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Giddy Up Go And U S 99 In Tenino


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#1 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 08:44 PM

Tenino is a small town on old US 99 (the old Pacific Highway) south of Olympia, Washington. It is typical of the communities once on the main road, but now bypassed by I5. As is often the case, the main street of town is the old road. Its breakfast time and the Biscuits and Stuff is host to the community regulars. We take a table by the window looking out on the old road.

This is the kind of cafe you find on America’s two lane highways. The old timers gather to share the news, and the cute waitress, Shannon, keeps the coffee cups full. She stops to talk with each customer and knows most of them by their first names.



Halfway into my “good for all day” breakfast, Sheila, Rose of the Road grabbed my arm and said eagerly, “Look out the window.” I figured maybe the chocolate store across the street had just hung out a “Big Sale” sign.....but no, a fine green machine called the Giddy Up Go has just pulled up to the curb.



Not being one to miss an obvious opportunity, I step outside, and strike up a conversation with Jim, her owner. Jim has been working on this 1923 Model T delivery wagon for ten years. The work is all his, and he proudly shares its details. Seems this was a milk truck and belonged to the grandfather of a local man. He tells me it’s the only C Cab Delivery Model T in Washington and that the art work on the panel was done by an artist who also does work for Budweiser Beer.



It s a beautiful machine and Jim is a lucky fellow to have it. In the 18 second movie, Jim tells why he built the Giddy Up Go, and as he pulls out you get a change to hear that engine sing a few notes. Give it a few seconds to load and it should play in your Windows Media player.

Windows Media Video


We finish breakfast and after Sheila does a little antique shopping, we drive down old 99 to Eds roadside Hot Dog stand. Ed has been here for five years and has made a success selling barbeque burgers and hot dogs beside the old Pacific Highway. I remember driving by when he had just a lawn chair and a barbeque. Now he is a regular fixture of the community, and a popular stop along the old highway.



When we arrive there is a small crowd gathered including a fellow in typical Northwest lumberjack garb, with the red suspenders, blue-gray shirt with rolled sleeves, and heavy work boots. We see fewer and fewer of these men as logging diminishes as a way of life around here. I’m afraid they are going the way of the Indian as the symbol of the Northwest.



The early customers are fed and Ed comes out from behind the counter and his able assistant Reese takes a break. I wondered whether it was Ed’s barbeque or Reese that attracted the crowd.




Rose of the Road suggested I stop speculating.

If you have access to a music service and don’t know the song Giddy Up Go, take a listen. And Keep the Show on the Road!

#2 mobilene

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 08:12 AM

I am drawn like a magnet to a refrigerator to breakfast joints in small towns.

When I lived in a small(er) town years ago, I used to go to this little breakfast-and-lunch cafe called Boo's a few doors south of US 40 (well, it was US 40 then, anyway). I'd always have an egg, toast, bacon, and coffee, and it always cost me about $3. Frequently, the county sheriff would sit next to me at the counter, a real polite fellow. I guess he became mayor after I moved away, and his administration was undone when he was caught in an affair with a woman who did the morning show on the local country radio station. I worked with that woman briefly at an adult-standards station where she did afternoons and I did weekends and fill-ins. She was very nice. She was married to the guy who did weather on Channel 10. Her daughter was my stepson's best friend while we lived there. Ah, small-town life.

But enough about me. Woodrow Wilson "Red" Sovine would have been 90 today.

jim

#3 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 09:50 AM

Now, Mobilene, that’s what I call a terrific reply! A touch of small town drama and something special about the song’s writer. Much appreciated!

You know how much time it takes to put a post together. This one took the better part of an afternoon. I really appreciate the reply, and especially one that is so on target.

I had never heard Giddy Up Go so I listened to it on my music service. Tex Ritter and Ferlin Husky did it. We should have had a category in the last contest of “Saddest road song with a happy ending!”

I am a small town “nut.” I guess it’s because I grew up in the Los Angeles and San Jose areas. I left when I was in my mid 20’s and moved to a small town. My career allowed me to live almost wherever I wanted, and I did. I have stayed as close to small town life as possible, given that I had a career. For the past 20 years we have lived in rural Washington about 15 miles from Olympia, on a small lake. The deer, ducks, and an occasional otter are our closest neighbors. Tenino is the closest town and its about 10 miles away.

Right now, as I’m writing this, it is so quiet you could hear a pin drop. There is a little mist on the lake and the ducks and geese are silent. The sun is just coming up through the trees across the lake, and I’m sitting in my easy chair watching the morning arrive. Bo, the ‘ole Malamute Wonder Dog is lying by the chair hoping I will give him a little snack...but he’s too fat already.

I see the two lane roads, the small towns, and the people you meet around both to be part of an integrating experience too often missing in the “big time.” Jim wasn’t a fellow I would have typically run into, nor was Edd or Reese, but the road and the small town brought us together to share a few minutes of camaraderie. I left the richer for it.

That’s a big swallow of philosophy, but life is a terrific experience and you won’t find it in your Ipod.

Keep the Show on the Road!

#4 Alex Burr - hester_nec

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 10:40 AM

QUOTE (mobilene @ Jul 17 2007, 08:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am drawn like a magnet to a refrigerator to breakfast joints in small towns.

When I lived in a small(er) town years ago, I used to go to this little breakfast-and-lunch cafe called Boo's a few doors south of US 40 (well, it was US 40 then, anyway). I'd always have an egg, toast, bacon, and coffee, and it always cost me about $3. Frequently, the county sheriff would sit next to me at the counter, a real polite fellow. I guess he became mayor after I moved away, and his administration was undone when he was caught in an affair with a woman who did the morning show on the local country radio station. I worked with that woman briefly at an adult-standards station where she did afternoons and I did weekends and fill-ins. She was very nice. She was married to the guy who did weather on Channel 10. Her daughter was my stepson's best friend while we lived there. Ah, small-town life.

But enough about me. Woodrow Wilson "Red" Sovine would have been 90 today.

jim



I also came from a small town - in southern Maine. And it also has the distinction of being the only town in the world with the name Kennebunk. When I was growing up in the 40's and 50's the population of this town along U S 1 was between 1500 and 2000 - in the winter time. In the summer time we could boast a roaring population of 12,000 to 15,000. Come Labor Day the town retreated into it's winter mode.
We had the usual small town diner - in our case over by the river - called Jones Diner. This was the place everybody came for breakfast (and lunch and dinner) - a rite of passage in our town was the morining Dad said "Come on son, breakfast at Jones and I'll take you on to school after." You got to eat breakfast with the "boys".
During the 50's, when I left this sleepy little town by the Mousam River, and went traveling with my Uncle Sam (those were my Navy days - later I joined the Coast Guard) I found many of these little small town diners on my travels to various assignments - got to travel down 66, again, to Oklahoma City to my first station in Norman (yeah, I know - what was the Navy doing in Oklahoma). And when I was going with my oldest daughers Mama - I was stationed in Jacksonville - she was going to college in Columbus, MS - I made more than a few runs between Jax and Columbus on weekends I was off. Saw the insides of lots and lots of those old diners. Good food, in most of them, and cheap prices. (By the way - those of you old enough to remember the old "if a trucker's stopping at a place it must be a good place to eat". Not always - sometimes it was because of extremely friendly waitresses picking up a few bucks out back.)
Makes me wonder - you look at the food we ate back then. By todays standards it should have killed us years go - but we're still here. Think about it: greasy food, burgers, fries, bacon, eggs - all the GOOD stuff we used to love.
I've rambled down this old memory highway far to long - so y'all have a great day and a better day tomorrow.
Really enjoyed your trip report. Mine are on my web site, if you got a minute or two, @
http://www.freewebs....eller/index.htm
Still got some work to do on the thing.

Hudsonly,
Alex Burr

#5 mobilene

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 10:58 AM

QUOTE (Keep the Show on the Road! @ Jul 17 2007, 10:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You know how much time it takes to put a post together. This one took the better part of an afternoon. I really appreciate the reply, and especially one that is so on target.


A post like that, where you have to think and process photos and all that, sure, it could take hours. Personally, I love doing that stuff, but it sure can be hard to make time for it.

QUOTE
I am a small town “nut.” I guess it’s because I grew up in the Los Angeles and San Jose areas. I left when I was in my mid 20’s and moved to a small town.


I lived in small cities until I was 27, when I moved to the biggest city in Indiana. I like city life, but I like it on a much smaller scale than this. It took me 5 years to get used to living here. I miss the small cities I lived in before. My career led me to Indianapolis -- this is where the jobs are, if you're going to follow my career path in this state. And as long as my ex stays here, so will I, because I will live near my children while they're growing up.

My big taste of small-town life came when I visited my grandparents as a kid, who lived approximately in the middle of nowehre in southwestern Michigan. They had property on a small lake, and the birds and frogs and bugs would congregate and make a symphony of noise. I especially liked the dragonflies. They would light on you and just sit for a moment. I used to look at their wings and wonder about the color variations from one dragonfly to another. We'd get in the boat and motor over to one tavern for pizza, or get in the truck and drive around to another tavern for frog's legs and orange Crush, back when it still had orange pulp in it. My grandparents knew every law enforcement officer in a three-county region, so somehow it was always ignored that there were young children in the bar.

Peace,
jim

#6 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 11:32 AM

Hecter_nec, enjoyed your recollection of the truck stops! I wondered sometimes why so many guys were eating such bad food! Now I know!! If the good folks at AR would archive some of your recollections they would have the material for a great story.

Here in the west, I don't recall the good food. I can still see the old standard truck stop special....practically taste it. I used to eat occasionally in a diner outside Tucson, but good food it wasn't. And I wasn't getting the extra service, either. cool.gif

You got your coffee in a heavy tan ceramic mug with the rim and handle roughed up by thousands of washings by some burley dish washer, and I don’t mean a machine. The plate looked about the same, and often had a little grease on the underside left over from the previous diner.

The trucker’s special was a hamburger patty, lima beans and mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes had a crater in the center filled with a brown greasy goo that was a combination of brown pan drippings and gray canned gravy bought by the gallon. The hamburger patty had a crunchy crust on it that was the result of burning it on a greasy grill, and the lima beans were over boiled and mushy. At the fancy stops you got a slice of red cinnamon apple as decoration. I have always wondered who in the heck ever ate red cinnamon apples at home!

The smoke was so thick it burned your eyes. The cash register had some semi obscene sayings taped to it, and beside it sat the jug of pickled eggs. Your receipt was “filed” on the sharpened spindle that served as the accounting system, and your change included real silver 4 bit pieces. (For you “youngins” 2 bits is 25 cents and 4 bits is a fifty cent coin.)

Keep 'em coming and Keep the Show on the Road!

#7 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 12:04 PM

Mobilene,

The bull frogs live down by the dock and still croke at night, and the dragon flies still skim the lake. The nearest roadside tavern is a couple of miles away on old 99 and it advertises that it has sold 50,000 tacos. No frog legs as far as I know! And the sheriff probably doesn’t look the other way.

There is a wolf sanctuary near the tavern just off old 99, and when they howl at night it carries in the wind our direction. ‘Ole Bo perks right up. There is a railroad crossing about 6 miles up old 99 and the wail of the train horn at the crossing is practically the only other sound at night (my wife would add my snoring to the list of night sounds!).

There is much to be said for city or country life, and it isn’t where you live, it’s the life you live that counts. Right!?

The 'ole Philosopher...Keep the Show on the Road!




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