June blogs from A&W

I’m just driving back from spending an afternoon with my Aunt Mary. In real life, my aunt lives in Colorado. But she just happens to be in Michigan visiting her husband’s family, so we met in the middle and had lunch today.

When I was a kid, my father would go on business trips to Hawaii, and also to a town in the middle of Michigan called Owosso. This led me to tell people that when I grew up, I was going to move to either Hawaii or Owosso. I did not understand why grownups thought this was so fucking funny.

So I schlepped out there today, through the country roads, and the country houses, and the Country Time Lemonade, listening to new country music, which ought to be banned. Goddamnit, new country is horrific music.

June. Driving all of her new country music fans away since 2017. All two of them.

As soon as I got out of my car, the first person I saw was my Aunt Mary. I have no idea how she happened to be standing right there, but there she was.

We went to a very cute place for lunch, and who knew Owosso had gotten all charming? No wonder it was my dream destination when I was a kid.

Also, she gave me a whole bunch of her rings. My Aunt Mary has what you might call a few rings. She enjoys her a ring. That ring in the picture above is my great grandmother’s engagement ring. I guess my Aunt Mary and I are engaged now. At least I’m getting married again.

We went to all the cute downtown shops that are mostly really old stores that they have refurbished.

Could I? Could I please drink vodka out of an emoji? I can’t think of anything I’d like better.

“When we are done with this afternoon, we are going to end up saying the best store was this liquor store,” I said. I was not wrong.

We went to chocolate shops, shoe stores, a wonderful bakery where we each bought some sort of foreign baked good that I would marry. And we also returned to the general store that time forgot, a store we went to two years ago When we were similarly in the same state at the same time. I don’t think anyone has updated it since 1962. Photos below…

How YOU doin’?

“I think we are at the very bottom edge of the age allowed in here,” I told Mary. “I think you have to be at least 50 to come into this store.”

I love that place. It is a total grandma store.

Finally, we found a diner where we could have coffee with our foreign baked treats.

They were baked treats by Foreigner. Susie went and left us for some foreign guy. They were foreign objects. I’ll stop.

After, it was getting late and we both had to go back to our respective temporary homes. I was driving back through the country, looking at acres of country, thinking about a country crock, when I saw an A&W.

Careful readers will note that I had lunch, a baked good, and signs point to probably something from the chocolate shop, leading careful readers to note there was really no absolute medical necessity for me to stop at A&W. Careful readers should go fuck themselves.

Ima head home now, where I hope my mother has made something for dinner.

Slightly, June

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At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

37 thoughts on “June blogs from A&W”

  1. That picture of Aunt Mary through the Christmas trees over the top of the boxed candy killed me dead. She should make that her Facebook profile picture. It’s hilarious.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Coot.


  2. What a delightful day you had! Old timey store, chocolates (Key Lime Creams!), a bakery, coffee, great company (and one on one, the very best) AND jewelry? Perfect girl day! I love a non diamond engagement ring, different and colorful. It looks great on your hand. You deserve to enjoy your trip, you work so hard. So glad you are!
    We have no A&W’s here. We have smaller, local places but they are seasonal. I would have a root beer float in a blizzard. I bought Soy Delicious Vanilla Frozen Dessert and Diet Pennsylvania Dutch Birchbeer last night, so I can enjoy it too.


  3. Anyplace that you can buy underpants AND a Jesus and Mary lamp is a great place. I love poking around in shops in small towns! Happy THANKSgiving!


  4. I work in the town where A&W was created (in 1919 , I think…). The existing A&W still has car hops. Love your photos.


  5. How lucky you are to have Aunt Mary to hang out with for a while! Visiting family can be a mad round of visits here and there with people pulling you in so many directions, so an enjoyable day with your aunt is one to treasure. And A&W! A trip to A&W was a treat when I was a little kid in the Chicago suburbs in the early 1950s. I loved the wire back and legs of their little soda shop chairs. They were probably rather ratty, but I was six and thought they were wonderful. As a teen I was a fan of their root beer floats, and I still have two of the long orange spoons. I got rid of many items in the kitchen drawers last year but couldn’t part with the A&W spoons…which haven’t been used since I had the floats in 1965. Why am I keeping them?


  6. Does A&W still have their freezes? It is like a root beer float but they blend it up for you. I loved those guys. I can’t believe that store gets enough old people to stay afloat. Heh. Float. It reminds me of those old catalogs for weird things like shower corners and rubber/leopard skin reversable slippers that my grandma always had floating around. Floating. Heh.


  7. Thank you for taking us all shopping, June. Your Aunt Mary is so adorable. It looks like the two of you had a fun day. Happy Thanksgiving to you and all your family.


  8. THANKS for taking us along on your fun day! It was a much-needed vacation from demoralizing apartment hunting in Los Angeles during holiday season.


  9. “I was normal three cats ago.” Words of wisdom, my friend. Words of wisdom.

    I don’t particularly like cats, but I must say that that Steely Dan fellow is a pretty darned good-looking specimen. I was admiring his photos in your previous post. I had thought about contacting him to convey my condolences when I heard of Walter Becker’s death, but I just assumed he was the kind of cat who just wanted to be left alone in his grief.


  10. What a great post. I’m not doing anything for Thanksgiving, but, now I feel like I’ve been on a lovely trip. Love the photos!


  11. Owosso IS a charming town! I love that old dime store. And your Aunt Mary. I am glad you got to visit with her!

    Lovely post, lovely June!


    1. That’s my home town, Megsie. Which June seems to forget every time she goes there. She was only a few blocks from the old homestead. All 1,000′ (at most) of it.


      1. PJ, as soon as June mentioned Owosso, I thought of you. I remembered you said that’s where you grew up. Does the town look the same with all the cute shops?


  12. We didn’t have A&W in Massachusetts and was surprised as HECK to find them here in Alaska. There are two of them on my way home from work.

    Happy Thanksgiving, my dear friend. Hope you have a fabulous day.

    I’ll be cooking and then spending the long weekend house-sitting and caring for three dogs, two cats and a pig! I sure know how to whoop it up in my old age. Yeesh.


  13. What a nice get-together you and Aunt Mary had. It was so nice of her to gift you the rings. Why is it you don’t have any age spots on your hands?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I had an Aunt Mary. She was 4’8 and her boobs were as big around as she was tall. She also had a huge mole on her upper lip that I found fascinating as a child. I’m sure I stared at it endlessly, and, how polite. She must have hated me, but she’s dead now.

    There is always one person in photos who is the leaner-inner when they pose with someone else. Your Aunt Mary is a leaner-inner. I’m a leaner-inner. Wouldn’t you like to be a leaner-inner, too? God, I want a Dr. Pepper.

    And what’s with those emoji things? All I see is CHOKING HAZARD. By shot 3, everyone is visiting my Aunt Mary and her mole.


    Liked by 3 people

  15. When I was a kid, we vacationed in Vermont (I know. Globetrotters. Wore out my Passport.) and there were A&Ws in Vermont, but not in New York, so it was a treat. Add to that the carhops and this city kid was thrilled. I specifically remember one time at A&W, my parents in the front of the car and me in the back. The tray was on my mother’s window because it was the 60s and by law, the woman had to serve the meal. Daddy was the driver and his window was closed for some unknown reason, but that part becomes important shortly. Mom had served all the food so the tray was empty and still attached to her open window. Another vehicle pulled in a few spaces away and ran over an abandoned mustard squeeze bottle. I watched speechlessly as a projectile of mustard came shooting through the air, in through my mother’s open window, across the inside of the car, and SPLAT hit the inside of Daddy’s window. My father looked at the mustard oozing down his window and then over at my mother with annoyance and said, “Really, Pat?”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. What an awesome story. It reminds me of the time at the dinner table when my dad went to shake up the bottle of Thousand Island dressing and the lid was not on tight so I ended up with dressing in my hair. Surprisingly, it is not a very good conditioner!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Surely I’ve told you all about when my mother and I were at A&W next to my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Leo. Why separate cars? No idea. We aren’t that close.

        Anyway, at the end of the meal, my Uncle Leo threw his strawberry shake out the window. The problem was, his window was completely shut.

        We sat in the next car watching in horror as that strawberry shake dripped down his closed window. Finally it Magic Windowed down enough that we could see my Uncle Leo in there, laughing hysterically, and my Aunt Kathy looking none too pleased. Which sums up their entire marriage.

        Liked by 2 people

  16. Your Aunt Mary is so cute. Bet you two were the best looking women in the Grandma Store. Love your great grandmother’s ring. That’s a treasure and it looks like it fits you perfectly.

    Enjoy your family visit and happy Thanksgiving to you and all the peeps. We’ll be cooking up a storm tomorrow and plan on lots of leftovers so we won’t have to cook again for a few days.


  17. Love that old country store. We have a few if those around here also. Except ours smell a little like musty grandpas. There is or was a country store like that which two older ladies ran in a little town called Biglerville, PA. They had all the dime store, old timey things my grandparents loved and on top of that they had this high class dress/gown store on the second floor. All the girls got the Gunne Sax,or whoever, prom gowns from that store. Their main claim to fame “Mamie Eisenhower shopped there”. Ole Mamie and Ike had a home in Gettysburg which is close by and I guess she liked her some dime store merch. The store had a framed newpaper picture of Mamie shopping. Wish I could remember the name of that place.Enjoy your family time.


  18. So many things in that store to take your money. I love your grandmother’s ring. That was so sweet for Aunt Mary to bring all the rings to you.


  19. Please tell me you bought some Painting By Numbers.

    Also, A & W Root Beer has got that frosty mug taste! Man, I haven’t had an A & W in a few decades. I don’t know if we have any out in my neck of the woods.

    Very nice, Coot.


  20. Aunt Mary has the Tiger by the tail! Enjoy your trip and eat as much as you want. It is a well-known fact that vacation calories do not count.


  21. Little known fact – I was a carhop at an A&W for two of the worst summers of my life. I got hit by old people putting their cars into drive instead of reverse not once, not twice, but three times. Worst job ever. But boy oh boy, what I wouldn’t do for a Teen Burger right about now. Or a coney dog or three. Nineteen cent coney dog day – the day I killed myself every single week in the summers of 77 & 78.

    Love this post June! Aunt Mary looks like a treat! And you two sure had yourself the treats! NOT JUDGING! I’ve been nibbling uncooked stuffing all day long.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

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