Blast From the Past: Burger Chef

Burger Chef was founded in 1954.

 

Burger Chef at one time was the chief competition for McDonalds, but the company no longer existed after the last restaurant was closed 14 years ago in 1999.

The Burger Chef restaurant chain started with the opening of a fast food restaurant in Indianapolis, Indiana in the 1950’s.

 

Burger Chef featured a 45 cent combo, which consisted of 15 cent hamburger, 15 cent French fries and 15 cent milk shake . This same combo today would cost at least $3 and up since shakes aren’t usually included in combo specials.

This menu shows prices of a combo had skyrocketed to 60 cents with 23 cent hamburger, 22 cent French fries and  25 cent milk shake which was still a real bargain compared to what a value meal costs today.

 

The photo above shows coffee being sold for 12 cents. Try going to Starbucks and asking for a 12 cent cup of coffee and see the looks you get. Five apple turnovers for a $1 also sounds like a good deal. Noticed that you had to spring for an extra four cents to buy a cheeseburger for 27 cents.

 

Burger Chef saved on labor costs by having dogs cooking up the burgers.

 

Burger Chef was sold to General Foods Corporation in 1968. They started a Fun Meal for kids in the early 70’s and sued McDonalds, when they started serving Happy Meals, but lost their case in court.

General Foods would divest themselves of their ownership in Burger Chef, by selling the company to Imasco, a Canadian company which also owned the Hardee’s chain of fast food restaurants.

There may no longer be any Burger Chef’s in operation, but will always have the memory of the store in Alexandria, Louisiana too many years ago to remember.

Burger Chef no longer exists, but their competitor McDonalds is still going strong with over 34,000 stores operating worldwide with 1.7 million employees.

McDonalds may have won the burger wars, but they can’t take the memories away from Burger Chef fans.

 

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Undercover Boss of O’Neil Clothing Offered Weed, Checkers Boss Closes Store On the Spot

Jesus, an employee at O’Neill makes a bad impression on Undercover Boss Toby Bost of O’Neill Clothing by telling him he knows where to get some good weed and asks the boss if he ever thought about opening a pot dispensary.

Toby Bost the CEO of O’Neills Clothing was shocked when he encountered an employee named Jesus in one of his stores. Jesus didn’t win any points by saying the clothes were clothes a five-year old would wear. He won even fewer points by telling his boss, who was disguised as Frederick that he knew where to score some weed. Jesus even went so far as to ask Frederick if he ever thought about opening a pot dispensary. He also revealed he took drugs before going to work to make it through the workday. Bost said in a film snippet that he was worried that Jesus might offer other employees or customers some weed. Surprisingly he didn’t fire him on the spot, but I wouldn’t have blamed him if he had.

Toby Bost left, is shown by employee Jorge how to make a T-shirt at the print shop.

 

Bost then meets the polar opposite of Jesus at the print shop. Jorge loves his job and is patient with Frederick as he shows him to make T-shirts. However, Jorge has a sad back story as he talks to Frederick on a break. He asks Frederick if his children are healthy, then tells about his child having a rare disease and telling about how the child is being fed by a tube.

Won’t go into details about the other employees he encounters, since these were the two most interesting employees to me.

Jesus, Jorge and the other employees featured on the program are sent to meet with someone about how Frederick did on the job. They are really there to meet Toby Bost the CEO of O’Neill Clothing, who reveals his true identity to them. It was not a fun meeting for Jesus, as Bost tells him how disappointed he was in his behavior at the store and mentioned that about the weed and pot dispensary. Jesus asks if he is fired, but Bost says he is not fired but will have to undergo a training program to learn how to treat customers and fellow workers with respect. Jesus thanks Bost for the second chance and at the end of the show it is mentioned that he may even stop smoking.

The meeting with Jorge went much better as Bost thanked him for his company loyalty and then offered a large sum of money to help with the medical expenses of Jorge’s sick child. This is when the show really connects with the audience, when you see someone who did their job the right way be rewarded.

 

 

Rick Silva CEO of Checkers and Rallys fast food restaurants appeared as Alex Garcia, who had a pharmacy go out of business in Philadlelphia. trying to find work in the fast food business.

Rick Silva the CEO of Checkers and Rallys  fast food restaurants went undercover as Alex Garcia in an episode of Undercover Boss. He learned that almost none of the staff had been trained for their jobs. He took particular interest in a worker named Todd who worked hard, but was constantly being hounded by the general manager. Todd needed the job to help support his mom and was trying to go to culinary school to be a chef.

The behavior of the general manager upset Alex enough to talk to him in the parking lot, about how he treated his employees. The general manager named Stevens said he had to yell at them, for them to pay any attention to him. Alex finds out during the conversation that Stevens was thrust into the general manager’s position after completing only three weeks of the six weeks training course. He reveals to Stevens that he is the CEO of Checkers, so he lost his secret identity as Alex to correct the situation.

Alex then apologized to Stevens for not providing more training before he was promoted to the general manager position. Alex tells Stevens that he is closing down the store immediately. He then reassures the employees that they still have their jobs and apologizes to them for not making sure they had been trained properly. He then tells the employees that he is going to have several general managers in the store next day, to train the employees and to get the restaurant back on track.

When Todd goes to meet the boss after Alex has returned to being Rick Silva again he is not shocked since he already knew Alex was really Rick the CEO. Silva tells Todd how much he appreciated him as a worker then tells him he is giving him $15,000 to go to culinary school and to help his mother.

 

These two episodes of Undercover Boss made me realize how good this show is. It shows how CEO’s don’t have a clue, as to what is happening at their stores and how inept they are at doing the work of the employees. It also shows how CEO’s can be compassionate, when they learn about their employees struggling to pay their bills.

This show is reality television at its best. There is more real emotion in the last 15 or 20 minutes of this show, when the CEO’s reveal themselves and help their workers financially, than most reality shows have in an hour.

This article tells more about the Checkers episode and has photos of the show:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2104085/Rallys-Checkers-CEO-Rick-Silva-shuts-restaurant-Undercover-Boss-episode.html

 

 

Magazine Ads From the Past

These ads will bring a lot of memories to the old-timers among us and will let the younger generation know about the days, when you could buy a Coca-Cola for 5 cents and a pack of gum for 5 cents.

Smokesational! Radiolutionary! Smokerette-Radio by Stewart Warner: The only combination smoker and radio set. Magazine Ad, later 1940’s
A combination radio-smoker which provided smokers with a place for their cigarettes, cigars, pipes and tobacco, while listening to their favorite radio programs on this $49.95 radio.
This is the precursor of the Sony Walkman for only $7.95, before shipping and federal tax.

 

A one pound bag of Bazooka Bubble Gum will set you back $7.99 today after inflation kicked in.

 

 

You could look up and down every aisle of every grocery store in the United States today and not find these prices. Two boxes of Wheaties probably cost at least 25 cents nowadays and two pounds of coffee has probably doubled to 50 cents.

 

Barber shop prices of the 1900’s on the left. No date given for the prices on the right.

 

Barber shop prices over a 100 years later. The shave and a haircut of the 1900’s cost a total of 60 cents. That same shave and haircut today costs $33.00.

 

Memories of a Lifetime: 1944-1960

When the surgeon that performed my cancer surgery told me in November, that my duodenal cancer has a history of returning it reminded me of my immortality. It may have been negative news, but it also reminded me of many events of my 68 years of living, that were either positive and negative.

1944 – Was born on October 14, just four months after the D-Day landing and World War II would be over in Europe, about six and-a-half months later in April of 1945.

1950 – My first memory is of walking to school with my brother on the first day of school to Pineville Elementary. I remember Mrs. Price was my first grade teacher. School lunches were only 10 cents at the time.

1951 – This is the year I rode my last school bus in the second grade, when I accidentally got off the bus in Libuse, instead of five blocks from Louisiana College, so walked home that day from Libuse to Pineville. I never rode another school bus after that day.

1952 – We moved from Holloway Drive to Burns Street in February of 1952, moving from a small house to a very large house. The house payment was $55 a month, which was a bargain at the time.

1954- Think this is the year when my dad purchased our first television, when I was nine years old. He didn’t buy it for entertainment reasons, but because my sister had a lazy eye and a special screen was placed over the TV screen, that made her use her lazy eye. We bought it at L.B. Henry’s store on Main Street, when they were selling televisions. Our first TV was an Admiral.

This is also the year I really became interested in baseball and remember listening to the 1954 World Series between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians. Willie Mays made his famous catch in one of those games on a ball hit by Vic Wertz of the Indians.

1955 – Ray Kroc opened his first McDonalds fast food restaurant (the McDonald brothers opened the first eight, before selling out to Kroc.) Once after he bought the San Diego Padres they were playing so badly, that Kroc said over the public address system that his short order cooks at McDonalds could play better the Padres.

This was the first year I played Little League baseball. I went to a local hardware store to buy a baseball glove and wanted to buy a $6.50 glove. Only problem was that I only had $6, but the owner Mr. Brister let me have it for $6. It was a Nokona brand glove.

1956- My main memory of 1956 was when Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in a World Series. He recently sold his uniform from that game for $756,000 and is using part of the money to pay college education expenses for his grandchildren.

1957 – Elvis Presley buys Graceland for $100,000, since their last Memphis home had attracted too many fans, with no way of keeping them off the grounds. This was the year my baby sister was born on March 23. Three months later the worst hurricane to hit Alexandria-Pineville area in my memory hit the area, with full force when Hurricane Audrey hit. Audrey had earlier killed 500 people in Cameron, Louisiana.  I remember Jim Gaines of KALB Radio telling, about the progress of the hurricane and the damage being done. We had a very tall pine tree fall in our yard, but was not close to the house.

August of 1957 would bring many memories when my dad, older brother and me took a road trip in our 1949 Packard, from Louisiana to Maine. We made the usual tourist stops like Rock City, Lookout Mountain, Mount Vernon and other tourist attractions. We visited the most tourist attractions in Washington, D.C. We visited the National Archives Building, Capitol building, White House (just saw it from the fence), Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Mint and Engraving and watched the workers print sheets of currency.

We visited the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and saw a show at the planetarium, plus visited the site of the Liberty Bell. However, the main thing I remember from the Philadelphia visit was seeing my first major league game. The hometown Phillies were playing the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates in Connie Mack Stadium. I remember fans bringing paper bags with bottles in them to the game. I can only imagine what was in those bottles. I also remember the Phillies fans booing their own players. The highlight of the game was when Bill Mazeroski hit a home run that hit the tin roof over our heads, in the left field bleachers. Three years later Mazeroski would hit a walkoff homer that defeated the New York Yankees in the 1960 World Series Game 7.

Saw my grandpa for the only time in my life in the hospital. Not sure where the hospital was located. It was either New Jersey or Pennsylvania. My dad’s folks were living in Millville, New Jersey.

Will never forget my dad driving through the Bowery district in New York City and seeing men laying on the sidewalk. That would be the only time for me to visit New York. Then we went on to Beverly, Massachusetts and ate at a Howard Johnson’s restaurant, with the classic orange roof. My dad was in town for an American Chemical Society convention, then after the convention ended we went to Maine, to see my uncle and aunt and their family. It was the only time I saw my cousin alive, since he was piloting a helicopter in Vietnam, when he was shot down and killed.

Then we raced back to Louisiana, stopping only one night at Warsaw, Kentucky, then my dad drove almost non-stop since school started the next day at Pineville Elementary. The next month the Milwaukee Braves would win the 1957 World Series.

1958 – Played Pony League baseball in 1958, which would be my fourth and last year of playing baseball. One night when we were playing a game, someone hollered “That plane is going to crash” and we saw a plane plummeting to the ground, about two miles from the park. It crashed about a block or two off of Main Street near a National Cemetery, but not positive about the exact crash site.

This was also the year I entered Pineville High School. It is difficult to believe that this was 55 years ago. Finding classes was not easy that first day, since I wasn’t used to attending such a big school.

The Milwaukee Braves took a three games to one lead in the 1958 World Series, but would let the Yankee,s that they had defeated in 1957 come back to win the World Series.

1959 – I remember this being the year my older brother graduated from high school. February of 1959 would see Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper go down in an airplane crash in Iowa. The Big Bopper had appeared in Alexandria, Louisiana about 1958, at a KALB Radio record hop. 1959 was also the year the White Sox won the AL pennant but lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.

The highlight of 1959 was our trip in a Volkwagen Micro-bus, which took us to Missouri, Canada and back to Louisiana. My dad was taking classes at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, so we stayed mostly in Missouri at the 80 acre farm of my grandpa and grandma. They had only recently installed indoor plumbing in their home. I will never forget the huge console radio on the living room floor. The sound was great and I could hear the Kansas City Athletics baseball games on the radio. Saw Leave it to Beaver for the first time on their television. Don’t think it was on KALB TV in Alexandria, La., since it was on another network.

We spent part of the summer at the Chateau Cottages near Devils Lake in Wisconsin. We were on a tourist boat, when the captain asked me to pilot the ship. He sold souvenirs, while piloted the boat up the Wisconsin River. It was a relief when he took over the helm, since there were a lot of duckboats on the water.

Then after my dad finished the summer classes we drove to Chicago. It was amazing to look up at the tall buildings on the Loop and we went to a church in Berwyn, Illinois. Then we drove to Detroit and visited the Ford headquarters and also toured Post Cereals factory and can’t remember if we also toured the Kelloggs plant. We crossed into Canada at Windsor and journeyed to Brantford, Ontario where my mom had relatives. We then went to Niagara Falls and crossed back into the United States.

My dad was stopped by the Canadian Mounties, because our Volkswagen micro-bus resembled a vehicle they were looking for. At one point during our trip while driving in the United States a driver hollered “Governor Long” at us, when he saw the Louisiana license plate. This was the same year he managed to escape from a mental health institution, so Louisiana was in the news a lot that summer.

1960 – Nothing stands out about this year for me, except for the Pittsburgh Pirates defeating the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series. Bill Mazeroski, who I had seen hit the home run, in Philadelphia three years earlier hit a walkoff home run over the left field wall, that made Pirates the world champions of baseball.

Kenny Rogers: Legendary Singer In Music Business For Seven Decades

Kenny Rogers as he appeared when singing with First Edition.

Kenny Rogers was born August 21, 1938 in Houston, Texas. Rogers is in his sixth decade of being in the music business, starting the mid 50’s with the The Scholars, which was disbanded and Rogers struck out on his own.

Kenny singing That Crazy Feeling in 1958 on Carlton Records singing in the doo-wop style.

Only 194 people have viewed this video of Kenny Rogers at the House of Blues, which apparently was on the Disney Channel sometime in the past. He is seen early in the video singing Walkin’ My Baby Back Home a 1931 song and nothing like a song, you would expect him to sing.  He is shown playing the upright bass in another song at the 14:25 mark in the video.

When he sings When I Fall In Love, one of the girls in the audience rests her head on the shoulder of the man, that she is sitting with, which demonstrates the emotion which Rogers sings with carries over to the listeners. He sings another song from the past, in I Get Along Without You Very Well a 1939 tune, penned by Hoagy Carmichael and demonstrates the gift of Rogers to sing any genre. At 43:53 in the video Rogers sings perhaps the best rendition of I Remember You, that I have ever heard sung.

The video is interspersed with Kenny telling about the highlights of his career. Clips from the past are shown, in addition to him singing at the House of Blues, with the backing of a string orchestra. The video shows Kenny singing Sweet Home Chicago, showing Kenny can sing blues music too. He also sings some of his big hits like Lady and The Gambler. This video is worth watching, because it shows how multi-talented Kenny is and helps bring home the fact, that he may be one of the best singers, to ever walk on a stage.

This is why it is a mystery, why he has never been enshrined in the Country Music or Rock and Roll Hall of Fames. Maybe his crossover hits, prevented him from being defined into either category. One thing for sure is that he is going to sing well, regardless of what genre he is singing at any particular time.

Kenny Rogers seen while part of the Bobby Doyle Trio with Kenny on top, without his beard.

Kenny joined the New Christy Minstrels in 1966, but he left the folk group the next year to form the First Edition.  The group’s best known hits were songs like Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town and my personal favorite Reuben James.

Kenny and the First Edition singing Reuben James.

Ten years later in 1976, Kenny would begin his solo career which is still going strong 36 years later.

1977 would produce his first No.1 hit in Lucille, which would be the first of many No.1 hits. He would have seven No.1 hits when the 1980’s started. Then he recorded his first song to be No.1 in U.S. Country, U.S. and Adult Contemporary, which was Lady and maybe his most popular song recorded and was written by Lionel Richie. 1983’s Islands in the Stream recorded as a duet with Dolly Parton placed first in all three of the categories again.

It has been 26 years since Kenny recorded a non-duet No.1 with his recording of Tomb of Unknown Love in 1986.

The complete Kenny Rogers discography:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenny_Rogers_discography

Kenny recorded many duets and eight of those songs made the Billboard charts.

Kenny singing Don’t Fall In Love With A Dreamer with Kim Carnes.

Kenny singing Islands In The Stream with Dolly Parton at the 25th anniversary of Dollywood in 2010.

Kenny and Dolly singing the same song a few years earlier.

Kenny and Dottie West singing Everytime Two Fools Collide

Yesterday, I found a Kenny Rogers DVD of his appearance on Live By Request on the CBS television network. I had given it to my wife for her birthday several years, but she had never gotten around to watching it till yesterday and that is why I am writing this article today.

I was surprised to look in my MP3 player and there wasn’t one Kenny Rogers song in the player. I will have to rectify that situation, as soon as possible but I do have a Kenny Rogers LP, which I hope to listen to today.

Any collection of Kenny Rogers hits would need to include Lady and The Gambler.

Kenny singing Lady in the Live By Request  program on CBS television. Viewers called in any Kenny Rogers song they wanted to hear and Kenny would sing it.

Kenny singing one of his classics The Gambler.

Kenny  singing She Believes In Me.

Kenny singing Through The Years at Giants Stadium 26 years ago.

Kenny Rogers is not only a great singer, but is also a talented photographer. This short article shows some of his photography. Kenny is so well-respected in the photography field, that he has been a judge in a Digitial Camera’s Photographer of the Year competition, which is described in this undated article, but appears to have happened in 2011.

http://www.futureplc.com/2011/07/06/kenny-rogers-named-digital-camera%E2%80%99s-photographer-of-the-year-judge/

Kenny Rogers decided to have plastic surgery, when he married his wife Wanda Miller, that is 29 years younger than him. They are still married 15 years later. He has been married for 48 years combined, after five marriages. He has twin sons Justin and Jordan who will be 8 on July 6. His wife is a twin and both he and his wife have a history of twins in their families.

http://inyourface.ocregister.com/2008/10/30/kenny-rogers-regrets-plastic-surgery-but-is-hopeful/1334/

Kenny singing Love Or Something Like It at Bonaroo festival three weeks ago. Sorry for the poor sound quality, but thought readers would want to see Kenny is going strong at 73.

Kenny and Lionel Richie singing Lady after Kenny tells about the history of the song. If you only watch one video in this article this is the one to see. To see two professionals like Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie singing one of the greatest songs ever written, makes taking the time to watch it worth every minute.

No article on Kenny Rogers would be complete without mentioning his movie career. Kenny appeared in the The Gambler TV movies five times from 1980-1994, which again proved how talented Kenny is in any endeavor that he undertakes.

Kenny as he appeared in the series of The Gambler TV movies.

kennyrogers-featured

Not everything Kenny touched turned to gold, even though it may have in the early days, when his Kenny Rogers Roasters expanded to 350 restaurants in 1995. Three years later, the company was bankrupt and sold for $1.25 million. Kenny must have taken a financial bath, for the company to be sold for only $1.25 million. No Kenny Rogers Roasters remain open in the United States today.

The following article gives extensive details about the life of Kenny Rogers, but it may take close to an hour to read the entire article:

http://www.billdeyoung.com/onekenny.html

Kenny sold his home in Georgia on Wednesday of this week:

http://www.ontheredcarpet.com/Kenny-Rogers-home-in-Georgia-sold-for-2-25-million–auction-avoided-Photos/8719446

I knew Kenny Rogers was a successful singer, but only in the last two days have I learned, just how great he was and is still great today.  It is safe to say that Kenny Rogers has made a lasting impression on many Americans, through his music and his acting. I have developed a new appreciation for Kenny Rogers and will be looking for his LP as soon as this is posted.

In closing it amazes me that Kenny Rogers is not in the Country Music Hall of Fame, even though he has had 21 country hits. Part of the problem is that maybe the voters who elect singers to the Country Music Hall of Fame don’t consider Rogers a pure country singer, but just sang songs that found their way to the top of the country charts.

In addition, I can’t see why he isn’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame either, because if any singer belongs, in both Hall of Fames it would be him. Hopefully he will be inducted to one or the other or both, while he is still with us and can enjoy being inducted, like so many others have in past years.

Cajun Justice: Latest Cajun Reality Show

 Louisiana has recently been the subject of many television reality shows. The latest is Cajun Justice which can be seen at 9PM CDT and 10PM EDT on Thursdays on the A&E television network.

The Cajuns have their own brand of frontier justice, as can be seen on these shows. This clip is an example of how out of hand things get in Cajun country:

definition-of-cajun-justice-20275390?pfilter=ALL%20VIDEOS#20275390

Sheriff Vernon Bourgeois is the sheriff for Terrebonne Parish. The following page has a short biography of Sheriff Bourgeois and his ten deputies.

http://www.aetv.com/cajun-justice/meet-deputies/keith-bergeron/

Cajun Justice was originally going to be named Cajun Blue, but guess any name with the word Cajun in the title is more likely to attract viewers.

There are presently eight television reality shows, that have been filmed in Louisiana. Four of the shows are being filmed above Alexandria and one is filmed in Alexandria and the other three are being filmed south of Alexandria.

This page tells more about the shows and a map depicts, where the different shows are being filmed:

http://www.louisiana-destinations.com/louisiana-reality-tv-shows.htm

American Idol Update – May 8

It is less than three weeks now till the final vote is revealed by Ryan Seacrest on who will be the next American Idol. Nine contestants have gone home and after Thursday only three will remain. My prediction is that Lauren or Scotty may be home this week, but after the Pia Toscano shocker, nobody is really safe this season.

Paula Abdul may not be part of American Idol, but Idol fans who follow her will be glad to know she will be a judge on Simon Cowell’s X-Factor this fall on the Fox network. She apparently left American Idol when she requested $10 million after learning Ryan Seacrest was being paid $15 million, but the producers refused to pay the $10 million so she walked. Now she will be sitting next to Simon Cowell again, which should help the ratings of the new show.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/05/08/x-factor-paula-abdul/

Adam Lambert has picked Haley Reinhart to be the next American Idol. He told the Hollywood Reporter “It’s incredible how  she makes it look so easy and effortless” and said “Plus she’s having fun up there.”

Lady Gaga will be the guest mentor on Wednesday’s show. Contestants might want to think twice before placing too much weight on her advice, since she likes to think out of the box, which might not go over well with the judges. Haley Reinhart, in particular needs to be careful with Lady Gaga as her mentor.

The contestants will be choosing music from the Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller catalog this week. Forty of their songs were in the Broadway musical Smokey Joe’s Cafe. This list at Amazon.com shows the titles and sound clips can be heard of each song. This list is not an inclusive list, but contains most of their better known hits.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013DC79A/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00137ZAUE&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0EVXQR80812THRJSZW7V

Taylor Hicks has re-opened a restaurant-bar that he performed in while learning the music business. The restaurant is located in Birmingham, Alabama. He is one of the partners who re-opened the restaurant. This article gives many more details on the restaurant, including the menu being offered.

http://blog.al.com/bob-carlton/2011/05/american_idol_taylor_hicks_of.html