the best is history

The dusty village of Buffalo Springs, (population: 35 plus a dozen chickens) rests at the junction of Hiway 46 and a rutted gravel road named Percival Street. Myrtle’s granddaddy homesteaded here.

One hundred and fifty years ago, the B & B Railroad brought people west and travelers would gladly pay to stay at the fancy Hanover Hotel on Main Avenue. Buffalo Springs was a bustling boom town.

Now the only business left is my Uncle Ed’s rustic diner with a couple gas pumps out front, and a neon blue “OPEN” sign in the window. Inside, a shabby buffalo head is mounted above the antique brass cash register.

A few well-worn leather stools line up along the granite counter where Myrtle stacks napkins and calls, “Be right with you, honey!” She sashays over to me, the lone customer at my usual table, with coffee pot in hand and a sharp pencil tucked into her graying curls.

If the few passing cars didn’t need to refuel before entering the badlands of Dakota, Buffalo Springs would have disappeared altogether from the scene, like the herds of bison that once roamed here.

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gabriella
    Feb 05, 2014 @ 10:18:04

    Thank you for your visit to my blog!

    Reply

  2. lynndiane
    Feb 04, 2014 @ 20:27:52

    I appreciate everyone’s comments! This was written for an online class I took a couple years ago. It fit Sam’s recent prose poem prompt so I decided to post it. It’s fictional but I have visited places like it.

    Reply

  3. katiemiafrederick
    Feb 01, 2014 @ 03:14:54

    Some years ago..around thirty years or so..i studied the third place phenomenon..in sociology..and at that time..there were these quaint little restaurants..pubs..and bowling alleys..that lent a sense of connection..of ‘everyone knows’ your name..beyond the living room..class room..or workplace load..

    Sad that so many of those places are dying..with our GrEat room entertainment..of a virtual third place..instead of flesh and blood delight…

    But i guess i’ll take that virtual third place of blogs..and the like..

    Over no connection at all…:) argh..sometimes progress..just don’t seem like progress..at all..but who said evolving was never going to devolve..no one i know..at least..;)

    Reply

  4. Mary
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 20:45:26

    Oh, I would love to see this diner. I wonder if it was really run by your Uncle Ed, or if this was fictional. I would imagine there would be a lot of towns like this…that were important formerly but now are dying. I liked the description of the waitress. I would guess she enjoys her job! A very enjoyable write for me to read…as it seemed so authentic.

    Reply

  5. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 18:30:19

    The parallel between the buffalo dying and a town dying seems to be connected in a way…

    Reply

  6. claudia
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 18:21:07

    it’s so sad when a city dies… happened to quite some in more rural places in eastern germany as well…once there was industry and life and things change and left are only shadows…sad

    Reply

  7. Glenn Buttkus
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 15:04:35

    My wife and stayed the night there before heading north a few years ago; a very strange, tiny, and almost sad place–stayed at one of the two motels, which was more like a B&B without the frills. We ate the evening meal in the one cafe, and we thought it odd that they left playing cards on the tables; turns out they took their sweet time cooking our order, and the cards came in handy, but hey, I digress; it is just that your fine prose poem reawakened those memories.

    Reply

  8. Gabriella
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 13:46:54

    You have painted a very realistic picture of what once was and barely survives. The closing line throws a different light in the whole scene.

    Reply

  9. billgncs
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 04:49:51

    I may have been there, visited the badlands and their stark desperation many times. But in spring – they seem full of hope.

    Reply

  10. hisfirefly
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 03:52:20

    I’ve known waitresses like that 😉

    Reply

  11. Brian Miller
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 03:08:06

    its pretty sad that we killed off so many buffalo…and in the process what we did to the native american/first nation population…and even on top of that how these small towns have all but disappeared…barely struggle along in the migration to the city…i at times long for those wide open spaces.

    Reply

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