Pic courtesy of Pete Mosconi
Willie's at Night (Early 70's)
Left to Right: Paul
McIntosh, Karin Fowler, and Pete Mosconi.
Have plenty of stories about the happenings at Willie's... When I get some more time I'll key them in... Well, while I'm already here and thinking of it, here's one of the best:
See the silver chili pot (foreground), with the ladle sticking out of it? We called it our "fly catcher."
"Her Last Chili Dog"
Willie had a 'little darlin', Francis, that stopped by every Sunday after church. She had a HUGE crush on him, but he couldn't shake her up enough to NOT stop by and pester him.
One Sunday she came up to order her hot dog with his famous chili sauce. Willie was busily stirring the chili pot on the grill, while shooing the flies away from it. They seemed to like the chili better than the hot dogs, as they continually circled the chili pot. Maybe it was their droppings that made the chili?!
Pulling the ladle out of the chili he tapped it on the hot grill pretending (or, was he!?) that a fly was sticking to it saying, "damn flies."
Anyway, while this ol' gal was beginning to turn a weird shade of green, he ladled some chili on the dog and handed it to her saying, "now sweetie, if you get any flies in your mouth, spit them out right away as the wings will get caught between your teeth and you'll never get them out."
Thought she was gonna puke right then and there! It was the last time she ordered a chili dog. In fact, she rarely came by after that. And that was just to get some French fries and stare blankly at the the chili sauce pot while she waited for her fries.. Probably wonderin' if it really happened!
We pulled that stunt on many an unsuspecting customer, whether we knew them or not. You'd be amazed how everyone of them still took the hot dogs and ate them. Think they were just in shock over the whole thing!
Some walked off with a glazed look in their eyes wondering if they really saw and heard us right! We would do it all with such a straight face, they just looked at us in utter amazement! Think some came back again, just to see if they saw and heard right the first time!
Sometimes, if it was a "woodchuck" (that's what Willie called all the locals), we would swat some of the flies with the fly swatter and then scrape them off the swatter into the chili sauce pot. Of course it wasn't the pot we actually used, but they didn't know it. What incredible expressions of horror appeared on their faces!
I remember Ol' Henry 'bout gummed himself to death hollerin' about it! We "fixed" him with a rubber hamburger the next time he came by for hollerin' about the flies in the chili sauce.
We actually heated it up and put all the "trimmin's" on it. I'm about to fall out'a the chair thinking about him gumming and chewing that rubber hamburger.
Fact was, we usually pre-cooked many of the burgers and Mexican Hots on busy days so we could get them out faster. Henry, who always said "don't give me one of those pre-done burgers," just thought we had given him one as He gummed that hot, rubber burger until Willie and I were blue in the face from laughing! Funniest thing ya ever saw!
Such was "Life at Willie's." Pete and I have half a jillion stories.
If you have any pictures of the old Willie's, please scan and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
C'mon folks, someone has a
great picture of Willie's for me.
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