The breakfast ride: Ellen gets carded

Rode to Princeville for breakfast alfresco on Saturday. That’s when I realized the big difference between small businesses and public corporations.

(Given that some corporations are seemingly unaware of any difference between the two groups, this may be useful information for them.)

The difference is greeting cards.

Not email volume, online commerce capability, lobbying prowess or capitalism of the crony persuasion, but good old-fashioned paper greeting cards in paper envelopes—some delivered by the United States Postal Service, some in socially distanced person—all from friends and all saved for future reference by the owner.

Ellen of Ellen’s Diner.

Some greetings come from locals, the people who found the back of the diner a good place to determine and discuss the topic of the day.


We all miss you and are looking forward to being together again! This is getting crazy but feels like an end is in sight. Take care till then. See you soon!

Quite a few greetings come from the retirees who rode bicycles from Alta to Princeville for breakfast every Friday morning. Their cards consistently express the hope that the owner of their favorite hangout continues to hang in there.


You have been so good to the “biker boys” over the years. All of us have had you in our thoughts, as I’m sure you are having a struggle. Hang in there. We need you.


Hang in there! See you soon I hope!


Thank you for being such a good friend and host to me and the Friday biker group. We really appreciate it and hope to see you soon. Miss you. Enclosed is a small gift to help out. Hang in there.

Another envelope with a similar gift inside had just the words, “Stay open.”

That’s what Ellen is doing: staying open; cooking, cleaning, catching up on repairs; paying the bills and the people working for her; and providing carryout and curbside delivery Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

And talk about safety—when she walks to the pharmacy down the street, she doesn’t cover just her nose and mouth. She covers her whole head.

She’s SpongeBob SquarePants, dammit.

(Unless she’s Chucky from Rugrats, two oversized heads being better than one. I think she said she has others.)

The only problem with her disguise: Everyone knows who wears the SquarePants in this town.

She’s the character who gets all those cards.

About 16incheswestofpeoria

Former bicycle mechanic, current peruser of books, feeder of birds.
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