I found a stainless-steel star in the tiny village of Walton, Delaware County, during a Thursday morning drive to Poughkeepsie. And once inside Papa’s Family Diner it struck me that diners are the most egalitarian of eateries.
Sitting comfortably amid the teal and gray classic diner booths in Papa’s was a guy with a slab of granite for a back that was wearing a Harley Davidson cut-off T-shirt. Next to him were two women of the gray-haired persuasion enjoying coffee and conversation. At a nearby table with the bright Formica top were some 20-to 30-somethings with barbed wire tattoos and a couple of piercings.
A little of this, and a little of that. All free with an order of pancakes and sausage.
It was interesting, too, to hear snippets of a hard New York accent here and there. It seemed as if some of the patrons were from NYC, which is about two and a half hours to the south, and up for another visit to “upstate” and eager to catch up on local news with the engaging waitress.
My waitress told me that Papa’s was assembled 20 years ago on its spot at 209 Delaware Street. She said they are looking for grants to help fund repairs, because some of the booths needs fixing. Overall, though, the place looked to be in pretty good shape to me, with stainless steel strutting its stuff throughout the diner and Elvis and Marilyn photos hanging here and there. Though the doors to the restrooms were that not quite pink, not quite coral, and not quite salmon color. Do you know that color? It’s a definite diner color.
The west branch of the Delaware River cuts through Walton, if you are interested in fly-fishing or canoeing. The western fringe of the Catskill Mountains played havoc with my XM radio, which I have for a trial period in my new Hyundai Sonata, but the views made it all worthwhile as I continued east and south on Route 206, working my way toward Roscoe and Route 17.
I passed just a tip of the gigantic Pepacton Reservoir, which was a good spot for a quick photo and another reason to get out of the car and stretch the legs. You do need exercise if you’re going to east pancakes every time you stop the car on a road trip.