Old Home Café: The Next Generation

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

Episode XV: Mild in the Street

(Originally published in The Legend-News of 2003 April 21.)

Slowly, around the curve at the south end of Main Street and heading north, came twenty-three motorcycles, all emblazoned with a “Harley-Davidson” logo somewhere on them. Not a rice-picker to be seen. Straight pipes a-growlin’, they parked along the curb outside the Old Home Café.

Despite the anarchical appearance of this bunch, someone seemed to be in charge. All of the bikers remained by their rides as one of them, a dead ringer for actor John Goodman, strode over to the 1st Street door of the Old Home Café and entered. “Who's the boss here?” he asked, of no one in particular.

Jon, who had been watching their arrival, raised his hand. “I am.”

“Well, Boss,” said the biker, smiling broadly, “my boys and girls would like some burgers and beer. Can you handle the order?”

“No problem with the burgers,” said Jon, “but we don’t have a liquor license yet. I can’t sell beer to you.” The biker’s smile turned to a frown. Jon considered his options. Then Jon decided “But there’s no law that says that I can’t give it away.”

The biker’s smile returned, and he held out his hand. “Name’s Mike Solovic. Call me Solo.”

Jon shook Mike’s hand. “Mine’s Jon.”

“Nice to meet you, Jon. Now start fryin’, ’cause we’re hungry. By the way, where’s the little girls’ room?”

Jon pointed to the corner door by the pay phone. “Right down that hall.”

“Thanks,” said Mike. As he walked towards the hall, he looked out of the Main Street window and beckoned the remaining bikers to enter. Thirty-six leather-clad and hungry bikers poured into the Café.

Jon shouted back to Larry, “Get ready to burn a few!”, then turned his attention to the crowd. He noted the logo that most of them displayed on the back of their jackets: “Sioux City Ramblers.” Well, Ramblers, welcome to Pisgah.

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