With hands cupped around my eyes to block the reflections of the outside world, I peer into the bare windows of the old Soda Shoppe. I have never seen such a reminiscent perfection of the place where laughter, good times, and mouth-watering sundaes were the aim for Friday night dates and Saturday afternoon get-togethers.
A row of white-painted iron stools stand like abandoned toy soldiers that have been replaced by other toys. Waiting to be occupied by excited patrons, they stand cold as the marble counter stretching across the whole east side of the shoppe reflected in the wall-sized mirror against the back of the room. I see lost images in that mirror of poodle skirts, loafers, ponytails, holding hands, sharing sodas with double straws, jukebox junkies, and be-bop teens.
Polished walnut pastry cupboards, magazine racks, black and white tile floors, and candy nooks are empty. The ceiling fans have stopped. The lights have been turned off, and the door has been padlocked. The owner and operator has left – left for good.
Anybody interested in this magnificently maintained piece of light-hearted yesterday?