Every town has one. It’s not difficult to find, just look for the cars. Frequently you will see people standing patiently waiting to get a seat at the counter. The food is good but locals don’t go there just for the food. There is a sense of family there. Children are introduced to Mac’s Drive In at an early age; both of our children made their appearance there when they were two weeks old. Strangers become friends over time and faces once unfamiliar are met with smiles, friendly greetings and lively conversations. There are always sports of some kind playing on the two tvs.
The menu is simple as most “greasy spoons” are. Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs and fries are at the top of the menu board. There are a few other items available but don’t ask for “fancy” sandwiches on “fancy” bread! Not happening! Sweet tea is the drink of choice but their homemade milkshakes are great if you can muster up the nerve to ask for one. For some reason, making milkshakes is not one of the favorite things to do. There is usually grumbling or talking so low that one can’t understand what is being said while the milkshake is being made. I think that Pat just likes to give his patrons a hard time. It’s all in fun but think twice before you ask for an extra, extra thick milkshake! You might have to make it yourself!
Covering the walls are autographed pictures of Clemson athletes and coaches. Some of the pictures have yellowed with age but it doesn’t matter. Each picture has a special place and a special story. It’s not unusual for coaches and athletes, past and present, to walk through the door and sit at the counter. No big deal. In our town, they are just regular people, friends of everyone. Want your picture made with them? Again, no big deal. Remember, we are all family.
As tradition dictated, our son and daughter-in-law brought our grandson to Mac’s for the first time last Saturday. He didn’t make his appearance as early as our children did but that was okay. He sat at the counter, watched the people around him, looked at the various pictures and Clemson memorabilia and devoured his cheeseburger and a few fries. He was right at home. He was amongst friends.
It was another rite of passage that had been experienced by so many people before him and a rite of passage for many yet to come. Can’t put a price on moments like that.