CONVERSATIONS. "imagination, atom bombs, and evil lurking in the hearts of men."

Burgerville, to me, is to fast food establishments as Costco is to big box stores: a welcome anomaly. There is one location in particular that has customer service that should be a benchmark for the industry. It was here that I spoke with her. She came over to bus our table - yes, they bus your tables - and we began chatting. I’ll just jump in partway through:

I’m 76 years old,
she said.
And I’ll tell you, I just have too much imagination!

That’s kind of a great problem to have!
I said.
So how did you get your imagination?

She sighed as she took our blackberry smoothie off the table.
I told you I was born in 1938. We didn’t have television. We had radio. Clayton Moore - you know, the Lone Ranger? The Shadow. You couldn’t see; you had to imagine. We were forced to build our own images based on the stories.

She shook her head and continued:
We MADE things. I grew up using knives. We used to carve our own little toys out of cornhusks. You didn’t have entertainment just available for you. It’s amazing what you can come up with. Do you know that I spent part of my childhood in Oak Ridge? You know what they were working on there?

Are you talking about Oak Ridge, Tennessee?
I asked.
Was that a military base a while back?

she exclaimed.
That’s where they were doing all the atom smashing - working on the atomic bomb, running particles through the cyclotron. Isn’t science amazing?! I love science. I wish I knew more about it. So much happened at Oak Ridge. My father worked there.

I said.
That is a pretty significant piece of history to have been a part of firsthand.

she said.
Of course, if you believe in science, you have to believe in God. And if you believe in God, you have to believe in Science. That’s the way I see it. You have the air that came from who? God. And everything that we invent; that we come up with, with all the protons and neurons and particles flying around…they come from something God made. So it’s all connected. That’s how I see it. Do you know how many planets have been discovered? Just ones that we can verify? Are you familiar with the story of Horton Sees a Who?

I said.

That’s how I see us in the universe,
she said.
We’re just a tiny speck. There’s this huge, massive universe out there and we’re a tiny part of it.

I like how you explain things.
I said.

she said, taking my empty basket of fries.
Science is just incredible. You know how I was talking about the Shadow, and invisibility? And you know what they’re doing now with nano carbon particles?

I know a tiny bit about string theory, I said.
But that’s about it.

she said.
With nano carbon particles, the string particles run along a nanotube, and you can have an object BEHIND the particles while light goes AROUND. So you know what you have?

Umm…I said.

- Invisibility!
she said proudly.
A cloak of invisibility. The object itself is hidden. And that is something science can actually do now. Isn’t science amazing?

I said.

Did you know there’s drones the size of flies?
she asked, clearing our ketchup-drenched napkins.

And we talked about drones for a while. What a sweet, funny, smart lady.

Go be amazing.


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