We all loved Burton's Restaurant. There was something so delicious about it and we tried to go there as much as possible. Their coffee was more than 10 cents and so I did not make it past my 10 cent spot real often. But when I had a few extra pennies, Burton's was definitely the place.
I remembered it from the time in 1969 when, after my big brother's wedding we all ate there and someone in our party had not left the salt and pepper shakers behind and there was a dreadful row about it. Whew! All I could think was, thank heaven's it wasn't me.
I soon learned that one of the waitresses at Burton's was so friendly and outgoing that everyone knew her. She was blond, quick, aware of what people liked, and funny. People were always laughing, as she carried her coffee pot from table to table.
At the end of the summer of 1976, I was suddenly in need of a place to live. An expected apartment arrangement had fallen through, much to my distress, and I was talking about this at Burton's one afternoon. "I don't know what I am going to do, Sally. I have no where to go, the apartment isn't available anymore, and my boxes are all sitting out there in the Rambler. I think I'm sort of Homeless!" This certainly would not do, since I would begin Student Teaching the following week.
The blond waitress (whose name was Nancy) overheard this shocking possibility of homelessness, and stopped by our table. "I couldn't help but hear you - umm, did you say you need a place to stay?"
"Well, yes I do. What are you thinking?"
"I've got a place! It's my parents' house and they are overseas until January so you can stay there with me if you like. And it wouldn't cost you anything because I'm not paying anything."
This couldn't be happening. I watched her as she offered this surprising gift, but hesitated...we didn't know each other, and I just wasn't sure - yet.
"Well, I was trying to find somewhere to live on my own...but this sounds pretty interesting. Can you tell me more about it?"
She became more excited. "It would almost feel like living alone, really it would. You could have the main floor, which has the big bedroom and bathroom, the living and dining rooms, and kitchen. And another bathroom and bedroom," said Nancy. "And I would live downstairs. There's masses of space!"
This would be simply perfect! Somewhere to spread out a bit, somewhere alone, but not alone. And an actual home!
I stood up at the table to hug her, and then suddenly we were jumping up and down in a circle together - right there in Burton's! People in the tables around us cheered and clapped. But the manager popped his head out the kitchen door. "Hey, what's this all about, Nancy? Table 9 needs menus."
We quickly stopped mid-jump, and she hurried over to table 9, grabbing menus along the way. Thus was the decision made, to live in the main floor of a college professor's lovely home, sharing the abode with Nancy the student/waitress. And being able to move in before Student Teaching began.
It was the beginning of an adventure, one we were not at all aware of as we laughed and jumped in a circle in that restaurant full of people. But it was alright. We had all at once become friends. People who could count on each other. Roomies...Blondes!
And, maybe I could leave behind the 10 cent coffee. At least, for now.
See you along the way!
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonythemisfit/3099800070/">Tony Fischer Photography</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/9467714@N03/4304365215/">albastrica mititica</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>