edited & updated, September 13, 2015
The original Rosenbush Café was owned and operated by my great uncle, Edwin (November 12, 1880 – January 10, 1968), who started the restaurant in the 1920s in Livingston, Alabama under the prosaic Rosenbush Auto Service Station and Lunch Room. While the former may have been more sobriquet of the era by 1927 it had been truncated to Rosenbush Café, a full service restaurant and one pump filling station. This was an epoch where telephone numbers were three digits and the town was so small that a letter could be delivered from Meridian, Miss. (stamps were 2 cents) to “Mr. E. Rosenbush, Livingston, Ala.”
Creativity was evident with a 1921 receipt, on E Rosenbush stationary:
Staple and Fancy Groceries, Bread and Cakes
Fruits and Produce and Feed Stuffs
Meats of All Kinds
Agency for Norris Candies
It was signed by Mrs. M.B. Rosenbush; his father was Moses and mother Caroline. Edwin never married and after his death in 1968, Florence Speed, his diminutive restaurant manager kept it opened until 1971 when it closed forever. She died in the mid 1980s.
With the re-opening in November, 2006, Rosenbush Café became my creative outlet as I cared for my mother, who suffered from, and in 2007, died after years with Alzheimer’s disease. For a while, it was to be a Smorgasbord of earthly, and sometimes otherworldly, delights with essays, intellectual felines, movies, poetry, existential nilhism, surrealism, dadaism and the artistic and creative beauty that is within.
For more information on the origins of this virtual restaurant: Rosenbush Café: “A Good Place to Eat”