Fort Worth, Texas - Today I went to visit an old friend for breakfast. Paris Coffee Shop. Oh how I’ve missed you.
I met my friend Johnny, who 18 years ago invited me to join him for breakfast at this great place. Not being from Fort Worth, it was my first visit and I got to meet John’s parents. It was a weekly stop for his folks and he popped in from time to time to join them. They each passed away some time ago, but I never drive by the place without thinking of them.
The place smells like a diner. It looks pretty much like a diner. The coffee is good. The food is good. The pies look fantastic. My parents would love the place if for no other reason than they put a metal tin of Watkins Ground Pepper on every table.
How’s that for a restaurant review?
Ok, not very good, but it ain’t the food or coffee or pies that I like. It is the atmosphere of times gone by. A flash of the past, which in Fort Worth is amazingly spicy. Searching the Paris you see old timers and young timers swapping stories over black coffee and scrambled eggs. You are likely to see someone you know or think you know with each visit.
I regret that I hadn’t been back in over 10 years. I’d give you a reason, but don’t have one. Maybe I thought my body couldn’t handle running, biking and swimming with a periodic dose of sausage and fried potatoes.
Too bad. I can’t begin to think of all the meaningful conversations with Johnny and others that I’ve missed in that time.
This is a place of memories. Memories made and memories found.
I don’t know what it is about food, but I know I’m not alone in my fondness of special restaurants. In Santa Fe alone, my family has 5 or 6 places we go to on every visit. Sadly, I don’t have enough locally. Maybe because home is supposed to be more boring than vacation. That’s silly. We all need a Paris Coffee Shop in our own neighborhood. We need to make frequent visits with family and friends. Forget all the diet nonsense once in awhile and find a dive where you can be you. There is a genuineness at a place like that. No cloth napkins or fancy silverware. A tin of pepper and an ugly brown mug with piping hot joe brings out the best in people.
Give me call. I’ll take you to Paris.
Run in Peace, Rest in Grace