As a public service to everyone, and because I feel the need to lighten things up, I'm going to tell you what you could be missing in Natrona County school system lunch rooms this Thursday. Prepare to be enlightened.  

School lunches...yet another wonderful part of my youth that I wish I could recapture from time to time. See, here's another example of how unnormal I am. I loved school lunches! I'd eat one right now if I could and that includes the one mentioned below.

You might think growing up in Midwest, Wyoming (Yes! The town) might have had certain disadvantages compared to you city slickers and your sophisticated, new-fangled ways of livin'. Well not in the school lunch department, I'm afraid.

SCHOOL LUNCH BACK IN THE DAY

We had a b#!*&in' kitchen out in the patch. It's true. Stainless steel through and through. Something else we had that you didn't, was Lona Campbell, may she forever rest in peace. She was so good! I think I could count on two hands, not counting field-trips, that I actually brown-bagged. There was just no need with a lunchroom goddess like Lona around, and giant, fluffy, buttery homemade rolls were her specialty. Yours truly dipped them in just about everything that could be sopped up. I think I might have just drooled a little bit. Her cobblers also kicked - peach or cherry, with lots of fruit and a delicate flaky crust. 

THIS IS EATING AT ME

I'm talking, I still remember the basic menu from 30 years ago.  Chili day was usually Friday. Chicken fried steak-like substance was on Tuesday, I think...but I also think that what we half-joking referred to as "filet of shoe sole" was used as a default item when supplies were running low. I remember eating of lot of chicken fried steaks. Geez, I even traded for them! I hope that's not what's wrong with me.

Then there was meatloaf Mondays...and I ate that too! I will admit that the loaf wasn't my favorite, but as long as there was ketchup...

THE NEXT PHASE OF SCHOOL LUNCH

After Lona retired, our friend Ruby Brown would take over in the kitchen and follow in her distinctive ways. She would not only carry on the chicken frieds tradition, she would help me develop a new passion for the "Fiestada."  That sounds so good right now! Thank you, Ruby!

And most of all, thank you Lona, with love.

Here's the menu:

  • BBQ pork rib on bun
  • Baby carrots
  • Peaches
  • Grapes
  • Vanilla Wafers
  • Milk

You know what else is kind of cool? Before I became the Cowboy Troy you all know and love, I served in our school district as a substitute and teacher's aide. I'm happy to report that I've gotten to enjoy those fanciful meals more often than most. Jealous?!

I'd like to credit and thank my niece for passing this deliciously satisfying and healthy information on to us. What I'd give for just one more bite.