DELHI, California (STPNS) -- By the morning of Friday, March 4, many Delhi residents had several questions, but few answers. The Big R Travel Center had closed.
Owner Jerry Rodgers described the situation to curious customers as "a sad story." It was also a sad day for Delhi. The travel center closed Thursday night and the fast food establishment closed Friday evening.
Rodgers clearly fought hard for this business from the beginning. A little over one year ago, he was excited to finally open the fast food portion of the travel center. The A&W Root Beer and Long John Silver's were the first fast food establishments to call Delhi home and the community supported them. From root beer floats to fish-and-chips, people used the drive-thru and sit-down fast food places for everything: lunch, business meetings and more.
Rodgers' grandchildren helped break down the outdoor seating area as he described the sorrow he felt for Delhi. This is not a loss just for the owners, but for the entire town.
Thursday night, the price of gas (all grades) dropped to $1.99 per gallon and people responded. Those who were able to fill their tanks for the reduced price became aware that the local travel center was closing down. Others would discover that it had closed when they arrived to purchase their morning coffee on Friday.
Rodgers described how proud he was of those who came to fill up their tanks one last time. Everyone demonstrated patience and respect which prevented chaos from erupting.
Rodgers will remain as pastor of Calvary Temple Baptist Church on Hinton Avenue. He is simply stepping back from his commercial business. He is not abandoning the town for which he cares deeply.
As far as the future of the travel center site is concerned, there are no details yet available. The community will need to continue to demonstrate the patience and respect they showed there Thursday night.
Many people crowded into the fast food establishment on Friday for one last burger, one last root beer and a final farewell to the commercial business that was seemingly just celebrating its grand opening.
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