There was a diner across the highway from the front gate of the plant back then. The Bluebird Cafe. It was an old place, even then. At six in the morning, you could walk across. There wasn’t no traffic that early. In those days I got paid a dollar extra an hour for working midnights. A man could get the fanciest breakfast you could imagine for sixty-seven cents there at that place. Eggs, sausage, toast, coffee with real cream. Big slices of tomato in the summertime. Big potful of jelly. There wouldn’t be ten people in the place that early. Them eggs and bacon would be out in no time, still sizzling.
I knew the boy who brought the newspapers in. Served with his daddy in France for the few months we were over there. That old boy would nod at me and come across the room and lay a paper on my table and tell me it was a extra and there wasn’t no charge. I’d sit there and read the box scores and have me a second cup of coffee, happy as a man could ever be.