Everyone Is Entitled To My Opinion: On Burgers Fries and Blueberry Pies

Dear Friends,

      “Burgers and fries, and blueberry pies” the title to a Charlie Pride song, as he sings about days gone by I listened to the words as I have many times and I found my mind wandering to long gone days. Music has that magical quality of being able to transport you back to long ago memories; mine went back to my high school days.

I was not old enough to drive, I was working making fifty cents an hour that summer, mucking stalls and feeding cows, I supplemented that income selling bait; night crawlers, minnows, crawfish, and lures that I found stuck on logs in the water by the Lilly pads. When summer ended and it was time to return to school I raked leaves, cut grass, and when it turned winter shoveled snow to keep money in my pockets. Back then something happened that changed our young lives forever, for me it was the day a place called Burger Chef opened, 15 cent cheeseburgers, 10 cent French fries.

Suddenly one could buy a meal for a quarter, a drink was a bottle of ice cold pop in a glass bottle for a dime and you could still return the bottle for a refund. As a young man found his fancies turning toward the fairer sex he could be a big shot for another quarter and buy her lunch, sit on the grass and eat it together. Oh they were special times, what we didn’t see happening was the demise of something very special, as mom and dad found it necessary to have two incomes to make ends meet the 25 cent meal on the way home signaled the end of family dinners at the kitchen table.

We no longer shared our days with our parents as they were busy getting their own dinners and discussing their jobs. I continued working, eating my meals from a bag, and saving my money for a car, I had my eye on a beauty, a green 1958 Desoto; I dubbed it the “Green Goblin.” I drove it to the gas station and filled the near empty twenty gallon tank handing the attendant a five dollar bill and receiving enough change to drive over and get a burger and fries. I no longer needed mom or dad to drive me everywhere and, I now had a job as an usher in a movie theater getting a regular pay check. Yes I was growing up becoming independent, accepting responsibility, and not seeing what was happening quietly as the years went by.

No more smell of breakfast cooking as I awakened, lunch was now fifty cents for a burger and fries, no longer did I get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a brown bag packed by mom. The dinner table became a lonely place to grab a meal, no longer a time for family to gather. Soon even Sunday dinners began to drop off and holiday meals began to be more and more sparsely attended as Sunday’s and Holidays were work days. Yes “Burgers and fries and blueberry pies” was a long time ago that I decided to revisit, I went to a local restaurant and ordered “Burger and fries and blueberry pie” it was good but sadly not as special as I remembered it. Then I was handed the bill it cost more than my first tank of gas.  


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