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Location: marengo, il, United States

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Excerpt One from Letters to Elisha Hamilton

The older son left for boot camp recently, so during the next few weeks, my thoughts will be with him.

Meet Buddy.

We’re pretty sure he’s a Yorkshire terrier, but who knows?

All of Alma’s mutts died, as you recall, except for one pup. Been a hard year for dogs down in the heat of Texas, we reckon.

But just as she was preparing for the long drive to Great Lakes Naval Training Center (to attend the graduation ceremony of two of her granddaughters), a silvery-gray dog wandered into her yard, looking dirty and half-starved and pitiful, so naturally, she fed the thing. Then of course it wouldn’t leave.

Rather than take off for a week and come back to face another dead animal, she stuck the mutt inside a travel cage, loaded it in the back of her Alligator Annie pickup truck, and then took off driving north.

Oh, and she thought to stop by the Whataburger place on the way out of town. A girl behind the counter inside found it hard to believe after hearing her request and the reason why.

“You driving all the way up to Illinois, all by your little lonesome, plus you want three of these Whataburgers to take to your hungry Yankee brother who lives up there, just because he misses these burgers so much?

I tell you what, ma’am. I ain’t never heard of nobody doing nothing like that before. Hang on just one second-- I’ll fix you up something special.”

She came back with the order right away, along with a nice surprise: a huge to-go container filled with chopped lettuce, sliced tomatoes and dill pickles, plus a cup of fresh mustard. She put a regulation-sized Whataburger sack along side the box, which contained three beef patties in individually-wrapped buns.

The girl beamed as Alma paid.

“That should keep them from getting too soggy.”

Then box and bag both went inside an ice chest sitting next to the dog cage in the back of the green truck.

A day and a half later, I sat on the couch here in the cave and devoured one.

Her crazy idea worked, and the single burger I was lucky enough to get tasted as superb as any steak. The other two…well, you know how everybody here hankers for Whataburgers almost as much as me.

8 Comments:

Blogger Gone Away said...

I must be crazy - I prefer Burger King...

But that sure looks like a Yorkie to me.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

You cannot be crazy. Not yet. Not until there are no more Burger Kings to be had. Then you may go crazy, and with my blessings.

BK was actually a close-running second to WB for awhile. Then, the burn-out factor came into play.

So who will Fed-Ex me my next jolt? :D

9:26 PM  
Blogger sweetpea said...

Buddy is so adorable....take good care of him....lots of love. This is the first time I have heard of whataburger in a long.long time.....my Papa used to get them for us when I was about 5 or 6 years old.....they were great...sends my taste buds back to yonder years....thanks and pet Buddy for me !

11:19 PM  
Blogger Janus Torrell said...

I never been to a Whataburger...How far do I drive to find one?

Cute dog photo...so this is the brick eh?

6:18 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

Buddy does like being petting, almost as much as I like eating WBs, sweet pea.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Janus, drive south for approximately five hours. Then from Marion, travel 13 more to reach the outskirts of Marshall, Texas. At the first major intersection, make a left turn. You will see the red-and-white striped A-frame waiting less than a block away.

And pick me up a couple while you are there.

(now how you know about bricks?)

1:17 PM  
Blogger Gone Away said...

Heck, Harry, even I know about bricks. ;)

7:12 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Yeah, but you been to Oz, mate. (tee hee)

4:39 PM  

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