By Gary Vasser
It’s nigh to a miracle how human warmth can help heal the cracks in the soul.
There is a little town in Franklin County, North Carolina close to my heart. I already knew about it geographically and visually, and had passed through it many times; I had even participated once in the Relay for Life event on the Bunn High School athletic field. But my heart had not discovered Bunn until last spring, when my wife of 50 years, Frances Finch Vassar, went to be with the Lord on May 10, 2016. A lot of things changed for me after that painful day, a date which forever shall live indelibly etched upon my very soul.
Our beloved Murphy House in Louisburg was only a blissful memory, and a memory cannot rustle up a plate of bacon and eggs. So I headed over to Bunn where I found two family restaurants which actually serve breakfast. And I returned there, day after day, sometimes arriving before six o’clock. At Sisters’ Cafe, the guys there have become like brothers to this old “hillwilliam” (it’s a step up from hillbilly) from the Hill City of Lynchburg, Virginia, despite the fact that this preacher is about the only one at the table who is not a veteran. At 76 years of age, I am usually the old man at the table, and it is my privilege to be associated with men who risked their lives and served our country so well. In fact, owner Heidi Long has a whole wall, complete with photos, dedicated to our local veterans.
The aroma of country ham and grits brings a smile to our faces. And when the sight of a three-egg omelet is presented, there comes the comment, “He’s gonna cut wood today!” Tasting such good fare invariably brings out comparisons to the famed Shatley Springs Restaurant and the Daniel Boone Inn over in the western part of the state.
But I will always remember how, on what would have been our 51st wedding anniversary on August 19, 2016, I was comforted by hugs from some of the ladies who serve us faithfully each day. There’s nothing like the touch of another human being to gently bring us through the deep valleys of sorrow which are a part of this present dispensation.
When it came time for the recent Bunn Family Night at the Bunn Police station, some of us from out of town were right there at the annual community-police awareness event, enjoying good fellowship and hotdogs. After all, Police Chief Joe King is one of our breakfast buddies, and a credit to this fine town. The police, the schools, the churches, and the community at large all take the high ground in keeping Bunn youths headed in the right direction, in positive pursuits including college careers or self-employment. Don’t be surprised when the kids answer “yes, sir” and “yes, ma’am” Yes, Bunn is special: it is the people there who make the difference; their kind voices are like balm to the senses.
And do me a favor: please don’t let too many people know about Bunn, or it might change overnight. It concerns me that we cannot hide this place from Raleigh, Atlanta, and New York City. And the word is already getting out about Matt’s $40.00 prime rib for $16.00 at The Farmer’s Kitchen on Friday evenings. If Bunn were surrounded by water, it would be called Treasure Island. But the developers did not extend Lake Royale quite far enough!
Town of Bunn, I love you, See you at breakfast.