52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy #16 /My Favorite Restaurant

Most of you know that I received a Kindle Fire for Christmas and in doing so I have downloading some great books. I came across this little gem of a book called “The Big Genealogy Blog Book” by Amy Coffin. One of her suggestions for blogging genealogy is 52  weeks of personal genealogy. Amy gives 52 prompts to get you writing your own genealogy.  There other great prompts in this book as well. If you find your blog is becoming a chore, check out this book it just might put some life and enjoyment back into your writing!

I am starting on week 16 because that would put me around the end of April. So here is my first offering of my personal genealogy.

So where and what was my favorite restaurant?

I think the restaurant that probably has been in my life the most besides Cracker Barrel, where I work, would be a small Mom and Pop dinner called Leighright’s. It was a true diner. It had booths and a counter with a jukebox console in each booth.

Leright’s was  between our house in Westland and our place of worship in Wayne Mi.
Every now and again Dad would stop at Leright’s. after Sunday services and we would have our Sunday afternoon meal there. I believe that is where I learned about the wonders of a Reuben sandwich, still my all time favorite! If I recall correctly my sister, Trish, always ordered the Slim Jim of course both of these came with a great heaping pile of french fries. Mind you these fries weren’t the itty bitty skinny MacDonald’s fries, but home-made fresh from the potato fries! It was some wonderful eating.

There are a few memories that I have of Leright’s but I think the funnest one and probably the one I tell the most happened around Christmastime in 1972.
We bugged Dad for a quarter to play the jukebox, finally after much pestering he said fine, here is a quarter, you may play the jukebox if you can find a Christmas song. Giggles of joy escaped from two young girls and the pages started to fly! Hey Dad here is “Joy To The World” it’s a Christmas song (okay so it wasn’t, but we figured Dad had no clue) he said sure so we popped our quarter into the jukebox, with snickers and side glances. We all know what came from those speakers (giggle), Jeremiah was a bullfrog, was a good friend of mine. Dad look surprised and Mom well, I think she knew all along what was going on, she had a small smile on her face.

About ten years after this incident, my mother in law became a prep cook at Leright’s and very often she would bring home left over chicken or the most awesome stuffed mushrooms and on occasions she would bring home the chipped beef to share with the rest of the family.
I took care of a little girl who just thought Julie’s chicken was just the bomb, much to her mothers disappointment, because Judy knew full well that the chicken was not Julie’s but Leright’s. I never told!

There was even a sighting of the famous there. Steve Guttenberg  visit to the Diner sometime around the release of “There Men and a Baby” , if my memory serves me right. Jim’s Mom wasn’t sure who he was so we bought her a copy of “There Men and a Baby” and it became one of her favorite movies.

Leright’s was a land mark in Westland for many, many years. There have been several restaurants that have occupied that space since then and they have never done as well as Leright’s did. I am guessing it is because of the personal touch from Mom and Pop Lehright.

Happy Hunting!


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About Julia Hogston

Christian, Family Historian, Wife, Mom, Grandma
52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy, Genealogy , , , ,


  1. Leighrights sounds like a good place. It’s always the mom and pop ones that serve up the best food and the best memories. Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. Glad you like the book. :)

  2. Dency Terrill

    Nice thinking back to those innocent days. At least they seem so compared to today. Love ya

  3. Terry Leright

    Your Blog about Leighrights (Lerights) has me fighting back tears.My Father would be tickled to death to read this. I don’t know of any man that loved to go to work more than my father Joe J. Leright.(Funny thing,his name was Joe but everyone called him Jim). He made a lot of friends in the restaurant business and his employees loved and respected him. He worked 70 hours a week in an attempt to feed the town of Wayne/Westland and then to clothe our family.
    He did make a good reuben but I was more partial to his Broasted Chicken. I can still taste it in my mouth He had his own special recipe kind of like the the Colonel did.
    Know one put more quarters in those jute boxes than me. Bussing tables for a $1.65 per hour. I remember my first raise he gave me too $.05 . I would have worked there for free. It was outright fun.
    I suppose most people feel this way about here parents but I think my father was the best all around good person I have ever known. there are others that feel this way too.
    When he retired we had driven by the restaurant many times and it hurt him to see it going down hill.
    Its very nice to see some remember. Jim is gone now but I can feel him asking me to thank you for the kind words.

    • Hi Terry,

      I am so glad you found this little corner of the world. I am sorry that I spelled Lerights incorrectly, that will be fixed!

      Terry, I am not sure if you were around when my Mother-In-Law Lola worked there, but she never had a bad word to say about working for the Lerights. I know the work was hard dressing all the chicken as she did, that was probably the only thing I remember her mentioning, that she worked hard as the prep-cook.

      I am glad I was able to validate what you’ve known all along!



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