Friday, December 17, 2010

View From The Ditch Bank

NOSTALGIA, OR, CAN ALL CHANGE ACTUALLY MEAN PROGRESS?: For the few of you that actually spend time reading my drivel, you will know that I don't blog about myself much, but this time I am going to make an exception. Kinda. Back in the 1950's, when I was a teenager old enough to think I knew more than I actually did, to run around with buddies who had cars, and to get a car of my own, there were a lot of places to eat and party. That is Party 1950's style. Which was very tame, compared to today. There were also many places to eat good food. I am going to talk about both of these things somewhat, as compared to current times. Now, we ate and danced from St. Johns, Arizona, to Silver City, New Mexico, although both of those places were on the extreme edges of where we mostly went. Mostly we went to Springerville and Eagar Arizona, better known as Round Valley. And to Reserve and Glenwood, New Mexico. In Round Valley, one of the best places to go to a good ol' country dance was a place called the Arvazona. And, yes, that is spelled correctly. Also, a good place to eat American food was the Safire Restaurant, and the best Spanish food was the Spanish Inn. In Silver City, you could eat at the Hilltop Cafe or Druley's. And dances were in the high school gym in Reserve or at the Mound House in Glenwood. To live bands. Someone DJ,ing a dance? Unheard of. Now, I don't know if the Arvazona is used any more or not. I think not. The Mound House, mostly empty, is used occasionally for specially booked parties, I think. And in the little mountain valley where I was raised, we could go to the two room school house and dance, or roller skate, or even watch a movie from time to time. Back when movie stars didn't cuss or undress, at least in public. It was replaced many years ago by a three room school house, but the old building stood for many years to be used for above mentioned events. Even Square dances. Does any one do that any more?? And if Bar room dancing was your thing, you could dance at the X A Bar in Springerville. Now, my wife and I have eaten Spanish food from Southern California to West Texas, from Northern Utah to Southern New Mexico. And for the most part it was good food. I even tried it one time, back in the 60's, in Kansas City, Mo. Now that was an experience. But no one, I repeat no one, has ever, in my humble opinion, been able to touch the Spanish Food of the Spanish Inn. Except one place. Maybe. A Spanish restaurant in Silver City called the Kountry Kitchen. There are several Spanish restaurants, and many other restaurants that serve Spanish food in Silver City, but to me, the Kountry Kitchen is the best.
OK, now a little update. The Spanish Inn is no more. It moved many years ago, from the side street where it used to be, to a more main street place, but it is now no more. The building where it was is now a laundry, I think. One of the watering holes of back then is now a funeral home and the XA Bar is just an empty building. The Hilltop Cafe is now a Chinese Buffet and Druley's gave way to a highway extension. Now, there are McDonalds, Arby's, Sonic's, Burger Kings and Taco Bells. Not to mention several other fast food places. Back then, you could order a burger and fries, and a malt, ( you can't get malt's much any more) and then wait while they were cooked, to your specifications. And they were good. The Safire Restaurant burned and was rebuilt, at the same location, but on a different footprint. And the food isn't as good as I remember it being. Different atmosphere there also. Maybe I'm just getting old. But all has changed from the 1950's and I can't think that it is all for the good. Or that it is necessarily progress. The only thing that remains the same is the Kountry Kitchen. Oh! wait. My wife and I ate there a few days ago and were told that they would be closed from Christmas to New Years, so the new owners could remodel and update the menu's. New Owners?? we ask. Yep, there will be some changes there also. We can only hope that the food will remain good. I'm getting to old to change every thing. And that's The View From The Ditch Bank.


  1. Sad! (and now I want enchiladas.)

  2. I echo Sharon. Mmmmm....Kountry Kitchen...

    (my sister in law brought me some chili from Hatch when they came up for Thanksgiving. It's in my freezer and I don't want to use it yet...I'm rationing)

  3. I hope they don't take the tacos with faces off the menu!

  4. You can't change the Kountry Kitchen!! That's like getting an old muscle car and putting that excuse of a motor from a Prius in it!!! Blasphemy! And no, I don't think that all the change has been a good thing. Cindy and I found a nice place to get a good burger, fries, and even a malt, (I have a butterscotch one!) the other day. Really good. Called Urban Burger...


  5. I loved the Saffire! Best.french.fries.ever. Eh ver. ever.

    I got Hatch chilis in my Bountiful Basket back in September and canned all 24 lbs of it and am rationing it as well, Tawnya


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