I’ve told you before that I’m a sentimental old fool. Some of you probably shake your heads in wonder and others are riding the same train with me.
For the latter group, you might relate to what I’m about to say.
In my old neighborhood, I used to drive by an old Taco Bell building that had been converted into a State Farm insurance agent’s office. I always had a desire to go through the drive-thru to order a nacho supreme and a life insurance policy.
An old Dunkin’ Donuts building sits next to the old Taco Bell. It’s a Subway now. I used to stop there for lunch a couple of times a month, but I never really bought the idea that it was a Subway. It was a Dunkin’ Donuts that just so happened to serve foot-long oven-roasted chicken sandwiches on Italian bread.
On that same street, about a block away, an old Big Boy restaurant has been converted into a Pizza Hut. I’ll never see it as a Pizza Hut. The vision of the Big Boy statue that used to sit out front is still too vivid, even though it’s been gone for more than thirty years.
If I could have things my way, I’d adopt the philosophy of Stars Hollow – the fictional town from the Gilmore Girls (no asking how I know about such things).
Luke owns and operates a cafe in the same building his dad used to own Williams Hardware. In one of the first season episodes, the camera pans away from Luke’s cafe and you can still see the Williams Hardware sign. Nobody seems to mind. They know they can enter Williams Hardware to order a cheeseburger.
Another store owner has a restaurant called Al’s Pancake World. It doesn’t serve pancakes. He started by serving pancakes but switched to international cuisine shortly thereafter. He didn’t change the name because he printed too many napkins with the original name. The town isn’t in an uproar over the non-name change.
Stars Hollow respects tradition. I like that.
If I were the mayor of my hometown, I’d advocate for an ordinance that says once a building is named, it can never be renamed. How fun would it be to watch someone from out of town go through a Taco Bell drive-thru and be greeted by an insurance agent who says, “Welcome to State Farm. We have discount rates available on car insurance today. Would you like that in a combo with renter’s insurance?”