Juno Beach Cafe’s autistic employee: His mother provides inspiration to help young student speak

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Our story about the amazing Carpenter family, whose son Reese has become a favorite of Juno Beach Cafe customers during the year he’s worked there, has gotten overwhelming praise from those in the autism community, those in Juno who’ve been on the receiving end of one of Reese’s sweet smiles and his coffee-pouring prowess, and just people who like a good, positive story about the power of hard work and belief.

Reese has gained a lot of fans, but there’s at least one North Palm Beach family who are fans of another Carpenter – Reese’s mother Angela, who quit her job as a paralegal when her son was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, and went to work as a teaching assistant for a charter school for kids like him.

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Landon Saake, who learned to speak with the help of Miss Angie Carpenter, mother of Juno Beach Cafe employee Reese Carpenter

“Thank you for writing this!,” writes Calley Smith, whose five-year-old son, Landon Saake, is a student at The Learning Center at the Els Center of Excellence in Jupiter. “Miss Angie was one of the teachers in Landon’s class last year. She kept telling me that he was going to have a breakthrough and start speaking. I never really allowed myself to believe her, but she was so right. Over the summer he started speaking. Not well, he still has a long way to go, but before he wouldn’t even try. But Miss Angie is an amazing person!”

Miss Angie, who now works at Palm Beach Gardens’ Connections Educations Center, another charter school for those on the spectrum, originally told the Post that she went into education to both learn what to do when her son entered school and to serve as a resource to other parents. Obviously, it’s working.

 

Former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright stops for lunch at West Palm diner Howley’s

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (right) with server Shannon O'Neil at Howley's Restaurant in October.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (right) with server Shannon O’Neil at Howley’s Restaurant in October.

The well-known slogan of classic West Palm Beach eatery Howley’s is “Cooked in Sight, Must Be Right.” Last month, there certainly was something special in sight, among the high layer cakes and sweet potato fries: Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stopped by for lunch with friends on October 22, to the delight of staff and restaurant patrons.

“People recognized her. She was walking through the restaurant and people thanked her for her work,” recalls server Katie Swift, who was working the lunch shift that Albright visited and observed that “she was a very sweet lady. She said hello to everyone and was very nice.”

Swift said that Albright, in town to campaign for then-Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, wasn’t doing any politicking at the restaurant but was “just eating with friends. She was awesome. She stopped and talked to people who wanted to talk to her. We enjoyed having her.”

 

 

What was the best food I ate at a gas station?

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Last week, I spent several hours driving around Palm Beach County, slowing down to inspect any gas station I drove past. I was looking for fuel, but for me, not for my Prius, but for me. Inspired by a health blogger trying to eat only from gas stations for 30 days, I searched for deliciousness among the car air freshener and the Powerball tickets, and the best thing I found was a simple bowl of rice and beans at Peanuts Country Store in west Delray Beach. They have a whole Latin eatery in there, and it’s worth driving west for.

Read the whole story here.