Sunday, November 23, 2014

Waffle House Life

Took the wife out to a Waffle House breakfast. She's never had the pleasure. It was the usual good time: fast, friendly service, tasty food, unique atmosphere, and amenable fellow patrons. Americana at its finest.

Mid waffle, my wife asked me to look around. There were about 50 people packed into the little coffee shop: a broad range of ages, demographics, colors, native languages, etc. All pleasantly rubbing elbows with one another. A melting pot, with syrup.

This is the real St Louis, the real America.

We shouldn't forget that.


  1. I'm probably the only person in my town that's not eaten at a waffle house, but there's this little diner in town where breakfast is good and cheap. Same thing - from the local neurosurgeon to the folks that work in the factories, enjoying a tasty breakfast, some conversation and a smile. It's nice to see. I hope your world stays calm this week.

  2. Give me a faded Mom and Pop diner over a corporate "store" any day. The food is made with care and not a little self, and the experience is real. It is a visceral connection with the neighborhood, the community, and their history.

    Putting myself through school as an industrial electrician, I often worked in downtown LA. In the fabric district there was a tiny diner - no more than 6 or 7 open air bar stools clustered around a grill. The gruff, old bastard at the grill did everything. The food was simple, good, hot and quick, and you could stand a spoon straight up in the heavy coffee mug. Perfect for us.

    One morning I took a look at the curled photos tacked to the back wall. All featured groups of young men in uniforms, naval fatigues or flight suits, clustered around B-24s in a tri-color camo scheme: PB4Ys?

    He had indeed flow the PB4Y-1, but his real job was Chief for a squadron of the planes. His mission was providing the best aircraft for "my boys" to fly against the Japanese in the early years of WWII. I had no doubt the birds were the best that could be on those improvised island airbases.

    The cook was astonished that anyone remembered the PB4Y, even though it was a mere 40 years after the end of the war. He was more than happy to proudly reminisce. My foreman swore I always got an extra egg or strip of bacon when we ate there, but I was absorbed learning about those desperate days.

    You don't get that at an industrial, sterile Denny's.