American Pie

This story about having juvenile offenders restore and operate classic American diners is lovely on a bunch of different levels: the metaphorical match between subject and object, both things that have been thrown away which are getting restored and returned to the mainstream; the fact that the young men are being taught skills they can really use that can really pay them (though the Nonprofiteer is driven to ask if there are any young women in the project); the cooperation of government, nonprofits and businesses in bringing it about; even its location in Rhode Island, which has quietly evolved as a foodie center as graduates of its culinary institutes refuse to leave. But the most beautiful aspect is the following quote from the man who runs the program:

You always meet people who want these kids to be locked away, and I respect their ill-informed opinion.

And this from the project’s community liaison! Apparently the Nonprofiteer isn’t the only person whose idea of educating people is to smack them in the face.

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2 Responses to “American Pie”

  1. Tom Cannon Says:

    One of the most famous commercials ever televised showed a grimey, sweaty mechanic holding a car piston and saying, “Pay me now or pay me later.” I think the ad was for a motor oil or some such, but the mechanic’s line has entered the American venacular, used by people who recognize the false profits gained by “deferred maintenance”, be it vehicles, infrastructure, companies, or people. All too often, non-profits enable society to “pay later,” even as we provide a way to “pay now.”

  2. Alanna Shaikh Says:

    “I respect their ill-informed opinion.” That really is the best quote ever.

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