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Me and Chicken Dinners

When I was a boy, my parents would load my sister and me into the car and take us to a Sunday chicken dinner at one of the churches in southeastern Indiana. When I was old enough to resist, such trips ended for me. Now, as I become my father, there has been a rediscovery. This isn't such a bad idea after all. In fact, it's one of the best deals around.   

Southeastern Indiana has a number of small Catholic churches in the rural areas. During the summer, most have a festival where the main feature is the "family-style" or cafeteria-style chicken dinner. For family style meals, at about $12 to $15 a person, you will be seated at a large table with other families and be served deep fried chicken and all the fixin's in large bowls. As you empty the bowls and platters, more is served. The price includes the drink and dessert. About half the time, the desserts are home made. Cafeteria-style dinners are served as you proceed through a line receiving all your food at once (usually there are a couple of items, such as slaw and sliced tomatoes, on the table.) Many times, you will find pleasant companions at the table and be reminded of a simpler, more friendly way of life.

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