Inspired Cinder Block Art

West Texas State 1969

You cannot tell by the expressions on the faces of these short-haired ladies, but they were truly in the presence of not only higher education, but higher decoration. So much is left to the imagination! Is that a tree on the left? If so, is this a Japanese painting of a willow tree at a stream? Is it prairie grass? Helter skelter? Kilroy was here? Is it simply the crayon chaos of a toddler? No matter. Patty, put more parmesan on the pizza.

These fellows presumably were denied the scrawled ambience of the former picture, but instead had a tableside jukebox. Or its it a phone? I can hardly tell.

Does this booth have a phone as well? Who were folks calling? Maybe in days of yore, before Instagramming your brunch, you called everyone you knew one by one, to describe the way the yolk ran out of the poach as your fork tine punctured it?

All I know is, this little frosh is eating away her cares with a nice serving of dessert! Sometimes it’s sad to be plaid.

A Little Nab’ll Do Ya

1937 UT

Who’s the most interesting fellow here? The obvious one in dark frames, or the guy taking a pull of his cigarette? It’s quite the crowded counter. Tiny bottles of soda were available for rationing through an entire meal. Honestly, how we did we ever do that? You might also notice that what appears to be a box of Kleenex or napkins is actually a NAB, a square of salty or sugary carbs to compliment your beverage. Of course, NAB is short for Nabisco. And why not indulge? It’s a mere nickel, or as Gary Gulman calls them, “quarter impersonators.” Might I suggest not pairing Oreos with Coke? The sugar crash will be atrocious.

https://fineartamerica.com/

Meal Options From 70 Years Ago

Well, 18 cents a serving is nothing to sneer at. I don’t know about you, but coming from the Lone Star State, I can appreciate the star in the pie crust, a nod to the “star” of the meal, which is Dinty Moore beef stew. Easy peasy!

If you need another side dish, why not green beans? The finest places served them, so you know they’re quality.


As in the above ad, animated characters are singing and dancing over the mere thought of dining. Who can blame them? Dad knows three chords, and kids know lima bean casserole hits the spot.

Let’s not forget a favorite of media, bandwagon. Everybody is doing it! 27 million people are eating soup. I hope you’re not in the minority here.

Next up, processed American cheese, the nastiest cheese that exists. Almost a non-cheese, if you will. But boy, does it melt.

This next one was a new one on me. I didn’t realize folks had peanut butter and jelly parties. This particular showcase is the “Ice Box Raider Special,” with a variety of flavors. I hope they had both smooth and chunky!


And finally, it’s time for a 1951 dessert. No soy milk, full of lactose goodness, and cherries that one associates with the father of our nation, George Washington (until he, too, is erased). Yum!

If ice cream isn’t your bag, you could go for the heavenly flavor of a devil’s food mix. Dorothy Duff liked it, and she’s probably related to Duff Goldman of “Ace of Cakes.” So it has to be good.

Well, there’s your mid-century wrap-up for today. I hope you’re salivating!

I Want Strangers To Feed Me Again

Houston 175, James Coney Island on Walker Avenue, Houston

It’s a darn good thing I know how to cook, since I’ve had to cook 98% of our meals over these past nine weeks. My first thoughts in the morning are, “Take Bayer aspirin, give dog his pill, make coffee, thaw meat.” Meal prep is, as Willie Nelson sang, always on my mind. Manana in Texas means bars, yes, BARS, will open. Restaurants have already been plugging away at 25%, at least those that have not yet folded. A handful of iconic Austin restaurants operating for over 30 years each, have died a COVID death. Tomorrow, restaurants can allow 50% occupancy. And no, they will not shove blow-up sex dolls in booths to establish social distancing like a certain establishment in South Carolina did…

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Austin is known for keeping it weird, but that’s hella weird. Crazy weird. And yet, when I think of the flaky dim bulb brains of many hostesses I’ve known, it’s probably helpful, so they wouldn’t seat those tables. Nice touch with the bowls and forks.

Howdy, Y’all

Just a note to say howdy from one of the states that is now allowing 25% capacity dining.

1948 Ventana

We didn’t take our chances with that risk today, and continued instead with carryout, per our usual Saturday order, wore masks, held the containers swathed in a towel as we drove home, got home, threw the towel in the wash, switched all containers to our plates, then popped them in the oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes, wiped down the counter where containers had made contact, washed our hands, and badda-bing, badda-boom, lunch. How about y’all? Eating out yet?

Six To A Booth, Too Many

Yucca ’47

Even slim-hipped WWII vets can’t make three a comfortable proposition in this booth. Reaching for his Coke, he’d knock a bottle over. How is the fellow in the middle supposed to move? Can he breathe with his pal’s pipe smoke literally four inches from his face?