Just like having dinner in a diner!

In the house my family lived in for the first nine years of my life, Daddy built a booth in a corner of the kitchen.  I remember that it was hinged at the wall so that when Mama needed to sweep under it, she could lift it up against the wall, sweep and then put it back down.  The seats were padded and covered in red Naugahyde.  I can still remember the kind of “plasticy” smell of the Naugahyde when I would lie down on the seat sometimes.

Martha Lou doing her homework in the booth.

Martha Lou, Jimmy, Daddy and me eating dinner.

When Daddy’s brother Uncle Jim lived with us for a while, my two oldest sisters were already out on their own, so the six of us fit in the booth for meals just fine.  I remember that Uncle Jim liked to stir the food on his plate all together before he ate it (or maybe he did that just to entertain me and tease Mama), but Mama wouldn’t let me do that with mine.  I also remember that Uncle Jim had a certain way of saying “One meat ball, pleeeeese.” (even when we weren’t having meatballs) that would always make me giggle.  He was such a fun-loving man.  I think my fondness for him may be the reason that I have always loved to laugh too.

I think I’m probably not alone in feeling that many of my best memories happened while my family sat around the kitchen table — or, in this case, in the kitchen booth!

9 Responses to Just like having dinner in a diner!

  1. C. Beth says:

    We had a booth as a kid too! I have fun memories of sliding off the booth and going under the table to exit so no one had to get out of their seat. 🙂

  2. Hilary says:

    That reminds me of an apartment I had for a while. There was a small wooden booth in the kitchen nook. I loved it. Sweet photo of you with your uncle and so nice to have such fond memories of him.

  3. Linda says:

    The house we moved into when I was five had an old pantry that my folks converted into a “breakfast nook.” My uncle was a carpenter, and he built a table and two benches to fit perfectly into the space. There were no backs on the benches; the walls provided the backs. And, like Beth, we kids sat on the inside during meals and crawled under the table to exit if we finished before the adults.

    Your father must have been very innovative, to come up with the idea of the hinge.

    Thanks for this little walk down memory lane. 🙂

  4. Page says:

    I remember the booth when I would come to visit from CA – homemade pie & coffee around 9PM! Good memories!

  5. Sandra says:

    Beth, Hilary and Linda — This is REALLY interesting that all three of you have lived in houses that had booths in the kitchen! I thought we were kind of unique, but I guess not! 🙂

    Beth — I don’t remember exiting under the table, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t do it, just that I have a bad memory. 🙂

    Hilary — He was the uncle I knew the best and was fondest of. He and his wife didn’t have any children, so I got special attention from them.

    Linda — I think your booth sounds cozy and just right for the four of you. I remember always being fascinated that our table could fold up against the wall. I do think that was pretty clever of my dad. Although, who knows, he may have just been following Mama’s instructions! 🙂

  6. Sandra says:

    Oh Page, who could forget my mom’s wonderful pies? But I’m shocked to know that you were all having pie at 9 o’clock at night after, I’m sure, I was already asleep in bed! Just another thing I missed because I was the little kid. 🙂

  7. Teri says:

    How I miss Uncle Jim… he was such a big kid, always knew how to make you laugh and wasn’t afraid to sit on the floor and play with us kids. Memories of him always make me smile. 🙂

  8. Sandra says:

    Amen, Teri. He was truly a very special uncle, wasn’t he.

    • Teri says:

      Yes, I know mom always says he was like a father to her and uncle Glenn, and she named Jim after him… he was very special to many people…

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