by Rick Watson
We had to drive up to Bradford where Jilda works recently to deliver
some relaxation CD's she'd created. The sun had just risen over the
eastern horizon and the morning mist was beginning to dissipate.
We decided before we left home to drive to Gardendale and have breakfast
at Cracker Barrel but as we crested the hill on Arkadelphia Road we
passed Campbell Field. Until a few months ago the only thing there
was a grass air field where Piper airplanes land and take off.
Then the people who own the airstrip added on to the old building
that has stood across the road for as long as I can remember. Out
of almost nothing evolved a small restaurant and soon after it opened,
the parking lot began to fill early in the morning and on the weekends.
We took that as a good sign and instead of going to Cracker Barrel,
we delivered the CD's and came back to Campbell Field.
We entered the restaurant and no fewer than three people behind the
counter and standing in the dining areas welcomed us. We were seated
in front nearest to the airfield. The new part of the restaurant is
like a sunroom with big windows, pine floors and a vaulted ceiling.
The menus I'm sure were printed on their computer but it had all the
An older waitress hustled over to the table and fetched us some fresh
hot coffee and we decided on the Breakfast Platter. We read the menu
while they fried our eggs to perfection.
The restaurant a Campbell's Field is a family owned establishment
that is on a farm that has been in the Campbell family since the mid
1800's. The airstrip across the road is a dream of Fred Campbell.
He crafted an Alabama hayfield into his own airport. He has given
many folks their first airplane ride. Several of those have become
pilots themselves. Carolyn Campbell Wigley had a dream to open this
restaurant to provide good food and a relaxed home-style atmosphere
to enjoy. Welcome!
As we sat and sipped our coffee and ate our food, a small blue and
white plane appeared out of the morning sky and drifted down toward
the field like a well flown kite in a gentle breeze. The pilot hopped
down out of the cockpit and strolled over toward the restaurant for
As we paid the check the folks behind the counter were greeting the
pilot like an old friend and I thought to myself is this a great country