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The Cassoday Cafe

Story ID:5792
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Cassoday Kansas USA
Year:2007
Person:Cassoday Visitor
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The Cassoday Cafe

THE CASSODAY CAFÉ
(BEEN THERE FOUR TIMES)
See Cassoday, a ghost town of Butler County, Kansas

While sitting here
Before this computer machine
I searched for a subject
While staring at the screen,

I was looking at the Internet
And for today
I typed in something I remembered that was
Far, far away.

About my poem
For today.
You’ve got it
It’s the Cassoday Cafe

I traveled back to the Wayne Manka farm
Dad and I drove up North on Highway 13
Several miles till
We arrived upon the scene

As I drove into Cassoday, Kansas
With my dad that late summer day
We decided to eat
At the Cassoday CAFÉ.

We parked out front by the old hitching rail
We walked through the door
There was a counter, tables and chairs
On a clean, worn wooden floor

Turn left and over the door
Was a sign that read
Remove Spurs or Muddy Boots
Before going ahead.

We went on in and ordered a meal
The food was delicious and then I
Ordered a big piece
Of that good apple pie

When I returned to Anaheim
I told the family
About the Cassoday Café
And the sign I did see,

About the spurs and muddy boots
You’re kidding Daddy, Lori said with a grin
It’s the truth, that’s what it said
Above the door before you go in.

Took a vacation back to El Dorado
In the latter part of May
Lori wanted to know if
We could go up to the Cassoday Café.

I drove up thirteen
North of Chelsea
Parked by the hitching post
In front of the Cassoday Café.

We walked in and Lori
Started breaking up
When she saw the sign
I told her to straighten up,

Just because you’re a city girl
Doesn’t give you the right
To make fun of us country folk
Come on now be polite.

We ate lunch
And I
Had a big slice
Of that good apple pie.

Took my Aunt and Uncle
From Alva, Oklahoma way
Up thirteen Hiway
To the Cassoday Café.

High in the air on some power lines
A thousand starlings were perched
I parked far from that line
So my car wouldn’t be besmirched.

Went in and had a meal
Before we left, I
Had another slab
Of that good Apple pie.

We left the Café
Those Starling birds
Had made 27 deposits on my car
And I said some dirty words. Oh Well

I was riding in the funeral home Limo
That was taking my Dad’s body
Up Hiway 77
To the Cemetery at Cassoday.

As we rode along
All the cars we met
Pulled over to the side of the road
To show their respect.

The cowboys in their pickups
Would remove their hats
As by the side of the Hiway 77
They sat,

Until the Funeral procession
Disappeared down the road
This gave me such good feelings
To see such respect, bestowed

On my Dad’s procession
Some didn’t even know my Dad
But to them
You’d think they had.

After the Cemetery service
My cousins Harold, Ruby, Alvin his wife, and Monte
And Carol Brooks of the Manka clan
Decided to go to the Cassoday Café.

The Funeral director suggested that I
Take the hearse
Drive to the Café
I could think of nothing worse.

I could picture those
Cowboys looking out the window sill
And see me in the White Hearse
Parking next to the hitching rail.

I declined the Funeral Directors offer
Rode with my cousins and they
For the first time
Walked into the Cassoday Café.

One of the waitresses there
Sang the hymns at the funeral of my Dad
I was taken aback
And I wish I had,

Enough sense to tell her
Her voice sounded so pure and mild
She sang hymns I hadn’t heard
Since I was just a child.

We all ordered Tea and coffee
To sorta unwind and relax, and I
Had another slab
Of that good apple pie.

Monte Manka 09-13-2007