Autumn Sunrise at a Port Richey Diner


The “R” in the neon “Diner” flashes intermittently
with that annoying buzz of a busy bee
while the sun is rising over Florida flatlands
dawn is causing shadows to flee

illuminating a rising tide in the Pithlachascotee
and the sheen on the window
through which the white aproned cook
is staring blankly at U.S. 19.

The sign winks, blinks and goes dark
amid a coming change of shift
as the cook removes his white apron
leaning forward awhile as if cut at the nape

dreaming of his father
 long gone in Ann Arbor
wondering if the leaves have yet turned
where they used to fish along the Huron.



Pithlachascotee River and US 19 – Port Richey


About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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4 Responses to Autumn Sunrise at a Port Richey Diner

  1. beetleypete says:

    I like those old diners a lot, especially those shaped like hot dogs, or doughnuts. The classic silver ones like the example in your photo are so evocative of America.
    I really got a sense of the place from your writing, Frank.
    Best wishes, Pete.


    • toritto says:

      Hi Pete – I live about ten miles from Port Richey which is on the coast. I live inland – away from hurricane surges, in a semi-rural area. My home is also at an elevation of 61 feet – which is practically a mountain here in Florida! My in laws first retired in the area in the mid-80s and my wife and the kids would visit twice a year. It’s only about 75miles from Orlando.

      Many of those living in the area are from the mid-west. We used to have a lot of retired auto workers here, mostly from Michigan. There are still many mid-westerners in the area -the gulf coast of Florida is geographically closest. Most NY – NJ folks move to the Atlantic coast for the same reason. Regards


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