Koffee Kup Diner

Sometimes on the weekend we would all pile in the station wagon (Chevy Belair Smushed Caterpillar Green and Yellow) and head out to the "Koffee Kup Diner" for dinner. It was an old Pullman Dining Car in front with some added on in the back, all glass and stainless and still with the B&O logo beneath the windows.

When you went in there were booths across the front and a long counter with stools, stainless edged with red vinyl seats that you could sit on and spin and the big folk sat in a booth and all the kids sat at the counter on the stools, high up, even higher than the heads of the adults in the booth, and you could look out across the parking lot to the cars and trucks that were going...where you never knew...but they were going there for sure.

At one end was a Great Wurlitzer Jukebox, a thing of beauty and bubbles and lights and if you were really good GPop would give you a quarter and let you play 5 songs. We would stand before the machine flipping through the list of songs and I would read the lists to the little kids and they always got to pick... from the littlest to the biggest.


Once they made their selection I'd put the quarter in and let them push their buttons to pick their record. A shiny stainless arm came out, the records rotated until it would reach down and pick one, then gently place the disk on the spindle. The tone arm would swing out and stop, pausing before it gently lowered down to the revolving platter.

Then it was back to the stools until the record ended, when all of the little kids would run back to watch it change records.

The Wurlitzer was a source of constant amazement and joy. It had tubes with bubbles flowing that changed colors and cast colored patterns that danced across the stainless wall. When it was in all its glory, all thought of food was forgotten as you bathed in its wonder.