Drive-thru Restaurants

McDonald's, Downey CA | 5DMK2_14652 The oldest operating McD… | Flickr
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The Downey, CA McDonald’s is the oldest one still operating.

I’ve been thinking a lot about drive-thru restaurants lately. They are everywhere. Lots and lots of them. Right now that’s probably a good thing. But in the past, I’ve been known to remark that there are just too many of them. It makes eating poorly too easy.

Roller skating carhop, 1950s | Vintage photos, Roller girl, Waitress
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I’m old enough to remember carhops on roller skates. I’m also old enough to remember the third ever McDonald’s restaurant built in Downey, CA, in 1953.

Oldest McDonalds in Downey California. | Downey california ...
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They still have the original sign that I remember.

We lived in a little city called Pico Rivera that was formed by the amalgamation of two even smaller towns, one named Pico (named for Pio Pico, the last Mexican Governor of California) and the other Rivera (named by the Santa Fe railroad because it lay between the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo rivers). They incorporated in 1958 when I was six years old. I can’t recall if formerly we lived in Pico or Rivera and I don’t suppose it matters at this point. Just for the sake of saying it, it was the 61st city to incorporate in Los Angeles County.

Best Places to Live in Pico Rivera, California
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Pico Rivera was not far from Downey and we visited that McDonalds regularly. Most often it would be on a Sunday afternoon. Our church was in Downey at the time and we’d go there in our Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes after church services for a late lunch/early dinner sort of thing.

9515 Charlesworth Rd, Pico Rivera, CA 90660 | Zillow
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9515 Charlesworth Road from a sale in 2018. We moved out in 1963.
The breezeway between the house and garage was covered when we lived there. It was also completely enclosed and my sister and I would sleep out there in the summer in order to escape the heat inside the house.

It was a real treat. A special sort of thing. Not this eat-on-the-run business that most fast food has become. We’d take our time. We’d see people we knew. It was very different from how it’s handled today.

Then enter the novel corona virus. Social distancing began to happen long before the mandates of our legislators. Populations grow. The need for space, both emotional and physical, becomes essential. The impression of space is created by essentially ignoring the teeming masses around us. We impersonalize others to make it easier to ignore them. None of this is really good for a society.

The coronavirus has made me more aware of distancing myself from others. It’s made others aware also. I think it’s had a positive effect.

The community in which my husband and I live is a generally congenial one. While out walking our dog, neighbors will wave hi and give a greeting. We wave to people driving by in their cars and they wave back. It’s always been like this.

But since the corona virus and social distancing, the neighborhood has begun to feel even friendlier. I’m guessing that this forced distancing and mandate to stay at home as much as possible has made people even more aware of how important community is.

I’m a silver lining kind of gal. I try to find the good in everything. Most days I succeed. But not always. It’s been hard lately.

But to me, it seems that this slowing down of the pace of life that the corona virus restrictions are imposing might help to reset our society. Maybe we’ll find a better path than the one we’ve been on for the last many years.

Maybe there will be a day when visiting a restaurant of any kind, even a fast food drive through, is a special affair again. Maybe we’ll take less for granted, and cherish what we have a little more.

Yup. I’m definitely a silver lining kind of gal.

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining Stock Image - Image of days ...
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Published by Dianne Lehmann

I'm a writer. But I'm also a wife and a mom to a couple of fur babies. You could call me a cook (but never a chef, I'm not that good) and provisioner as well. Laundress? Yeah. Probably. I design jewelry and I crochet. But mostly I love to write. I love words and how they sound. I love their meanings and origins. I love stringing them together. And of course, I love to read. Thinking about it just now, I realize that what I love most is life and the people around me with a special place set aside for my wonderful husband, our adorable dog and our inscrutable cat. It's the world and the people in it that fuels my writing. So thanks to you all for being the amazing beings that you are.

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