Pancakes with Father

Pancake Chef……. fathers day.
I dig finding old restaurant’s.
Not the ones that just have been around for a while, but the ones that are what they started out to be….. 
As a kid there seemed to be a number of Pancake Chefs around, some of the best times with my Dad was when we raced cars. Quarter Midgets, which are go karts with bodies, and race on a quarter mile oval track. Dad raced Midgets when he was a young man I understand was quite good. He was great mechanic and he loved racing as much as I did. He spent time with me explaining about passing, reading the track and the pack. He taught me about passing on the inside, and outside. As I got better, he taught me how to pace the pack and use them as I passed them to add distance between myself and the car behind me. We made a good team, 2nd in Nationals 1972. Our family would drive to Portland a few times a year and race at the Rose Dairy track there…. On the way we would stop at a Pancake Chef which was decorated much like this one…… being a couple decades old at that time, the restaurant was showing its wear then… worn plaid pattern Formica on the tables, country style chairs, pictures of WW2 and pendant lighting….. Muzak, and, oddly enough playing “Born Free”
We watched Born Free on a Sunday night, Living Room TV sitting on carpet in my pajamas, one of my first childhood heartbreaks was watching Elsa, wondering what can be done about human impact on the world and realizing not much.
This morning, Burien has a Pancake Chef, I ordered Eggs Benedict, enjoyed the fact that a pot of coffee was delivered with my water. Took in the old photos , plaid on Formica the table with worn spots to the brown underneath the pattern, Carpet had been replaced in the past decade, now silver 2″ mini blinds on the windows Muzak was playing “Born Free” with the link rail in the back ground, as the rail started to pull out, I thought of my dad. I was in my car being handed the checkered flag for a victory lap, I passed him and pointed the flag, he was grinning, shaking his head, I pulled into the pit with another won main event. Dad looking at me through his bifocals, sweat on his brow, helping me unbuckle my seat belt and pulling me into his arms, “Beautiful” Man, that was Beautiful” I inherited sweating from my dad I think…… I still remember how he smells.
I stirred a bit more sugar into my coffee and watched the train leave the station and begin to roll into town.

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