Press-Republican

Columns

March 18, 2012

A hunger for diners from my childhood

People who know me are aware that I didn't get this opulent corpus by allowing my fork to sit idly by the plate. Like Pavlov's famous dog, I salivate when the subject turns to food.

Case in point: a letter from my friend Richard Daly. He sent a photo of a roadside diner from the 1950s that he said was located "less than two hours north of Manhattan, off the Taconic Parkway, on Route 82 in Ancram, N.Y." Richard wrote, "It used to be a favorite of mine … got sick there two years ago. I know it was the pie."

The picture, taken during its heyday, started my mental and digestive juices flowing freely as I recalled all the diners I have known and loved. Perhaps you can come up with a few of your own. How many can you name?

When I was growing up, my dad was a poor preacher so we had little or no spendable income. During WWII, my father was a professional blood donor. He would get paid by the Grasslands Hospital for a pint of his "universal type O negative." He was a big, strong guy and offered blood far more often than was healthy; but, hey, it was a welcome supplement to his meager church salary.

Each time he came home with his "blood money," we would be able to afford meat on our table or a visit to a nearby diner. It was nirvana for me, and I would always order my favorite dish — a western egg sandwich. I have fond memories of all the diners in Westchester County, Carthage, Massena and Malone as the Little family moved until I left for college in the mid-1950s.

And, after that, I always managed to find a so-called "greasy spoon" wherever I visited or lived. It's still true today, although most of the diners I visit now would take umbrage at that designation.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • ken_wibecan.jpg Another day in the life

    Each morning I rise from bed, slowly, as is my habit, and sit quietly on the bed contemplating the day that looms before me, writes columnist Ken Wibecan.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR small talk mug 081714 Corner store is no more

    Columnist Gordie Little offers a reminder of the little grocery stores of days gone by.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR skin deep mug 081714 High-end products worth the splurge

    Regardless of the price, writes columnist Felicia Krieg, she would buy the core group of her makeup products over and over again.

    August 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • paul_grasso.jpg Tax code needs overhaul

    Corporations may be criticized for exploiting loopholes, but it is the complex tax system that is at fault, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Ideas about soil health changing

    New techniques like no-til and cover crops can make soil healthier than conventional tillage, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Economy may have changed forever

    The Great Recession has reordered the workforce in a way that makes it unlikely it will ever be the same, according to columnist Colin Read.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg The dark side of fun funerals

    Something strange happened in American culture in the past decade or two: People started planning fun funerals, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR fit bits mug Developing power key to success

    While strength is important, the ability to generate power is required for many basic activities in life, writes columnist Ted Santaniello.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR you had to ask mug 081014 Time to reel in youth sports parents

    Do not scream at a child that he's a loser, at least not in a language he understands, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Treating corporations like people

    Problems arise in many areas when businesses take on the attributes of individuals as mandated by the court, according to columnist Colin Read.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice
Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk
Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time