After staying the night in Greensboro, the four kids and I took a couple of detours before heading on to Alabama. I decided to stop by my Meemaw's hometown, Mooresville, NC. It was not too far from Statesville and well worth the trip. I felt as if I was really stopping by to see family and in a weird way I was.
We first went to the Willow Valley Cemetery next to First Baptist Church in Downtown Mooresville, NC. That is where my Meemaw's grandparents were buried. Her grandfather was a Civil War veteren named William Pickney Deaton. The cemetery is right next to the railroad where her daddy, William Fowler made his living for his entire life. His railroad career eventually took him to Atlanta where my Meemaw went to high school, had my Granddaddy Lee and divorced her first husband, also a railroad man.
We had a nice walk around the cemetery but unfortunately couldn't find Meemaw's granddaddy. Right before driving to the cemetery I saw What-A-Burger and was shocked because I didn't think those existed anymore. I remember eating at Whataburger in Memphis as a child. I later found out that those are two different chains. The What-A-Burger came to Mooresville in 1965 and some of the workers have been there for over 40 years. I could totally tell as some of the waitresses looked to be in their 70's.
It is a drive-in restaurant which excited the kids! It was like we were in a Flintstone's cartoon. They don't accept credit cards so I went into the restaurant to get cash from the ATM. It smelled like my Granddaddy Etheridges old sound shop he had in Midtown Memphis. Maybe old buildings just have a certain granddaddy smell to them. I didn't eat inside because the kids wanted to do the drive in.
You drive up to the menu:
I loved my barbecue sandwich though I admit I barely used the sauce. It reminded me a little bit like Tops BBQ in Memphis. As I child I usually didn't put the sauce on my sandwich. There was delicious slaw on it too! So much better than that KFC slaw. The fries weren't that great. My son told me the hot dog was the best one he had ever had in his life. Of course he is only 5 years old.
Overall it was a good experience for the kids. We felt like we went back into time and I knew I ate exactly what Meemaw would want me to try in her hometown. I never knew if she preferred North Carolina barbecue though. I just knew she made delicious grits.