I debated posting this here or in the Grey Area...so here we go!
A headline in my home area’s local daily newspaper caught my eye and had me scratching my head: “Longtime customers of Old Timer lament Clinton
pub closing, 'like a death in the family'”
Link to the whole story is here
. Synopsis is that a supposedly-beloved eating and
drinking establishment known as The Old Timer in Clinton, MA, is about to close after 87 years in business.
I am the third generation of my family to grow up in the general area where this establishment is located. I have driven past its alleged location
hundreds, if not thousands, of times. Same with my parents, siblings, and most of my grandparents. But…none of us can recall ever seeing this
From the sound of the news article and a brief look at their Yelp reviews, it appears the place has been in business for over 80 years and has quite a
following. I have worked in Clinton, I have traveled through for both business and pleasure, I have had friends who lived in Clinton, however I have
not seen, nor even heard of, been invited to, or heard people discuss, the Old Timer before now. My mother’s lifelong best friend lives about two
miles from where the restaurant is supposedly located, and has lived in Clinton for about 40 years, and has never heard of it or seen it before.
My family and I are bewildered. I think ATS is the only place I can share this without someone thinking that we are a bunch of nuts! What on earth
could be going on here? I now live hundreds of miles away, so I cannot go look and see, but my only guess is that the place may be so small and
innocuous that nobody notices it unless they are already familiar with it. Then again I have two Irish-American friends in the town of Clinton, and I
would think that one of them would have at least known the place existed if it is truly a bastion of Irish heritage, however neither has heard of it
before. Since the news article linked above first appeared, I have asked 27 people from the area (including 11 current and former Clinton residents),
and my parents have asked at least a dozen people, and nobody can recall having seen or heard of The Old Timer before. I even spoke to one person who
has parked his car within about 100 feet of the location, at least once a week for over ten years, and he said he has no recollection of seeing the
Honestly, the Old Timer looks like the kind of older mom-and-pop place I would love to go to, as well as many of my friends, so it is difficult to
believe that in all of my years in that area, nobody I know ever suggested we meet there for dinner or drinks.
Does anyone have an idea of what is going on here? How could a supposedly well-known business be both invisible to the eye as well as never mentioned
socially, even among those who "should" know about it? My outrageous idea is a time slip of some sort. Other than that...well, I don't have a
rational, normal explanation at all!