Shirley Trueman greeted customers for a decade at the Bagdad Cafe on Route 66 in Newberry Springs, Calif., while her husband Bud was a chef there. The restaurant became internationally famous because of a 1988 German film by the same name.
Now, the Desert Dispatch in nearby Barstow is reporting that Trueman is dying of cancer, and that restaurant owner Andrea Pruett and other Newberry Springs locals are trying to raise money so Trueman can fly out to visit her kids and grandchildren in Missouri for a final time.
Bud quit his job two months ago to care for her. Pruett spends as much time with her as possible and keeps phone calls short at the restaurant in case Bud calls and needs help. Last weekend, the Bagdad Cafe held a car wash and raised $149 for Shirley. Pruett said the community has helped but raising money in Newberry Springs is difficult.
“It’s a poor community,” she said. “We haven’t really gotten anywhere near what we need.”
I sent an e-mail to the reporter to see whether there’s an address to send donations. I’ll update this story if I get that information.