The Trenton Runaround Feb. 8, 2018

Yes, dear readers, it's your favorite time again! Time for a rollickin' revolution around beautiful downtown Trenton as The Planet pursues its eccentric ellipse in yet another:

The Trenton Runaround!

​Shall we start out our tour of Dade County's premier metropolis with une petite quelque chose à manger? A leetle something to eat, that is!

Food is always big news here at the center of the universe. Thus it is with pleasure that The Planet announces that April's Southern Plate opened last week in the old Highway 136 West of the now-closed and sorely-missed Randy's Restaurant.

April's, late of Sand Mountain, serves burgers and Philly steak sandwiches in the new location along with plate lunches and dinners. It is open Tuesday through Saturday. Call for more information at (706) 657-5330.

While we're on the subject of lunch, please direct your attention to The Li'l Chicken Coop. The Coop has recently relocated to 180 Crabtree, across from Citizens Bank & Trust. It's a small storefront, easy to overlook, but there's nothing overlookable about the homemade soups and killer wraps that once made Jo Mama's Wraps Trenton's lunch fave.

Lynda Ditmar, the chicken sandwich queen of America who opened Jo Mama's in 2011, first operated the Li'l Chicken Coop as a food trailer, initially on Jacoway and later in the back parking lot of Mountain Valley Cleaners. Now she's moved into the Crabtree site where she has a small eat-in cafe as well as a pickup and delivery lunch service. ​​Lunch is 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can pop by for lunch in or out, or call ​​for delivery--(423) 645-3808.


Country-style dining used to be so prevalent in Dade County we all had meat-and-three coming out of our ears. Now it's gotten pretty thin on the ground, with fast food places more common than mom-and-pops. So now, naturally, we all simply ache for m+3!

Fortunately, if nature abhors a vacuum, business hates one worse, and two of Dade's three grocery store have leapt in to fill the breach--and any empty space you might have in your stomach come noontime. Both Ingle's Market (above) and Food City ​​(left) now have plate lunch specials in their delis.

Ingle's has a $5 lunch but it's take-out-only. Food City, as you will note in this photograph, boasts a small seating area where you can lunch in on fried-chicken-and-two veg and a bev for about $6, or four veg for about $4.

If it sounds unglamorous to eat at the grocery store, ask yourself why you think so. Who, after all, has more fresh food on hand than a grocery store? The Planet is ape about the Food City vegetable plate. And here's another hot tip: Try to eat there when Mary Ann cooks. Mary Ann's the bee's knees!

To leave food for now--or should The Planet say, "table" it?--let's move on to relocations. In a previous Runaround, The Planet reported the local health food store had moved into the row of storefronts across Highway 11 from Nat's Florist and Moore Funeral Home that used to house K&J Shoes. Now, so has Nelson Hartline's Impressions Hair Salon. No big signs are up, but Nelson's there just the same; look closely at The Planet's pic and you'll see him with his hands full of somebody's hair! You may call for an appointment at (706) 657-2115.

Another subject that never grows old in Dade is local politics, and this seemed as good a place as any to remind all that the deadline for qualifying for the Dade County elected offices to be filled this year is noon on March 9.

So far, The Planet has had announcements from Lamar Lowery (left), former District 1 Commissioner who wishes to resume that office, and will run for it as a Republican; Patrick Hickey, who will run for the same office as a Democrat; Scottie Pittman,

current District 2 commissioner who will run for reelection on the Republican ticket; and Cindy Shaw (right), who is currently sitting on the Dade Board of Education as the District 1 member and wishes to keep that seat. Also up for grabs this year is the District 2 B of E seat now held by Jennifer Hartline.

Any candidates who wish to announce in The Dade Planet--and The Planet is delighted to oblige--should email their announcements to

These Trenton Runarounds are sometimes chock-full of important news snippets. Other times--well! The Planet is easily distracted. And this week the focus of The Planet's tiny attention spans seems to have been: Signs.

Here's one from Eagle Express on Highway 136 West that caught The Planet's gimlet eye. It seems to be saying that the gas station has no gas that has ethanol in it, as in, "Yes, we have no bananas." When what The Planet is pretty sure it means to say is that it does have gas that does not have ethanol in it. It simply screams for a hyphen! As in: "We have no-ethanol gas."

Then, what should next catch The Planet's hypercritical, school-marmy eye but the gas station directly across the street (right). This one boasted the same commodity, and said it this time again without a hyphen, but possibly a little more clearly, by calling what it had "100% gas."

So if outdoor signs can use percentage symbols, would a hyphen kill anybody?

Anyhoo! The Planet recalled that the Red Ace gas station further up 136 had also made it a signature point to sell no-ethanol gas, and wondered how it would advertise its wares. Making a special trip westward, what the Planet found was:


Maybe since all the other gas stations now do have gas that does not have ethanol, what Red Ace decided to advertise as its signature point these days is something it does have that the competition does not: a drive-through window. Go figure!

Did you really think we were through with signs, Gentle Reader? Then you underestimate The Planet's ability to flog a subject until it screams for mercy. You want real nooz? Hey! Make The Planet's day! Go out and commit a heinous crime. Then we'll get some headlines around here!

Until then, please enjoy with The Planet this sign in front of a local medical provider. Does "Now Open Later" strike anybody else as a contradiction in terms? Like saying, "Sometimes I always do it." "But often you never do!"

And before we leave signs, let's revisit Trenton's most visible pharmacy, which at Christmastime the Runaround congratulated on the dada poetry created by the burned-out letters on its neon signs.

The signs are still writing those poems, as readers can see here, but The Planet was pleased to see recently that the word "beauty" had anyway been restored to its full and shining splendor. That's a great step! To quote a not-so-dada poet, Mr. Keats: "Beauty is truth, truth beauty—that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

And for all ye need to know in Dade County, please return to The Planet for the next thrilllin' edition of--​​

The Trenton Runaround! ​​

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