High: 65°F ~ Low: 34°F
Tuesday, Mar. 11, 2014
Farewell to the Monon!Posted Friday, September 9, 2011, at 8:25 AM
We have several very good eating establishments in Greencastle. And, this week, one closed.
The Monon Restaurant was located just south of the railroad tracks on the north side of Greencastle on Highway 231. It's been a combination of a breakfast/sandwich/fry joint for years.
Since the city became smoke free this restaurant has been a home away from home for me. Usually filled to the rafters, you'd fine a variety of people enjoying the same steady menu month after month. On average I'd be in there four to seven times a week. The staff all knew me by name and even knew what I wanted to drink. They became like family -- family that you tipped well because they made you feel so special.
On Monday the restaurant closed. I haven't talked to the owners so I don't know the reason or reasons. Yet, I can imagine several. It must be very hard operating a business in this present economy. While the place was always packed fall, winter and spring, summertime without the DePauw students usually meant you didn't have to wait to get a seat.
And this summer has been hard on just about everyone.
I'll miss the bacon, the best pork chops in town, and the coconut pie. (I don't even like coconut pie except for the Monon's!) I'll miss the endless cups of coffee and fresh brewed ice tea. I'll miss having a place where I could just drop in. I'll miss seeing all the customers who over the years have become friends.
But most of all I'll miss the workers. Debbie, Sherri, Gary and a host of others made the place what it was: inviting and welcoming. Being at the Monon meant that you were having a "slice of Greencastle." Eating at the Monon meant that you were enjoying comfort food that ranged from cheesy fries to pancakes smothered in real butter. And visiting at the Monon meant that you could relax, that you were in familiar surroundings with familiar people, and that somehow everything in your world was going to be alright.
Writers in the area of spirituality say that we're all looking for reminders of home. Even some psychotherapies are based on the idea that we're looking to fill the gaps of the people and objects that were foundational to us growing up. Good food, healthy food, is as spiritual as prayer and meditation. And any place that can make me feel that I'm a kid again, back in my grandmother's kitchen, is a place that should be labeled "holy ground."
Such was the Monon to me and to a good many other people.
So, to Bev and her family who owned the place, I want to give a big shout out of thanks! I don't know what happened and may never know, but I'm thankful for the years you were there for me. And to all the hard workers who made each day more enjoyable because of the friendly service you provided, I'll say a prayer of thanks. You made a difference in my life and gave me a spiritual retreat.
My prayers will also be that each of you make it through this time of transition as best as is possible to do. This summer has been hard on just about everyone.
P.T. Wilson is the senior pastor at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, Greencastle, and is also the University Chaplain at DePauw University.