DRIVE-INS AND JESUS

About books, movies, cooking, and advice
Decorating, shopping, and finding the best price
Life, love and raising kids
Along with do-hickeys, what-cha-ma-call-its, and thing-a-ma-jigs
We’re just two Texas girls
Straight from the sticks
The only thing we won’t gab about
Is religion and politics!

Drive-in movie theaters have started to make a comeback in recent years, and in light of the coronavirus outbreak, it could be a good thing. They were the brainchild of Richard Hollingshead. The idea caught on, and drive-in theaters popped up all over the country. Their popularity spiked after WWII and became an icon of American culture and a typical weekend destination

Susan: Music to my ears when I was a child. We’d put on our pajamas and grab our pillows because it was going to be a long night. Daddy and Mama always went for the double and triple features. During the summer it got dark so late we’d be there most of the night.

I can smell the popcorn now! A cool summer breeze, the smell of the hot dogs on the grill, the crunch of gravel as cars pulled in. If we were lucky, we might get to go to the playground located in front just under the movie screen.

The advertisement for the snack bar flashing on the screen made my mouth water. (Too expensive, Daddy always said so we brought our snacks with us) The concession stand sat in the middle of the lot, along with the restrooms (which we avoided like the plague because Mama had a thing about germs).

When my husband was a teenager, he’d go to Floyd’s Dairy Bar (5 burgers for $1.00) and buy a six-pack of soda on his way to the show. He also told me the story of parking behind a kid who sneaked in a trunkload of friends (must not have been Bargain night)

My fondest memory is the time my uncles took a carload full of kids to see Cat Ballou. They took us to the snack bar and let us get ANYTHING we wanted. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! It’s a wonder I didn’t make myself sick.

I remember Cool Hand Luke, The House on Haunted Hill, Planet of the Apes, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Shenandoah, and a whole lot of John Wayne movies. I saw a whole lot more, but those stick out in my mind.

Ann: Well, Susan, my parents never took us to the movies…drive-in or otherwise. And, once I was old enough to date, I wasn’t allowed to go to a drive-in.

However, I remember two exceptions to the rule and they stand out in my mind. Not because I was at a forbidden place, but because something memorable happened.

Drive-in visit number one: I went with a friend and her mother. I don’t recall what movie we saw, but I do remember the Lunar Eclipse that night! We spent our time watching it instead of the movie.

My second experience was the first date I had with the boy I would later marry. We’d gotten special permission to go…a one-time-only deal. Again, I don’t remember the movie, but I remember what I was wearing—a purple and white seersucker full skirt and sleeveless top. It was summer and even seersucker didn’t help.

Tom, my date, had a church hand fan in his car. Remember those?  To my surprise, you can still order them as promotional products. They’re about the size of a sheet of typing paper mounted on a paint stir stick. Most of the time they had a picture of Jesus on them.

Well, Tom, being a gentleman, gave it to me so I could stir the air…which I did. But my hand got tired after a while so I laid the fan in my lap. When I raised it to fan again, it caught on the hem of my skirt, and pulled it over my head!

Find out more about Ann Everett/Emma Ames: https://www.anneverett.com

A BLAST FROM THE PAST

About books, movies, cooking, and advice
Decorating, shopping, and finding the best price
Life, love and raising kids
Along with do-hickeys, what-cha-ma-call-its, and thing-a-ma-jigs
We’re just two Texas girls
Straight from the sticks
The only thing we won’t gab about
Is religion and politics!

A Blast From The Past

Ann: While doing some spring cleaning, I came across a book I’d bought many years ago, The Verse by the Side of the Road, The Story of the Burma-Shave Signs, by Frank Rowsome, Jr.

Some of you will remember this clever advertising campaign, which lasted from 1925 until 1963. The rhyming jingles for a brushless shave cream were displayed on a series of small wooden signs spaced 100 feet apart along roadways across rural America.

The company, Burma Vita Inc., was operated by Clinton Odell and his son, Allan, who suggested using the roadside idea. For the first three years, Allan and his father wrote the jingles, but when their poetic muse ran out, they sponsored a nationwide contest, awarding $100 for each of the 25 best. Some of the annual contests received more than 50,000 entries!

Some were naughty and never made it past the first round of judging. Boy, wouldn’t you like to read those entries! By today’s standards, I’ll bet they weren’t that bad!

Here’s one of the most the popular:

He had the ring

He had the flat

But she felt his chin

And that was that.

Burma-Shave

Wanna take a stab at writing one? We’re not paying any money, but it might be interesting to see a modern take on the jingle. And we’ll share the one we like the best on our next blog!

Here’s Ann’s offering:

His cheeks were covered

In five o’clock stubble

Canoodling with him

Was too much trouble.

Burma Shave

Here’s Susan’s:

Short, balding, chubby

And missing teeth

But with cheeks like baby.

He couldn’t keep the girls away.

Burma Shave.

Susan: Talking about seeing these signs reminds me of road trips I’ve taken through the years—no fun when I was growing up. Three girls crammed together in the backseat of a mustang with black interior and no a/c. You either sat behind Daddy and got singed by flying ash (he smoked) or in the middle (with him yelling at you to duck your head because he couldn’t see) or behind Mama. He didn’t play the radio. And we drove for hours without a bathroom break. If I didn’t have a book, I read all the road signs. I knew exactly how far we were from the next Stuckey’s, Dairy Queen, or souvenir shop. (Not that we ever stopped) Things changed when I got married. My husband and I used to drive up in the hill country—nothing more relaxing than traveling down those back roads, listening to music, looking at the scenery.

Don’t forget to try your hand at writing a Burma Shave jingle. Leave it in the comments!

Winner of two eBooks from a previous post is Cindy Bright! BIG congrats, Cindy, and thanks for taking the time to read and comment on our blog.

Find out more about Ann Everett/Emma Ames: https://www.anneverett.com

BURN ONE, TAKE IT THROUGH THE GARDEN AND PIN A ROSE ON IT!

About books, movies, cooking, and advice
Decorating, shopping, and finding the best price
Life, love and raising kids
Along with do-hickeys, what-cha-ma-call-its, and thing-a-ma-jigs
We’re just two Texas gals
Straight from the sticks
The only thing we won’t gab about
Is religion and politics!

Wonder what the heck we’re talking about? Well, May is National Hamburger Month. A staple at cookouts and greasy spoon cafes all across the nation, and the Diner lingo title to this blog is the way they used to be ordered.

“Burn one” refers to dropping the burger on the grill. “Taking it through the garden” means topping it with lettuce and tomato, and to finish it off, you pin a rose (onion), the most fragrant of flowers, on it!

Man, that diner slang just adds some fun to the order! Of course, in recent years the Fast Food King has been elevated to a ‘gourmet’ status. The origin is unclear, but burgers have been around for a long time. A recipe for a hamburger appears in a cookbook written in the 1700s, and in the 1800s, emigrants ate them on their way to America.

In 1896, the Chicago Daily Tribune mentioned a place called The Sandwich Car that offered a Hamburger steak sandwich ‘cooked while you waited on the gasoline range for a nickel.’

ANN: Hey, back in 1967, I bought hamburgers at McDonald’s in Austin, Texas for nineteen cents! Only a fourteen cents price increase from 1896!!

J. Wellington “Whimpy,” Popeye the Sailor Man’s friend, helped their popularity when he appeared in the cartoon as a hefty Lover of Hamburgers in 1930. His soft spoken and cowardly personality was in direct contrast to his willingness to do whatever it took to get one, or a billion, for free.

They come in all sizes, consisting of one or more cooked patties of ground meat; usually beef, pan-fried, grilled, smoked or flame broiled, served on a sliced bun with lettuce, tomato, red, white or grilled onions, pickles, bacon, cheese. Sliced avocadoes, peppers, mushrooms, along with condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, or relish.

SUSAN: The best burger I ever ate? October 3, 1969. On the way to Corpus Christi, my husband and I stopped at a little café. We’d only been married a few hours, and after being too busy and too nervous to eat all day, we were starving. Boy, did it taste good.

If burgers are your favorite fast food, then you’re in good company. Bruce Springsteen loves a good diner burger. Venus Williams prefers one from Mickey D’s, while Katy Perry fancies one from In-N-Out-Burger.

SUSAN: My favorite is a well-done pattie on a toasted bun, mustard on one side, and mayonnaise on the other, grilled onions, lettuce, and tomatoes. Sometimes thin-sliced avocadoes. Sometimes melted cheese.

ANN: Just so you know, to order that well-done burger in diner lingo, the waitress would shout, “One Hockey Puck.” My favorite thing about a burger is the sauce I put on it. I mix 3 parts mayo with 1-part mustard, add lots of ground black pepper, and slather it on both buns. I love to add grilled mushrooms and onions, along with lettuce and some good ol’ East Texas maters!

What’s your fave? We’d love to know the place you like best—or, if you have a special recipe. Let us know in the comments!

Find out more about Ann Everett/Emma Ames: https://www.anneverett.com