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.
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.