Monday, April 27, 2009

Billy Kidd's Sub and Pizza


There was a sign in the window:
"Closed for Renovations - April 19th"
Just like that, it was an end of an era.
Billy Kidd's Sub & Pizza has been sold.
Jenna and I sat quietly in the car. She pointed out that already the front windows had already been replaced. "This is sad," I said.
"Yeah..." she replied.
We pulled out of the parking lot towards Mike's House of Pizza in Hanson. It was the only sandwich shop I knew nearby. I used to get my pizza there when the guys and I gamed 4-5 nights a week. However, whenever I wanted a sub, it was always from Billy Kidd's.
As we drove down Plymouth Street, Jenna said "Have you ever been disappointed by something that you didn't know that you were expecting until it didn't happen?"
"What are you referring to?"
"I expected us to know when they were closing. I mean, its not like they were going to pick up the phone and call us but I always thought that we would know when they were going to close."
It wasn't until that moment that I realized that I had expected the same thing.
Damn it.
"I know, right? We were supposed to know when their last day was so we could plan one last trip down and get one final sub to take to the Herring Run. A 'last hurrah' kinda thing."
"Exactly."
Billy Kidd's has been in business for a long time. If I once knew the exact date Billy Kidd's Sub and Pizza first opened, I have unfortunately long since forgotten it. My Dad can remember when his place was a donut shop before Billy bought it but he thinks that it has been a pizza joint since I was three years old. My brother Mark even remembers walking up to Kidd's to get pizzas and he even remembered that our sister Barbara always got a tuna salad sub, Mark always got an Italian cold cut and I always got a large cheeseburger.
Bill has been trying to sell the old restaurant for a few years. He's not a young man anymore and he and Mary have put their lives into this place. It was time to retire. However, none of his children wanted to take over the family business; neither did any of his grandchildren. So, reluctantly I think, he put it on the market. He had a few nibbles but they all fell through for one reason or another. Bill always seemed surprised when people talked about coming in and radically changing the business. This always seemed ridiculous to him and to me. The sub shop has been successful and profitable for forty years. If I was to buy the shop I would have kept Billy on for a few months so he could teach me the way he prepared all his food, he bought his product from, and the way he got things done. I would have kept the name and it would have been business as usual.
After all, they are successful for a reason, right?
No matter where I have lived I have always come back to Billy Kidd's for lunch and dinner. I first took Jenna there when she was four years old. In those days she wanted a bologna sub with nothing on it. Just bologna on bread. She would eat it, too. For me, I always get a large cheeseburger, medium rare, with extra onions, pickles, salt and pepper. Jenna knows my order by heart. So does all the staff at Billy Kidd's. The old-timers just ask me if I want "my usual" and it never took long to break in a new kid as to what my order was going to be. Sometimes Jenna and I would take our subs and drive down to J.J. Shepherd Field to watch a baseball game while we ate. Other times we went over to the Herring Run and quietly ate from atop the giant rock that was deposited there sometime during the last ice age. I love these moments with her; these times when my childhood and hers merge together. Like the rock at the Herring Run, I always wanted Billy Kidd's to be there for us. Like many other things in life, this too, is gone.
Bill and Mary Kidd will never read this, but I want to thank them for a lifetime of great food, fun conversation and fantastic memories that we built around their awesome food.
Jenna and I decided to give the new place a try when they open for business. Maybe they plan on doing everything the way Billy Kidd and his family did for forty years. Maybe not. In any case, they will have one chance to impress us. Otherwise, we have to find a new, favorite sub place.
As we drove away from Billy Kidd's Sub and Pizza Jenna and I realized that a piece from both of our childhoods is now gone.
We were silent as we pulled into Mike's House of Pizza.

3 Comments:

Blogger Fox In Detox said...

Awww...!! Dammit! Why does everything have to change? It sucks when you realize that you really can never go home.

7:49 AM, April 28, 2009  
Blogger Andy said...

I know, right?
Everytime Jenna and I went into Billy Kidd's it was like time traveling back to when I was a kid to get lunch.

8:16 AM, April 28, 2009  
Blogger George Flaherty said...

So is it completely closed now or just new ownership?

1:34 PM, April 30, 2014  

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