The Wall Street Journal can usually be read as unsentimentally as a stock ticker. But its recent front-page piece on the White Castle chain of hamburger stands had us crying in our remembered orange pop. Or at least one of us, a defector from the Midwest who says he suddenly saw himself as a small boy sitting on a stool at a White Castle counter beside his dad after a movie.
Today the scene in his mind's eye is like an Edward Hopper painting, one of those haunting city vignettes of ordinary people in ordinary settings. Only it's different from Hopper, too. In our man's memory of the bleak lights and drab surfaces, everybody is smiling.