Thursday, July 5, 2012

Getting Their Kicks

These four ladies said they're traveling old Route 66 end to end, and this great American road trip takes you through Pacific and by the landmark quonset hut that since the Route 66 days has been a cafe. Currently it's called the Down South Cafe, at 409 East Osage--Osage Street is what Pacific calls old 66 as it passes the prison and the silica mine, the shuttered Red Cedars restaurant, and the business district, out to the Diamonds Motel. Down South is just across from the hardware store where I happened to be at lunchtime and dropped in and ordered gumbo and a veggie burger (it's too hot to eat fried meats) and fries (it's never too hot to eat fries, though) and pecan pie with a dot of whipped cream. Also on the menu, red beans and rice and fried crawfish. The veggie burger was a good one and the gumbo 'most as good as mine.

I said, "You ladies look so happy I would like to take your picture," and one lady said, "Course we look happy. Everybody's happy when they're feedin' their faces." When they left I said bon voyage. The cafe's concave walls are decorated with the absolutely required car and gasoline signs and mementoes; painted on one wall, a stylized map of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles, with a yellow star for "You are Here" at the center of the universe, Pacific, MO. And there is nothing in the universe better than lunch with a cup of coffee, and, in the summer, ice water or sweet tea in red plastic tumblers.

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