The Old Grill, Hwy 2 and Main. Looks like an old drive-in restaurant, the ordering post still standing for the cars. Inside, morning light lies on the dark tables and booths, each with a red phone for ordering, if you can wait. Full of patrons - most, other than us, repeats. The waitress knows them. They exchange greetings, questions: “How’d it go?” “The appointment’s tomorrow.” “Oh, you nervous?” “Not really just hate the wait.” This with a thin guy who recently lost weight. It looks like we’re all thinking cancer, I think. She brings us coffee before the ordering, A friendly smile, short, graying hair, her own teeth, looks trim, exercised. “How many old men have left you money in their will,” I ask, adding that I’m doing research on this subject. “Ha!” she laughs, and then, “That hasn’t happened but funny you should ask. A woman came in the other day, handed me a small package. I opened it, and it had the most beautiful sapphire ring I’ve ever seen in it,” nodding her head in amazement, “couldn’t believe it. She said I’d always been nice to her. All I did was send her some flowers recently when she was in the hospital. Imagine that, prettiest sapphire ring I’ve ever seen.” Told me she had worked at the Old Grill for 27 years. “Wouldn’t do anything else. I’ve had offers to work, but I always said ‘no’ - I love doing this.” “Is that your grand-daughter?” I asked, indicating a four year old on a stool behind the sink behind the counter, playing as if washing dishes. “No, just a little girl, needs some help,” her reply.
It isn’t happening to us, we’re doing it. A warming morning light in a breakfast place in Wolf Point, Montana.