El Dorado (the golden) is a tiny little hamlet down the hill a piece between Diamond Springs and Shingle Springs. A surprising number of interesting small businesses line the short span of road through town, but the big draw for me is and has always been Poor Red's bar and restaurant. I was fortunate enough to be Linda's guest for lunch (an extended birthday gift) there yesterday. The main drag through El Dorado is only two narrow lanes and crews were doing road work, holding up a lot of traffic. As the only pedestrian in sight, I waited and waited (and waited) for the flagman to give me a nod. It had, as my Southern neighbor used to say, "hotted up," and those poor guys under their hardhats were standing out in direct sunlight. As I passed by when given the go-ahead, I couldn't help but say, "I hope you're getting paid well for your job today," and got some big smiles.
It was Linda's first experience with Poor Red's and it was such a pleasure to introduce her to Red's famous Gold Cadillac. I'd been asked to give one of the manager/owners a greeting from the Freed Spirits Motorcycle Club, so Steve stopped by our table. The FSMC are also big fans of Red's, and they are obviously well-respected and enjoyed by Steve. Lunch was, as always, fabulous. Linda and I took our drinks out to the patio after our meal to continue our conversation.
She had brought home to me just how small our community here is. We had both frequented a small shop (now closed, unfortunately) and the proprietress mentioned to Linda that I'd been in and was "all dressed up," which means jeans instead of bibbies, and had a doctor's appointment. Linda, knowing I never go to a doctor, intuited that I was "in trouble," but had kindly avoided the elephant in the room until we were face to face. Word does get around in the strangest ways.
Lunch with my friend at one of my favorite places on a clear, hot day...it doesn't get much better. It was a day to treasure.