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When I was a child my grandmother would take us to a small restaurant near her house called “Three Sisters”, it was a diner type with stools at the counter and booths that were around the perimeter and a few tables in the center, as you walked in on your left was the jukebox, the one song I remember playing over and over was “Magic Carpet Ride” by Steppenwolf, that song was released in the fall of 1968, so I would have been 10 years old. I know she would have taken us there before that age but my memory of it is surrounded by that song and eating a hamburger and fries. That hamburger taste is my benchmark for a hamburger, I also have a first pizza memory (from Pat’s Place) as my benchmark taste for pizza, it’s funny that now when I have one or the other with a similar flavor to those firsts, the memories come flowing back to me. A few months ago I went there for the first time in decades and had lunch with my son, it’s now an Italian/Pizza joint, there are new tables in the center but it’s the same counter, stools and booths, I recognized and vividly remembered the formica pattern on the tables! The burger I ordered was not a “benchmark” burger, but it was good.

Another memory of that location is when I was 15 years old and had a drivers permit, my grandmother let me drive her car from her house back to ours, pulling out from the street next to the diner I had to go quickly into traffic. Her car was different from my parents newer car I was use to driving, it had a quicker response when you stepped on the gas and a different steering ratio… so I pulled out into traffic with tires squealing and swerving into oncoming cars … I did regain control and was surprised my grandmother let me continue driving the rest of the trip home!

The name of the diner I had always thought may have had a special significance to my grandmother because she was one of three sisters in her family. My grandmother’s big sister was Mamie (born in 1893), grandma was the middle sister, Dora (born in 1896) and her little sister was Lenore (born in 1901) pictured below with their brother Jack (born in 1899).

The three of them died within a short period of time exactly four months apart to the day; Mamie (November 6, 1977), Lenore (March 6, 1978) and Dora (July 6, 1978). I don’t recall the circumstances of her sisters deaths but my grandmother was sitting on her front porch and had got up to go into the house when she fell, a nurse who lived nearby had been driving by and witnessed it, she stopped to assist her. My grandmother died early the next morning. Our family has always been very thankful for the immediate assistance my grandmother received from the passerby.
Uncle Jack lived into his 90’s passing in 1991, but word was he was apprehensive around November 6th 1978, being the only remaining child in the family; they did have two other brothers that died at younger ages.

I love Uncle Jack’s hat, shirt and tie … when I am old I will dress that way!

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2 Comments

  1. Love the story. The diner bit got me thinking of one I knew. I can still smell that sweetish, cleanish smell of it. It was next door to the Smeltzers’.

    • Sounds like a nice diner, the one I wrote about smelled like grease and onions .. I love onions.


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