A look at a struggling diner in northeastern Ohio. This is the first of five columns by Dan Barry about Elyria, Ohio, a town which is “the kind of place where Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each hope that his promise of a restored American dream will resonate”:
‘Is she O.K.?’ a customer asks one difficult day.
‘My mom?’ asks Kristy, the waitress.
‘Yes,’ the customer replies.
Sometimes you can see why, as Donna hunches into the desk space she has carved from the back-room clutter and works through the mound of mail. ‘I’m looking for shut-off notices,’ she says, half-joking.