This story originally aired on June 18, 2016.
Nancy Leson, half of knkx's Food for Thought duo, has been in the food industry for a long time. But some of her earliest memories of food come from bars -- not as an employee, but as a patron — a six-year-old patron.
Leson grew up in Philadelphia, in a time and place where children were allowed to belly up to bars and eat Slim Jims and pickled eggs, or order a Coke with loads of Maraschino cherries.
The reason Leson wound up in those bars was that that was where she would find her mother.
Leson says her mother was very young when she had her four children, and never really had the chance to be young and have fun. She would "excuse herself, and maybe go down [to the bar] to have a little adult companionship down the block. And she told me that if I needed to find her, I knew where to find her.”
Leson has warm memories of those bars, one place where her mother seemed happy. But as she told Sound Effect host Gabriel Spitzer, her relationship with her mother got more and more complicated.