This image was sent to me by Zeta's M. It was in a large email which contained pictures from our city's distant past. This is one of my long gone, childhood haunts.
I remember the tile along the front being higher. I was small then and compare it, still, against that far distant, young self who used to walk along the sidewalk to those doors. A friend of our family worked there for a while. We called her Tolleson, which was her last name. Everyone called her that and I can not tell you why. She was the only adult I was allowed to address in that manner. It must have been because she preferred it, herself.
While she was working, she always had a lacy embroidered handkerchief partially tucked into her uniform's chest pocket. The open ends were spread out like a flower and she pinned her name tag against the top petal. Lovely, I always thought. Thinking back, I would bet she did the intricate embroidery herself.
The chicken and dumplings behind those restaurant doors was the best in the whole South. Mr. Tyler used to come by to say hello to my parents whenever we visited. His son later ran the restaurants which moved to other locations but still had the same chicken and dumpling recipe.
J tells me that he and his family used to eat there, too. He remembers the building as being bigger. So do I.
This Southern original looms large in our memories, which is the only way we can visit it, now . . .