Montlake Mailbag: Questions about 2024 recruiting, prospect priorities, Guardian Caps and lots more
We begin with a real-life tale of a serendipitous dinner.
Over The Moon Cafe, a great little restaurant on Tacoma’s Opera Alley — a street once described by a local TV station, quite annoyingly, as “an Instagrammer’s dream” — has become a go-to when my wife and I are afforded a night to ourselves.
On each table sits a box, and those boxes are filled with love letters. Diners write them on receipts and napkins and ticket stubs. Some are lighthearted. Some are serious. Nearly all of them are romantic in some way. It’s fascinating to read them over drinks and appetizers, a fleeting glimpse into the lives of the restaurant’s patrons, and the circumstances that brought them to the same table.
We came here May 12, 2017, two days after I had purchased an engagement ring, and 15 days before I asked my wife to marry me. I wrote all of this on one side of a piece of scrap paper, and she wrote her own note on the back, and we stuck it back into the box, neither of us reading what the other had written. I took a picture of mine, and showed it to her 15 days later, after I had proposed during a whale-watching tour in the San Juans.
We returned to Over The Moon several times in the following years, always searching for our original notes. We never found them. Once, a waitress even humored our pursuit, retrieving boxes from every table. Nothing. Oh well. I had accepted that we would never see it again. Maybe that made for a better story, anyway. My wife, a radio reporter, actually did a story about it a few years ago. It included a remark from the waitress, who wondered if perhaps somebody had taken it. “Maybe someone needed it more than you did,” she had said, and that sounded fine to me.
My wife bought us tickets to a comedy show last week. She made a reservation at Over The Moon, a short walk from the venue. We ordered drinks and, like always, opened the box of letters at our table, eager to identify our favorites.
There it was, right on top.
“She doesn’t know it yet, but in 15 days, I will ask her to marry me …”
We marveled at our good fortune and photographed it again for posterity.
Then we put it back in the box.
I appreciate every one of you who subscribes to On Montlake. Let’s get to the mailbag.
Questions have been lightly edited for length and clarity. As always, Friends of the Program receive priority.
Like most, just curious what you think about our slow start to the 2024 recruiting class? Is this intentional by the staff or reason for some concern? — Bryan Hanson