December 30, 2021- The server/manager was sitting quietly with her toddler daughter, as I entered the otherwise empty room. There is that ting, ting ,ting that goes off, when the door opens, so she quietly arose and, with her regal bearing, greeted me with a slight smile and took my order. Shortly afterward, a local couple entered, followed by two other parties, and the restaurant’s owner, there only to give her hard-working friend a gift bag. Such is the way, at Double C Diner, in Moriarty, New Mexico.
I first happened by this spot, two years ago, whilst staying at the nearby Lariat Motel, on the first day of a cross-country drive. Back then, the little girl was just learning to get around on her own and was into everything. Moriarty is a town of close-knit families, so the mother was able to focus on her serving duties, while a fair number of aunts, uncles and cousins tended to the child, until her father showed up and took over.
When I choose places to patronize, the quality of the product does matter. Equally important, however, is the character of those who work there, their inner strength, work ethic, demeanour and the resulting radiance. That has made me go back to places like Zeke’s, The County Seat and Raven Cafe, here in Prescott; Macy’s, in Flagstaff; Harbor Breakfast, in San Diego; Henry and The Fish, and The Pantry, in Santa Fe; D’s Diner, in Wilkes-Barre-and Double C. The energy of the young staff helps, but it is the ambiance of joy and warmth that makes all the difference.
J had almost a sixth sense, quietly and seamlessly moving between her motherly duties and running the restaurant that was getting busier-while the cook and the dishwasher were going about their tasks. Everything happened in an atmosphere of calm strength. (Eventually, from watching another patron, it dawned on me that J was not going to run my bill back and forth to her register, so I got up and paid. Her twinkling eyes said it all- “You’re okay”.) That, too, characterizes every one of the places I mentioned above-and many others. Jess, (not her real name), is symbolic of what has kept, and will continue to maintain, our world in good form. It is focused energy, mindfulness of surroundings and recognition that all that is successful in life happens in its due time which will keep our Race on track.
As I drove back to Prescott this evening, that awareness, and the sense that all is going to be alright in our world-regardless of setbacks, or temporary misunderstandings, kept my thoughts in perspective.