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Tom Grace

October 6, 2009

Travels with Uncle Chet: Making waffles should be patriotic

COLUMBUS _ The phone rang and Buddy ran to check the caller I.D.



``It’s Uncle Chet!’’ he announced.



``Answer it,’’ I said from the living room, where I was tinkering with an old amplifier.



The boy said hello, and I waited.



``He says you can’t buy a waffle iron in Utica.’’



``What?’’



``An American-made waffle iron,’’ said Buddy, half into the phone, half to me.



``Oh.’’



``He says he tried three stores.’’ ``Here, let me talk to him.’’ I took the cordless handset.



``Did you know you can’t buy an American-made waffle iron anymore?’’ Uncle Chet announced.



``I thought you had a waffle iron,’’ I said.



``That’s Teflon- coated, and it smells when it warms up,’’ he said.



``Alice hates it, so we thought we’d get an old-fashioned, cast-iron one.’’



``And use it on the stove?’’



``Right, like Grandma used to.’’



``They’re the best kind,’’ I said.



``They still make ’em, but not America,’’ he said, ``and I’m not buying anything made in China.’’



``What do you have against the Chinese?’’ I asked.



``Nothing,’’ he said. ``It’s those traitors who moved our factories over there that I’m mad at.’’



``That, I agree with,’’ I said.



``So I’m not buying anything from a company that pretends to be American but has its factory overseas,’’ he said. ``The only way we’re going to bring jobs back here is to refuse to buy anything not made here, and I mean food, clothing, Sheetrock, you name it. If it isn’t made in the USA, I’m not putting a dollar toward it.’’



``Great idea, but you’re going to go barefoot this winter,’’ I said.



``No. New Balance sells American- made shoes.’’



``They do?’’



``Yes. And Lodge is our last castiron cookware maker, but they don’t make waffle irons,’’ Uncle Chet said.

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Tom Grace

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