I ran into Colin Finn a few days ago at Market Basket and it made me think of something as he smiled while snuggled securely in his car seat.
There’s a good chance you don’t know Colin. He’s five. Colin occasionally comes to COBBLESTONES, our flagship restaurant, launched in 1994. He doesn’t come alone. (He’s five.) But there is a very good chance that you DO know someone with his last name and who perhaps accompanies him during his visits.
Colin is son to Casey Finn and Sarah. Casey is brother to Brady Finn, both regular customers of COBBLESTONES since they were also, like, five. Or probably even younger. Casey and Brady are Lowell police officers, but more importantly, great guys, great friends. More family actually. They are the loving sons of Phyllis and Jack Finn, our best friends (first friends!) since I married and moved to Lowell in 1986. Jack was a police officer, and fire fighter before that. Phyllis was one of our very first bartenders, who refused to take house pay, to help Kathy and I become successful. Who does that? Phyllis worked with us until our fire in 2001 changed course. Jack’s brothers and sisters have each been a customer at COBBLESTONES through the years at one time or another, or have attended an event, and some are regular customers. And Larry, was the lead Lowell Fire fighter on the hose and one of a couple of guys who, in the dark and thick black smoke in the middle of the night, refused to retreat during that raging fire throughout our cellar–risking his life to save our building and preserve this legacy. Who does THAT?! These things one never forgets.
What legacy? Jack and Larry’s brothers and sisters also include: Bobby “Bear,” Mary Jo, Mark, Billy, Martha, Timmy, Jimmy, Colleen “Cookie”, Danny and Eric. (Does that remind you slightly of Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting?) Don’t even get me started on spouses, besties, children, cousins….
Jimmy Finn has been “our electrician” and is, by far, our most reliable, trustworthy contractor over 28 years. (Except maybe the year he took a honeymoon during Folk Festival!) The Finn family parents, Anne and Mick were there in 1994 when we opened COBBLESTONES and were regular Saturday “date night” guests. They are no longer with us, but their legacy is incredibly special and they are missed by so many. They would be so proud of their handsome, polite, and funny grandson. Colin is 4th generation COBBLESTONES customer and although we might not be there when he has his first beer, his first Buffalo tenders can’t be too far away! (He currently orders them without the spicy sauce aka fried chicken fingers)
As November has quietly and quickly arrived, we are thankful to all the Finns and all of the friends and families throughout greater Lowell and beyond, who have sustained us through all these years, the many and mostly highs, the fires, recessions and pandemics too. Happy Thanksgiving one and all. Be healthy and safe.
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