My First Job at Buzzy\'s Diner

John Lehner
Feb. 15, 1996
English 111

The first job I had was at Buzzy\'s Diner, located in a small suburban
town in upstate New York. It isn\'t a classy restaurant, it isn\'t even a very
clean one, but during the hours that its open in the morning it is probably the
busiest place within fifteen miles. Although the food there is inexpensive and
very good, the main reason people eat their lunch and breakfast there is because
of the diner\'s cozy atmosphere and timeless quality.
The diner is in a building that is about 65 years old and when you first
walk in and take a seat, it seems like you just traveled backwards in time.
Along one side of the dining area there is a counter with stools where people
who come there by themselves go to eat and read the newspaper. The tables and
the countertop are an off-white color underneath a pattern of random gray lines
that looks like shattered glass. The seats for the tables are dark wooden
benches, many of them are dented and scratched from their years of use. In one
corner there is an ancient cigarette machine (the kind with levers you have to
pull to get your cigarettes) and an old fashioned penny gumball machine.
The walls of the room are divided horizontally by molding. The bottom
four feet of the walls consist of wood paneling that matches the benches. The
top half is covered with an ugly brown wallpaper that reminds me of the
wallpaper in my grandmother\'s house. The wallpaper usually goes unnoticed
because most of it is covered up with other stuff. Hanging on the wall behind
the counter there is a collection of old frying pans and various outdated wooden
cooking utensils. On the other walls there are mirrors, wildlife sketches,
black and white photographs of the diner from when it first opened 40 years ago,
and plagues that the owner received from the local volunteer fire department.
Except for the mirrors, there is a story behind everything that is hanging on
the walls. Usually any bare spots on the walls are occupied by postings of
upcoming town events like craft shows or school concerts.
Near the top of the back wall, there is a shelf that stretches aross the
length of the room. The shelf is filled with old, empty food cans with fading
labels. Scattered in with the cans are dusty liquor bottles of assorted colors,
shapes, and sizes.
Most of the regulars that faithfully visit Buzzy\'s every day are older
people in their 60\'s and 70\'s. They usually arrive early in the morning or just
after the main rush to avoid the crowds. For some of them, stopping by Buzzy\'s
has probably been a part of their daily routine for fifteen years. They all
know everyone in the diner and they come to see each other and have a friendly
conversation. As they take their time drinking their coffee and telling jokes
or stories from when they were younger, you can tell that this is one of the
highlights of their days. Some of them were good friends of the owner\'s father,
"Buzzy" Oley, and the place brings back a lot of memories to them. For a lot of
people, Buzzy\'s is a part of the changing world that seems to remain unaffected
by time.
Older people are not the only people who come to Buzzy\'s and socialize
with each other. Every weekend there are countless numbers of people saying
"Hi, nice seeing you again," and "What a surprise to see you here." from the not
so frequent visitors. The atmosphere of the diner is warm and relaxing. During
the winter months it is like a haven from the freezing, snowy weather in upstate
NY. Even during the busy hours, when the waitresses are running around
frantically and there are twenty conversations going on at once, there is a kind
of tranquillity about the place. In the air there is the aroma of fresh brewed
coffee, mixed with the smell of cheese omelets, bacon and sausage. There is
smoke coming from someone\'s cigarette, but by the time it\'s odor reaches the
non-smoking section, it is too faint to bother anyone. You can almost always
hear someone laughing and see that most of the people around you are enjoying
Buzzy\'s is a perfect place for families to eat breakfast after church,
and for people to have a cup of coffee before work or school. There are many
reasons people are attracted to