Boomtown Diners in Saint Louis, Oklahoma, 1939
“I want to eat breakfast at one of those dumpy diners you see in black and white photos from the 1930’s and 40’s. I want to watch the cook in the stained apron and cockeyed paper hat fry my three eggs and hash brown potatoes in glistening bacon grease and then slap the full heavy plate down in front of me with a smirk when he’s done. Maybe he’ll even say something James Cagney like “Enjoy it, bud.”
In a Diner in Junction, Texas in 1940
The two guys sitting next to me, workers in overalls or guys in snappy suits and Trilby hats have already finished and are smoking after-meal Lucky Strike or Camel cigarettes over their fourth refills of lousy coffee.
A farmer in a diner in Pie Town, New Mexico, 1940
If only for a morning, or even just an hour, I want to live in black and white and not worry or even know about the evils of smoke or cholesterol or e-coli bacteria in the eggs or any of that now-shit that surrounds our lives and makes us healthier but certainly more suspicious and less happy than the Mr. Me in that black and white photo whacking away at those three eggs.
— JONATHAN CARROLL