notquiteold

Nancy Roman

What Makes It Special

A couple of weeks ago my husband dragged treated me to the big Manchester, Connecticut car show.

Each year at the peak of summer, this Connecticut town closes down a mile of Main Street and 900 antique cars line up for the benefit of the owners’ egos admiring spectators.

It’s not like I don’t appreciate the charm of a ’56 T-Bird.  It’s the quarter-mile of 1970 Chevelles that makes my brain numb.

But it was a nice day for a two-mile walk – one mile down the south side and then the mile back on the north. Which on that day became three miles, because we had to park a very long distance away. (Long enough that we had to stop and use the bathroom before we ever got to Main Street.)  Oh wait, make that three-and-a-half miles, as there were quite a few Packards that my husband had to cross the street to see. Heaven forbid that he would have to wait until we were really on that side of the street.

It takes a long time to look at 900 cars. But it is very educational. My husband likes to point out everything that is not original. Especially exhausts. “Tailpipe’s been replaced,” he sneers at a ’34 DeSoto. Chemical crap had come out of that tailpipe for more than seventy years. I am somewhat less surprised than my husband that it had deteriorated.

Around Mustang number 39, I began to think about lunch. I remembered that last year we had stopped to eat at a restaurant that I adored. But I couldn’t really remember what I had adored about it.

I recalled that I had ordered a salad. But I didn’t think that was what was triggering such fond memories. It was a salad, for God’s sake, not skinny jeans that made me look thirty.

But I kept a lookout for that restaurant. And eventually I spotted it. It was on the other side of the street. Good thing I hadn’t scolded my husband (too much) about crossing over when we would eventually get there anyway. And at the mention of Lunch (capital L), he was willing to take the extra steps.

We walked through the bar to get to the dining room. It was crowded, but I knew that wasn’t what had appealed to me. I haven’t gotten excited over a crowded bar since 1983.

The server was cute – but ditto on 1983.

I remembered exactly which salad once I saw the menu but I didn’t have much hope  – although it did contain cheese, and that’s always a good sign.

I looked around at the decor. it was nice. The ceiling was tin, and I always like that. As a matter of fact, I have a tin ceiling in my living room at home. (With a nicer cornice, I might add.)

On the wall opposite us were framed photographs of bridges. It was were exceptionally pretty  – both the photographs and the arrangement.

mulberry street

Photographs of bridges. And I guess something interesting was going on outside – probably something connected with a Chevelle.

The photos had nothing to do with this restaurant. Of course, nothing about the restaurant was what you might call “connected.” The name of the restaurant is Mulberry Street. It is on Main Street. They serve mostly pizza, not mulberries. And there were no mulberry scenes in the bridges. On the bar side, they had oars.

I liked those bridges very much. I wasn’t in love, however.

But then I saw it.  Oh yes – that special something that so enamored me.

Do you see the photo on the very right? The image is obscured by the glare from the window?

That’s the one!

lloyd bridges photo.jpg

Lloyd Bridges

15 Comments

  1. I see your point. Ha ha.

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    • I love that kind of humor. And you don’t often see it in a restaurant.

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  2. Of course! The mystery is solved and as usual, your post is LOL funny. Please collect them all and put them into a book. I will buy it, I promise (well depending on the price of course)! 🙂

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  3. Wonderful.

    I’m with you on the antique car shows. I’ve been to my share of them. If we got to drive them it would be worth it, but to stand around looking? Ho hum …

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    • I can get through it if there is ice cream involved.

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  4. Al

    I don’t get it. A bunch of bridges and a guy named Mike Nelson.

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  5. I was so sure I knew where this was going (just sitting down for an hour, NOT looking at cars was what made the restaurant/Lunch so memorable) – and then you threw in that great twist at the end! Loved it!

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  6. Iconic and Ironic, I love that.

    I also understand the antique car show thing. One of my brothers rebuilds and shows American Muscle Cars. I don’t get it, never did until the day he got offered $270,000 for one of his old cars. Really a quarter of a million dollars for an old muscle car? Why? Except that it is exceptionally well done and very very fast.

    Oh well there are some things I will never understand.

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  7. okay you got me–love it!

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  8. fabulous. it reminds me of this: one time years ago when I was a brand new first grade teacher I had a bit of a challenging little boy in my class who, although sharp as a tack, was repeating first grade. we were reviewing common nouns and proper nouns and got into a discussion on “church” and “St. Mary’s, St. Paul’s, St. Luke’s,” etc. He chimed in with a delightful smirk on his face, “Or, Church’s Fried Chicken!!!” all these years later, when I can’t remember what I had for breakfast, I still remember that incident like it happened just seconds ago. AND it still makes me chuckle.

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  9. Cars, Street, and Bridges – all connected. (Husband’s a gear head…. I always take a snack – food takes second seat to a line of cars unseen!)

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  10. I love show & shines and I’m feeling sad that I haven’t been to one yet this year, but you’re right about the quarter-mile of Chevelles – it’s so much more fun when there’s more variety. And ice cream. Always ice cream!

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  11. Haha! Whenever I got to a restaurant and order tongue, I insist on it being served “in cheek.”

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  12. Yep, that would do it for me.

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