Paula and Dave Owens are back for more.

The two have taken over the restaurant space in College Springs, just a few steps away from the post office.

“We thought about it for a bit,” Paula said about returning to the place they left in 2001 for other work. “We’re not doing anything else,” she said. The restaurant has opened-and-closed a few times since then.

Their second go-around started Saturday, Nov. 23.

The two were informed of the possibility during the summer and took over in late September. The couple had run the place, the first time, in 1997. Paula grew up being exposed to restaurant work from other relatives. Dave had an auto body shop and convenience story.

At that time, their café was open six days a week (closed Sundays) and “chicken and fish frys packed this place” Paula said with a smile.

After being given the keys this time, the Owens put some elbow grease into the quaint dining room to have it in showroom condition for the state health inspector’s approval. It just took a bit longer than expected for the state to show up. They were hoping to be open before late November.

When I was there a few weeks ago visiting with them, a couple of area residents poked their head into the door asking if they were “legally” open yet. There was anticipation.

The Owens will be open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Paula and Dave’s menu will feature American comfort food. Biscuits and gravy will be a daily choice. And they will have some specials of the day. A pork tenderloin sandwich is also on the menu.

It’s encouraging to see business open in towns like College Springs. The Owens are hoping they will get the interest of those who like Clarinda’s diverse restaurant choices.

Over the stateline in Clearmont, Missouri, The Q remodeled its facility and reopened. And I’ve been informed there is talk of a pizza place in Elmo, Missouri, in the works.


Thanks, Fred Cox, for contributing to my childhood.

The former NFL player in Minnesota, whose career stretched from 1963 to 1977, died Wednesday, Nov. 20 at the age of 80.

What he did during his football career is what got my attention. During his playing days in 1972, Cox had the idea of a soft football for kids to learn how to kick. According to reports, Cox and friend John Mattox, a businessman, found some soft, foam-rubber material, a mold in the shape of a football and eventually created Nerf.

Parker Brothers was already trying something similar, but could not get the same finished result with the ball as Cox. He and Mattox met with Parker Brothers.

Nerf was a part of my growing up in various ways.

I and others I went to grade school with played football with a Nerf ball on most fall Saturdays until dark in front of our school for a few years.

It may have been a subconscious decision to use Nerf, but where we played in front of the school included classroom windows. An errant or deflected pass could have sent a traditional, leather ball through the window. The Nerf ball didn’t have the ability to do that kind of damage.

And my Nerf days include Nerf’s indoor basketball hoop and a Nerf baseball. The Nerf basketball hoop bracket fit over the top of a door. The wall above the door provided the backboard. The ball was much smaller than traditional size. I did get my window damage with the basketball set. Hanging on the backdoor of the house (the backdoor was in the room that served as the laundry room) an elbow of mine turned the window in the door to pieces.

The lemon yellow Nerf baseball was a prized possession. The Nerf baseball was more firm than the football, but with enough pressure you could push in the surface of the ball. The ball was perfect to throw at the few concrete steps leading to the backdoor, as it provided enough bounce to come back at you.

The same football friends would play baseball with the Nerf ball on the playground at school. Knowing how far the ball would fly using an aluminum bat, we altered some rules and used the entire playground which was a street block long.

As a kid, Nerf products got me out of the house and active. Nerf products are still around today and have grown in so many ways.

Rest in peace, Fred.

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