Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Diner

It was a very popular type of restaurant at one time. A few booths and a long counter. The coffee was as likely to be made in a huge urn as in smaller pots. A griddle was often out in the open against the wall behind the counter, where burgers, or eggs and hash browns, could be cooked, next to a small steam table for grits or vegetables depending on the time of day. It was a socializing force on the community. A booth would acommodate several people who already knew one another, perhaps came in to eat together, or even just planned to meet there. With a counter you never knew with whom you might be sitting. You'd sit next to people you'd seen but never met, even total strangers. Conversations might be startedwith a simple "Please pass the sugar" but there was no telling where they'd end up, anyplace from sports to politics. Such casual meetings often led to life long friendships. The waitresses had names and you knew their kids' names too. They remembered how you liked your eggs, and knew all the regulars by name. There was a sense of community that you don't find today. Nobody was a stranger. Not for long, anyway!

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