It’s pretty easy to be the youngest person in Mason’s Restaurant by a couple of decades, even if you’re in your 50s. Don’t let this dissuade you from going, though.
Mason’s is the kind of place where you can buy enough food to fill your whole table and pay ten dollars for it–eggs and bacon and toast and coffee and biscuits with or without gravy, maybe some ham, you want some sausage? Maybe some pancakes? French toast?
It’s as good as Hermitage Cafe, but without the overnight hours and all the cops at the counter.
“Do y’all get famous people in here?” I ask one morning.
“Oh, sure,” my waitress says. “Bill Monroe came in all the time before he died. And Lefty Frizzell…”
“Oh, kids today don’t know who Lefty Frizzell is,” one of the other waitresses said.
“I do, too, know who Lefty Frizzell is,” I said, feeling a little indignant.
“He stops by every once in a while for breakfast,” My waitress said. “You know, he’s just down the road here.”
“He’s dead,” I said.
“Oh, we all know that,” she said. “But his money’s good and he tips well, so we don’t mind.”
The other waitress came by, “She can speak for herself. It gives me the willies.”
“Well, bless your heart, I hope you don’t let on when he’s here,” my waitress said.
“Of course not,” the other waitress scoffed. “Unlike some people, I am not rude.”
“One time, I wouldn’t let her husband come in and wait while we closed, fifteen years ago, and she still won’t let me forget it.”
I’ve always wanted to go there (back when it was still Mason’s Motel), but every time I go by there the parking lot is too packed to get in.
My mother worked at Wilkinson’s Dairy & Feed in the ’70s, & we used to see folks like Stringbean, Grandpa Jones (a nice man), George Morgan & others. Lots of country artists did business there.
What an ear you have for dialogue, missy. I could see the nicotine-stained fingers and hear the gum-chewing.
This one also reminds me of a restaurant in my hometown that was the target of generations of kids’ ghost stories. No reason for it at all, just an intergenerational version of “Telephone,” I guess. It’s torn down and replaced by a convenience market now, but I never drive by the site without looking at it sideways.
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