Discount shopping with Grandpa

Feb 22, 2009

Sunday night, the Oscars on, I’m sitting next to Erin on the sofa, sipping Darjeeling and savoring a few pieces of dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s. Last week, my friends were twittering about this article asking “Do Your Know Who Owns Trader Joe’s?“http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/19/do-you-know-who-owns-trader-joes/.

I knew the answer to that — Aldi — because I’d read this article a few months back, The Allure of Plain Vanilla.

Aldi has special meaning for me, because my grandfather, Louis Sisco, regularly shopped there in his retirement. He’d take me with him, and have me grab an empty cardboard box to fill with a few cans of Aldi-label soda, a cantaloupe and chocolate-covered graham crackers, snacks that would go into his fridge and out nearly as fast when my brothers, cousins or I stopped by to flop on the couch and watch The People’s Court or the Cubbies with grandma and grandpa.

At 95, my grandfather doesn’t get to Aldi anymore, but until recently he did still get out and about in DeKalb; a fall last week put him into the hospital with broken ribs and a broken pelvis.

So, this Friday, I’m headed to Illinois to visit him. Before I visit him in the hospital, I’ll stop by Aldi for old time’s sake.

Anton Zuiker

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