Leigh Ann just emailed me with the news.
As of 9:00 THIS MORNING, they are CLOSED. C-L-O-S-E-D. No last chance for pizza. No last goodbye. No last pitcher of beer. NOTHING.
This is just too awful to describe. Terry’s has Legend status in my family. It was not only the first pizzeria in Huntsville, but for as long as I have been eating pizza, it has been the best. In recent years we have debated whether the quality of their pizza may have declined just a smidge, and perhaps at the South Parkway location it has, but at the Governor’s Drive location it’s still as good as ever. Any Terry’s pizza is still far and away better than any chain pizza.
Even though we only get back to Huntsville about once or twice a year, a trip to Terry’s is always a part of our trip. It’s not just an “it would be nice” kind of goal, no, the gobbling of a Terry’s pizza is a hard and fast criterion for success in any trip to Huntsville. I wrote about my trip to the Governor’s Drive Terry’s during last year’s Huntsville Simulation Conference, and I was planning to visit Terry’s during trip to the conference this year too. No more. Sue is in North Alabama now, and last night we even talked about Terry’s pizza. Now she has missed her chance to partake in a slice of cheesy heaven (no, not just a slice – why not make it the whole pie?)
I called Wendy to tell her, and I said “You’d better sit down, I have bad news,” and she replied “Oh no, have you been laid off?” Of course I told her it wasn’t that bad. In hindsight, what I should have said was “No, the news is much worse than that,” because I CAN ALWAYS FIND ANOTHER JOB, BUT I’LL NEVER HAVE ANOTHER TERRY’S PIZZA AGAIN SO LONG AS I LIVE!
My memories of Terry’s go back as long as I can remember. We always ate at the South Parkway location, which was the nearest to us. I remember Dad took me there one afternoon, just us guys, and we sat in the lounge and ate pizza. This when it was still in the shopping center at the intersection of Byrd Spring road and the parkway. They had a big salt-water fish tank behind the bar with a beautiful lionfish.
Dad told me the story of a man who stopped by Terry’s with an expensive saltwater fish he’d just bought, and the restaurant staff let him put the fish in their tank while he ate a pizza and had a few drinks. By the time he was ready to leave, they discovered that the lionfish had killed and was eating his new fish.
I’ve been to Terry’s with about everybody I ever knew in Huntsville. In addition to my immediate family, I have eaten there with Wendy and her family, with Jerry and his family, with many high school friends, and with a string of girlfriends who shall remain nameless. At Whitesburg Junior High, I knew Paula Pejza, who was the daughter of the Terry’s owner Lou. I don’t know what become of Paula, but now I’m wishing she had taken over the restaurant. Maybe it would still be operating.
Since Terry’s South moved to its Haysland location, my visits were always with Dad and various combinations of siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews. The most memorable occasions are those when everybody is there, we’re all hungry, and deciding what to order is not unlike trying to figure a Federal tax form in the midst of a three-ring circus.
I’m going to miss Terry’s. Why couldn’t they have waited just two more months?