Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Cold Chicken

I like fried chicken, but I've never liked cold fried chicken. Yet, it was one of my dad's favorite lunches while traveling. I remember one Summer traveling from Arkansas to Chicago in my dad's SAAB. I don't remember why it was just the two of us (or was it 3? Was my sister along for the trip too? I don't remember. No, I'm fairly sure it was just two of us).
We were traveling on a Sunday, I believe, basically along what was then US 66 in Missouri and Illinois. We stopped for lunch at what I remember being an A&W that was closed on Sunday. I still sort of see it in my mind's eye, yet it's vague.
Dad hated stopping overnight at a motel, so he often would drive non-stop for 12+ hours or however long it took, stopping for a picnic lunch and to fuel up. I loved to travel, loved to look at everything as we went whizzing by and always wondered "where does that road go?"
I guess it was all the family trips between Arkansas and Chicago that helped form my interest in roads. I was always fascinated by the backwards facing signs:
Divided Highway
Turn Back
You are Going
The Wrong Way
Of course, at the time, I never understood why they faced the wrong way. But I've always loved signs, always been fascinated by them.

But I never liked cold fried chicken: I always wanted a hot dog or a grilled cheese sandwich... and a chocolate milk shake.

When visiting my aunt in Chicago, we'd often eat at a little out of the way BBQ rib place. I swore that I didn't like BBQ ribs and always insisted on having fried shrimp. Well, my dad would hear nothing of it: he ordered me a plate of BBQ ribs and insisted I try them. OMG, I LOVED them!!

Well, Dad is gone now. He passed away August 27th. We never got along very well, yet I miss him. I keep expecting him to come back home or to call me to come fix his computer... it's just hard to accept he's gone.

Yet, he lives on in my memories and my love of food. But keep the cold chicken and give me some BBQ ribs instead... and a glass of tea. I'll save the shake for my grilled cheese sandwich ;)

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