Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Not long ago I visited the Midwest. My stay was about as Midwest as you can get. Where we stayed was smack dab in the middle of America. It was as close to being in the center of the USA as you can get.

We visited Tex's Cafe in a little town in Nebraska. Ice tea was 40 cents a glass with unlimited refills. Bacon, two eggs, hash brown potatoes and toast $3.99. Deal.

What was I thinking when I chose to wear a pink shirt and shorts while touring middle America. In Tex's cafe everyone else was dressed to farm or to move cattle. I think the pink shirt tipped everyone off that we were from California.

Looking back, I feel like a dope having worn a pink shirt in Nebraska. Whenever I wear something pink there are comments, "You're so brave to wear a pink shirt." like it's some big deal. No big deal in California. You only get the comments. Big deal wearing a pink shirt in Nebraska. You get the stared at. No wonder the cowboys were looking at me like I was nuts.

Have you ever thought about owning your own restaurant? I could own Tex's Cafe in a heartbeat. Love the Midwest. Love their values. Real people doing real life things - just like the old days.

If I opened an eatery you can bet that 24/7 we'd serve hot beef and turkey sandwiches along with spaghetti like mama used to make. On second thought, spaghetti not like the kind mama used to make. Also on the menu potato chip sandwiches would be listed for $1.95 and be just like the kind we used to make after school. People would travel far and wide to sample my potato salad that has the taste of a down home picnic. Of course there has to be meatloaf to die for. And in the midwest you have to serve corn on the cob that's so sweet you have to order a second helping. And don't forget roast beef and roast roast turkey. And to top off the meal complmentary cherry and apple pie fresh from the oven. Dang. This is making me down home hungry.

I've developed a spaghetti sandwich that could be served in my version of Tex's restaurant. It goes like this: Toasted French roll, lay cooked pasta length wise on the roll, generous layer of pasta sauce (Has to be Christmas Pasta sauce), Parmesan cheese, a little parsley, some romaine lettuce and Mama Mia, it's a spicy sandwich. The new sandwich probably wouldn't be a hit in Nebraska but I think it would fly in California. Heck, they might even love it in Italy.

It's tempting to open an eatery but the thought of going back to working long hours definitely puts that fire out. When you've started working at 8 years of age selling newspapers on the streets of Anchorage Alaska one has to ask themselves, "How much is enough?"

Enough is definitely enough.

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States