I do enjoy the occasional opportunity for fine dining. Mrs. Story’s Dairy Bar, in Opelika, is fine dining…it is just fine with me.

Of course, you can’t dine in, because they have no inside seating. As a matter of fact, they don’t even have outside seating anymore. They used to have a couple of outdoor tables and chairs, but even those disappeared during the Covid shut down. All their food now is to go. You can either go back to your car and eat it, or you can go home and eat it.

I actually think the reason some people eat theirs right there in the car is because they can’t wait until they get home.

Mrs. Story’s does have quite a variety of items. You can either get a short hot dog or a footlong.

Why anyone would want to get a short one is beyond my understanding, unless you are really hungry and want to get both. That’s the long-and-the-short of what they have.

Now if you’re looking for great burgers, hot wings, chicken fingers, or a salad, you’ll have to look somewhere else. Mrs. Story’s sells hot dogs. You can add a cup of her famous chili, but don’t expect it to be like soup. Don’t expect fries with that either, but they do have a variety of chips. Speaking of variety, please don’t think there isn’t much there. You can get a hot dog with chili, or with cheese, or with slaw, or with cheese and slaw, or with nothing at all.

At The Varsity, in Atlanta, they call one with nothing on it a “Naked Dog.” The guy at the front hollers his order to the grill by saying, “Walk me a naked dog.”

At Mrs. Story’s they just call them a hot dog with nothing on it. I’m not sure why anyone would want a naked dog, or a hot dog with nothing on it, but obviously there are those who do. I, personally, want everything on mine you can put on there, well, except hot fudge. You can also add onions, but they give those to you in a little plastic cup.

For dessert, Mrs. Story’s has ice cream. Afterall, it is a dairy bar. It’s not hand dipped, but the machine kind that every locally owned hamburger joint had when I was growing up. You can get it in a cone, a cup, a milkshake, etc.

Earlier this year, in August, I believe, our hearts broke when the announcement came that Mrs. Story’s would be closing. They had been in business for 68 years.

Like most places, they were closed during the Covid shutdown, but then reopened. Then they closed again because they couldn’t find workers who wanted to…well, work. We feared they might be closed for good.

I feared I might have to drive all the way to Atlanta to find a decent dog…and that it might be naked! There is also a place in Marietta called Brandi’s World-Famous Hot Dogs. Their dogs are much like Mrs. Story’s.

Much to everyone’s delight, Mrs. Story’s has now opened back up, and I do mean everyone.

I went last night to get a couple of dogs. The line was so long I had to drive almost to the Florida line to get in the line… the hot dog line, that is.

Sometimes, we take the simple things in life (like a good hot dog) for granted.

Once they are gone, we realize how much we enjoyed them.

Don’t wait until they are gone. Enjoy them today…especially, the people in our lives.

— Bill King is a native of Rainsville, where he and his wife graduated from Plainview High School. King is a director of missions in Opelika, a writer, musician and author. His column appears in the Times-Journal Wednesday edition. Visit brobillybob.com for more information.

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