I was moved by the news of Jan Cemeno's passing.
Jan's restaurant has been a part of my life from the literal beginning. In July of '76, my parents decided to try the new pizza joint on Jefferson. As a newborn, I had other ideas. But rather than be annoyed at the fussy infant, Jan was delighted to see her business' "first baby," and carried me around the restaurant, soothing me so her new customers could enjoy their meals.
It was at Jan's place that I first learned to drink from a straw, Jan's place that I discovered arcade games (much to my parents' chagrin as I begged quarters), Jan's place that I formed countless family memories with an owner who welcomed us as part of hers. To this day, eating at Cemeno's is a central part of an annual reunion with my childhood friends.
The world is a better place for people like Jan, and her "first baby" will be among the multitudes who will miss her.