Remembering LUMS

Numerous times here at Kev-Mania I’ve taken a look back at the “good ole days”.  And if you’re over 50 like I am you’re usually talking about the 1960’s and 1970’s. But something I noticed recently, is that the internet has really changed how we look at history and more importantly how we view the good ole days.

Today, you could almost say that anything prior to the mid 1990’s could be considered the good ole days.  That’s because once people started using the internet we began to look at history in a different way.  Now… anything that existed (and more importantly ended) prior to the existence of the internet is sometimes forgotten and becomes nostalgia.

Yesterday I noticed that 2 of my most popular posts here on Kev-Mania were about things that predate the internet.  The most popular blog post ever at Kev-Mania, is about a 1970’s phenomenon known as Beetleboards (you can read it here).  And coming in a close second, is my post regarding another remembrance from my younger days, Mister Donut (find that post here).

Even though I’ve been playing around with Kev-Mania since 2008, these 2 posts from 2010 have a common theme…. they touch on subjects that Baby Boomers like me fondly remember.  But, since they were long gone by the mid 90’s there isn’t much to be found about them on the internet.

I came across another similar topic the other day, and like Beetleboards and Mister Donut I couldn’t find much on the internet regarding another fond memory from my youth; a popular family restaurant from days gone by… LUMS.
LUMS Restaurant

Sure, you can find out a bit about the history of LUMS on their minimal Wikipedia page, but other than a brief history of the restaurant chain, there’s not a lot to be had.  I did find a few images online, including some pics of their menu, but not much more.

Most people who remember LUMS remember their hot dogs.  See, their famous hot dogs were steamed in beer.  And almost any time I’ve ever gotten into a discussion about LUMS with someone (and this has happened quite a few times) the hot dogs come up.

Sadly, even though I love hot dogs, I don’t remember theirs.  My dad wasn’t a big fan of LUMS, so we only went there a few times.  And I never got around to their most famous offering.

But amazingly, I do remember what I ate those few times we found ourselves at LUMS.  One time I had their Hot Roast Beef Sandwich (which their menu proclaimed was “heaped high”).  It wasn’t bad, but once I found another sandwich I never looked back.

My memories of LUMS (mostly from their location in Hannibal, MO) was of their hot ham sandwich, or as they referred to it on the menu, their “Imported Holland Ham Sandwich…Heaped High on Egg Roll, Hot or Cold”.  You could order it with or without cheese.  Now personally, I don’t know why anyone would order a cold ham sandwich when they could get a hot ham and cheese for just 10 cents more?!

I don’t even know who or what guided me to the Holland Ham, but once I tried it I don’t think I ever ate anything else at LUMS.  And on top of that, I can’t even tell you if I had mine with french fries or onion rings.  I’m betting onion rings, but not remembering tells me that they weren’t anything special.

Restaurant chains like LUMS are getting harder to find these days.  I think because they harken back to a simpler time.  A time when family restaurants were everywhere.  And as a kid of the 60’s and 70’s, fast food and pizza were the norm, so anytime we got the chance to broaden our horizons… we did!  And looking back all these years later I have only one regret.  I never tried that LUMS Famous Hot Dog steamed in beer….  Lums Restaurant Logo

Hullabaloo

Hullabaloo on NBCLast night I stumbled upon my local PBS TV station during one of their pledge drives, and they were airing a retrospective of the old Hullabaloo TV show that aired on NBC back in 1965 and 1966. It’s probably best know as the show that was replaced by Batman!

I was pretty young back in those days and I don’t really remember the show, but it was great to walk down memory lane and witness some classic music performances.

The only problem with the show…. I can’t get the damn theme song out of my head!  Just Click on the BIG orange play button and see if YOU can!

Play

Road Trip!

A few weeks ago on my podcast The Mason Minute I was reminiscing about one of my favorite childhood restaurants Shakey’s Pizza.

Growing up I used to love going to Shakey’s to watch them make the pizza (both tossing it and baking it), listen to the Dixieland and Ragtime band, and take home one of those fake straw hats to wear.  Plus, did I mention that the pizza was real good too?!  I think you could consider Shakey’s the 1960’s and 1970’s version of Chuck E. Cheese before there was such a thing.

But by the late 80’s and early 90’s the restaurant world had changed greatly and Shakey’s were closing throughout the U.S.  The last one I remembered seeing (and eating at) was in Bloomington, IL when I lived there in the early 90’s…. that was until a few weeks ago!!!
Pictures From Shakey's in Auburn, AL
Pictures from Shakey's in Auburn, AL
While I was doing some research about Shakey’s for my podcast, I noticed that their Wikipedia page indicated that there were still some Shakey’s open in America…. and that one of them was just a few hours away in Auburn, AL.  So I grabbed my wife and did what any red blooded pizza loving guy (without kids) would do.  I hopped in the car and took a road trip to Alabama.

And as you can tell from the pictures above, we had a great time; and best of all the pizza tasted just like I remember it did!  The modern Shakey’s did a  great job of displaying the brand’s history by using some of the old wall signs pictured above, and they also had display cases filled with mementos from years gone by.

I chatted with the store manager and he told me that this location had been open for a few years, and he didn’t know if there were plans to expand into more states.  Right now there are nearly 60 locations in the U.S., and roughly 50 of those are in California, so finding a Shakey’s near you could be rough.

I mentioned to him that I had eaten at Shakey’s many times throughout the years (and literally from coast to coast). When I mentioned that most of the American Shakey’s had disappeared for a decade or two, he was shocked. I guess some days it pays to be an old-timer!

I don’t know if we’ll get back Auburn anytime soon, but if you find yourself near one of their new locations make sure you stop in for lunch or dinner. You’ll be glad you did!

If you’re an old time Shakey’s Pizza lover like me, I’m sure you’ll love the picture we found from back in the day…

An Old Time Shakey's

It’s Yesterday AND Today

http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/retro-gaming/e762/I was scrolling through my Twitter feed this afternoon, when I saw one of my friends post a link to the above item.  I thought it was too good to be true, and in a way it was…. for now!

After doing some research, I found out that the overlords at Think Geek posted this as an April Fools joke back in 2010, but obviously someone thought is was as brilliant an idea as I do, so they have actually produced it.  It’s called the iCade and it turns your iPad into a classic (and I do mean classic) video gaming machine.  It like the technology of yesterday has merged with the technology of today.  Check it out HERE.

Sadly, we’ll have to wait a few more months.  They’re currently in production and are expected to be ready by sometime in June.  The Think Geek gang teamed up with Ion (the folks who bring us the USB turntable) to make this cool gag a reality.  They’ll cost about $100, but I think they’ll be well worth it to ancient gamers like me.

Atari has already jumped on board to make available some of their most loved video games from our youth.  Supposedly they already have Asteroids ready to go, and hopefully will also be bringing us classics like Centipede, Space Invaders, and Missle Command.  I’m sure video game legends like Pac-Man, Ms Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong won’t be far behind.

I’m just hoping that there’s some way that they can recreate Tempest!  I promise to post pictures once mine arrives.

Truth In Advertising

For a few years back in the late 1980’s, I lived in Huntsville, AL.  To say it was an interesting few years would be an understatement.  While Huntsville is home to the world famous Space and Rocket Center (Home of Space Camp), and at the time had the third highest number of PhD’s per capita, it was also a city where you could still see a George Wallace for President bumper sticker nearly 15 years after he had last run for the office.

Now this post isn’t actually about Huntsville, but a unique place close by.  The reason I reference Huntsville, is because one of the things that I remember about living there, was hearing stories from some of my co-workers about a gentleman’s club up the road that they used to spend “frequent” time visiting.  I’m not a big fan of gentleman’s clubs (or strip clubs if you prefer).  Sure, I’ve been to a couple over the years, but it was usually for a bachelor party, or I was dragged to one with a bunch of people.  I don’t personally, have any issues with them, they’re just not my thing.

But the one gentleman’s club that my Huntsville friends always had stories about truly had one of the most memorable names; the Boobie Bungalow! The Bungalow (as they called it in mixed company) wasn’t actually located in Huntsville, it was situated about 25 miles north of town on the Tennessee side of the Alabama/Tennessee border in what I think is technically Elkton, TN.

Exotic Dancing Show Girls

I hadn’t actually heard about, let alone thought about the Boobie Bungalow for years. But recently, my wife and I were heading south on Interstate 65 and lo and behold, off in the distance just off Exit 6 was the bright yellow and red sign. The Boobie Bungalow was still around! I had to stop and take a couple of pictures (outside of course).

I had seen the signs before, back in the days when I was making frequent trips from Huntsville to Nashville; never once being curious enough to stop. But this time I had to. I had to stop long enough to snap a couple of pictures of this southern entertainment legend.

Gentleman's Club Go-Go Girls

We were passing through about 4:30pm on a Saturday, and from the looks of things, they were probably getting ready to open at 5. Both the signs and the building itself, looked a little worn, and probably would benefit from a new coat of paint, but it made me chuckle to think that “the Bungalow” was still there after all these years. I asked the wife is she wanted to stop in for a drink, but she passed. I’m not surprised.

If you’re ever in the neighborhood and stop by, let me know how you enjoyed yourself. Or at least share the details you can. You can’t miss the Boobie Bunglaow. It’s the first building just past the giant chicken.

Oh, the giant chicken? That’s a story for next time!

doughnuts

Remember Mister Donut?

This weekend my wife and I were rolling down the road, and somehow got to talking about doughnuts.  I know, there’s a shock!  I’m sure it had something to do with the fact that I’m watching my waistline and missing donuts.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I had one; It’s probably been 3 or 4 years.  I know it won’t surprise you that doughnuts have always been one of my weaknesses.

Having lived all over the country, I’ve never really had one favorite place to eat doughnuts, I’ve had many!  When I lived in Virginia Beach it was Krispy Kreme.  In Quincy, IL it was a local favorite called Dixie Cream Donuts.  And early on in life (in Cheyenne, WY I think) it was Mister Donut.  And that got me wondering about Mister Donut.  I hadn’t seen one in years.

Gone But Not ForgottenI remember hearing that they got taken over by Dunkin Donuts sometime in the late 80’s early 90’s.  I’m told that they used to have good coffee, but I don’t remember that.  I do remember that they had ice cold milk and some of the best jelly doughnuts around.  If I close my eyes, I can almost remember the last time I ate at Mister Donut.  It was in Lynchburg, VA back in about 1984 or 85.

So naturally once we got home I had to do some research into Mister Donut to exactly what happened.  Who knows, maybe I’d find a tribute site.  I couldn’t find one, but did find out that they actually still exist…. in Japan and the Philippines.  I guess I won’t be making a doughnut run to Mister Donut anytime soon…. Although, it would be a pretty cool trip!

Love That SignWhile searching the internet for info about Mister Donut, I did come across this great picture of a now long gone Mister Donut. Thanks to Darren Snow for posting it on his Flickr site.  Click on the pic to see it full size in Darren’s album.  Sweet memories!!