I no longer buy the local newspaper because I never could get into the habit of reading it every day. It would pile up at the end of my drive way for two or three days before I would bother to walk out to get it. I just wasn’t that interested in it. I found out neighbors used to worry that something was wrong when I left the papers pile up. They figured I was setting myself up as an easy target for would-be robbers who would think the house was vacant. The ironic thing is, I used to put the delivery on hold whenever I would go out of town. A more obvious sign was probably the weeks where the paper was never there.
When I retired I asked that my paper be thrown onto my sidewalk instead of my driveway. Even that didn’t improve the situation all that much. There is a neighbor who I guess is well into his 90s by now who used to walk around our circle every day. He began to take it upon himself to walk my paper up and leave it right outside my front door. Little did he know that I very seldom ever go out my front door unless it is to sit on the front porch when Maxine comes over or to get my mail. Yep, the papers would occasionally pile up there also because I see no reason to go out to my mailbox every day. I pay all my bills on line and do 90% of my communicating by email, so if I check my mailbox two or three times a week, I’m not usually missing anything but ads. I would end up with many pounds of unread newspapers to recycle.
I found I was relying much more on the internet and TV for news. Our local paper has a website which I check occasionally for obituaries and do the crossword puzzles (the easy way so I know immediately if a letter is wrong). Once in a while I read some of the articles they print. An e-news subscription is available that looks just like the printed paper but so far I haven’t taken advantage of that yet.
That long introduction leads me to the subject today. Having not arrived on the Texas cuisine mentality until I was thirty, I was never all that interested in some of the holy meals revered by Texans. That included a dish called “Chicken fried steak”.
From time to time we were told, “Oh, you have to go to Massey’s. They serve the best chicken fried steak in town…or sometimes it was the state…or even the world.” I knew where Massey’s was. It was on a main road that led to the cultural and medical sections of town. I drove right by it.
I will admit that the sound of chicken fried steak didn’t really appeal to me. It was a steak double dipped in a flour, milk, and egg batter. It was also, supposedly, the size of a plate. By the time I moved down here I was already having problems with my cholesterol and triglycerides so I didn’t bother to investigate. Besides, I still couldn’t get past the name. Plus, since it was a revered native Fort Worth hotspot, I never felt like I would feel comfortable. In spite of living down here almost 34 years, I still don’t speak native Texan very well.
I can’t really say why that dish never appealed to me, although the fact that it was covered with thick white gravy didn’t help. The dish without the gravy kind of sounded like a plate sized pork tenderloin from Hunt’s drive-in back home. When I went home I never passed up an opportunity to go to Hunt’s especially for it.
Back to the newspaper. When I was on-line today I saw the title, “Massey’s, a Fort Worth icon, serves it’s last chicken fried steak.” I think in the back of my mind getting a chicken fried steak from Massey’s was kind of a “When I get a round tuit” kind of thing. I always thought, “My curiosity will some day get the best of me. Some day, I’ll stop there for lunch when I get around to it.”
Well, folks, I have decided that if there is something I tell myself I will do some day when I get a round tuit, I might as well start right now. I figured Massey’s would be there forever. After all, it was opened in 1947! It was almost the same age as me. I was wrong. They served their last chicken fried steak and I was not there to buy it. Or to wash it down with a Lone Star beer. Nothing lasts forever. Not even Fort Worth icons, and believe me, those are pretty sacred around here. As for subscribing to the e-news? I’ll get a round tuit some day. But then again, I read last week they are having to cut staff even more because of declining readership. Maybe I won’t be in time for that either.
Namaste. Attic Annie