By: Maria Coulter

There’s this diner around the corner from my house. It’s small and crowded and quite well known, according to the people in my neighborhood. It’s got blue paint on the outside that’s faded with the oldness, with coral-pink shutters on each window. When you look across the street, you can see a green neon sign flashing “Diner.” The cool thing about it is that it’s got lots of history. The owners, Pat and Bev Rider, have owned it since 1953. They’re a cute old couple who will tell you about the diner and its start any day. Sometimes, even though you’ve heard the story at least 500 times before, it’s still kind of nice to sit back with a warm bowl of clam chowder (the special of the day) and hear them go on… Why the diner fascinates me the most is that everything’s there for a certain reason: You could be sitting there just deciding what to eat and I guarantee you there’s going to be a reason why each food is there. The seating in and out of the diner is totally cliché. Sure, they’ve got the broken-down old booths, so withered with age that when you sit down the seat makes a little creeeeak. But the countertops have all this old newspaper that was sealed inside when the diner was first built, and they have tiles from the 40s and early ‘50s that when you sit close enough you can actually read some of the stories. The seating outside, on the other hand, is fairly new, added in about 1987. Each table has a big yellow umbrella only to be put outside when the weather is nice. Going there after school is always a treat. You can be sure Pat will make you just about anything you’re in the mood for. I remember this one time it had just started to snow. Giant snowflakes the size of plates came floating down outside the window. Inspired by this, Pat came up with the idea to make these huge pancakes, decorated with this super-rich whipped cream in the shape of a snowflake—and boy, was it good.