There is a new pizza shop in Pine.

The Local Pizza Shop, at 6223 Hardscrabble Road, is open from 11 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

“We have 90% of the toppings most people want,” said owner Jimmy Slider. There are 13 toppings on the menu, but if you don’t see it, Slider said to ask for it. And yes, you can order pizza by the slice, and there is a gluten-free option.

Slider has created a few specialties, including a white pizza. It has creamy garlic sauce, spinach, basil, mozzarella cheese, fresh cut tomato, ricotta cheese and shredded Parmesan. I can say this pizza is my favorite. Slider tells me the ladies love it and he has a hard time talking the guys into trying it. They like their meat lover’s pizza, he says.

To order, call 928-363-4210 or check out the menu on Facebook at The Local Pizza Shop.

Food drive

The Pine-Strawberry Food Bank’s (PSFB) annual collection of frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving started Monday, Nov. 1.

PSFB is also collecting hams for individuals who cannot use a whole turkey. Drop off turkeys and hams in a small freezer set aside for that purpose at the Ponderosa Market in Pine. Drop off turkeys and hams by Sunday, Nov. 21.

Cash donations are always welcome. Donations will go toward the special Thanksgiving and Christmas food distributions. PSFB is suggesting a donation of $25 to $35, which will purchase a turkey and other food for these holiday meals, but the organization is grateful for any donation. Checks can be mailed to Pine Strawberry Food Bank, P.O. Box 1534, Pine, AZ 85544.

Santa is coming to town

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, between Nov. 27 and Dec. 19, the Rusty Pine Cone in Pine will host Santa & Mrs. Claus for the kids to visit. There is free hot cocoa, singing sisters, miniature horses to pet and pony rides, a special shopping area just for the kids and so much more. Bring the little ones for a memory making moment.

Honoring veterans

When Dawn Potter stumbled on a book while in the Pine library, she did not know it would lead to an annual tradition on Veterans Day.

Dawn found the book, “America’s White Table” and was inspired to ask restaurant owners if they could, using guidelines from the book, set up a table that no one sits at as a reminder of those who served.

Dawn and her husband Bill Potter got up early on Veterans Day, visiting every restaurant in town to set up a table.

In part, it is personal. Dawn’s grandfather served in the Army during WWII and received a purple heart. Her father served in the Navy and later in the Army Reserve. Bill’s grandfather served as a medic in the Army in WWII and his father served in the Navy on PT boats in Vietnam.

After the first year, the stories they heard from the local restaurants, the pair has committed to the tradition.

“We heard about one lady who waited for the table next to the white table was empty. She said, ‘I lost my brother in the war and I want to sit next to him one more time.’” Dawn said.

They heard about men standing next to the table and crying. Groups of bikers that all gather around the table and drink a toast and name the buddies they lost. Others stopping at the table and saluting.

“It’s very important to us,” said Dawn.

Here is the verse they leave at the table:

America’s White Table

A small table to show one soldier’s lonely battle against many

It is covered with a white cloth to honor a soldier’s pure heart when he answers his country’s call to duty

A lemon slice and grains of salt on a plate to show a captive soldier’s bitter fate and the tears of families waiting for loved ones to return

An empty chair pushed to the table for the missing soldiers who are not here

A black napkin for the sorrow of captivity

A turned over glass for the meal that won’t be eaten

A white candle for peace

A red rose in a vase with a red ribbon for the hope that all of our missing will return someday

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