Monday, February 23, 2009

Johnny’s Family Restaurant

(Conversations from a Booth)

Late afternoon I’m hungry, lost
in northern Georgia,
on my way to meet friends.
Johnny’s place is the only place in town.

I pass through the doors
into a time gone by
a place where everyone who
enters is greeted by name.
I am the young lady in the corner
like a scene from a black and white flick.

The conversations are smooth and laid back
a sense of humor and affection seep through.
I write some of the words I hear.
I don’t want to forget how it is
in this place, this scene right out
of Johnny’s Family Restaurant.

Don’t sweep under my feet!
That’s bad luck for me, woman.
Don’t sweep under mine either
I don’t want to get married!

Did you hear about Johnny Allen?
He’s buying that new truck at JD’s.
That ole dog just gets what he wants
and talks poor to anyone who listens.

I want hot coffee now Ethel
or give me an ice cube and
I’ll call it iced coffee.

Barney, did you see where Atlanta
was number six in the nation
for air pollution?
No wonder we can’t breathe round here.

Hey, now, are you and Jay still cuttin’ wood,
or are you arguing again?

It would be a better world
if they’d jest walk off instead
of blowin up like two ole dogs
wantin to fight.

He’s dating Dorothy now.
Now didn’t his wife die?
Yep, I thought he’d go whacky
For a while back then.

We had a little share yesterday
if we don’t get some rain soon…
well, hit looks like we might
get some fore too long.

I heard you went to the doctor’s
Was you ailin or did ye just go for a check-up?
I was jest tarred, jest tarred.

I say thank you for the liver and onions
served to me by one of the customers
Barney, who happened to be up getting tea
when he was called into service.

This here goes on over to the young lady
wonder in the corner, Barney.
We’d all appreciate it if you’d sit it on the table
and not on her. Barney’s a little touched Miss
but he means no harm.

Barney smiles and everyone laughs.
The blush begins at his neck
and covers his kind face.
I’ll go back to Johnny’s if
I ever get lost there again
I bet they’ll know my name.

Judy Roney


Victoria said...

I love the snatches of dialog - a poem of place Judy - a glimpse into how life is lived and shared in that place. I'd stop a Johnny's Family Restaurant too.

Mary said...

You have definitely captured the essence of the colorful clientele of Johnny's Family Restaurant! What a delightful experience...and nice that you have preserved it in writing!

Sue said...

WOW Judy. I love this very thought provoking piece. Been there. On those road trips when you stop at "Granny's" for Breakfast. (Name of one of many.) All regulars except those of us on the road and catching snatches of conversation. Old girl waitresses..always calling us Hon. Thanks for sharing this Judy...and for sparking memories.