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January 14, 2014

Neptune 'family' will be sorely missed

I so miss “my family” already. When I heard the news that the Neptune was closing the night before the story was in the paper, I immediately went into denial ... and remain there today.

I started spending Friday mornings at the diner a few years ago. Carol adopted me and knew to bring me water without ice and bring me the “No. 1” breakfast with lots of coffee. When Carol was moved to a different post, Fran became my usual waitress; Fran, who loved sweets for her own breakfast. And then there was the wonderful candy lady, Grace, who came by with her candy bag offering everyone a treat. She didn’t have to — she was a warm, nice lady.

I had my own booth, which was “saved” for me. When I wasn’t there by 8-ish, Fran wondered. Sometimes she saw me out the window and had my coffee on the table by the time I got inside. By now my friend had started joining me for a year-plus. When I sent her the news, her first comment was, “What will our friends do?” And I too wonder what our friends, all the employees, will do.

This leaves a huge gap. It is my fervent hope that another diner will open there. I understand the owner wants to retire, but I hope his legacy will be to find a new owner that will keep it as a diner. He gave us something we didn’t even realize we needed 30 years ago. Now we wonder how we will live without it.

Thank you to all those who touched me — so many, week after week. The food was always good, no matter what meal, but I never got to say goodbye.

Nancy Garrison

Oneonta

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