It may be my writer radar, but I am excited and inspired to find charm and value in extremely unlikely places. Most recently, it was in the unforgettable town of Cozad, Nebraska.

Lunchtime on the road produced no desirable results until we spotted the sign for Runza and exited at Cozad. Runza is a fast food delicacy that is a trademark of Nebraska and northern Colorado. It’s a sandwich of German descent with a thick bun and tasty fillings.

The stop in Cozad was a good one in all dimensions. This location had an immaculate interior and staff who were young, freshly-scrubbed and delightfully wholesome. When our order was ready, one perky young lady wanted to carry it to the table. She thanked me profusely when I declined her generous offer. To wrap up the tone of this experience, a stranger in the nearby gas station delivered a huge and sincere smile while returning to his car.

Beyond the excellent meal, I feel as if I had consumed a large slice of American pie. The service, the town, the cleanliness and the stream of cars filled with happy children at the drive-through all persuaded me of one truth. I was in the middle of what’s beautiful about America, as depicted in its rural elegance. Shalom.

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