MUSKOGEE, Okla. -- Frankye Newton said it's the daily interactions she's going to miss the most.
Her husband bob got into the restaurant business 50 years ago, and opened Smokehouse Bob's 10 years later. It's a family affair that's employed everyone from daughters to grandsons. Newton said as his health declines it's a legacy that will be hard to say goodbye to.
"Once you do it so long you get used to getting it in your mind. It's a mindset thing," he said.
Customers who also didn't want to say goodbye came prepared with gifts. Joel Everett painted a picture of the restaurant for the Newtons.
"It's just always nice for me. That's the feeling. I wanted to paint the feeling," Everett said.
Others said they don't know what they'll do without a Smokehouse turkey for Thanksgiving, or a Newton family ham for Christmas.
"It's the best. Nobody makes it any better. And the people here are just down home country folk, great people," Steve Goad said.
As someone who watched the restaurant from the beginning, Bob's daughter said it's tough to watch the end.
"I'm 52 today and this is still the foundation of our family. This is what created... we had a bond, but created a greater bond for unity," Tracy Clemons said.
As they prepare for retirement, Frankye and Bob are looking forward to rest, travel, and keeping their house as clean as they would like for the holidays.
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