Today was my birthday. My uncle Leon invited me to lunch at the “Foley Coffee Shop.” This is not a coffee shop like Starbucks. This place is a diner a lot like Mel’s Diner in the TV sitcom Alice. It has been there on the main drag in downtown Foley Alabama, locked in a time warp since about 1966. Great food, home style meals and really good, strong coffee from a cup that is never allowed to get empty. I remember going there and having breakfast with my dad when I was about ten. He would get up at 3am so he could converse with the farmers of the area about the weather, crops, tractor repair, and such. Those guys were all mumbling quietly, nursing their coffee eating their breakfast before starting the day. Sitting there, I was awash with warm memories. Except, this trip wasn’t like that. The Mayberry clan (my mom’s family) is a rowdy bunch. They pretty much stormed in and took over. The waitress, the cook, and the three remaining customers simply pulled up a chairs and joined in on the festivities and the singing the birthday song as the only alternative to being overwhelmed by the flash mob impromptu birthday party.
We all looked at the menu and, I’m not sure, but I think that everyone ordered one of the two “specials” listed on the grease board. It went something like this as the waitress brought out her little pad… “will this all be on one ticket, or how will the tickets be divided?” The waitress looked at me and Dennis looked up and said, “OK, Cheryl will have the special and she’s paying for herself and me, said her husband. Cheryl said, I’m paying for Leon because he won the last golf game. Renee is paying for herself and I think she has a discount coupon. Aunt Louise’s meal is being paid for by Leon, but she definitely has a coupon. Patricia is paying for herself and Leon is paying for the birthday boy… ya got all that?”
Yea, hanging out with this bunch is always amazingly entertaining!