Sunday, June 26, 2011

Richard Drake grieves the loss of long-time Fayetteville restaurant: A native clearwing moth and native bee balm flowers for Drake's excellent writing and for the people who served the public well at Uncle Gaylord's

To read more of Richard Drake's "Street Jazz" blog, please use this link.
Please click on image to ENLARGE. Then click on enlargement for an even closer look.
Hemaris thysbe on Monarda fistulosa

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011 - 10:52:16

Remembering Gaylord’s: chunks of Fayetteville slipping away into the night

I didn’t eat at Gaylord’s as often as I would have liked, or introduced as many friends to it over the years as I should have, something which weighs heavily upon me every time I walk past the now empty restaurant, and the For Sale sign out front.
In recent years my pilgrimages to Gaylord’s had trickled to about one visit a month, and when I talk to others, I understand that for many of them, once a month or so may have been their set routine, as well.
Which is pretty stupid, especially for me, because there are lots of worse restaurants that I frequent a lot more frequently, just because they may be more “convenient” on any particular day. Places where the food isn’t nearly as good, or the atmosphere is antiseptic, or you aren’t on a first name basis with those who work there.
Restaurants which play Fox News on the overhead TVs or persist in relentlessly playing rock music from the 1950s and 1960s, as if the establishment is some sort of old folks home.
I became lazy.
Gaylord’s was one of my favorite places to take someone to interview fort an article. It was very relaxing, and the acoustics were great. It was a great place just to kill time before an interview, drinking coffee and thinking about nothing in particular - which I do very well.
And Gaylord’s had a Club Sandwich which wasn’t to die for, but to actually kill for.
When Gaylord Willis was still with us, I could rarely “escape” the building without buying one of the books that were for sale by the door, a book he knew that I would enjoy reading.
Most of the time, he was right.
After he died, Hiram Brandon maintained the same high standards.
And, damn it, I miss the dogs that roamed the premises, and came out to investigate customers.
Times like this, when an institution has fallen by the wayside, call for a certain eloquence from all of us, and I think it can be best summarized as:
This really sucks.
And then there were the days when we were gonna maintain the “purity” of Dickson Street
Years ago, way back in the 20th Century, someone involved with the Downtown Dickson Enhancement Project assured the good folks of the Fayetteville community that no chain restaurants would ever be allowed to set foot on Dickson, that the character of the area would be preserved.
Everyone took heart from that simple statement.
Of course, that was way back in the 20th Century, long before it became a law that you can’t mention Dickson Street without also using the expression “Entertainment District” - see, I just did it - and whatever character it had at the the was deemed unprofitable.

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