El Burrito was located on Broad Street in downtown Gadsden. I believe it closed sometime in the early to mid-nineteen eighties. I remember going there a lot with the F.R.E.E. House crowd. There was a time that the only place you could buy a taco in Etowah County was at El Burritos. These days there seems to be a Mexican restaurant on every corner. My favorite item off the menu at El Burrito was their apple cinnamon stick. It was a simple yet delicious treat. It was apple slices, cinnamon, and sugar rolled the baked into a flour tortilla. The rolled tortilla was then covered in more cinnamon and powdered sugar which made it sticky to hold. The tortilla was crunchy after cooking and I never could get enough of them.
I remember back in the early seventies there was A LOT of talk about Armageddon and the second coming. It seemed that everyone was reading a book called 666 by Salem Kirban. Larry Norman had a song out by that same name. We at F.R.E.E. House were all having fun jumping up in the air in unison at any given moment that we called RAPTURE PRACTICE. Remember that one?
I guess I was about twelve or thirteen at the time. I remember a group of us was walking along the sidewalk toward El Burritos. Emory Boggs and my sister Irene were walking a little in front of me and Brook was walking with Beth Lane and Christy Hardy behind me. I think that's right -I hope I can tell this right. Anyway, one minute I am surrounded by young Christians and the next moment wasn't. After all that talk about rapture, the anit-christ - all of a sudden in a twinkling of an eye - I WAS LEFT BEHIND!
I was right behind Emory and Irene when they walked into to El Burritos. The big engraved wood door did have time to close before I got to it - but I wasn't that far behind them. When I opened the door - Emory and Irene were no where to be seen. I then walked back outside and couldn't see Brook, Beth, or Cristy anywhere. They were right behind me I tell you. I stepped on out from the entrance of the restaurant and stood out on the sidewalk. There was no one there. No body - no voices - I was El Burrito ALONE - all was quiet. It was a frightening moment for me. Apparently I wasn't the Christian that I thought I had been. I was momentarily terrorized.
All of a sudden, Emory walked out the front door and asked where everybody was. Whew! Emory's immediate appearance was living proof that rapture had not taken place. Brook, Beth, and Cristy came from out from the glass entryway of a nearby store. Something had caught their eyes and they stepped off the sidewalk. I found out later that both Emory and Irene had to go to the bathroom real bad and had dashed to the restrooms as soon as they went inside.
Well - that explained that. Even though there was a logical reason for every one's momentary rapture - my little heart was beating like a rabbit for quite some time. It might seem humorous looking back - but it was terrifying to live through.
4 days ago