One of Mom's stories written for her writing classes. This one is based on a trip to the local Golden Corral after church on a Sunday, about the different people there. I remember we often went to the Golden Corral and the local Bruegger's or Village Inn.
The photo is of Mom at another local restaurant, for Mother's Day 2005. I believe by then the Golden Corral was gone.
It's Sunday morning after church and we are all dressed up. Time to go out to lunch. We usually plan on going to the Golden Corral, a restaurant where anyone can feel comfortable: families with small or grown children, groups of students out for an inexpensive meal, the single person who doesn't want to cook alone, and the group of senior citizens who want the company.
Glancing around the room, I see a family with small children sitting in front next to the salad bar. They feel confident their toddlers will be welcome, as the hostess immediately gets a high chair or toddler chair to help. They can choose food from the salad bar for their toddlers, or the children's menu has nutritious meals with smaller proportions for the small fry. A spilled glass of milk, and the waitress is there wiping it up, ready with a new glass.
Behind the salad bar are the students, boys and girls not necessarily in couples, with their sweatshirts naming several different colleges, their blue jeans frayed with holes in the knees, to keep up with the latest fashion. The girls get lo-cal salads; boys heap their plates with everything. They engage in idle, but interesting conversation, giggling at appropriate times.
Alone at a small table sits a nice looking gentleman, obviously living alone, not wanting to cook. Or, maybe his wife is gone for the weekend and he didn't want to be alone. He orders a steak, probably his only meal for the day.
Finally, scanning the room, I see at one large table are several senior citizens showing off new outfits, enjoying each other's company. I recognize one of them from a local resident home. The conversations are light as they are up and down to the salad bar with a good-looking variety of foods.
Whatever your reasons for eating out, a restaurant like the Golden Corral will feel comfortable without pressure. The homey atmosphere and good food aid in proper digestion. The attentive waitress keeping your glass filled with drink and a watchful eye for the other small ways to help. Maybe it is just a smile or a clean plate or just getting rid of all the dirty plates accumulated at your table. Yes, the Golden Corral is a comfortable inexpensive place to eat.
Connie, March 31, 1992