18 May 2012

so much in common with dick clark

At a diner in Montclair, New Jersey—well, not exactly a diner, exactly.

There was a counter, yes, and some booths, but the whole thing was more upscale than "diner" generally implies.

This was not a silver Airstream-looking establishment along the side of a highway.

The mugs were not thick-handled, and the coffee was not burnt.

No neon signs flashing remnants of Americana: Eat at Joe's.

It was a fancy diner; let's say that. They make their own gigantic marshmallows, for Pete's sake, which encapsulates this place pretty well: it's comfort food but in a way that makes you step back in surprise. And then dig in with a hunger you didn't know you had.

So at this diner, above the counter, there was a sign with a quote from Dick Clark:
My greatest asset in life was I never lost touch with hot dogs, hamburgers, going to the fair, and hanging out at the mall.

I realized, looking up at that quote, that I have a lot in common with Dick Clark, and that came as a surprise to me. He's a piece of Americana, crucial to a certain generation's childhood and then revered for years afterwards as the representative of that gentler, before-the-world-got-so-gosh-darn-fast-paced time.

And I'm just a girl who doesn't like New Year's Eve, and Dick Clark was famous for loving it. {Although he did make it cool to stay in on New Year's Eve, so maybe I owe him one.}

In that quote, though, Dick Clark hit on several of my loves.

Hot dogs: One of the tags on my blog is "hot dogs," which means that I've written about them more than once; they get their own category! I stop at a certain gas station on the way home to Iowa every time—just to get a hot dog. I'm going home next Friday, by the way, and I will be at that gas station.

The fair: My town's fair is this weekend, and no matter how old I get, I can't resist wandering by to see the lights. I love it so much I wrote a poem about it last year.

And I hope I never lose touch with those things. Conveniently enough, they often come together: you can get a hot dog or a hamburger at the fair. Or at the mall, for that matter, although that is one place I'd be fine losing touch with. Who needs to be inside when there are hot dogs and a carnival outside?

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