Yeah, I know McDonald's is bad mojo, unhealthy food, shameless appeals to kids, big bad corporate giant and all that. Still, I have to confess that I enjoy a two cheeseburger value meal every once in a while. It was my meal of choice after making multiple errors in a Little League game (most of them). McDonald's and I go a long way back.
The first one I ever went to was in Fairfax, hard by the old Fairfax High School (now Paul VI parochial school). It was down the hill from Fairfax Baptist Church, and after youth group on Sunday nights, we piled into my family's 1956 Chevrolet and visited the Golden Arches. It was teenage heaven. The place had a walk-up window to order and a few metal seats, but mostly you ate in your car. I also remember pre-McDonald's that it was difficult to find places to eat on a trip that were consistently good or that would not at the very least give the family food poisoning. McDonald's restaurants were identifiable, convenient and fast. And they had bathrooms, which came in handy when Virginia closed most of its rest areas a couple of years back.
"My" McDonald's is the one on Centreville Road in Manassas. The crew is fast and friendly and always gets the order right. Earlier this week I drove by and was surprised to see that they were tearing out part of the place. The sign said they were remodeling. Later this week I went by and the restaurant was completely leveled. Some remodeling. I'm sure they will put another one up quickly--the one at Maplewood Shopping Center further up Centreville Road went up over a winter vacation from school one year.
So I'll be able to drive through again soon and get my salad, I mean my two cheeseburger value meal. Something that has been part of my life for so long won't be going away for long.