When I was growing up in upstate New York, going out to eat meant one of the local diners in Schoharie, the town where I went to school 15 minutes from my parents’ house.
The fast-food places were a few towns over, and for whatever reason, pizza places didn’t really stick. (I’m actually kind of surprised there’s a taco restaurant there now.)
For years, my Friday night dinner was hot turkey sandwiches, mashed potatoes (instant) and chocolate milk.
As a high-schooler, I worked weekends in one of the diners, mostly washing dishes, to make money for insurance on my first car.
Multiple diners have come and gone since those days — it’s a thing diners do, and Schoharie has also recovered slowly from a terrible flood in 2011 — but my parents are still regulars, and if I’m in a diner anywhere, I’m still going to be looking for hot turkey sandwiches and mashed potatoes.
Be warned, though … my diner standards are very high.
This tweet from my friend Caitlyn reminded me of one of the things I remember from the diners where I grew up.
It was a framed dollar bill on the wall, from the local Central National Bank on Main Street. The bank sent them to congratulate new businesses in town, and the dollar bill was their first dollar of profit.
Maybe other banks in other places do that, but I don’t remember ever seeing it anywhere else.
The Central National Bank on Main Street is now part of NBT Bank, and I don’t know if they’re still sending new businesses their first dollar of profit in a frame.
I hope they do. I always thought it was cool.