Old Home Café: The Next Generation

By Edward Floden, based on characters and situations created by William D. Fries, Jr.

Episode X: Jon and The Cake Factory, Part Three

(Originally published in The Legend-News of 2003 February 3.)

The odor of burning bacon wafted into the dining area from the kitchen. On the griddle, the intended over-easy eggs were well-done and crispier than the bacon. Fortunately, the pancakes were not yet in flames, but a few more seconds would fix that oversight. At the counter, all four coffee carafes were sitting empty on hot warmers, in flagrant violation of the manufacturer’s warning.

On the sidewalk outside of the Café’s front door, 18 people stood in line in the warm July early morning. For two hundred and fifty feet in ever direction from the intersection of 1st and Main there wasn’t a parking space to be had; and still cars and trucks cruised past the Café, squeezing into any gap that their drivers could find.

And inside the Café, standing in the middle of the room and looking shell-shocked, stood Jon, staring at the crowd outside and the crowd inside, and wondering how he could have ever predicted that in his first 37 minutes of business, he’d have a full house — all 47 seats were filled, and couple of people were standing in the corner by the rest rooms and pay phone — with even more customers waiting to enter.

At 5:39 A.M., Sergeant Roy Hudson of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department arrived, bubble-gum lights flashing. He double-parked on 1st, then strode past the queued customers and into the Café.

Next: The Big Pisgah Riot

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