Martin Lucaj came to the United States 1969 from Yugoslavia. He spent most of his life as a truck driver. “I’ve been to every state, except Alaska and Hawaii.” He raised eight children, several of whom work at Fino’s, a family restaurant on Route 125 in Monroe, which he bought three years ago. “It keeps them busy and lets me keep my eye on them.”
When I arrived for an early lunch, Martin was sitting at the counter reading a paper. He struck up a conversation and when I toted my panniers to a booth, brought his coffee and sat opposite me. We talked while I ordered the gyro special, drank three tall glasses of Diet Pepsi, dipped my fries in ketchup, and devoured a gyro too juicy to set down once begun. When the waitress brought more napkins to clean my fingers, Martin picked up the tab.
Martin has an SUV, an RV, two motorcycles and a pair of bicycles. He walked out with me inspect the Surly; most interested in my dual brake configuration. I asked if he ever goes back what was Yugoslavia. “My mother is still alive. I go back, but only because I have to.”
How will we live tomorrow?
“I want to take my motorcycle up to Alaska. I want to get in my RV and travel to Arizona. I love warm weather. What am I doing in Michigan?”