|E and his Great Grammy at the May pole.|
Entering the diner is like entering a time machine. The exterior has a funky art deco appearance. The turquoise blue seats atop the chrome bar stools lend a hip 60's retro vibe. The food is what you might expect, quick and tasty even for a vegetarian like me. The egg salad and sweet potato fries were delish!
|Picture from the SouthernLiving website when the diner was featured in "Secrets of the South's Best Diners".|
Yeah, yeah it's charming, by now you get it. But here's where it's really like a time machine: I noticed a young guy bussing tables and I couldn't help but think that it was a boy that I taught some years before. I taught art in a local public middle school for four years and during that time I worked with over 1200 students. Needless to say I still run into them everywhere I go.
So great grammy decided to ask a waitress to grab the boy (embarrassing) so that I could find out if I was right - sure enough it was Hashem, a respectful young man that I always liked. But what happened next was just strange. Another girl came from out of the kitchen and said, "do you remember me? I'm Hannah, you were my art teacher in 6th grade." Of course! She was in my Gifted and Talented art class. She was still a meek, pretty girl with frizzy blond hair and once she said her name I knew exactly who she was.
And then a THIRD girl came from around the corner and said "do you remember me?" I thought for sure someone was pulling my leg but she said "My name is Flannery and..." and I immediately blurted out her last name. I remembered her, too! She was a studious, sweet girl now an outgoing waitress.
What were the chances that three of the diner employees were all my students almost ten years ago?
The time warp caught me completely off guard and in mommy mode. But it's brought back fond memories of my days in the classroom, teaching up to 36 students per class. Despite how hard those years were (working full-time at the school and part-time at the nature center), I stayed optimistic and tried to savor all the good times with the kids. I will always be grateful for those experiences and excited to run into more of my students as the years march on.