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The Amazing Cracker Barrel Quest

Tim Boyle, Getty Images
Tim Boyle, Getty Images

My wife loves Cracker Barrel.  Doesn’t matter where our travels may take us; if there’s a Cracker Barrel, she’s happy.

She loves their Buttermilk Oven-Fried Chicken Breast with sides of mash potatoes, lima beans, and fried okra.  You’d think she was raised in these parts, but she’s lived all over the country.  Come to think of it, her love of Cracker Barrel is indicative of why we’ve been married as long as we have.  She’s definitely not high-maintenance.

So, it’s with some hesitation that I share the story of Ray & Wilma Yoder with you, cuz I don’t want my better half to get any crazy ideas.

Ray & Wilma are from Goshen, Indiana.  40 years ago Ray began a quest to eat at every single Cracker Barrel restaurant in the United States.  At the time Ray worked for Coachman, delivering their recreational vehicles across the country.  His favorite place to stop was Cracker Barrel because it gave him that down-home feeling and the food was good.  Wilma joined him on his trips about 30 years ago and soon their travels turned into a quest to dine at all 645 locations.

For Ray’s 81st birthday this past weekend the couple flew to Tualatin, Oregon, for the Grand Opening of the newest Cracker Barrel and the climax of their quest.  Ray and Wilma were welcomed with a custom-made sign and a free breakfast paid for by the restaurant.

My wife is basically a homebody, so I’m not sure the idea of travelling all over the nation to eat at Cracker Barrels would be on her bucket list.  But the next time she suggests we dine at the Cracker Barrel by the radio station here on Westport Avenue in Shreveport, I’m going to check to make sure there aren’t any suitcases in the car.

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