Another episode of the adventures of Jessica and I in Salt Lake:
Today we decided to visit the prestigious Hatch Family Chocolates. They are “little people” – husband and wife team who run a hand dipped chocolate shop. They were featured on TLC ‘Chocolatiers’ TV contest. They refered to themselves in an interview as the ultimate, real life oompa loompas – so of course I wanted to see them in action. I guess we were expecting knee height counter tops with child sized cash registers. To our dismay we were greeted by friendly teenage girls far taller than myself. I couldn’t resist the urge to get up on my tippy toes and peek over the counter to try and find the lil’ chocolate chefs.
I should be ashamed of myself.
It was overwhelming! and I had to be careful because they are $26.99 per lb! I Stood there swaying back and forth biting my lower lip with nervous aticipation: “Coconut delight, Peanut butter, mint truffle, Orange cream, and milk chocolate truffle…Ahhhh!” In fear that my brain would explode from all of the milk chocolate coated possibilites I chose the later three.
While we were sitting and quoting lines from Forrest Gump, an elderly woman commented on my camera and asked if I liked taking pictures. We talked for a little while; her son ended up being a photographer and gave me his card. Then all of the sudden she burst out: “Would you like to see my MEDAL!?” without hesitation, at first out of politeness I said, sure. She feistily urged her son to go out to their car and bring it into the shop. I was curious to say the least what on earth this medal was for.
Was it from a chili cook off ? She knitted the world’s largest afghan? Do they carry it around in the car all the time?
He returned with a fancy decorative box and she exclaimed: “I helped change the world!”
It was a congressional gold medal. Woah.
She was a member of WASP (Woman Air Force Service Pilots) during World War II. She let me hold it and pointed out the three women walking towards the edge of the circle – “thats us breaking through the barrier, we went where no woman had been before!” I just stared at it, then back at her and allowed myself to quickly daydream about all the things she must have seen and experienced. I instantly thought of my Rosie the Riveter “We Can Do It” poster and realized she was flesh and bone proof of that powerful female force during the war. Its always so humbling and sometimes an emotional experience when I see veterans and our current servicemen and women in moments such as that – they make freedom possible for us, fully aware that they may end up sacrificing themselves.
She gave me her autograph (she asked if I wanted it – and of course I did!)
Millicent Peterson Young
more about her here