Boy Griggs

Sunday morning all us survivors meet at The Grand Canyon Cafe.  Ah Su takes good care of us. It was her uncle opened the place back in 1942. Route 66 was just a two-lane road, though it did reach all the way to Chicago even then. At first it was strict Chinese, but Flagstaff used to be a working town. Working men need breakfast. They put in a flat top griddle and bought a waffle iron and since then it’s been  bacon and eggs cooking alongside chicken chow mein.

Ah Su must be near ninety, but she still puts in a long day sitting on the high stool next to the cash register while her daughter and grandsons make the food, wait the tables and wash the dishes. The place does a good business, simple as it is. Ah Su has known all of us since we were boys needing booster seats in the green booths. That leather is cracked and faded now, like our faces and backs.

The old man we knew as  Boy Griggs still comes in. He’s a penniless hobo,  but Ah Su takes soda bottles in trade for his breakfast. Nobody knows where he finds glass bottles, since it’s all cans and plastic these days.



Sunday Photo Fiction



The Grand Canyon Cafe is  located on Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona. The Wong family owned and operated it from 1943 to 2016. It recently was sold to a pair of local brewers who vow to maintain the tradition, but we all know it won’t be the same. The  finger of time moves inexorably forward.



Add Yours
  1. Sunday Fiction

    Is that where this photo was taken?

    A great story. I love the way she treats the Hobo. I wonder where he does get the bottles. Probably sneaks around the other side and steals them hehe.

  2. Joy Pixley

    Wonderful sense of place and atmosphere here; I almost feel like I’ve been a regular there myself. And yes, it’s sad when these old traditions end, but they all do, eventually, no matter how hard we try.

  3. Singledust

    Ah Su and him have a silent pact I feel – she goes to the back door before he’s done and recycles him the bottles, leaves it where he can find it – she’s an old fool like me!! Sorry if i messed up your story, it was just irresistible!

  4. mandibelle16

    This was really neat, I got the experience of this place back in time when your characters were visiting it. I like that it was based on a true story or similar story and hope the guys who bought it keep it authentic, but it’s pretty impossible to replicate the past. Nothing that is, will never one day be as it was.

  5. patriciaruthsusan

    Good story based on fact, J. Hardy. That’s what Chinese families do. The whole family works together if they have a restaurant. Good writing. Thanks for the picture that was responsible for so many good stories this week. :) — Suzanne

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