A group of friends gathered on the south end of town for lunch yesterday, at a tiny place called Box Car Cafe. The building and cafe have been around for decades, but in the last year a new owner, Keith, has taken over and made the place into a go-to spot for lunch. This is the really old, industrial part of town, and the lunch crowd is mostly the men who work in the surrounding businesses. The tiny cafe can seat 20, maximum, and when we arrived yesterday, it was standing room only. We decided to take a walk and come back a little after 1:00 when the lunch bunch would be back at work.
The walk was perfect. It took us down narrow streets, without sidewalks, in and out of alleyways, and around very old buildings, like the brewery which dates back to the 1880s:
There was a grapefruit tree around back:
One of my friends managed to get one of the gigantic pieces of fruit.
Around the corner, and down another street, is an abandoned farm house and packing plant. One of the group remembers the place being vacant when she was in high school in the ’70s.
The yard was a mass of gopher holes and sticker vines. Fortunately, I had worn a good pair of shoes for walking around this terrain. Another gal had such flimsy shoes that the stickers went right through the sole. Her lament, “I didn’t know we would be hiking.”
For just a brief moment, we could catch a glimpse of the downtown buildings. Here you can see the Federal Courthouse in the far distance, reminding us that we weren’t too far from a more cosmopolitan locale:
Terry and I were discussing the windsock and why it would be there on a building that obviously does not have a heliport. Then, I realized it is probably a plant that produces noxious fumes and they must keep a check on the wind direction so as not to annoy the people in those downtown buildings.
Our walk was lots of fun, and there was a great amount of laughter. We had worked up a good appetite for the pulled pork sandwiches Keith is famous for at the Box Car Cafe. The cafe was empty upon our return with plenty of room for our group to combine tables and sit around sharing stories for awhile. No rush to get back to work for us.