a Whistle Stop story

Just to get a little farther into my Augusta adventure, I’ve already mentioned that the b&b was entirely perfect. It suited the town, my mood, my expectations to a T. It’s hard to consider 2 million thread count sheets an adventure, but 50 thread count in an old Victorian house the eaves are rotting off of, grimy carpet, brown swirled tile you haven’t seen since your great-grandmother was alive and linoleum in the jacuzzi ante-room… well, that’s something to talk about.

I feel like I should really put in a plug for them here, even though i’ve presented a fairly critical review of the Queen Anne Inn, y’all know i loved it and would stay there again in a heartbeat, although i’d rather a room in the big house (:

The hosts live down the street from their bed and breakfast but in lieu of providing breakfast themselves they have arranged for you to eat at the diner just a few blocks farther down. One review online called the diner “a real greasy spoon” but i’d call it, well, a real diner-y diner. The grits were unexceptional, biscuit not bad, the eggs were eggs and the bacon was salty enough (and good) to make up for the lack elsewhere. The coffee was nothing special either but sitting at the counter at 9 o’clock on Saturday morning was what i came for.

I’d woken from my canopied slumber, showered and headed down the already hot boulevard. Greene St is the artery of Augusta’s Historic District. Victorian homes which mostly appear to built during the industrial boom of the late 1800s-early 1900s line the streets reminiscent of New Orleans (for me, but perhaps closely related to Savannah after which Oglethorpe had the town modeled). I stayed in the center median for most of my walk (which conveniently has a sidewalk and big trees), passed the Signer’s Monument where the remains of 2 Declaration of Independence signers were re-entombed in the mid-1800s (i guess they thought it’d be an honor to dig you up from your family burying ground and rebury in the middle of the street??), on my way to 6th and Greene. The meal I have already described for you. I had felt like the only person alive in Augusta as I walked the 3 long blocks, when a car drove up near me and a man got out with a to-go cup of coffee in his hand I wondered where he got it, what place was open in this town just to serve this one man his Saturday morning coffee?? When i entered the diner, however, there were at least 5 full tables and a man at the counter, half the restaurant. I guess other people must need morning coffee too, but still, i thought, the businesses in this town must subsist on very little. Maybe they’re also selling coffee online.

I was a loner at the counter before long, and perched right in the middle of everyone. I was sure someone here recognized me from the previous night at the Fox’s Lair, but there was no point in making eye contact. I’d just gotten my breakfast plate however, when a whistle sounded (this was the Whistle Stop Cafe by the way) and a train began rumbling down the street behind me. Yep, right down the middle of 6th street it went. A good, healthily long chain of freight cars. EXCITING!! The camera came out. I had to take pictures for R.

So, that, i guess is the end of my story, except to say that i was wholly unable to leave town without a stop at the cemetery. Wide and flat, open view but full of trees, lots of white marble and surrounded by a brick wall. I told myself, no, no, i could avoid this one i could and then there i was, just inside the gate to take just one picture, well, i could head over here, and there… it’s a miracle i got away in under 20 minutes.

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