Let me explain. I don't really like drive-through restaurants. The food is generally very bad nutritionally, and prepared in a very lackadaisical fashion, and pretty much nasty, OR it's very very good but still bad nutritionally and it costs way too much.
In 2003, Penny and I went to the Lawton Collectors Guild get-together in Turlock, California. Turlock is famous for several things: "Medic-Alert" started there and still operates out of there, and Foster Farms is a Turlock-based company, and semi-famous for other things, among which is the Lawton Doll Company. Wendy Lawton, the doll-maker who founded the company, pays all her people a living wage, does not out-source her work to China (after a brief experience with out-sourcing some doll clothing, and finding that it simply did not pay, for a small, super-high-quality group.) See the picture on the upper left side? Those are my legs. Penny was off-picture to my right.
When we were at the guild get-together, one of our goals was to enjoy as much as possible the experience, and Penny loved certain kinds of drive-in. The franchises that hadn't become ridiculous. Burgerville, here in Oregon. McMenamins, a pub franchise that has been rescuing historic sites that would otherwise be torn down for malls. Popeye's Chicken, actual New Orleans style fried chicken and sides. And Sonic, which was still a roller-skate waitresses, served-at-the-car hamburger store like A&W and Dairy Queen used to be. And Sonic, still is. And they offer variety, and good food, and so you don't eat it very often if you want to stay healthy - that's fine. It's also well priced.
We sat in the car at lunch-time. It was 11AM, and a balmy 80 degrees, but the breeze made it seem like 75, and they were playing rock-and-roll from the sixties, and the food was spectacular, and the beverages were almost too cold to drink, and we talked about the get-together, and about our friends there, and about family, and what we wanted to do, and a little bit about what kind of job I wanted since it was getting to be so damn long without work, but we didn't focus on that latter bit.
We wished, from time to time, that there was a Sonic closer than 400 miles away (Seattle had one) ... and now, there's one down the street, but it's just about a year and a half late. Penny isn't here to enjoy it.
The same thing goes for the Popeye's Chicken that opened last month on Walker and 158th. Too late. We used to go to the Popeye's in Hillsboro, a block across the street from the most miserable KFC in the area, the KFC which trains managers and hence where they all make their mistakes. The Popeyes closed, sadly, because ... not many New Orleans folks out on the west side, at the time, and that neighborhood had a pretty high latino population, which tended to eat in the mexican restaurants instead. So, the unfamiliar and scary Popeye's didn't survive.
Anyway. I had a Sonic Bacon Cheeseburger and a diet Limeade and remembered the music, and the heat, and Penny.