“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”

Today is a bit gloomy. I suppose it is a perfect day to end the year, almost a lament of the passing of time, not cheery and sunny, but gloomy and dark. It was cold this morning but the day will be warmer, in the mid 40’s, but I don’t mind one or the other as I have no plans to go anywhere. Warm inside is fine for me.

When I go out to eat, I often order a cheeseburger. If I can, I add bacon. That has been my favorite burger as long as I can remember. When I was in high school, I’d go to the A&W drive up restaurant and order my bacon cheeseburger. It was always scrumptious, loaded with cheese and covered with slices of well-cooked bacon. I mourned when the A&W in West Yarmouth closed. Gone was the burger and gone was the last restaurant with car service.

I am sorry to see only a few remnants of my childhood. Most drive-ins have been sold for the land, Woolworth’s and Grants are no longer the stores in the square, the ice cream man and his bell are just memories, the Saturday matinee is long gone as are Friday night dates at the bowling alley, candlepin bowling, small balls, three to a frame. We’d usually bowl three games, and we were terrible. I was the queen of gutter balls.

My town didn’t have a McDonald’s or a Burger King. It had a Carroll’s with its 15¢ hamburgers and 12¢ fries. Carroll’s was built where there used to be a train ride for little kids and where Papa Gino’s is today. It is at the far end of a parking lot which has the China Moon and Hago Harrington’s miniature golf course bordering it, both of which have been around as long as I can remember. Until recently the China Moon looked exactly the same inside as it always had with its vinyl booths and Chinese lantern lights. It is now undergoing renovation which I find sad. I loved that it hadn’t changed in all these years. It had a personality, probably gone now.

I have no idea what this new year will bring. My only hope is it will be a better year than last.

Happy New Year!!

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22 Comments on ““Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’…””

  1. olof1 Says:

    McDonalds didn’t come to Sweden until 1973 so before that I guess most of them were a chain we call Sibylla. Sibylkla is still hanging around but mostly in small towns and even though they have meals like the big chains there still is room for personal choises. To be honest, their hamburgers do taste better too and it is possible to have mashed potatoes with anything one orders.

    I don’t mind if things change as long as someone has documented how it was before, with photos and some explanations to what happened. Too few do that I’m afraid.

    Really dreary weather here today but it sounds as if at least the wind has calmed down now but it rains instead. I think we reached 50F today and it hasn’t been this warm here in Southern Sweden in over 150 yars they say, I really don’t mind that 🙂

    Have a good ending of this year and a good new one.

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      That town of mine still doesn’t have a McDonald’s though it does have a Burger King. I like being able to make personal choices, and I love mashed potatoes.

      Sometimes in the hurry to modernize, change happens with little thought as to how that change will look or feel. Pictures are great, but I still miss the old places. I even think some of them would be popular today as retro is in.

      The sun isn’t out, but I can see its light through the clouds. 50˚ does seem really warm for this time of year!!

      I wish you the best possible new year!!

  2. Hedley Says:

    2017 arrives and right now my focus is very narrow…football

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I’ll be watching the Pats!!

      • Hedley Says:

        Ok, I pooper scooped, took a walk, watched soccer, listened to music and read The Times online but that is a mere distraction as we head towards the showdown tomorrow night at Ford Field.

        Time for Chapel and perhaps ask the big fella for a favor…

  3. flyboybob Says:

    Although I am pessimistic about 2017 I have hope that it will turn out ok.

    I will be turning 70 this year and I have begun to think more about how much things have changed since I was a kid. Yesterday I drove through the neighborhood in North Dallas where we lived when I was in the second grade. That was the year that we all lined up at the school to get the Salk polio vaccine. In those days we were living very close to the country where there were fields and horse farms just across the street. Now they are building high rise apartments and office buildings along all the major thoroughfares and freeways. We lived in what they used to call a ‘Garden’ apartment complex that has since been torn down and replaced by exclusive luxury condominiums. That residential area is known as Preston Hollow and was home to beautiful mid-century ranch style houses which are being bought and torn down to be replaced by McMansions. I have moved back to the same area in the last couple of years after selling my house in far North Dallas and downsizing. BTW Preston Hollow is the same area where President Bush lives. He doesn’t live in a McMansion. 🙂

    In 1954 Dallas maybe had a population of 600,000 while Ft. Worth, 30 miles to the West had maybe 400,000. Today Dallas itself is over a million. The real change is that the metropolitan area including Ft. Worth and everything in between is getting close to six million people. Unfortunately, they all have at least one car.

    Today we went to a huge Chinese buffet for lunch and my wife told me that while she was in the ladies room she heard woman speaking several different foreign languages. In the 1950s people thought we came from a foreign country because we spoke English without a Texas drawl. 🙂 We were foreigners to them because we came from New York. We were those damn yankees.

    On the way home we stopped at Walmart to pick up a few things. Walmart, Costco and the other big box stores were not even a twinkle in Sam Walton’s eye in those days. We still had five and ten cent stores and small shops located in strip shopping areas. The first enclosed Mall, North Park, didn’t open until 1965 and people still went downtown to shop at department stores such a Neiman Marcus. That was a time when Mr. Stanley, as he was known, the son of the founder Herbert Marcus, still ran the store personally.

    Today was sunny with temperatures expected to top out at 70 degrees. However, winter is coming. On Wednesday they are expecting an Arctic cold front which is expected to drive the temperatures below 20 degrees with a chance of a wintery mix. I can take the cold but hate winter precipitation.

    I want to wish everyone on Coffee a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2017. Fasten your seat belts it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I also take trips back when I am visiting my sister as she still lives in the old hometown. My old house is still there, and the neighborhood looks the same except the bushes and trees are so much taller. Only the square has changed and been modernized.

      I understand the dialect thing. I was in having a coke in Bolga, Ghana where I lived. Two white guys I had never seen were at a table. One of them asked me if I was from Boston. He had heard my accent. The men were crop dusters hired to spray the river banks to kill the flies which caused river blindness.

      The Cape doesn’t even have a Walmart or any big box stores. We have to go off cape to shop at those. I haven’t ever been in a Walmart.

      I loved my old town Square. It had the best of the old stores now gone, and a drug store with the most wonderful counter, one made of granite.

      Tonight will go down to the 20’s here. It has been n the 40’s most days which is quite warm for this time of year,=.

      I’m definitely going to fasten my seat belt!

      Happy New Year, Bob.

  4. Coleen Says:

    Hi Kat!

    You have just mirrored my thoughts exactly on the year 2016. There were quite a few moments of joy, but they were mixed in with more than a few moments of blah.

    Happy, healthy 2017. Like the song says, “…things can only get better!”

    Getting nearly blown over by the wind (but still waving),

    Coleen

    • katry Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      I admit that I am not all that enthusiastic about the coming year in this country, but I will try to put on a brave face!

      Thank you! I wish you the same happy, healthy new year.

      Waving right back at you!

  5. Birgit Says:

    Happy New Year to all of you!
    It’s 1 a.m. here and 2017 is quite nice so far. Let’s hope for the best.

  6. im6 Says:

    Best wishes one and all for a 2017 that’s much better than I expect. At least I’ll have KTCC to help me keep my sanity and sense of humor. Cheers!

    • katry Says:

      im6,
      I’d love to have a wonderful new year, but I am not enthusiastic about the odds. Other presidents I did not support were elected. I wished it hadn’t happened, but I survived. This one is entirely different. I am hardly hopeful.

  7. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I remember most of those places from your old town. I didn’t know China Moon was being renovated.
    I used to go to Carroll’s, too. It must still have been there in the late sixties because I was out of high school and working. Cheap burgers are always a draw for the financially limited teen.
    The kiddie train doesn’t ring a bell but I remember that spot on the opposite side of China Moon from the mini golf course as the place where you could get pony rides.
    Coincidentally, one of my town’s Facebook groups indulged itself in a long thread about businesses that used to be in town but were no more. And there were a lot of them. There were even a few that are still here but people thought they were gone. 🙂

    I will probably fall asleep before the ball drops in time square so Happy New Year to you and all the Coffee crew.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I don’t know when the China Moon will open again. It hadn’t ever been renovated and definitely had a 50’s vibe. I liked it.

      I think it might have been in the mid to late 60’s when I was in college as I was around Stoneham at times.

      There were other kiddie rides as well as the train so the pony rides might have been one of the rides.

      My mother used to talk about Stoneham as she lived there in the late 30’s and 40’s. When I was growing up, many of the same places were still there like the Stoneham Spa.

      Happy New Year to you, Caryn!!

  8. lilydark Says:

    Happy New Years, Kat,
    It is cool here and very quiet. Cookie is asleep on the couch, and I am already in bed. I’ve often wondered it I ever went back to my hometown and the beach town where I grew up, what the changes would be.
    I do miss the cat chat we used to have for so many years.. that really was fun.
    I am hoping 2017 will be a year of courage and kindness.
    Who knows, maybe I’ll travel to the cape again!

    Love,
    Lori and the Crew

    • katry Says:

      Happy New Year, Lori and Cookie

      I think you’d find lots of your hometown has changed. The Cape is an example of those changes which are so numerous that the cape is a lot like suburbia.

      The chat was fun. It was a way to stay connected. I still miss CLAW too.

      I’ll be here should you decide to visit!!

  9. Cuidado Says:

    Happy New Year to you!
    Keep the Music and Coffee Coming!


  10. Happy New Year, Kat! I look forward to more KTCC posts in 2017 and beyond. Psychotronic-ally yours, R

    • katry Says:

      countreeshard,
      Happy New Year to you!! I always hope the new year is better than the old, and I wish that hope for you.

      I love your closing!!


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