Being a reporter for a local weekly newspaper requires immersion in the communityâ€™s events, celebrations and rituals.
In six months, Iâ€™ve racked up quite a few of them, from parades to dinners to Main Street Strolls. Iâ€™ve even stood on the processing line in Municipal Court after receiving a traffic ticket.
But before last Friday, I had yet to do breakfast at Jiggerâ€™s Diner.
I could cry lack of opportunity, since Iâ€™d only been here a few weeks when state officials closed it down this summer for falling well in arrears on state taxes. But while interviewing people for my story about the closing, they inevitably bounced a question back at me:
â€śHave you ever eaten breakfast at Jiggerâ€™sâ€ťâ€ť
To that, I could only plead nolo. While I grew up just a few miles up Post Road to the north, I had never set foot in the diner. While Iâ€™ve enjoyed the few meals Iâ€™ve eaten in diners, Iâ€™m not really the go-out-for-breakfast type â€“ mine usually consists of popping waffles in the toaster or microwaving pancakes (I generally donâ€™t leave the house without having eaten breakfast, and mercifully, I keep quickie doughnut breakfasts to a bare minimum).
The only freshly made pancakes Iâ€™ve eaten the past several years have been at The Pancake Man in Yarmouth during Cape Cod vacations (if I donâ€™t catch them during their summer vacation). Theyâ€™re a very rare luxury item at my house, given my opting for convenience after waking up and my wifeâ€™s work schedule, which often sees me leaving before she arrives home (and I would not ask her to cook after work, anyway).
When the Town Council voted last Monday night to reinstate Jiggerâ€™s owner Iva Reynhoutâ€™s victualling license, allowing her to reopen after she had come to terms with the state Division of Taxation to resolve her debt, the questions came again.
In the end, I give Council Vice President Henry V. Boezi the credit for luring me into a visit. After the meeting, he made a pretty convincing argument for me to venture out from my North Providence home without filling my belly first.