Friday, November 28, 2014

The Very Best in Small Town Diners

The SconeLady discovers Kevin's Diner, in western Oregon

A 5-mile walk brought me to an out-of-the-way spot that I had never yet discovered. But today was my day, I think.

Small town diners hold a special spot for me, in memory of the very best small town diner ever. Only I guess it wouldn't really be called a diner. Cafe is actually the better name. The cafe I loved most in this world (until it disappeared) was the D&F Cafe, in a tiny eastern Oregon town. My home town

For its first few years it was known as the A&F Cafe, which stood for Al and Fairie. I think Al cooked while Fairie waited tables. When Al died suddenly, Fairie was devastated but kept on coming to take care of her customers. Eventually she remarried, and as her new husband's name was Dale, the cafe now became the D&F. 

It was the local hangout. Teenagers perched on the 50's style stools while families and friends sat eating hamburgers in the red vinyl-covered booths. The juke box was always running ("Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain, telling me just what a fool I've been'...).

My favorite taste was a large chocolate sundae for 25 cents, and sometimes the short stack for a dollar. But everything on Fairie's menu was delicious, substantial, and cheap. She herself was quick and precise, minding everybody's business without anybody really minding.

We all wanted to be in there - you never knew what you might learn.

But one day we were told that Dale had died, and Fairie decided to close. It was horrible. As the building emptied out, the town mourned both the man, and the cafe. If only Fairie had found a third.

So today, when we discovered a new small town spot, we were hopeful. Would it remind me of that favored spot I had searched for these last decades? Would there be a saucy waitress-owner on her second or third husband, telling jokes and shamelessly meddling?

Maybe we'd be lucky. I sure hoped so.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">Seattle Municipal Archives</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

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