Atop a tall metal post in the midst of a gravel lot was an unassuming sign with the words Dee’s Diner in black lettering. The sign was about all you could see for all the huge trucks sitting side by side in the rather small lot. I took it for granted there was a building somewhere behind the 18-wheeled behemoths.
I knew Dee’s Diner was there because Devoted Spouse and I kept passing the sign during our backroad travels through southeastern Ohio. We ditched the GPS, and using a local map, traversed the state roads and the ‘roads less traveled’ in search of nothing in particular, just to drive through the country and see the sights. Sights such as oil barrels, rusted oil rigs, decrepit pick up trucks up on cement blocks, front porches complete with couches and a washing machine or two mixed in with some lovely log cabins and beautiful homes. Among the junk and trash there was also some of the most beautiful fall foliage I have ever seen.
We were lost some of the time but we always seemed to end up at the corner with Dee’s Diner. From there we could navigate anywhere — any direction led to interesting sights and I always knew I could get back to our cabin once I found the corner with Dee’s Diner. It was both picturesque and poverty-stricken at the same time.
From Dee’s Diner it was just a short ride to an interesting lane where the road was elevated and the front porches of the houses were right at street level and yet when you looked behind them there was a huge drop. Very strange way to locate a house. A few houses were on level ground and while we didn’t often see people, we saw tons of animals. One house always had a large brown and white goat tied up in the back of the house. At the house on the corner there were at least 10 cats just lazing away in the yard. Back porches usually had a dog or three and of course there were the requisite cows and horses in pastures. Across the front porch of one of the hill houses there was a clothes line with about 15 pairs of jeans hung out to dry. Those dungarees didn’t look to have much more life left in them. I wondered about the person(s) who wore those jeans and what kind of work they did.
Finally on one of our jaunts, I saw Dee’s Diner – it looked to be a drab white building with a plain door in the front and a few concrete steps. Unassuming. I imagined booths made of ripped, red naugahyde and formica tabletops, chipped white coffee cups and the smell of grease in the air. Maybe next time we’ll have a chance to stop in and have a piece of pie. I bet it’s homemade.