Tuesday was a busy day for me too. I decided to tag along to Court with Steve for a trial. It was a paternity case that I had started over the summer. I get so attached to my cases that I want to know what is going on with them at all times. I know those cases backwards and forwards. It is also interesting to see the other side. After reading and hearing about them for a while, you get this picture in your mind what they are like.
It was also nice being in the Courthouse again too. As weird as it may sound, I feel very at home there. I love catching up with Judge Henry and the baliff Mike Wall. They are both interesting characters and always a joy to chat with. I also got to visit with the sheriff, Mike Shannon (Chris's second cousin), which was nice as well. Texas County's previous Judge Ellsworth was also there. I hadn't seen him since he has been off the bench. What a joy to see so many great people in one day. I feel truely blessed to be welcomed into my profession at home.
Judge Ellsworth ended up settling our case in the morning and we were headed back to the office by 11:15. Steve called the office on the way back and suggested going to lunch. Little did I know that the lunch was for my birthday (which is not until April 30). Steve is a really awesome boss. One of the great benefits of working there is that he takes the entire office out for birthdays. Since I won't be in town on my birthday, they decided to celebrate early this year instead of when I come back for the summer. I love Steve and those girls for thinking of me :)
As usual, we headed to Hillbilly Junction for lunch. It is always a treat. They have buffet of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, break, salad, soup and usually a few other kinds of meat. Good traditional cooking. The staff sang happy birthday and brought my fudge (it is always delicious)
Once we got back to the office, I was presented with my present. Typically, we just do gift cards for each other. This time around through, I got new decoration for my office.
I love it. It is a professional framed article about my grandparent's cafe. For those of you who know me, this place was a huge part of my life growing up and it is a honor to have my grandma hanging on my wall at work. She is an inspirational lady in my life!
I'll share a little bit about the place.
On May 8, 1946, my grandparents (Noma and Virgil Gabel) opened the Ozark Cafe. It was an adorable little diner with 6 tables and 15 bar stools. The decor inside stayed the same until it closed 59 years later. It featured traditional home cooking with huge breakfast, plate lunches and delicious fried hamburgers. Grandma fixed homemade bread and pies every day too. I played at the cafe a lot as a child. I would hand out with my grandma and play with the cash register, which was the coolest thing. It was as old as the business and didn't ring over $5.00. Which was okay since nothing on the menu was over $5.00. As of the time it closed, you could still buy a loaf of bread for $1.00, homemade pie for $3.75, plate lunch (meat with 3 sides and bread) for $2.65, coffee for a quarter and my favorite biscuits and gravy for $1.20.
When I became 13, I began working at the cafe. I worked on Saturdays during the school time and all during the summers. I loved that place and it helped me save a lot of money. I became very attached to the regular customers and before I left for college probably acquired 30 extra sets of grandparents and had one 89 year old man with a crush on me. It was a wonderful place that I miss dearly. It closed just shy of being open 60 years when my grandfather passed away in September 2005. It still brings a tear to my eye every time I drive by Washington Avenue to see the place it used to be (which is now storage for attorney John Wiles) and the bench with my grandparents name engraved on it. All I have now is my memories, some pictures and a few artifacts that I kept from the cafe.
The new Ozark Cafe in West Plains is not to be confused with the old one. The new one is NOTHING like the old one. Those people were just trying to market on a name that had a great reputation. But I'll tell you, the customers that I knew still tell me that it is nothing like my grandmother's cooking. I was in the new one once with my grandmother. We wanted to check it out. We were disappointed with the food and service. The owners were rude to my grandmother. I vow to never go back and I silently cuss it every time I drive by. My grandparents worked hard to establish the Ozark Cafe and it should have not been reused.
Enough about that. My first birthday celebration was wonderful and I love my picture. Being surrounded by family while at work is always an inspiration!