Do you eat supper with Mark Escude every night?

If you’re like me – and I know so many of you are – you enjoy sitting in front of the television to eat supper/dinner.
I didn’t get to do that when I was a sprout for a couple of reasons. One reason is my mother wouldn’t allow it. The second reason is we didn’t have a TV.
Wow. It’s out there now. I am really, really old. I’m that guy who tells the “when I was your age” stories that all the young people love so much.
My Current Wife claims that we sat at the dining room table (we no longer have a dining room) when Stacie and Precious (faithful readers will know that’s Kevin) were little. It was that much over-valued family time, she says.
I got to hear what Stacie had done that day to irritate Precious and they got to hear, well, nothing from me. I’m not a talker.
Nowdays, it’s different. At The Empty Nest, when The Current Wife and I break bread, we’re barely in the same house, much less the same room. She’s in her bedroom and I’m in the den. (Don’t tell her I told you. She likes to pretend we still spend quality time talking to each other. But, I’m not a talker.)
On Sundays, Stacie is over for lunch with her boys, Wyatt and Wilkes. Husband Dale is at work. Every Sunday, The Current Wife says, “We’re going to eat at the table like a normal family.”
There are so many things wrong with that statement I don’t know where to start. But I’ll end with this – there’s nothing normal about us. When she says that, we all look at her and then we give each other a smirk. “There’s goes crazy ole Nana again with her crazy talk.”
Then Wyatt goes to my bedroom to eat and watch TV and Wilkes goes to the den to eat and watch TV. Janice and Precious’ sister do usually end up at the kitchen table. I alternate between eating with Wyatt and Wilkes. Some weeks I eat with both of them.
If your family still sits at the dining room table and enjoys a family meal with sparkling conversation from your adorable children, I really don’t care. That’s not my scene, man.
My original thought for this column was that every night (really late afternoon) when I’m sitting in the den eating supper/dinner, the same question runs through my brain. And, I’ll bet, yours, too.
“Who in the heck is Mark Escude?”
He’s on the Toyota of Greer commercials, the Kia of Greer commercials, the Nissan of Greer commercials and maybe others.
For once, The Google wasn’t much help. He either works at these dealerships or he’s a big LSU fan who lives in New Orleans.
People my age will remember in the 1970s and early 1980s, there was a dealership between Simpsonville and Mauldin (the construction of I-385 wiped it out) with a pitchman who ended every commercial – “Pick up the phone. Give me a call.” He gained quite a bit of notoriety from his very aggravating tagline.
I decided to find out who that guy was. This was pre-The Google, so I picked up the phone and gave him a call. He didn’t work there. I got the name of the Greenville advertising agency and, again, picked up the phone and gave them a call. He didn’t work there, either.
As it turns out, he lived in California and did similar commercials for car dealers all around the country. I interviewed him on the phone – he was quite pleasant – and wrote a column about the experience.
Faithful readers will remember that, I’m sure.

(Larry Franklin is publisher of The Chronicle. His email address is His blog can be read at

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