- The Washington Times - Friday, January 31, 2003


Fans of cheese grits mourn cafe's close

BIRMINGHAM Crowds have been gathering at a local hotel to receive their last helping of cheese grits.

Barbara Thomas' corn concoction has been drawing guests to Mountain Brook Inn's cafe for the past nine years.

But the cafe will close Sunday.

According to Miss Thomas, she is still surprised at the attention her regular and cheese grits get.

“People come in and order a bowl of grits to take back to their office,” Miss Thomas said.

She does not plan to share the recipe with others to keep the gritty legacy alive: she won't even tell her own daughter.


Town revives tradition of soldier send-off

NORTH PLATTE A 60-year-old tradition was revived for 511 National Guard members headed to the Persian Gulf for a possible war with Iraq.

Many thousands of soldiers passed through this railroad town and stopped by the North Platte Canteen for a little hospitality on their way to battle during World War II.

This week, the canteen tradition was back in action. Although the canteen is gone, the staff at a local motel had dinner, with a bit of hospitality for dessert, for guardsmen coming in to rest after a long day on the road.

“We were told there would be a meal for us, but we weren't expecting anything this nice,” said Duane Score, a 21-year-old construction worker who is a specialist with the 142nd Engineering Combat Battalion from Fargo, N.D.

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