Visitors from across the country used to flock to Miller's Luncheonette on South Main Street, and why wouldn't they? It was one of those great greasy spoons that you could settle comfortably into without worrying too much about your waistline - everyone else was also partaking of the sausage gravy and buscuits, so no big deal. That's what I had when I interviewed Eric Fingerhut there for a failed congressional run against Oxley. The smell of fried hamburgers and eggs would smack you in the face the second you opened the door. It was pure Americana and inherently blue-collar Findlay.
Whenever it flooded, Greg Miller would inevitably get a call from one of us at the paper, wondering how he and his place were fareing. By the time the August 2007 monster hit, everyone knew the river's basic flood pattern - if anything downtown is going to get soaked, the block north of the Main Street bridge usually gets it. And so I remember calling Greg a few times before a few floods, interrupting him as he moved stuff on top of tables and did his usual rearranging routine that all downtown business owners have down pat now. Greg would always take the time to tell me what he was up to at that moment. I'd ask him a few quick questions, making sure not to keep him on the phone for too long. Then he'd sigh with resignation, tell me it was all getting pretty old, and return to damage control.
When Miller's didn't open back up after The Big One, it sucked. I think we all missed the little place, its atmosphere, the warmth on a cold day. I didn't know Greg personally, but I suspect he'll be missed even more.
Greg's illness, although terrible, seemed to bring out the best in the community. So many fundraisers. So much money and giving. I thought it served as a testament not only to his cooking skills, but to what kind of person he was, that so many people cared.