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© 2019 William F Spencer Photography   #WilliamFSpencer

American Diner Stories

Documentary

My Nana was a hard-working Polish woman who grew up on a farm in Western Massachusetts and later moved to Connecticut.  I still remember it to this day.  When I was young boy, probably 6 or 7 years old, my Nana Helen took me to Curley’s Diner in Stamford, CT.  Though I don’t quite recall what the outside of the diner looked like, I distinctly remember that the inside was full of busy happy people.  Lots of folks talking, coffee cups clinking, sounds and smells in the air, and the food was Oh-So-Yummy. 

 

This time period was very magical for me.  I think, in a way, I have become a super-fan of the diner culture.  Over the years I’ve always had a hometown diner where I could socialize and grab a bite.  When I lived in Shelton, CT I would regularly stop in at the Plaza Diner or the Valley Diner.  This is where I met Mr. Perry, Damon, and Jimmy―a group of Greek businessmen who owned the diners.  But, they were more than just a group of men working together though; they were a tribe.  

 

Flash forward a few years.  Hello Garden State!  I moved to Jersey City and married the love of my life Adrian.  I didn’t know that New Jersey was considered the diner capital of the world.  Prior to moving, I had just been laid off from my health insurance job and I was beginning to learn a new skill set of photography. 

 

One of my first jobs was with the Coach House Diner in North Bergen, NJ.  They hired me as a freelancer to build their website.  Afterwards, they asked me to stay on to take pictures and to help with their social media accounts.  I also met Tom, from Restaurant Graphics, while working at the Coach House.  Tom’s company actually makes the menus for just about all of the diners in the Tri-State area.  This is where the idea of making a documentary came to life. 

 

Join me on this journey as we eat, drink and record a ‘Diner Story.’

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