Williamsburg Villager

Williamsburg Villager

One Hamburger, French Fries and a Drink

When you get older, your appetite is not what it used to be and sometimes neither is your budget. Here is a story pretty true to life for Joe and me. When we go to McDonald’s, we often share an order of ten chicken nuggets, fries and a drink. Read on: 

The old man placed an order for one hamburger, and order of fries and a drink. He unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half, placing one half in front of his wife. He then carefully counted out the fries, divided them into two equal piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife. He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them. As he began eating his hamburger, the people around them began watching and whispering.

Obviously they were thinking, ‘That poor old couple… all they can afford is one meal for the two of them.

As the man began to eat his fries, a young man came up to the table and politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man said that they were just fine… they were used to sharing everything. People closer to the table noticed that the little old lady hadn’t eaten a bite. She sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally took turns sipping the drink. Again, the young man came over and begged them to allow him to buy another meal for them. This time the old woman assured him that they were used to sharing everything.

Finally, as the old man finished and was wiping his face neatly with the napkin, the young man came over to the old lady who had not yet eaten a single bite of food and asked, ‘What is it you are waiting for?’

She smiled gently and said, ‘THE TEETH!’

Thankfully, Joe and I still have our original teeth, but I think of this story every time we share our chicken nuggets dinner.

Thank you Betty Lichtenberg

Things Heard ‘Round the Potbellied Stove

 Well, it happened again… every time David Crane takes the scout troop down to the scout camp on the Lake of the Ozarks, in rains. They were there July 6 through July 11 and it not only rained it POURED. If you can imagine getting more rain that we had here, it actually happened at the Lake. Now, David usually sleeps in a hammock some nights on these trips. That was not a good idea this time.
 I was glad to see a lady I taught with at Williamsburg Elementary School recently. JoAnn Waterman stopped by in July to see me. She had been contracted by two former students who wanted to talk about “the good ole days”, so she left Washington, D.C. and made Williamsburg a stop on her extended trip. For those of her students who didn’t get to see her… the years have been good to her. She hadn’t changed much. (I thank David Summers and Dan Smith for making those calls.)
 Also, Paul Primus brought his granddaughters, the Cunningham girls in to meet me. Sophie will join her sister on the MU women’s basketball team in the fall. Thanks, Paul, I have followed their games on TV, and it was great to visit with them in person.
 Linda Alden knows how to celebrate a birthday. Hers falls in July and we think that she planned to celebrate all month. Congrats and long life to Linda!
 Janette and Bob Bradley had good news. Their grandson, Kyle Bradley, will work at Battle High School in Columbia during the coming school year. Kyle, a champion wrestler himself, will be coaching wrestling… and the really good news is that he will be close to both his parents and his grandparents now instead of far off in Georgia. Congrats to Kyle.
 Larry Nolte and his wife Luaine brought their grandchildren to Marlene’s for lunch on July 14. Larry both taught and was principal at Williamsburg Elementary. Those of you who know him will be glad to know that he is doing well. We didn’t have much time to visit… maybe next time. We love to talk about “the good old days”.
 We apologize that we did not have enough copies of the Vox magazine story about Joe and the museum that appeared in the Columbia Tribune in July to give to each patron. It was a six-page review if you included the cover page. We consider ourselves very fortunate for such coverage and wish to thank the Vox staff that worked on it here for several days.
 Marlene’s hosted the 60th reunion of Montgomery High’s class of 1955 on July 11. They were a wonderful group. All were so glad to be together. A lot of laughter and visiting went on from 1:30 pm until 5:00 pm when they stopped visiting to EAT! Everyone was back on the road slightly before dark. Our best wishes to the class of ’55. David Barker left me a copy of a poem he wrote for the occasion. I will print it in the September edition of the Villager.

Joe’s Corner
GunsI keep adding to the gun collection at the museum so if you haven’t been in recently and you like old guns, you may want to revisit. My brother, Bill Crane, was the gun collector in the family. In 1985 someone broke into the store and made off with a good number of his guns. Those were the days before sophisticated alarm systems. We did learn who had broken in. He made a confession to that when he was being held in the Callaway jail on another charge. He had sold them in Ohio… They have never been recovered. But Bill had a large collection and they are all on display in the museum now. July 14 was the 80th anniversary of Bill’s birthday. A fitting tribute to Bill this month would be to visit his collection and think about what he meant to many of us.

Patrons Over the Years

Instead of a patron or patrons of the month I am printing comments that have appeared on TripAdvisor from some of our patrons over the years. One is from Sept., 2012, one is from June, 2013, and the rest are from this year, 2015.

I was surprised when several people who were visiting the museum said that they had looked us up on TripAdvisor. Being a real “dinosaur”, I had never heard of TripAdvisor, so I went to the store and asked son, David, to bring it up on the computer for me.

Needless to say, we were very pleased. One person said that her only complaint was that we didn’t have enough items on our menu. Evidently, she had not taken a good look at the size of our kitchen. Here is a sampling of our reviews:

 Carol H., St. Louis, Mo, visited June, 2013. “Surprise Experience – we were looking for a non-chain, non-fast food lunch on I-70. We pulled off at Exit 161 to check out Marlene’s. It was a delightful surprise. The retro Kitchen tables were the first clue that this was a step-back in time. The hamburger was very good, the staff friendly, and the atmosphere fun. There was an antique shop, and work-clothes shop, and several rooms for parties. But the highlight was a unique museum in the back filled with Americana. The collection was amazing and worth a visit. So glad we pulled off in Williamsburg.”
 St. Louis Senior Contributor – reviewed May 11, 2015 “Charming restaurant in a charming town. My husband and I don’t like the monotony of chain restaurants. We prefer these one-of-a-kind stops. Marlene’s has a large antique museum which is free of charge -a nice bonus! But the staff, the towns’ people and the food were such a TREAT. The restaurant itself is quaint and clean, and the menu has a generous selection of burgers and comfort food. My husband ordered and loved the “Williamsburger,” and I ordered and loved the taco salad. Both were fresh and delicious with large portions. Some of these “off-the-beaten path stops can land on a scale between awesome and frightening. Marlene’s was definitely awesome, and we will stop there on our next trip through.”

These are two samples of eight reviews and are all I have room for here. If you would like to check on us go on TripAdvisor LLC. Needless to say our staff and I were pleasantly surprised both by making TripAdvisor and by the wonderful reviews. There are reviews from Alabama and Florida included. We thank TripAdvisor for printing these comments.


11 Things you didn’t learn in school

1. Life is not fair – get used to it.
2. The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
3. You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone, until you earn both.
4. If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure.
5. Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping – they called it opportunity.
6. If you mess up, it’s not your parents fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
7. Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So, before you save the rain forest from parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
8. Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
9. Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.
10. Television is NOT real life (nor are video games). In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to jobs.
11. Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

I Wish You Enough

At an airport I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her plane’s departure and standing near the door, he said to his daughter, “I love you, I wish you enough.” She said, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy.” They kissed good bye and she left. “When you were saying good bye I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ May I ask what that means?” I asked. He smiled as if remembering, “I wish you enough sunshine to enjoy your days, enough rain to enjoy your sunshine, and enough of both to enjoy your whole life.”


The Williamsburg Villager is provided by Crane’s Museum & Shoppes. Marlene Crane is our on location reporter and resident artist. Please submit any announcements to Marlene by the 20th of each month to insure publication.

Annual Subscriptions available for a $12 donation to Crane’s Museum
10665 OLD HWY 40

Crane’s Museum is a Regional History Museum located in
Williamsburg, MO. We invite visitors of all ages to enjoy
a step back in time. Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner in
Marlene’s Restaurant, shop for gifts at Town House Treasures get ready for winter and spring with Crane’s Country Store Clearance and Closeout.

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