Editing my grandfather’s diner

I simply cannot stand when a restaurant or business cannot decide what its name is. The usual problem is punctuation.

Was it Legends Steakhouse or Legend’s Steakhouse, I asked in a review of a mediocre restaurant in Midland Park, N.J. A few months later, in my final post on that newspaper’s blog, I revisited the issue, noting how funny it was the nearby Italian restaurant Lu Nello called itself Lunello’s in emails.

I even try to politely correct people who refer to our camp as SAC, when it should simply be Sac, short for Sacandaga. It’s an affectionate nickname, not an acronym.

Now it’s time to scold my grandfather.

A banner noting my grandfather's World War II service hangs across from the site of his diner.

A banner noting my grandfather’s World War II service hangs across from the site of his diner.

Wilson Lester, my mom’s father, died when I was 3, but I’m the one in the family that inherited the hash-slinging gene. He owned the Rockface Diner in Cairo, N.Y. for at least 30 years. It eventually became a Cumberland Farms, and a new store was built on that site in the 1990s.

(The only sign of the diner now are the stones surrounding the Cumberland Farms sign, and a plaque that I still haven’t seen, even though my family insists it’s there. Across the street, a banner with his picture tells passersby of his military service.)

So 35 years after he died, why am I taking him to task?

Look closely at the names.

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 11.11.54 PM


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