I know most of you read this blog to see my perspective of life inside the restaurant. But, for me, I began writing this as a diary of sorts. If you want to know me, reading my musings can often give you a perspective of my life and things and people that affect it.
Earl Depue was one of those people. A little over two years ago, I went to the funeral of his wife, Dorthy and wrote of that experience. I wrote that in the middle of the night and now, I find myself laying in bed, thinking of him so I decided to get up and collect those thoughts.
As a youth, I was afraid of Earl. I thought he was one of the toughest guys around. I remember well going to church after coming back home to Central Oregon in the early 80's. I was shocked to see Earl sitting in the pews. I remember thinking how strong a woman Dorthy must have been to get him there.
Later, as we opened the diner, he began stopping by while coming into Bend for medical appointments for him and Dorthy. He would ask me to sit down and in our conversations, I began to learn his heart. I truly enjoyed those conversations and looked forward to seeing him. He was still tough but he cared, was proud of his family, and deeply loved Dorthy.
As the years went on, it became harder for him to stop and I saw less of him. I think I only recall one time in the new building and that was before Dorthy's death in 2008.
I was walking though a quiet diner just last Sunday afternoon after I had shut it down. As I walked through, memories of times and people rushed through my head. I looked at pictures and noticed things that brought back memories of specific people. And now, when I look at our dark table tops in the back room (the same tops from when Jake first opened back in 1976) and see the dark brown coffee cup sitting on them, he will be one of those memories For it was sitting at one of those tables and talking over a cup of coffee that I remember him the most.