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“The Blind Man Running His Family Diner”—A Father and Son Team

The Bendix Diner, a long-established eatery in New Jersey, has been featured extensively in films and on television. The manager, John Diakakis, runs the diner as well as his “busy household.”  Diakakis also “has retinitis pigmentosa and has been legally blind since birth.”  He works with Tony, his oldest son and short-order cook, calling out orders, serving food, and “cracking jokes.” A single father, Diakakis has raised Tony and two other children. A documentary covered in The New Yorker, “Bacon ‘N’ Laces,” illustrates their relationship and experiences at work and elsewhere. In some sections, audio of pouring coffee and cutlery clattering accompany a black screen, to represent “Diakakis’ perspective.” Stephen Michael Simon, the film’s producer, explains that “’He knows exactly how to get around that diner, where everything is.” For more information about this father/son team, and a link to the documentary, read The New Yorker article on “The Blind Man Running His Family Diner.” A transcript of the film is also available in the piece entitled “Bacon ‘N’ Laces: A Son and His Blind Father’s Shared Obsession.”