Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Katie McDon­ald

At Dal­ton’s Steak­house in Payson, Utah, vet­er­ans are hon­ored on a wall of trib­ute in mem­ory of their sac­ri­fices. The owner, Lance Shurtl­eff, has dec­o­rated this fa­mil­iar fam­ily din­ing es­tab­lish­ment with touch­ing pho­to­graphs and plaques of ser­vice­men and women. He dis­plays pic­tures of his own fa­ther, who served his coun­try, and many other vet­er­ans who gave all.

Lanny, as he is fondly called by the lo­cal com­mu­nity, says he wanted a place for his cus­tomers to “…break bread in the pres­ence of those who gave so much for our pre­cious free­doms. By mak­ing this me­mo­rial, I hoped to re­mind ev­ery­one that they are still with us--that they have not been for­got­ten. There’s no bet­ter feel­ing for me, than see­ing a friend or fam­ily of one those self­less men and women--- come in, sit down, look up at their loved one’s pic­ture and see them con­nect, and re­mem­ber. They call me over and tell me the story… this just gets me ev­ery time.”

One cus­tomer in par­tic­u­lar, Patty Gasser, comes in for lunch al­most ev­ery day. She likes to sit by the pic­ture of her hus­band Don, who served in the naval forces in the 1950s. He has re­cently passed away and com­ing in to sit qui­etly be­neath his pic­ture fills her with love and pa­tri­o­tism.

But re­cently, Patty ex­pe­ri­enced even more lov­ing re­flec­tion than usual at Dal­ton’s when Cody Rob­bins came to her ta­ble. Cody is a singer, song-writer who graced the stage that night as one of Dal­ton’s many tal­ented din­ner en­ter­tain­ers. Cody told her he was so in­spired by her and Don’s story that he had writ­ten a song es­pe­cially for her. The song ex­presses the heartaches of fam­ily mem­bers whose loved ones won’t be com­ing home. As Cody per­formed the song that night for Patty, tears filled her eyes as she found com­fort in his heart­felt lyrics.

The pa­trons lis­tened along with her, paus­ing from their meals in quiet re­spect to the lines in the song: “…some­times she stops by… she doesn’t like to ad­mit, he’s not com­ing home…But as long as she stays here… She doesn’t feel so alone…” (See lyrics on an­other page in the paper.)

Dal­ton’s Steak­house has be­come more than a place for sat­is­fy­ing one’s hunger with a ten­der steak. It has be­come a place that makes a ten­der con­nec­tion with the hu­man heart. In these busy days of liv­ing fast in our food, re­la­tion­ships, and lives, there is a warmly lit steak­house in Utah County that has some­thing more. Just ask Patty. She’ll be there at the same ta­ble, and so will Don, and all the oth­ers who served …and all of us who feel some­thing’s miss­ing in our lives, ….un­til we look up at a pho­to­graph, we hear a song, and then we re­mem­ber.

Serve Daily

The Vet­eran’s Me­mo­rial Wall at Dal­ton’s Steak­house in Payson

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