The decline of diners in most of the country, with the exception of the Northeast, has been a sad thing to watch because they were always such warm and friendly places to soak up some atmosphere as well enjoy good strong java and hearty delicious stick-to-your-ribs food.
I remember moving to Los Angeles in 1979 and being awed by the spectacular 24-hour coffee shops such as Googies, Norms, Zucky's, Ships, Penguin and Johnnies. The architecture was cool and very space age L.A. and the atmosphere was laid back and friendly. The menus were usually about three feet tall and contained six to eight glossy pages. In those sleek glass and tile palaces you could also get open faced roast beef and taters as well as avocado burgers and the best triple-decker clubs you ever ate at three in the morning. Unfortunately that era of Los Angeles history has quickly faded away, with almost all of the original coffee shops having been either torn down or put to other uses. Maybe one day I'll write a book about it all.
A classic Norm's from the 1950'sIt was fun reminiscing with my step-daughter at dinner tonight about blue plate specials and the good old days of diners, a period of history that now seems distant and remote. I miss those good old days but am pleased and thankful that I had the opportunity to enjoy and now happily remember a time that was.