Mason County News
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010 • Posted January 13, 2010


Two Dinners, A Sandwich and a Dessert


Some time ago I wrote that the three meals Mama served to her family each day were known as breakfast, dinner and supper. So for 58 years dinner for me was the noon meal and supper the evening meal.

Throughout those years lunch was the meal I carried in a sack or lunch pail during my seven grade school years; my four years at the Ft. Sam Houston Quartermaster Depot and sixteen years at Kelly Air Force Base. During most of my five high school years our home was within walking distance to the school house, therefore I was able to walk home at noon time to have dinner with the family.

Even through the years when we lived in the two story house on the north side of town I was able to go home for dinner, thanks in most part to the Ledbetter kids Mary Lou, Talbot and Maxine who were kind enough to let me ride with them in their car.

Thus it can be understood by those of us accustomed to calling the noon meal dinner just how easily one can fall prey to the habit of thinking that only that meal eaten at noontime (when it is eaten at home) can be called dinner.

It is said that one can get used to anything and I guess that must be true, for I now understand (after my second marriage) that the noon meal is lunch and evening meal is dinner. This, of course, was just fine for me, but alas for my brother who lived in Mason. For he, being used to our old time customs, still thought of the noon day meal as dinner.

Shortly after retiring and moving to Brady in 1972 my wife called my sister-in-law and invited them for dinner on the following Saturday. The invitation was accepted and promptly at 11:30 A.M. on Saturday they showed up for dinner and not a thing did my wife have prepared with which to feed them, so we took them out for lunch and my wife prepared dinner for them that evening.

Several months later my sister-in-law called and invited us to Mason for Sunday dinner. Promptly at 11:30 the following Sunday we arrived and nothing had been prepared for dinner.

"What the hell is going on here?" my brother asked rather heatedly. "We thought you folks called the evening meal dinner, and for that reason we didn’t ask you come for supper, which is what we really meant."

"Calm down little brother" I said, "and let me explain this to you. You see, although many people call the evening meal dinner it is universally accepted that the noon meal on Sunday is called Sunday dinner. So you asked us for Sunday dinner and here we are."

So, they took us out for Sunday dinner at a restaurant and that evening we enjoyed a well prepared meal for supper in their home.

Eighteen years pass and my brother had been gone for fifteen of those years. One day my wife suggested that we go to Mason for our evening meal and ask my brother’s wife to dine with us. So she calls and tells her that we will be in Mason for dinner and asked her to join us and she accepts.

Well, of course you know by now that in 18 years my sister-in-law had forgotten that dinner was supper and when we finally arrived at her home at 6 o’clock in the evening she had been waiting since noon......

Note: My sister-in-law and I still rememberthe good old days when dinner was dinner and supper was supper.



My wife tells a dinner story about a friend who lived near the railroad tracks in this little town in Ohio (we will refer to her as Mrs. A) and was an easy mark for the railroad hobos who rode the rails and bummed their food from people living nearby.

Having been alerted by some code mark placed on a house to let other hobos know that the occupant of this home was an easy mark for food, this dear lady seldom missed a day of not being asked to feed one or more RR bums.

One day, just at noon time, a knock come on the dining room door that opened to the backyard. Mrs. A, who was sitting near the door reached behind her and opened the door to a hobo who asked if he could get something to eat.

Mrs. A., being slightly irritated at being bothered on a day when she had very little food prepared, told the bum that she could give him some bread and butter, to which he replied "I’m tired of bread and butter."

Without looking back at the bum Mrs. A. said "I am too." Then slamming the door in the hobo’s face she returned her own bread and butter sandwich.



My wife then continues with the tale of an uncle who came to their home quite often for dinner. One remarkable thing about this uncle was that at each meal he always ate his dessert first.

When asked why he ate the dessert first instead of last as other people, his answer was: "I am afraid that if I wait until after I have eaten my meal I will be so full that I will not be able to eat my dessert."

Now while that is not real funny it is peculiar, don’t you think?

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