Friday, November 13, 2009

A Land of Joy

Sometimes online research takes a great memory and slaps it down. Well, the memory is still here but no longer the building that burned February 2008.

Once in awhile when riding with Dad in the truck, we would stop for lunch at Joyland. Joyland., an old restaurant that wouldn't draw tourists. People who didn't know the secret would probably drive looking for another place to eat. Yet cars packed the parking lot. As with other beloved old restaurants, no one paid attention to torn seats, mismatched dishes and carpet a bit worn. No, comfort food drew us back time and time again.

When the Loxley girls returned for a visit, they packed up their children for lunch at Joyland. The favorite of a small child sitting with her father became the favorite of her children. Pork tenderloin sandwiches dwarfed the plates on which they were served. The bun became a place to hold on to as you ate the two inches or more of meat that hung over each side. It was a sandwich that would feed a family of four, and it called us back time and time again.

We didn't have the tree lighting in Time Square or city lights lit for the holiday season. But we had Ludlow Falls, the home of Joyland. It was about Thanksgiving or maybe later when our family would pile into the car heading to Falls. Colorful Christmas lights were strung behind the falls reflecting through the frozen ice. Decorations framed the site, and we smiled, held hands and welcomed a new season. Cold bodies were warmed by hot chocolate and tenderloin sandwiches. Family memories were made once more.

I started to write this blog remembering Ludlow Falls and the greeting of the holiday season. Now that I know Joyland is gone, I write in memory of family restaurant...our family's. Ah, Joyland, I will miss your tenderloin sandwiches.

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