Thursday night, Charlie and Ruth Jones held one of their community meals, known as Greensboro Grub. The meals, usually attended by 50-60 people are held in their historic building at 616 South Elm Street. People from all walks of life in the community vie for a spot when availability is announced online. We have been trying to get tickets for several years now and, last night, we were lucky. Oh, were we lucky! Charlie is a fabulous cook and he and Ruth spend about 3 days preparing for the dinner. We had beef stroganoff, chicken and mushrooms, a rice dish, and homemade mac and cheese. Desert was strawberry cake or pecan, bread pudding. We were also lucky because the dinner coincided with a poetry slam and so many of the dinner guests were talented poets, who shared their poems after dinner. The building has a 150 seat theatre for guests to voluntarily showcase their talents. The poetry was meaningful and heartfelt.
Charlie and Ruth were professional, traveling performing artists for over two decades. When you are at the dinner, in a positive way, it is as if you become part of the performance. Charlie asks a few people to stand during dinner and tell a little bit about themselves (What is your favorite movie; other than a family member, who has had the greatest impact on your life; what is your favorite memory of your hometown). By the end of the evening, everyone is laughing and exchanging contact information with people from all walks of life that would not otherwise meet. There is an inspiring, uplifting, feeling-connected-to-community aspect to the event that is so much more than a meal. What you get from the Greensboro Grub will stay with you for a very long time. Charlie and Ruth pass a donation box and suggest an amount, but emphasize that you only have to pay what you can afford. Donations are anonymous and if you don't pay anything, nobody will know. Read more here and see the square below, where Charlie and Ruth kick off the poetry event with a short performance. The community is so lucky that they decided to call Greensboro home.