There's something comforting about a local diner.
Today my boys and I went to get some lunch with grandma and grandpa. My six year old son looked at me and asked me "Dad! can I have pie?" The waitress shook her head and told him "Nuh-uh. No pie until you eat lunch."
That. That right there.
That's a diner.
I'd eaten at Whitlow's Forerunner as far back as I can remember. Back when the Sunday brunch crowd were allowed to smoke, and the inside air was thick and smelled of pancakes, sausage, and the sweet smell of tobacco. There's where I was first introduced to coffee, corned beef hash, fried perch. I'd grown up knowing and recognizing the same waitresses.
And when I returned to Muskegon with my wife after living in Iowa for a decade...the same waitresses worked there, recognized me, exclaimed how much I'd grown. I believe many of them are family, related to the owner.
After lunch, I paid the bill and the waitress said to me, "I swear you sound exactly like your dad."