I walked down the elevated sidewalk- feeling happy to have been allowed one more look at Bubbas store. The screen door was still there- it landed against the tall wooden frame exactly as it had 45 years ago!
The only thing missing was the bread sign on the front with a little girl eating a slice of white bread- Rainbow Bread
We were going to Jennys to eat catfish. I didnt expect much-food was not my biggest interest today- seeing the store and showing it to Luke was number one and I was completely satisfied that I had done that.
When we walked in the door at Jennys-dont ya love the name???- the musicians were playing an old country song.
A couple of old cowboys- real farm boys around 70 or so were at the guitar and steel guitar,drums and keyboard. Then a couple of younger guys in torn sleeve t shirts were on the bass and microphone- they were closer to 50+some in caps and some in straw cowboy hats-remember we were only 30 miles from Dallas.
A younger woman-kinda rough and unkempt was at the microphone and she could really sing- I just never could get her voice to match her looks. Another woman with turquois jewelry and long red hair was singing back up- she was in her 60's and very classic country lookin singer.
Finally, sitting in a chair was an older woman with blue- yes blue hair. Must have been in her upper 70's, in a knit pantsuit and beehive hairdo- very neat and crisp- and could she belt out a song!!! She had one of those Patsy Cline voices and she was singing with all she had- and it sounded good.
They were squished up in the -store front window in the long narrow cafe. The walls were brick with authentic feedsack and local photos- from the 20's until present.
How do I know??? I knew some of themand one of the patrons , 87 yr old J .Wester , has his spot here on Friday nights and he knows everyone in the photos too. Also lots of things that adorned the walls of this room for decades before.
In the 60's it was just called. The Cafe- in the 20's & 30's it was Cliff Taylors Cafe. It was famous for Cliff's chili. I talked to his son and was informed that Cliff,SR. took his chili recipe to his grave!!!
Now here we were agin in "the cafe"!!! Now it's called Jenny's Cafe
I started looking around wishing I was invisible so I could take pictures of the entire scene-
Old men in cowboy hats, old women in heels and dresses that have been out of style for several decades- course they were in their 70s, middle aged women in sweat pants and "happy" hair, and the waitresses wore ...hmmm- t's and jeans- the only way ya knew they were waitresses were the black aprons that held order pads. They hugged every regular-old or young that walked in. They seated the regulars and moved them around as more arrived.
There was an old Indian woman on one side crocheting- as the crowd grew they moved her to another table that had a spare seat open and she sat with the couple there- no one seemed to mind and she just kept on with her needlework.
Everybody sang along with the hymns and old country love songs- they weren't too much in the way of those songs about cheatin and drinkin- mostly "stand by your man" and "Love your family" types.
The food was good and about half way through one of the waitresses took the mic and sang a duet with the old Hank WIlliams look- alike in his 80s - later I found out she was the owner of the place.
There were a couple of kids at the next table- unimpressed with the music ,they hung out at the gumball machine- and every table at the place. The new grandma held her newborn baby while the parents ate a meal at another table and she sang along with the band.
No dark candle lite here- the windows-both in the front- were uncovered the floors were wooden plank-original-the tables were just tables with wooden mismatched chairs- and the food was cooked by ONE cook who took a walk out on the floor to see if everyone was eating!!!
No fast food here- it was the best down home, fun, bright, family friendly community minded , entertaining place I have ever had the pleasure of eating!
So if you EVER get near Palmer Texas on a Friday night-STOP at Jenny's and enjoy the catfish dinner while you soak up small town USA at it's very best!!!