Saturday, December 13, 2008

biff burger...

came across a story on the old biff burger chain today, and it brought memories flooding back...

friday night was date night in our little town of pahokee, fl on the shore of lake okeechobee...my girl and i were 16 and would go to the local drive-in theater in nearby belle glade (think burt reynolds as gator mccluskey, though i'm afraid we didn't see much of the movies ;), then it was back to pahokee to hit the biff burger for a shake and a sack of fries to munch on as we joined the cruise circuit convoy through downtown, up to the levee overlooking the lake, and back again in a continuous meandering circle in my mom's nearly-new 1969 plymouth fury III...

that was 1970, and with a baby on the way we were married the following year at age 17 (like i said we didn't see much of the movies), had two girls by age 20 and a boy ten years later...next week on december 18th we will celebrate our 37th anniversary, have four grandkids and a good life in sebring, fl only about sixty miles from pahokee, and a mountain place in north georgia.

pahokee is (was) an agricultural town in western palm beach county; the sugar cane business is dying off, and along with it pahokee and belle glade; the biff burger closed along with most other businesses in pahokee long ago, and though the belle glade location lasted longer, it too is now history...and what a history it is to us...the glades drive-in theater and the biff burger are some of our brightest and fondest memories; we will never forget them.

little did we know that we on those date nights were some of the last that would enjoy the pleasures and freedoms of two of this nation's most melancholy memories and cherished institutions...drive in movies and burger joints. i'm sorry they're not around for our kids and grandkids to enjoy...and remember.

jtc

3 comments:

Bob said...

Hmm, Pahokee is Mel Tillis' hometown, too. You ever meet Mel, or maybe go to school with his children?

the pawnbroker said...

yeah, bob...mel is (was) a pilot and would fly his plane into the little airfield there to visit the hometown folks. mel had long since gone to nashville by the time i went to school there in the sixties, but i bought insurance from his cousin frank whose agency was next door to the old-line hardware store where i had my first job, went to school with second cousins frank, jr. and tommy...and his aunt and uncle (she who gave him his first guitar and encouraged his music) lived around the corner from us.

the pawnbroker said...

https://www.google.com/maps/@26.617712,-80.0975696,3a,75y,158.78h,83.05t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sqN6ia1lcWykosi6MkvbTHA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1