I am sure once upon a time every newspaper had a Leon Hale. Now I doubt there are many like him left. He has been a columnist in the Houston papers since before I was born. He now blogs in addition to his regular writing duties. Do yourself a favor and see what I grew up reading.
In 1946 I was living in Bryan. I was 25. One pay day I walked into the New York Café downtown, sat on a stool at the long lunch counter, and ordered a bottle of Bud and a plate of beef enchiladas. This was my habit then on paydays.
I was addicted to the enchiladas in that place. They came out three to the order on a metal plate, elliptical in shape. Dark red sauce bubbled up around the plate’s edges. The enchiladas were covered in a sheet of melted rat trap cheese. They were always too hot to eat when they first came out. You had to sit there and inhale the fragrance and wait a while so the first bite wouldn’t blister your mouth.
This plate of enchiladas cost 90 cents.
When I finished them I was still hungry so I ordered another plate, and ate those. A man of maybe 65 was sitting two stools down from me. When I got up to pay he said, “Young fellow, I’d give a hundred dollar bill if I could do what you just did.”
Which puzzled me then, but not now.