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waffle-house

Photos and text by Paul Goldfinger.  Editor Blogfinger.net.    (Re-post 2013)

FEMA has named four corporations as the top companies in the U.S. for disaster preparation. They are Home Depot, Loews, Wal-Mart and the Waffle House chain of fast food restaurants. FEMA has been so impressed by the Waffle House company that they have created the “Waffle House Index” which is a metric that they use to informally guage the severity of a disaster.

Inside a Georgia Waffle House along Route 95.

Inside a Georgia Waffle House along Route 95.

Waffle House is a privately held company based in Georgia. They have 1,700 outlets in 20 states across the south and along the Atlantic corridor from the Carolinas down to Florida. Their restaurants stay open 24/7 and they are known for fresh, fast home cooked food. Waffle House restaurants do not advertise and they have achieved some cult status, being mentioned in movies ( a scene in“The Tin Cup”,) country songs, web sites and comedy routines. Traveling musicians, athletes and police love to stop there, and down south they call it a “cultural icon.” Each unit has a juke box and they strive to use diner lingo such as “scattered” hash browns, meaning spread out on the grill.

Much of their notoriety is because they try to never close during disasters such as hurricanes. They have manuals to guide their employees towards that goal. All the units have generators and other special equipment and they are prepared and supplied to continue cooking and making ice no matter what.

The WH Index was developed by FEMA in 2011 after several catastrophic Class 5 tornados struck in Joplin, Missouri, and 5 of the WH stores managed to stay open when everything else closed.

After a disaster, FEMA checks how the Waffle Houses are doing and they use a color code depending on whether the restaurants are serving a full menu, a limited menu or if they are code red (ie closed.) The commitment of the Waffle House company is so strong that FEMA knows that things are bad if Waffle House can’t function. We spoke to some of their employees who verified that pride and commitment.

Eileen and I stopped at a few of their units in the Carolinas and Georgia. They are small places with lively and pleasant staffs. A couple of times we went in at sunrise, and it was like an oasis with the lights on and the personnel ready.

The shops are spotless, and all the workers wear clean starched uniforms. The cooking is done in the open. The cook faces the stainless steel grill and has a basket of eggs in front. She cooks the eggs in small fry pans reminiscent of what you have at home, and great care is given to prepare your food just the way you want it. She flips the eggs into the air and catches them without any breakage—I think it makes them taste better.

The waitresses discuss your order with the cook, while you watch the action. It seems so comforting to be in one of these restaurants, especially if it is dark out and you’re on a journey.

ANNIE BATTLE.  “Waffle House.”

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Guadalajara, Mexico. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Left click for full view

SOUNDTRACK:  “March of the Toreadors” from Carmen Suite #1. Leonard Bernstein and the NY Philharmonic Orchestra. — PG

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Taylor Swift—ignored in high school; spurned by some jock–wonder where that guy is today.

 

 

Repost from 2012 on Blogfinger.

 

Taylor Swift is a huge pop star. In this song, she is a girl in the band and she’s not being noticed by the guy. It’s hard to believe that when you see her, but that’s how it is.  This song can take you back to high school–if you want to go there:    —PG

Is that Taylor on the right? She’s dating her clarinet.  The guy’s a jerk. Look whom he prefers to her. 

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Gloria

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By  Paul Goldfinger.  Blogfinger.net.

Gloria Lynn (b. 1929-2013) was from New York City.  She started out as a pop singer having a big hit in 1964 with  ”I Wish You Love”  which became her signature song. Later in her career she became known as a jazz singer.

The song was written by the French singer and composer Charles Trenet in 1942, and its first lyrics were in French.

Keely Smith had the first hit in English in 1957, and the song was featured in several movies including the French “Stolen Kisses.”

Ironically, the French version, sung by Mr. Trenet, appeared in the American movie “Something’s Gotta Give,” and we present that version below.

Which do you like better?

—Paul Goldfinger

 

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“Michael” Paris, 1991. By Paul Goldfinger ©

SOUNDTRACK:    Django Reinhardt  “Brazil”

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Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah Georgia. by Paul Goldfinger©.  2012..

Johnny Mercer (1909-1976), the great songwriter and singer, was a fourth generation Mercer born in Savannah, Georgia. His family dates back to colonial times.

When he died, he was buried in the family plot at the Bonaventure Cemetery, a famous public location in Savannah. His mother is buried nearby. We visited their site on a rainy day in Georgia. The monument was beautiful that day with all the Spanish moss hanging down as the rain softly fell through the foliage.

Johnny Mercer’s grave has lyrics from his songs, but there is one that was so perfect — at his mother’s site (photo above) — It said, “My momma done tol’ me.”  This, of course is from his song (he wrote the lyrics, while Harold Arlen composed the music) to the great classic “Blues in the Night,”

BROOK BENTON.  “Rainy Night in Georgia.”

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

 

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Atlantic Avenue. Delray Beach--east coast Fla By Paul Goldfingef

Atlantic Avenue. Delray Beach–east coast Fla By Paul Goldfinger

Elvis Presley: “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You:”

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This is from the film: “Kissing Jessica Stein. ” Drop a quarter into your computer.  —PG

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Unknown-2

Make room (6 min. 34 sec) for this swinging disco number from 1976 by a group of brothers from New Bedford,Massachusetts.

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Saturday night. Ocean Grove, NJ By Paul Goldfinger

SOUNDTRACK.  Joe Venuti. This song is usually done with a trumpet lead—Louis A. mostly.  But Joe Venuti is something else altogether.  He uses a violin for the lead, with the trumpet coming in later. His voice sounds like a combo of two Louis—Prima and Armstrong.  PG

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