So, my parents have moved to the "States" from Ireland and are with us while they buy their new house. So, yesterday we took them on a tour of "small town" America (the names have been changed to protect the innocent).
You can drive through this town, blink twice and you've missed the whole thing. We have one blinking light, a four-way stop and a factory. We have 6 police officers, three cop cars and a cop SUV. We also have a McDonald's and a Dunkin Donuts... but the old-timers prefer the cafe, and the pub. This town is so far from modern America that you almost need a passport to get here.
So, we started the day with a lunch at the local diner. Its a brick building one end, and a stainless steel car on the other. No credit cards are accepted... just cash or a local check. You can see everyone from teenagers to older folks and everyone in between. We even saw Santa Claus come in with his wife and enjoy a nice meal. AND SO CHEAP!! It cost lest than $40 for four of us to have a filling, excellent meal.
At our next stop, we entered a store to be greeted by both owners. They are a husband and wife team who travel around the world, collecting jewelry, clothing and other items to sell in this small town shop. We purchased some Christmas gifts, chatted with the proprietors and viewed items from England, Russia, Poland, Nepal, India and South America.
We then went to German John's bakery where we chatted with the owner who learned all she knows from her own father. We saw traditional German cakes, bread and an 11 foot long bread crocodile!! My sister had an epiphay regarding a Christmas present, and gathered everything she could find in the store. The proprieter welcomed us to the village, and sent us on our merry way to the CHOCOLATE FACTORY!!!!
In this little store there are chocolate geese, sports equipment, truffles, chocolate molds, firemen, and every conceivable chocolate object you can imagine. Cherry codials for Mom, sugar-free chocolates for Dad and a giant chocolate Noel for me and Kathy.
The last stop of the day was Gibson's Pewter Shop. Mr. Gibson learned the trade from his father and makes early American replica's of Pewter bowls, goblets, plates and other pewter items. Again, the proprietor meets you in the shop, greets you and chats about the products, the weather and the skills that goes into each product.