Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Pennington Triplets Stop for a Late Lunch.

Dane, Dilbert and Duane Pennington stopped at Cloverdale’s McDonalds for a late lunch Saturday afternoon after delivering several bales of hay to local farmers. The Pennington triplets have been known to eat as much as a minibus full of tourists, so when the parking lot camera sees the hay wagon and horse rounding the Station Road's corner onto High Street the manager calls out "Pennington Roll!” Two baskets of frozen fries are dropped into the fat fryer and nine 1/4 lb. burger patties go onto the grill. Usually the boys will wash it all down with chocolate shakes; Cokes are preferred if its warm. Today Duane held up both arms from the buckboard, telegraphing their agreed upon symbol for shakes.

The boys appreciate the attention they get at McDonalds. Their standing Saturday order is usually hot and ready when they reach the window. It’s become a matter of pride for the Saturday McDonald’s manager and crew. In fact, the manager gives the triplets a 50% discount if he isn’t standing at the window, bags in hand when they clippity clop up to pay.

The Pennington boys start delivering hay first thing on a Saturday morning after eating their breakfast and packaging Mother Pennington’s first morning’s bakings. The boys deliver fresh baked goods along their route. For many locals a Mother Pennington fresh loaf of bread is the only proper way to start a weekend.

Their day ends when the wagon returns to the farm in the light of the setting sun. Dane, Dilbert and Duane must clean up fast and wolf down their supper if they don’t want to miss the Coastal Express for Dibley in the Downs and cowboy line dancing at the Hitching Post American Bar and Grill. The Hitching Post’s Publican spared no expense in creating an authentic American old western experience in the Pub’s decor.

Saturday night is the Pub’s busiest night. Cowboy line dancing enthusiasts come from miles around for a night of dancing, meeting friends and having a drink or two. No need for designated drivers. Dibley’s train station is one block from the Hitching Post.

At closing time the triplets catch the Midnight Express for Cloverdale. Molly, their trusted old horse, waits hitched to the wagon for their return. The boys exit the station, jump into the back of the wagon, roll under a few blankets and give Molly a "Giddy Up" for home. Moments later the triplets are asleep, trusting Molly to get them home. She's never failed them, although the trip can take quite awhile, especially if there's new Spring grass along the road. The boys aren’t in a hurry, although Mother Pennington insists they be home in time for church.

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