Irish music, the double helix, diners, and more

I learned two things this Sunday: 1) The genetic code is a powerful thing. 2)Weather forecasters sometimes get it right.

When we lived in Schenectady, my parents would drive from Long Island to visit. We would be sitting around after breakfast when my Dad would disappear. Eventually we would hear the vacuum cleaner  in the basement, where he’d be sucking up cobwebs from our unfinished cellar with the four-foot thick stone walls.  

That was OK, until he started putting things he didn’t think we needed out for the garbage men.  Without letting us know. That didn’t always sit well with Wife L.

He just could never relax. I can never relax. It’s that bit of the double helix that we share.

I have two books going right now, a decent Baldacci thriller and a Rutherfurd historical fiction novel called The Princes of Dublin. With the forecast calling for snow, one would think it’s a fine day to spend inside reading. But the forecasters said the snow wouldn’t come until later in the afternoon, I had cabin fever, and Wife L and Daughter B are fighting nasty colds, so feeling the need for consumables and for something to “do,” I hopped in the car and aimed for a restaurant.

Driving in the snow somewhere in the town of Vernon

I ended up putting about 75 miles on the car, most of it in a fairly heavy snowfall.

I had a notion of heading to the Georgetown Inn, but after driving by Hatch Lake I made a wrong turn on Route 26 and ended up back in West Eaton. I can’t backtrack, that is against the rules, so I turned north on Eagleville Road and drove past Morrisville State College and eventually onto Oxbow Road, past our two county gems: Oxbow Falls and Nichols Pond parks.

For the life of me I’m determined to find somewhere to eat in Canastota and never, ever, do. So I drove past Graziano’s, which doesn’t do breakfast,  and eventually turned around on Route 13 and got on Route 5 heading east.

Luckily, I had my trusty DroidX and the Pandora Radio app I had just downloaded. Plugging the phone into the cigarette lighter with the adapter, I was able to play celtic music nearly non-stop. While the sound isn’t as good as when I plug the iPod into the car’s speaker system, it’s great fun hearing new songs. It was all Irish music — The Pogues, whose Shane McGowan gives Keith Richards a run for musicians who should not still be alive, the Dropkick Murphy’s, Dolores O’Riordan, owner of the finest vocal instrument in the free world, Paul Brady, The Corrs, The Saw Doctors, and The Chieftans with Ry Cooder.

My only fear was lapsing into “webbing,” the term police are now giving folks who try to check email, download apps, and check scores on their smartphones as they are driving.  I did check to see the names of the songs I was listening to now and again, but I swear that was it.

Apple Betty's Diner in Vernon

I drove through the Oneida commercial district on Route 5 determined to find somewhere new to eat and dead set on avoiding accidents on the by-now snow-covered roads.  I found it: Apple Betty’s Diner in Vernon. It is just east of Route 31 and on the other side of the road from Dibble’s Inn.

Very nondescript from the outside, the restaurant has a large counter area with about 20 stools and a carpeted section with a dozen or so tables. Very clean, and big octagonal windows let in some light. (Just beware of the creepy statue of a woman holding a pizza tray. Scared the hell out of me.)

The diner serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and does catering for special occasions. I had two super large fluffy pancakes with sausage. I spoiled my tea by adding some kind of flavored creamer, and my waitress was quick to the rescue with a new cup and more hot water.  Two elderly women came in after me and without looking at the menu ordered two specials, which included chicken cacciatore, a 10 oz. steak, and a roast pork dinner. The ladies obviously know what they like and like what they know.

Lots of tempting desserts and sticky buns and muffins were available, but I turned them down. The diner serves breakfast all day, which is a big plus for me. I’d recommend it if you are driving up toward Vernon Downs or just  aimlessly driving.

Spring must be around the corner, right?


4 thoughts on “Irish music, the double helix, diners, and more

    • A great Pogues song, isn’t it? The original band, in whatever shape they were in, played down in NYC for St. Pat’s Day celebrations. I was intrigued, but kind of in the same way as when you pass a car wreck. You don’t want to look but sometimes you can’t help yourself.

  1. “The Pogues, whose Shane McGowan gives Keith Richards a run for musicians who should not still be alive.” – like it.

    Have never made it to Apple Betty’s but did get to the former Muffin Patch across the road. They had a good and reasonable breakfast when we lived out this way during our first CNY stint.


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