Thursday, February 19, 2009

West Gadsden Cafe - Part 2

In March of 1963, my granddaddy died of a heart attack at the age of 63. This left my grandmother alone to run the cafe. She did not drive, so she was dependent on my dad or mother to get to and from the cafe. I am sure there was some discussion between my parents as to what to do, but my sister and I never heard it. My mother quit her job and we moved in with my grandmother. It was not easy combining two households. We sold most of our furniture since there wasn't any room at my grandmothers' house. My sister and I were allowed to take ONE toy with us. I don't remember being upset about giving up anything, but my sister certainly does.

My mother and dad sold our house when we moved in with grandmother. They used the money they made from the sell to move and enlarge the cafe. It didn't move far, just around the corner to 12th Street. The cafe was in the same block as West Gadsden Drug Store (Russell Prince), Daniel's Grocery Store, a Doctor's office (Dr. Simpson, I think), a barber shop and a beauty shop. The cafe moved to this location in 1965.

This is a picture of the "new" location during remodeling. It seemed huge to us!

This is my mother in the kitchen of the "new" location as they were remodeling the building.

The move brought many more customers to the cafe. Most days people were standing and waiting on a table. The cafe was in this location until 1977. The cafe only served breakfast and lunch. It was open from 5:00 a.m. until 2:00 p..m. six days a week. My grandmother and mother always got there between 3:30 and 4:00 a.m. to get everything ready for breakfast.

When fresh vegetables were available the cafe served as many as they could. It was not unusual to sit on the front porch in the afternoons and evenings shelling a bushel of beans to serve the next day.

My sister and I were required to work during the summer months. I think I started working there when I was in the 7th grade. I am sure I didn't do too much, it was probably a way to keep me from being home alone. I got married in August of 1972, after I graduated from high school and I continued to work at the cafe until Missy, my daughter, was born in 1974.

I will tell you more about the foods we served next time!


cosby2 said...

Only 1 toy!!! I probably would have pitched a fit...hehe. Just wondering what 1 toy you picked?? I enjoyed the post!

jennypilgrim said...
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jennypilgrim said...
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Tatersmama said...

What memories!
I think we must be the same age - or close to it!
I graduated in '71 (a year early) and my first born came along right after I turned 20 in 1974!

Do you have a menu from the cafe? It would be interesting to see what was served back then.
I KNOW that your grandmother used to make a killed Egg Custard Pie though! I have the recipe. ;-)

jennypilgrim said...

I will post a menu soon!!!!!

Staci said...

hi surfed from taters site!! Your grandbabies are adorable...and i love hearing stories about peoples families...especially from different eras. Its soo facinating to me how times have changed....beautiful picture of your momma standing by the door of the cafe!! ill be back!!

Tatersmama said...

Geez, just poked my head in to see what Staci had to say, and realized that I said a "KILLED Egg Custard Pie!"
I meant "Killer"...LOL!

Btw... my guy asked for another pie, so guess what I'll be making today! ;-)

jennypilgrim said...

Thanks Staci and Tatersmama! Stay tuned for more about my family and the cafe!