WELCOME TO THE DOO-DAH COUNTER
Richard, Issue #4
The charming woman on my right was sitting at The Counter next to her son, who is in Wichita for four months as a TV cameraman. He lives in Los Angeles. She lives in North Carolina, where she is retired from teaching small homeless children. Since Wichita is only half as far as Los Angeles, she had to take the short hop to see her son. When you are driving an RV, you can not afford to pass up the savings on gasoline for 2500 miles. The man on my left moved four years ago from his native France to Harlem, where he teaches French. He is in Wichita as part of an extended tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture. He is such a fan of the well-known American architect of the last century, that he gave the impression that that was the reason he moved to the USA. I introduced my three Counter companions, and I’m glad they enjoyed each other, but have you ever tried eating while leaning back on a backless stool so that the people on both sides of you can carry on a conversation?
The man at The Counter greeted me when I sat down between him and the couple on my left, with whom he was conversing. He asked my age, and I told him to guess. He politely guessed three years too low. Then he asked me to guess his age. Whatever age he was, he was slender and was holding it well. Thinking that he must be several years older than he looked, I guessed 72. He was 70. Aargh! Well, it was encouraging to see again that I am not too old to learn, or at least to be reminded to think before opening my mouth. His hometown is St. John, Ks., which is about half way between Pratt and Great Bend. He moved to the west side of Wichita in 1981, where he has been working as a financial adviser. This was his first time at the Doo-Dah, and he plans to come back. He brightened The Counter for those around him. The man on my left was also there for the first time, but the woman with him had been there a time or two before. His eyes lit up when I told him about the Sunday buffet.
Don’t you love it when you find someone who can bring out your best in a conversation? My sister-in-law in California, with whom I communicate by email, is one of those people. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that you will ever have the pleasure of running into her at the Doo-Dah Counter, so I gave her an imaginary invitation to the Sunday buffet. I suspect that she just cannot imagine how good that Doo-Dah pork belly is. She changed the subject after only a dozen ensuing short emails:
“Top of the morning to you! Looks as if Friday was a beautiful day in Wichita.” “Top o' the morning to you, too. Do you want to go to the Doo-Dah buffet this morning?” “Sure!” “How did you like the pork belly and grits?” “Awful, but coffee was good! 🤪” “You're joking, aren't you? I've never known anyone who tasted the pork belly at the Doo-Dah Diner and didn't like it.” “Now you do!!” “Could it possibly have been those good grits that you didn't like? Did you taste the pork belly separate from the grits?” “Yep - NASTY” “Everyone else with whom I have discussed the pork belly thinks it is TASTY. Was it the fat that bothered you, or did you actually not like the taste?” “Both! Btw have you tried it?” “Yes, I savor a slice from the buffet every Sunday. You would really like it if you really tried it. Just delete the word ‘belly’ from your mind and think ‘pork.’ ”