As I read Robert Sherrill's recollection of the soda jerks of his childhood in the August/September 2004 SAVEUR article "The Fountain of Youth," my own lunch-counter memories came flooding back. After my parents' divorce, I was sent from Camp Pendleton in Southern California to live with my grandmother and her sisters in the nation's capital. The lunch counter was a reliable foundation in an otherwise uncertain time, a weekly ritual. I don't recall the type of sandwich I ate back then because for me the purpose of having lunch was to get to dessert. Displayed on the counter were layer cakes—Black Forest, German chocolate, and red velvet stacked on stands—and pies with latticed designs, mounds of fresh meringue, and classic fillings like lemon, apple, and cherry.