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Buzzys diner

John Lehner

Feb. 15, 1996

English 111

The first job I had was at Buzzy's Diner, located in a small suburban town in

upstate New York. It isn't a classy restaurant, it isn't even a very clean one, but during the

hours that its open in the morning it is probably the busiest place within fifteen miles.

Although the food there is inexpensive and very good, the main reason people eat their

lunch and breakfast there is because of the diner's cozy atmosphere and timeless quality.

The diner is in a building that is about 65 years old and when you first walk in and

take a seat, it seems like you just traveled backwards in time. Along one side of the

dining area there is a counter with stools where people who come there by themselves go

to eat and read the newspaper. The tables and the countertop are an off-white color

underneath a pattern of random gray lines that looks like shattered glass. The seats for

the tables are dark wooden benches, many of them are dented and scratched from their

years of use. In one corner there is an ancient cigarette machine (the kind with levers you

have to pull to get your cigarettes) and an old fashioned penny gumball machine.

The walls of the room are divided horizontally by molding. The bottom four feet

of the walls consist of wood paneling that matches the benches. The top half is covered

with an ugly brown wallpaper that reminds me of the wallpaper in my grandmother's

house. The wallpaper usually goes unnoticed because most of it is covered up with other

stuff. Hanging on the wall behind the counter there is a collection of old frying pans and

various outdated wooden cooking utensils. On the other walls there are mirrors, wildlife

sketches, black and white photographs of the diner from when it first opened 40 years

ago, and plagues that the owner received from the local volunteer fire department. Except

for the mirrors, there is a story behind everything that is hanging on the walls. Usually

any bare spots on the walls are occupied by postings of upcoming town events like craft

shows or school concerts.

Near the top of the back wall, there is a shelf that stretches aross the length of the

room. The shelf is filled with old, empty food cans with fading labels. Scattered in with

the cans are dusty liquor bottles of assorted colors, shapes, and sizes.

Most of the regulars that faithfully visit Buzzy's every day are older people in their

60's and 70's. They usually arrive early in the morning or just after the main rush to avoid

the crowds. For some of them, stopping by Buzzy's has probably been a part of their daily

routine for fifteen years. They all know everyone in the diner and they come to see each

other and have a friendly conversation. As they take their time drinking their coffee and

telling jokes or stories from when they were younger, you can tell that this is one of the

highlights of their days. Some of them were good friends of the owner's father, "Buzzy"

Oley, and the place brings back a lot of memories to them. For a lot of people, Buzzy's is

a part of the changing world that seems to remain unaffected by time.

Older people are not the only people who come to Buzzy's and socialize with each

other. Every weekend there are countless numbers of people saying "Hi, nice seeing you

again," and "What a surprise to see you here." from the not so frequent visitors. The

atmosphere of the diner is warm and relaxing. During the winter months it is like a haven

from the freezing, snowy weather in upstate NY. Even during the busy hours, when the

waitresses are running around frantically and there are twenty conversations going on at

once, there is a kind of tranquillity about the place. In the air there is the aroma of fresh

brewed coffee, mixed with the smell of cheese omelets, bacon and sausage. There is

smoke coming from someone's cigarette, but by the time it's odor reaches the non-

smoking section, it is too faint to bother anyone. You can almost always hear someone

laughing and see that most of the people around you are enjoying themselves.

Buzzy's is a perfect place for families to eat breakfast after church, and for people

to have a cup of coffee before work or school. There are many reasons people are

attracted to a small diner like Buzzy's. Some go to socialize with their neighbors, some

go to rekindle memories of their youth, and some go for quality, inexpensive food.

Buzzy's is a relaxing place where everyone can go to escape from their hectic lives.



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