Monday, July 24, 2006

School Lunches

What's for Lunch?
Butch Ford Class of 60: Lunchtime was really something for school kids in Forrest City. From elementary school through high school. Our food and the facilities in which we "dined" ran the gamut... As I sit here thinking of all the different places and people, my mind whirls. Mrs. Turley's cafeteria in the old Elementary School (peanut butter balls come to mind); the "awful-teria" under the stadium behind the high school (spider webs come to mind). How happy we were when we moved into the new Junior High and when they finally finished the cafeteria/gym/big hall and we could eat in a real cafeteria...uh oh, new facility, same food... One thing ALL the cafeterias had, other than the little boxes of milk, that was those great rolls. Still the best rolls I've ever had. I think cafeteria managers all over the country must share the same secret roll recipe. They were the same at the school where I taught in Memphis.

I always did like to have a class on the second floor, east side of the high school in the period before lunch to watch the sprints across the campus to see who could get to Campbell's grocery first. And then, the bell rings and it's the Oklahoma Land Rush and a buffalo stampede at the same time. What was the hurry" Ten cent lunch meat sammiches, fifteen cent hamburgers? Nah. Some kids always ate at Boone's, some at Campbell's and others at, what was the other one? Then Donny Kessinger's relatives opened an actual burger stand on the corner. The crowds in those stores were panic-inducing while the herds crowded up to the trough to get their swill. And then, there was Bell's Cafe.

A short walk from campus to the that little paradise of the perfect hamburger owned by Bell Butler-May-Butler-May on Washington next to Winfield's Drug Store (which wasn't mentioned in the drug store section). The request for extra onion resulted in half-inch thick slices of onion piled on top of a big, juicy hamburger pattie, buns grilled to crispy edges, mustard slathered on both sides. Oh, man, that memory makes hungry. Only a few of us made that walk every day. None of us had a car, except Immel and he always had a girl with him. The joint would be full of old guys and Bell, the Queen of the Hamburger. We made nuisances of ourselves more than a few times. You guys remember the note Bell wrote to us on the bathroom wall?

Anonymous said...Did the sign in the bathroom say PLAY NICE?

Butch said...PLAY NICE was definitely NOT what she wrote on the wall. I'll have to admit that we had trashed her bathroom, which had an outside entrance, several days in a row. We thought our little tricks were hilarious. We would laugh all the way back to school. If I remember correctly, the guilty parties were Butch Ford (me), Mike Deaderick, Doug Smith, Billy Lieblong, Danny Harrelson, maybe Phil Hicky and maybe Freddie Swan. In fairness, not sure about the last two, but they did eat at Bell's pretty often. Some of the girls started going their during the senior year. Patricia Sulcer, Sheila Sweet, Mimi Butler, Gay Burke, Paula Light, Betty Jo Buford, Pam Daniels, Ann Runyan were always running around together...not sure of the exact group. That was a long time ago. Oh. The girls had nothing to do with the bathroom incident.

Janet Class of '62: Why couldn't girls eat lunch at Aldridge's store? I remember that was just understood but I never knew why. Most of us ate our lunch in the gym because the high school did not have a cafeteria that I can remember. We would go to Burrows' Grocery, the Korner Kreme (Kessinger) or to Boones. If you were lucky someone would bring you a hamburger from I also remember being allowed in the 6th grade to go to Boone's store and buy lunch and walk back to the elementary school. Seems impossible today.

Sula Class of '68: I think the last time I ate in the school cafeteria was in Jr. High. We had big thick round glasses & you went to a milk machine to fill them. I remember Tim Mize always age with a napkin over his milk glass. I asked him why & he said to keep things from falling in it. In 10th grade my boyfriend had wheels & we went to Faupel's almost every day. I gained 20 lbs the year I dated him! My favorite was fried ham sandwich...and frito pies (not all at once) :)

Anonymous said...I always loved cho cho's. does anyone remember chocolate ice cream bars being called cho cho's? I said that to my niece one day and she did not have a clue what I was talking about! I loved the rolls and cho cho's in the cafeteria. The rest of the time I ate at Faupels or the Corral.

Admin said...oops sorry BJ. Thanks for pix...We replaced Sealtest with Borden's milk-- BJ's dad, Buddy Rowland was a Borden's distributor & helped all of us grow strong bones!


Blogger Administrator said...

Your memories are welcome here & are fun to read. We trust the changes made to your original post & the site need no explanation. We hope you will understand & continue to contribute. Thanks for joining in. Play nice.

Mon Jul 24, 08:56:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Butch Ford said...

Play nice? Hmmph!

Tue Jul 25, 05:36:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Butch Ford said...

When was that? Surely, you aren't talking about eating in the awful-teria. I think it closed for lack of customers after the Junior High Cafeteria opened in about 1956 or 57. I remember people walked down to the Jr. High from the High School to eat. You could look up into the dark upper reaches of the awful-teria and there were spider webs up there that had to be older than Sam Smith. By the way, when did you graduate? Are you anywhere near the age of my little sister, Maribeth Ford Chism?

Tue Jul 25, 06:25:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous sula said...

Jr High was 1962-64 for me. Sam Smith. When we got to high school we had a choice of walking to Jr High to eat...or dashing like the herd you described (so funny, so true)...or if you had wheels you left. I was born 1950 so I think Mary Beth is a few years younger but I recall her...I had a brother & 2 sisters younger & she may have been their age. Your ole bud Ollie is my uncle. Were you in on the prank where guys called every pizza place in town to deliver a pizza to someone's house? (an ex girlfriend of O's I think)...or the time there was a rumble & you guys were melting brass knuckles in hot water in the kitchen? I'm thinking I might remember you if you ever hung out at the big house...might be confusing you with Danny H.

Tue Jul 25, 07:19:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Butch Ford said...

We had that dubious dining choice also. But, who, in high school, would lower themselves to eat in the JUNOR HIGH cafeteria? Not many. It wasn't worth the trip. Shoot, those 10ยข sammiches at Boone's and Campbell's were better than Gummint meat and whole kernel corn. Maribeth is nine years younger than me. She was born on November 27, 1951. Maybe that put her in school later than most her age. I don't remember. My first car was a 13 year old 51 Chevrolet Tudor Sedan. She inherited it and drove it all through high school. You might remember her by that.
I did hang out at the big house a lot with Ollie, Danny, Quail, and others. Your uncle credits me with teaching him how to play drums and getting him started on his music career. Actually, he and I were the "featured" act in the Jr/Sr Banquet our junior year. We developed our bongo drum/conga drum act in his bedroom on the second floor. I helped Ollie work out the rhythmical beats on the bongos...not that I knew all that much. Our act was mostly ham and smoke and mirrors. Do you remember Ollie's dog, Spot? He was on the receiving end of a lot of stuff from demented teenagers. I wasn't in on the brass nuckles thing. The first pizza I had in my life was when I was a freshman at Arkansas State, so I missed any pizza delivery scams. I always thought the house was one of the neatest places I had ever been in, especially since the second floor was concrete and was kind of off limits to adults. The library was really neat. I enjoyed seeing Ollie and Claire at the last reunion. Also, you wouldn't be the first Forrest City native to confuse me with Danny Harrelson. We look so much alike!?!

Wed Jul 26, 06:24:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous B.J. Class of '68 said...

Sorry, Butch, but I can't let that Sealtest picture slide. By the time I started first grade my dad was getting up at 3:30 a.m. each morning to deliver Borden's milk to all the schools, which made me feel like a big deal. I remember we walked to the elementary school from the primary school for lunch, and the milk cartons had a little round perforated hole you could punch out and put your staw through. The only trouble with my dad selling milk to the schools was that he always knew all the teachers. Any time I came home grumpy for having gotten into trouble, he would say, "Now I know Miss So-n-so, and I know she wouldn't have done that unless you did something to make her mad." I could never win. One of my favorite memories was standing on the running board and hanging onto the outside mirrors of his truck as he drove to the end of the block and getting little bottles of chocolate milk with paper tops. Thanks for stirring the memories.

Thu Jul 27, 10:44:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can remember the milk with the holes in the side- when they changed it where you drank milk without opening the carton. You brought your milk money then and it was a dime a week. David Trim use to get in trouble for blowing bubbles and making the milk come out the side. Butch, this was third grade and not high school! lol That cold milk tasted so good! I looked forward to milk time and really liked it when the milk was slushy from being slightly frozen! I knew Mary Beth was Butch little sister. She was two grades behind us in school

Thu Jul 27, 04:55:00 PM 2006  

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