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L & M Fountain

After we moved from Kodiak to California in 1973, I went through a bit of a rough patch. Very likely depression. Back then you muddled through that sort of thing sans pills.

The entire school from kindergarten through 12th grade in Kodiak had less people than Petaluma High did in just three grades. (but check out the alumni, knew about Winona but not Lloyd)

It was horrifying.

To make it even more special, there was an hour long bus ride every morning. We lived in the middle of dairy country and it took the bus that long to make the rounds to pick up all the "farmers", as those of us who rode the bus were known. If you haven't already guessed, "farmer" was a derogatory term.

My crying started on Friday night because Monday was only two days away. Even my Dad felt sorry for me.
I did some things to avoid being there - faked my way into full blown asthma attacks, skipped school and sat through Latin mass in the pink St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church downtown.

In order to get transferred to another school I had to see some sort of ologist. I made sure to look extra sad that day (not a stretch). Turns out there was another school - a "continuation" school, but that's where they sent the hoodlums and the heroin addicts, (I remember him saying that vividly).
Was I sure I wanted to go to school with heroin addicts? Absolutely - serial killers, heroin addicts, prostitutes - I didn't care as long as there were less people in the school.

My transfer to San Antonio High School was approved. P.S. - that guy was such a liar, there were no heroin addicts, that I know of. Kids with learning disabilities (like me, although I didn't know it then) and the behavioral problems that can sometimes go with them or who were bored out of their minds in regular school.

However, this meant no bus, so my mother drove forty miles a day to take and pick me up from school. Even though this forty mile trip was surely a huge time suck in the middle of her day - not to mention she was NOT a morning person, Mom never complained [to me] and never made me feel like it was a burden. We listened to her country music on the radio, Dolly Parton's "Jolene" was big then.
In the afternoon since school got out around 2, we would often do a little shopping, have lunch or both before heading back out to Dairyville. (I actually liked it out there.)

Sometimes we would go to the L&M Fountain which was on the corner of Western and Petaluma Blvd. They made Cokes with syrup and soda water that were oh so good. Nothing beats the bite of a good Coke.
All the waitresses and the cook (also a woman) were probably eligible for Social Security or very close. Although that could have just been teenager sight.
Our favorite waitress was Paula (or Pauline), she would ask if we wanted our usual - egg salad on toasted white for Mom and a tuna/egg salad combo for me - untoasted. With a side of the best macaroni salad ever. (even though they gave us the recipe, it wasn't as good)
Even after we hadn't been there in almost two years - Paula/Pauline remembered us and ordered us up our usual.
Now that's a waitress.

Sometimes even now, a really good Co-Cola or a great egg salad sandwich will transport me back to 1974 Petaluma, CA, the L&M Fountain, and hanging with my Mom.

1 comment:

  1. The only vivid memory I have from childhood involving food was when dad would bring home a white rectangular cardboard tray lined with hot dogs from Joyner's Grill in Nashville. I remember the awesome smell of the homemade chili and it was such a treat for us. Since I grew up in a country store we always had plenty of food but the hot dogs were extra special.