George is getting too old to run the
Lucky Nickel. He took over the business at the ripe old age of 25. In
the intervening decades, George's hair has turned gray, his wife has
passed on, and his two children graduated from college. Each of the
children found a life mate and got married. Then some grandkids came
along. At 69, it is time for George to spend a few years seeing the
grandkids get older, do a lot of fishing in Silver Pond, and spend a lot
of time watching ESPN. George has decided to sell the business, but
since times are getting worse than difficult, he thinks he will just
have to turn over the business to a good prospect and hope the new owner
has enough profit left to pay George a little for the opportunity of
owning and running the Lucky Nickel.
George ran an ad under business for
sale in the paper but George only got one response. The guy who called
about the ad has come into the Nickel. The guy is a pretty serious type
but he is too young in George's mind because the guy is only 24. The
guy's name is Rudy and Rudy has a lot of work experience in restaurants
even for his young age. George explains everything to Rudy. George goes
into the history of the Nickel, about how the Nickel has been there
since before the Great Depression. What George has not told is about the
This is where we join George and
Rudy in their conversation about Rudy taking over the business.
George: Rudy, there is hardly any
business any more. The factories in the area are all gone and I only get
a few regulars from the neighborhood nowadays and a lot of strangers.
The business has been on the downturn for years. Yet, somehow I always
have enough in the bank at the end of the month. Somehow, money just
seems to appear in the account. You might think I am crazy for saying
this but money appears out of thin air and so does inventory. I order a
few things but I never seem to run out of anything. I cannot explain it.
We have a big crowd of locals come in on Wednesday night. They are not
tippers. But at the end of the evening, I make more money than I would
have if everybody had been a big tipper. The menu has always been the
same which all the customers like. I have second generation cooks. The
parents of the present cooks worked here. Three or four years ago, the
older cooks both retired and their children came in and started cooking.
I must tell you, there is something very special about the Lucky Nickel.
Sometimes things happen no one can explain.
Rudy: I kind of figured that was the
case. When I saw the ad in the paper, I was immediately drawn here. I
cannot explain why.
George: Rudy, there is something I
must tell you and this may shock you. You see the corner booth over
Rudy: Sure. There is a glass of
water on the table.
George: Well, I want you to go out
into the kitchen and look through the opening in the swinging doors in
the kitchen and look at the corner booth here in the dining area. Then
come back in here and tell me what you see.
(Rudy goes into the kitchen, looks
back out into the dining room at the corner booth. Rudy opens the
kitchen doors a few times, sticks his head out into the dining room a
few times, steps back into the kitchen, and looks back through the
opening in the doors a few times. This goes on for about ten minutes.
Rudy comes back into the dining room and sits down but is a little
Rudy: Uh, well, uh, uh. Whoa! OK, I
saw a guy sitting in the corner booth when I was standing in the
kitchen. But when I was in the dining room, uh, the guy, uh,
disappeared. What in the world is going on here?
George: He is not a ghost.
Rudy: Well, I do not see him now but
from the kitchen I could see him. What is going on?
George: When I first bought the
place, I noticed no one ever sat in the corner booth. Even when the
place would be packed, no one ever sat in the corner booth, ever. This
went on for about five years after I took over. Of course, that was
decades ago. Anyway, a woman and her little girl came in and I knew the
little girl was sick and dieing. My wife knew the family. Well, the
little girl runs over to the corner booth and then I saw him appear out
of nowhere. Nobody else saw him but the little girl saw him and I did
too. The little girl's mom tried to get the girl to move over to another
table and the little girl refused. The little girl said she wanted to
sit next to Felix. Of course, I am in shock because at that point I am
thinking Felix is a ghost and the place is haunted. Well, the little
girl sat there next to Felix for a few minutes and all of a sudden there
was a cloud of light or a light cloud falling down over this little
girl. The cloud stayed there for a few minutes and then disappeared.
After the cloud of light disappeared, the little girl moved over to her
mom's table. A few days later my wife comes in here all atwitter about
the little girl. It seems the little girl was not just better, but the
sickness was gone.
Rudy: Whoa. So this guy in the
corner booth is what, an angel?
George: Well, maybe. For sure, he is
not a ghost. I can see him all the time now. He is in the booth when I
open up in the morning and he is in the booth when I leave at night. I
leave him alone. Sometimes he is either gone from the booth or he has
gone invisible, or something. I think Felix goes out on errands or
something. I don't really know why he is here and not here. Felix does
not talk. He does not eat. He does not age. He is the same now as he was
when I first saw him over forty years ago. Felix does not talk but he
listens. When I know someone who is in some kind of trouble, I go over
to the corner booth and tell Felix about the situation. Sometimes, but
not always, the situation gets better for no apparent reason. Felix is
always dressed the same. He has been dressed in the same clothing for as
long as I remember. I have never seen him get up and move around. He is
always sitting in the corner booth with a glass of water on the table.
He has never taken a sip of the water. I have gotten used to having him
here. Although he does not talk to me, I talk to him. In a weird sort of
way, we have become friends. I have seen other people who are sick or in
some kind of need come in here, go over to the corner booth, and the
light thing happens. Another weird thing is clocks in the Lucky Nickel
do not work. There used to be a joke about it and when people would want
to know what time it is, I used to just say it is no time…no time to
be foolin' around.
Rudy: The guy is an angel isn't he?
George: Yeah, I think he is. For
years I did not know, but to see all the good things happen for so many
people…yeah, Felix has to be an angel.
Rudy: How did the place get the name
The Lucky Nickel?
George: From what I have seen and
been told by the old timers when I first took over, it seems that people
find what they call a "lucky nickel" on the table at the
corner booth. I have seen with my own eyes people pick something up off
the table in the corner booth when there was nothing to pick up. Then
people hold up a nickel and they invariably have good things happen to
them later on. It is just my opinion but I think Felix hands out
"lucky nickels" to people who need something special in their
life. There is something else that goes on here. Rudy, I was never a
religious man. My home life when I was a boy was not religious. I never
went to church. Never wanted anything to do with church. But from the
time I first saw Felix, things began to change in my spiritual life. I
go to church occasionally with my children. Of course they are grown
now, but I raised them to be more or less spiritual people. In church,
the preacher talks about people receiving a blessing. Well, at the Lucky
Nickel, people get all kinds of blessings.
Rudy: George, I am going to tell you
something I have never told anyone before. George, I have felt God
calling me to the ministry since I was an early teenager. When I saw
your ad, I felt the touch of God in a powerful way. When I saw the ad, I
had no idea you had a place with an angel sitting in the corner booth.
George: I know little about God.
What I do know is God works in strange ways. My grandmother used to say
"The Lord's ways are mysterious, His wonders to perform."
Rudy: George, do you see Felix
looking at me.
George: Yes I do. Felix is looking
at you and giving you the thumbs up sign. I have never seen Felix do
that before. It looks to me like you are going to take over the Lucky
4:11-13 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets,
some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare
God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be
built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of
the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the
fullness of Christ. (NIV)
The story first appeared in
June, 2008, in the Virtual Church
web site at http://www.findthepower.com
The article is fiction. Any resemblance of
the characters in this story to persons living or dead is purely