reason, she did not see the reason to marry Dick but no one that I knew of ever asked her why. We all knew she loved him and that seemed to be enough. As a matter of fact, the only way anyone knew was if you knew their last names which are different.

A few years back, Pineapple contracted cancer. She always was a fighter and I knew that if anyone could fight it, it would be her. We saw her over those years both up and down. But one thing never changed and that was her smile when she came in the door. You could tell that the employees at the diner were a part of her extended family and she loved coming in to see us.

We haven't seen her for a while and I was wondering what might be going on with her and thought the worse when Dick walked in the door the other day. He asked to sit down and talk and I could see the pain in his eyes. I thought I was going to hear that the cancer had taken her....but that was not the case.

He told me a story of how Piney had gone down to visit her daughter. He was to go down and get her when they contacted him to let him know that she had pneumonia and was placed in the hospital. He thought that it was best she stay there and did not complain when they recommended that. He was to get her for Thanksgiving but was disappointed but understood when they asked to keep her longer as she was still having trouble with her illness.

He said that they talked often on the phone and hoped to bring her home for the holidays. Then, things changed. The daughter had power of attorney and some how had gained medical power of attorney also thus gaining total control over Pine. As Dick tried to get her home, the relationships began to deteriorate.

Now, he is no longer allowed to even call her. They say that it to big of a distraction to the family as after he calls, she gets upset.

Through tears, Dick had to stop often. Dick is a strong man but this was obviously devastating him.

I asked what I could do and he was not sure. He did give me her address and her telephone number and I promised to share it with her friends.

So, that is a part of this post. If you knew Pineapple and want to send her a card of encouragement, please get a hold of me. For all others, please keep her in your prayers. Imagine how you would feel in her place and just want to go home.


Anonymous said...

Hey Lyle,
Dick and Pineapple are my neighbors. I wondered why I hadn't seen her out but winter takes neighbors inside and I hadn't checked with Dick in awhile.

I have lots of great stories in 20+ years of being neighbors.

Dick painted my mom's house a year ago since I like to pay people I know to do jobs I need done well.

Thank you for this post. Wow, I am so sad.

SkippyMom said...

That is so sad. I didn't understand the lead in of not marrying Dick, but now I get it.

I am so sorry - I hope she improves enough for Dick to bring her home.

She needs to be home.

My prayers are with them.

diner life said...

If either of you want to send her a card, just get a hold of me and I will give you her address.