Sunday, November 25, 2012

All the way (chili, onions & mustard) Impressions

Johnny @ Roanoke Weiner Stand

it is not that hot dogs usually bring me to tears,
but today---

it's called progress,a positive turn on the pinch
of the little man, making way for all things
new & shiny

to replace 96 years of history & it's not
that they were ready just deemed old---
needing renovations, it's been 4 months,

the market stalls hold autumn, pumpkins, few fruits
& late vegetables, Christmas crafts & wreaths,
tobogganed heads with pinked cheeks
& winter coats

a crushed cup skitters along the asphalt in the company
of leaves, customers barter vendors, banter, a busker
strums away on six string, battered case at his feet

the window is new, but Johnny, who started, fresh
off the boat as a teen, ain't & rides the grill
looks up when we knock the glass

the line never stops moving, door always opening,
a couple good ole' boys give up a booth for a family
of five, 'here's one for you,' Johnny slips an extra
dog - all the way - on our tray

i ate my first at a young age & today, my sons.
'it's just not the same,' (all clean), one guys says,
'but still tastes great,' he smiles, 'nothing like it'
chili, mustard & onions ~ simple magic

i doubt any of them will visit the new&shiny
that took the wiener stand's original spot
on main street, our 'little' two dollar
gut bomb revolution

the old sign still burns on the wall, no names
needed, everyone talks to each other, Johnny
knows 'em all anyway.

Was great to visit an old staple of the town I grew up in, today. The city put them out of business four months ago to renovate the building they were in. There was question if they would even bring it back, but Friday they reopened just down the street from where they were. My dad used to bring home sacks of hot dogs when I was younger, as a treat. Didn't do any polish on this really, it's just the impressions of my visit.

55 comments:

DJan said...

It sets a scene I can see and almost smell, Brian! :-)

Claudia said...

ha - now i want a hot dog - great that they re-opened again - i loved to eat currywurst on such a stand on the street where i lived...think it's still there...may have to go there and get one...didn't eat one forever...

Daniel said...

I like the flavor of this one my friend. Sometimes things are better without the polishing and extra handling. Have a great one today.

ReBelle said...

Glad going back was a satisfying experience.

Daydreamertoo said...

We used to find (as kids) the mobile sold from vans... fish & chips and the hot dogs at the fair were always so good. You got me so into the smell and memory of this, I could almost taste the onions...lol
Gosh, what a yummy write ;)
Glad you are re-living some good memories there and, sharing them with your boy. Sometimes the oldies in somethings always remain, the best.

Laurie Kolp said...

YUM! Nothing like those childhood food memories... mine are very strong, many coming from New Orleans where we lived for about 6 yrs. So glad they were able to reopen!

Eva Gallant said...

We had a place like that for years--wonderful. Then the owner died and the sons decided to cut costs and switched to a different brand of hot dogs. We haven't been back since.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

The local legends are the best for sure!

Tabor said...

Changes.

Grace said...

Enjoyed the scenes you painted here Brian ~ There's something about small towns that cities don't have - intimacy and camaraderie of knowing everyone ~

Happy Sunday ~

Pat Hatt said...

Sucks they were put out
But back with a shout
Hotdogs are still blah to me
All those parts make me want to flee haha
But then not for you
As you eat anything at your zoo
But going back
Sounds like quite the memory attack

farawayinthesunshine said...

It feels like..a place where everyone knows your name...I miss those, there are fewer of them nowadays...or it might simply be because I live so far from where I grew up

Reading this makes me crave a hot dog now, but for breakfast??? I think I'll pass ;-)

christopher said...

A bunch of years ago the hot dog stand we loved in Brooklyn was forced to relocate to make room for what is now a hardware store.

I was partial to the barbequed onions, relish and sauerkraut trimmings...as a double of course.

manicddaily said...

Very sweet. (And salty.). K.

manicddaily said...

Ps great pic too!

hedgewitch said...

Nothing like a hot dog stand for family memories--my grandfather used to bring back sacks of them too, before McDonald's built its first franchise in my hometown. Ours had thinly sliced tomatoes, relish, onions, mustard *and* ketchup--man, you're makin me hungry!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

It's so neat how things like this can bring back such wonderful memories isn't it?

Brandee Shafer said...

I'll have to make a point of trying one of these dogs, someday, but it might be a little while b/c I ate ENTIRELY too many hotdogs while I was pregnant this last time. I ate them, very often, for breakfast, which is gross!, but they never messed up my sugar or made me sick. You do what you gotta do. There's a stand, here, called Daddio's; I went out of my way to visit. In fact, I need to take the baby by to see the hotdog man. Have you ever been to Skeeter's, in Wytheville? Those are some good dogs: the cheapy, red kind that taste so good smothered.

Leovi said...

Delicious poem. I have wanted to eat a hot dog!

Tara Miller said...

Love to read the sweet memories and see them passed on...

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

This made me miss home Brian--I come from a tiny town where the same bakery has been in business for close to a hundred years--made me miss the smell of it

Alexandra said...

I'm always intrigued and amazed by your words and lyrics within your narratives.

"a crushed cup skitters along the asphalt"

Who in the world would think/use "skitters"?! :)

Enjoyed this.

Tracie Skarbo said...

So glad they were able to come back and will be making more memories for countless others in the years to come. Tradition is everything!

Victoria said...

Dang, my mouth is watering now. I'm off to eat some leftovers for lunch! I like how you find poetry wherever you are.

Mama Zen said...

Sounds like a marvelous place!

Mary said...

Brian, it is so nice when traditions continue! I'm glad you went back again and shared the place with your boys.

Raven said...

Hi ... Brian of the magical words! You really paint a picture so very well. I loved this except fro the fact that I have a turkey-chili cheese casserole in the oven and I WANT a HOTDOG now! ;)

happygirl said...

I love a hotdog stand. I'm from Chicago, so I know my hotdogs. And ketchup is not allowed. Great trip in this one, my friend. :)

ayala said...

Sounds yummy :) so great when we share a special place or food that we loved as children with our kids. :)

Lady In Read said...

i love to visit these places where there is no need for names and everyone knows everyone else.. and the food still tastes the same like it did years ago when i visited..
it must have been great to take your sons there.
loved the read, as always

Laurie said...

such beautiful moments captured in verse, I enjoyed this, felt like I was right there,

izzy said...

Whew Hot dogs! I just came home from pigging out on fish, for my hubby's
Birthday! Memories- six on a string ?
I can think of six fish and then
hot dogs :)))

Cloudia said...

reminds me of small kid days with my dad at Levis hot dogs in philly. well done, Bri


Have a Sweet Week -
Warm Aloha to YOU
from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

~ > < } } ( ° >

> < 3 3 3 ( ' >

Cloudia said...

http://comfortspiral.blogspot.com/2012/08/levis-hot-dog-memories.html

flaubert said...

And a lovely impression it is, Brian. Makes me miss those wonderful hot dogs in NYC. Sabrett, oh, how I miss them. Nice write.

Pamela

my heart's love songs said...

lovely to relive a childhood memory with your own kids ~ i know the things my daughter enjoyed as a child when she takes my grandkids to do the same thing. {smile}

i hope you had a good Thanksgiving, Brian! have a great week!

Jen said...

Those sound a lot better than what they serve at the casino to hungry poker players.

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Brian, as I witness the gentrification of my beloved State Street in Madison (small cafes biting the dust, replaced by chains), I can understand the thought of losing the charm of that original stand. And for me, a dog with mustard and raw onions with a beer? HEAVEN. OF course, no one will get near me for at least a day... the onions kill...

I'm glad you didn't "polish" this one, because that would be kind of like said gentrification! Catching up on all my friends' blogs... Peace, Amy

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Charmingly nostalgic.

SueAnn Lommler said...

And a wonderful impression it is!! Love the sights and sounds and smells!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Lorraine said...

Like always I just love your story and wouldn't you know it, I'm hungry and dying for a hotdiggyti dog

Lorraine said...

Like always I just love your story and wouldn't you know it, I'm hungry and dying for a hotdiggyti dog

Karen said...

Sometimes progress just isn't. Oh...you forgot the slaw! :-)

the walking man said...

Yep got to move the old out and fill it with glass and steel.

That dog with the chili,onions, and mustard is our nutritional food 'round here. You don't have to go more than a 1/2 mile in any direction from wherever you are to get one.

But we don't have many "Johnnys"

Dave King said...

It's always risky, going back to somewhere that holds good vibes for you. Seems like this one might not have worked out, but good that it did - you can't win them all, not when progress is involved!

Other Mary said...

Sounds like a nice trip. I often think you're kids hit the "daddy gold mine" Brian.

Other Mary said...

Sounds like a nice trip. I often think you're kids hit the "daddy gold mine" Brian.

California Girl said...

I LOVE the Roanoke market! It was always a must when I was visiting on business. I haven't been to the city in 10 yrs. Did they keep restoring downtown & the beautiful old bldgs?

Alice Audrey said...

It doesn't need any polish. It comes across beautifully.

Cloudia said...

Aloha to YOU, Bri
from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

~ > < } } ( ° >

> < 3 3 3 ( ' >

poeticlicensee said...

Sounds like James' Coney Island,
Houston, TX, a long time ago
in 1950...

Myrna R. said...

Always nice to visit the places of our childhood. Super-nice to be able to take your kids.

Your poem needed no polish. I can picture it perfectly.

Lisa Golden said...

This warms my sentimental heart and makes my mouth water.

Syd said...

Glad that they opened back up. Too many Mom and Pop stores have closed. Good to still have a small business.

Sue said...

I'm glad they came back. I love revisiting those old haunts from my childhood.

In LA, they are Philippes and Olvera Street. My hubby has some in Chicago, too.

=)