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What’s So Bad About a #1 Pencil?

A regular contributor to the Greenville Journal is a man named Barry Ray whose column "Barry's World" reminds us a lot of the style of Dave Barry. One of his recent columns about back-to-school trauma was hilarious. I searched high and low to find it online somewhere, but to no avail. I wanted to put a link on my blog to the column. Finally I decided to write to the e-mail address for Barry Ray to ask him if I could get a copy of his article somewhere so that I could put it on my blog. Within a couple of hours I got a nice reply that stated, "I am planning on putting some older columns online soon. Right now, the Journal likes being the only source and putting them online would hurt subscriptions, I suppose. I have attached a JPEG of the column for you to use on your blog. Keep reading and thanks!"

And so with Barry's permission I'm placing the picture he sent me below. What you see below is a picture of a printed page, and so the quality of the print is not the best, but it's definitely worth the extra effort to read this one!

What's So Bad About a #1 Pencil?

A few weeks ago my wife Becka saw a restaurant review in the Greenville News that caught her attention. One of the reasons was that the reviewers all gave the restaurant high marks - a rarity indeed! So our little team who taught in Asia last year went there with our friend Ruth as a farewell before her return to Asia. We all enjoyed our meal very much, proclaiming we'd definitely be eating there again. The food was scrumptious, beautiful and plentiful, and the entrees ranged mainly from only $7 to $10.

Last evening Becka and I returned there for dinner and were dismayed that we were the only customers during our meal. We would hate to see this place close its doors! The restaurant is Vietnamese, and it is as authentic as you can get. It's a family-run restaurant, and everyone who works there is Vietnamese - unlike some of the local Chinese restaurants with Spanish speakers doing the cooking! With delicious food and a dining area that is clean and pleasant, there's no reason this place shouldn't be packing in the people! ...except that I don't think they have much of a notion at all about advertising. As a result, other than the review in the paper, they get customers only by word of mouth or from people happening by and wandering in.

updated 20 Oct. 2007: I've learned that the restaurant has closed its doors. Very sad.

Below is their business card. Too bad they didn't make it. Thanks to all of you locals who tried it out and attempted to give them more business.

SaiGon River business card


In reference to teachers ... "We are not just data merchants." - Dr. Dan Olinger

=^..^= =^..^=

If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still #2?

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6 Comments on “What’s So Bad About a #1 Pencil?”

  1. #1 Tammy
    on Aug 18th, 2007 at 9:49 am

    The school supply story was great! Last year I had a hard time finding an accoridan folder that was also 3 ringed for my son. We did get one but it was 2inches instead of the 3 inches that was written on the list. He passed 6th grade!!

  2. #2 Susan
    on Aug 18th, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Hi Rob and family,

    Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy and look forward to your updates! I don’t think I’ve read one that didn’t bring a big smile to my face! I appreciate this great labor of love for so many.

    I’ve been wanting to CONGRATULATE you on your BEAUTIFUL grandson! (if I haven’t already?)

    May God continue to bless and watch over your wonderful family.

    So blessed to be on the list!


  3. #3 Judith White
    on Aug 18th, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    Do enjoy your website very much…lots of newsy news…enjoy your grandson update also, as we have 9 grandchildren ourselves…they are all the loves of our lives…did enjoy hearing about that restaurant you found on Haywood Rd…we will be sure to visit soon & let others know if we enjoy it…is nice to help folks if you can…keep the good news coming and we’ll keep reading…

  4. #4 Anna Faye
    on Aug 18th, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    Yep, did the tears and the fiskars this year for the first time, and spent more time wondering about K4 politics than I should have. I mean, who wants their little almost-four-year-old to be made fun of because she doesn’t have the same supplies box everyone else has (because Walmart only had basically one kind)? Or is it that I shouldn’t have gotten the one everyone else has?

    Worrying about kindergarten peer pressure must lessen with subsequent kids because I was the last of four, and it was obvious my parents didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to or money on the latest school supplies fads. And I’m sure I’m a better person because of it. 🙂

  5. #5 Rhonda
    on Aug 22nd, 2007 at 6:55 am

    A group of colleagues visited your SaiGon River restaurant and found the food delicious, the ambiance very authentic, and the service superb. Although there are some similarities to Chinese, I found the combination of tastes very different from other Asian foods I’ve tried. Typically I’m not a great fan of Asian food, but I really enjoyed this restaurant. I hope other local readers will try it! 🙂

  6. #6 Denise
    on Aug 22nd, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    Really enjoyed the SaiGon River restaurant! Had not tried Vietnamese cooking before, but, did find that it was delicious! Thanks for the tip!