My Favorite Place

The sun shines high and bright over the city of Memphis and the warm southern breeze makes it the perfect summer day. My Papa and I were on our way to our favorite Hot Dog Place: Main Dog Hot Dog. It was a tradition for us to go out to lunch at least once when we came down. We sat in the same booth overlooking the small creek in front of the restaurant. It was our place and I never let anyone else come on these special outings…after all, it was the only time I had my Papa all to myself.

The restaurant itself was ornate in design, having been around since 1880. Many of the building original features were still in place, with pictures and posters to the wall. I always loved looking through the memorabilia. It made me feel like I was back in the 1990s experiencing what these people were.

We ordered same thing every time: one Main Dog Supreme for Papa, a mini main dog supreme for me, a large fry, and two root beers. While we waited patiently for our food, we would walk around the restaurant and choose a picture we both liked. When our food was done, we took it back to our booth. There, we had our memories, our storytelling and our laughter. This was the place where I had my first hot dog with toppings—this was a magical place only we could enter.

When we were all settled in, we had a special magic hand shake that brought us into this enchanted land that was forbidden to the outside world. When we were in only own little world it was as if nothing else existed besides the two of us and all the stories that stayed in this land. “The photo of the day,” as we called it, was where we were and how we acted for the day. We would talk in old accents and eat with our pinkies up. We didn’t care when others looked and stared at us. After all, we were only there in body; in mind, we were on our magical land where anything is possible.
When we would return, sometimes hours later, from our trip to Main Dog Hot Dog, my mother would ask, “What did you and Papa talk about?” but Papa and I would look at each other smile and say with a laugh “nothing” because no one was allowed into our special place but us.

All the memories with my Papa still remain in that same booth that has been vacant for the past eight years; never again can I travel to our special place full of memories laughter and eating with my pinky out. I will always having these memories in my heart but that magical land will forevermore remain empty.

RIP Papa 1935-2004





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