Inn-Room coffee

Walked into the apartment with arms full of groceries, and the smell sent me back forty years... to McCook, Nebraska. Why was I here? Was Peggy Sue getting married?

My scent memory is pretty slow on the up-tick. I went about tasks with vague memories of Sixties roadtrips in the '54 Chevy. Only when the sun began to set did the ON light on the coffee maker shine its tiny green dot. ON? Oh, no! On all day! That smell is the last half cup of coffee left on the burner for ten hours, slowly changing from liquid to solid. Exactly the smell of "Inn-Room" coffee prepared by three kiddies who have already been jumping on the motel beds for a half hour before they experiment with the instant coffee maker at the Cedar Motel on East "C" Street in McCook, Nebraska.

We didn't always stay at the Cedar Motel even though Granddad was friends with the owner. The windows rattled and whined, and Dad had to push matchbooks into the cracks.

Sometimes we checked into the Red Horse Motel farther east on 6/34. The Red Horse had a pool that was a cross between the Great Salt Lake and Jello, only turquoise. Pool chemicals must have been rocket science in the Sixties. The pool was so saturated with chlorine you floated effortlessly, your swimsuit disintegrated, and your petal latex swimcap turned to goo.

To be fair, we stayed at the Chief Motel on B Street (6/34) for the big fiftieth anniversary reunion for Fred and Effa Dale. The trauma of playing a piano piece for all my relatives wiped out any warm, boiled-on coffee scents. Occasionally we stayed at the very viscous Melkus Motel, probably the nicest of the bunch in 69001.

Soaking my Mr. Coffee carafe. Playing poison dart gun with those hollow brown plastic stir sticks and the powdered creamer packets.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


seana graham said...

Staying in a motel was one of the grand delights of childhood. This lasted into my adulthood for a surprisingly long time, perhaps because of the rarity. But I haven't been so fond of the experience recently, which I suppose is a form of disillusionment. And age.

Collagemama said...

I agree, Seana. The thrill is pretty much gone.