Hold Your Burger Up.

The Internet. Where one thing always leads to another, and I found myself listening to Hold Your Head Up (Argent, 1972). Somebody had made a video to go with the song.

There weren’t official music videos back then, so whoever uploaded the music added pictures of people in bell-bottom jeans, peace symbols, and assorted old-timey stuff. A hamburger stand image popped up, and I thought – Hey!

It was one of the long-time ago memories, and I wasn’t even sure I was remembering correctly – but when I saw the name Sandy’s I immediately thought of Scottish plaid and a young woman in a kilt. Couldn’t figure out why those things would come to mind, so I had to look it up.

As I said, the Internet, where one thing always leads to another.


Even after the research, I can’t recall where it was. Maybe Stillwater. It was back in the early days of hamburger franchising, and I guess the Sandy’s folks were doing a McDonald’s (Scottish) knock-off. 15¢ hamburgers. Milkshakes. Speedy (and mostly counter-only) service.

And one thing leads to another.

I’m reading about Sandy’s and spot another burger joint picture. This one I know. The Burger Chef was in Tulsa, on 41st near the Skelly Drive on-ramp.


That was during a time when I was impoverished bicycle mechanic (haven’t come too far since then, have I?) working at the Bike Mart on South Sheridan. We got paid weekly and the paycheck was an amount that didn’t make it past Friday. Since the checks were handed out after lunch, I could never afford to eat on Saturday.

Most of my money was already spent on car and rent payments, so there wasn’t much left for food. When I discovered that Burger Chef offered a build-your-own-burger bar, I realized it was cheaper than buying bread and bologna. They had the cheapo Puny-Burger that – after visiting the condiments station – became a Whopper filled with as much lettuce and pickles as I could balance between the buns.

My visits were so regular that when I stopped in on a flat-broke Saturday lunchtime with enough change for a Coke, the young clerk asked me why I wasn’t getting my burger. After explaining my financial embarrassment, she reached back and grabbed a burger and put it on a tray for me.

I was a lot thinner in those days, and would have been more so if not for her kindness – which carried me through to my first job in radio. Not a lot more money, but enough to pay for my own lunch on Saturday.

Speaking of lunch – Chef Dustin prepares it every day but Sunday. Serving 11am to 2pm, so…

Come visit!


Booksellers & Irish Bistro
Rose District
122 South Main St. Broken Arrow, OK!

Comedy. Civil War Era Yuk-Yuks.

Hard to imagine rowing a boat from Greece to Ireland, but a fellow named Pytheas captained a ship that made the journey.

Back in 325 BC.


He was obviously an adventurous sort. And he was traveling back in the time when there were not a lot of visitors to northwestern Europe, much less tourists from the Mediterranean.

Pytheas and his men would have had to navigate that sea, sailing south around the boot of Italy after leaving the Sea of Crete. He’d edge past Spain and Portugal while passing through the Strait of Gibraltar to the Atlantic. Once they cleared Portugal, it would have been a fairly straight shot north to Ireland. About three-thousand miles.

If they could row at 10 knots (slightly more than 11 mph) the Greek sailors would have been at sea for nearly 12 days – if they knew exactly where they were going and never were drawn off course. That’s the whole exploring thing. They DIDN’T know where they were, or where they were going.

About a thousand years later, the Vikings paddled around the same area, but they managed about 2 mph – and the Norse ships were built for speed.

That’s why it’s hard for me to imagine Pytheas out at sea, an early tourist without a camera, a McDonald’s, or a roadside turnout. According to that bastion of facts, Wikipedia, Pytheas is the first known scientific visitor and reporter of the Arctic, polar ice, and the Germanic tribes.

And he called Ireland – Hibernia. It is thought to be a doubly-translated version of a Celtic word that meant “abundant land.”

The point of this whole history lesson?

Well, the caption on the Harper’s Weekly cartoon from 1867 uses the names Hibernians to describe the typical Irish drinking joke. (It was always so, apparently.)


Since it may be difficult to read the nearly 150 year old printing, here is the transcription to accompany the image:

Young Hibernian. “Jolly day we had last week at O’Donohue’s Wedding. Capital Champagne he gave us, and faith it was justice we did it, I tell you.”

Ancient Hibernian (who prefers a drop of Whisky). “Widdings is well enough at yer time o’ life, but give me a good Ould Wake.”

And that’s how the knee-slappers went back in the Civil War era. Still, a lot of interesting items in a stack of 150 year old Harper’s Weekly pages that popped in the front door today.

Never know what you’ll find in your friendly neighborhood bookstore – except from eleven to two, when you know you’ll find some delicious lunches. Come visit!


Booksellers & Irish Bistro
Rose District
122 South Main St. Broken Arrow OK!

Getting to the Book Store. Quickly.

When I saw the passenger window gliding up so smoothly, I thought “That car didn’t have electric windows.”

I stepped out the front door of the shop, just as the driver was climbing out.

“Those windows weren’t stock, were they?

“Not much on this car is,” he replied.


Sitting at the front counter, I had only noticed that the car was an older model. Looking it over, it was clear he wasn’t exaggerating. Big slicks on the back. Undersized front tires. Chrome headers through the wheel well and side exhaust pipes.

The fellow explained how he had always wanted to run a car down the drag strip. He’d just had a birthday, started a new decade. Decided to take his baby for a trip down the straight-away.

One Hundred Seventy Miles Per Hour.

He’s clearly confident of his mechanical skills. I’m not sure I would have pushed my luck at high speed driving something I had put together from pieces. The guy is fast. I just looked back out the door and the car is gone.

Figured I would have heard it fire up.


I think it’s a 1953, maybe a Bel-Air. I don’t know those earlier than 55’s or so. I am sure this particular model did not come with a big block Chevy engine and mag wheels.

I’m happy for the guy, getting a bucket list item out of the way. His dozen-year restoration project was clearly a labor of love, and turned out waaaaay better than my ten-year project.

When I finally got the engine running in my project car, I drove it around the block – and thought it handled like a tractor. Nothing against tractors.

That British sports car is now in Dallas, having been taken there by its new owner, who hauled it away in a trailer – at a pace well under the legal speed limit.

Dustin and I will be cruisin’ at top speed tomorrow at lunchtime, so get your hungry on and…

Come visit!


Booksellers & Irish Bistro
Rose District
122 South Main St. Broken Arrow OK!