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McDONALD U.


McDonald's_Golden_Arches_svg For many years, Dr. Advice and I were avid competitors across a tennis net. He had a vicious lob, but a lousy backhand.

tennis

A fellow member of our tennis club and a frequent partner of my husband, owned all the McDonald’s restaurants in town, and when we first met, while the men were comparing old “school ties”, he said he had gone to “McDonald U.”

My puzzled sports-minded husband said he had never heard of it, and did they have a football team. Our friend laughed and said “No, dummy, that’s for McDonald’s hamburger restaurants!”

Later when he told us that he was the creator of the Quarter-Pounder hamburger, we laughed in disbelief. figuring that since it was such a well-known icon of the restaurant chain it had been there from the beginning. Our small-town provincial minds had trouble believing that someone we actually knew was responsible for this, and it was too much to accept.

However, hanging in the restaurant was a large framed picture of him holding one of these “culinary delights”, with an appropriate credit printed at the bottom, and later we watched a television special about the restaurant chain, and there—right on the screen in front of us, was proof that Al Bernardin was indeed the inventor of the famous “Quarter-Pounder hamburger”. They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Now, I don’t know if you have ever sunk a tooth into one of these hamburgers, and I am not one to ever praise or discredit another’s product, and it is better to let you decide for yourself anyway.

My experience with hamburgers started when I was a small child, who went with my grandmother to visit the “Pike” in Long Beach, California. The “Pike” was an entertainment boardwalk in the 1930’s, though I never understood why it was called a “Boardwalk”, since the walkways were cement sidewalks.

The shop we went to was named “Wimpy’s”, which was a salute to a character in the Popeye comic strip. The hamburger was called a “Wimpy burger” obviously. The word “wimp” had not yet attained the definition it received later as a derogative term among the young people for a weak, ineffectual person.

In my recollection, the hamburger cost a nickel, but it could have been a dime. A fair price in those days for a meat patty between two bun halves. I’m sure the ice cream cone which always went with it did cost a nickel!

Dr. Advice and I do love a good hamburger, though today we have been known to frequently spend $8.95 for one. But today’s burger comes with fries, and sports a leaf or two of lettuce, a slice of tomato, a pickle slice, and cheese. Mayonnaise of course, and catsup on the side. The sloppier the better, and a glass of cold beer to wash it all down.

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9 comments on “McDONALD U.

  1. Love the “No, dummy …” 🙂

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    • Al originally had 5 “McStores” but after 2 divorces, he got down to the 3 remaining ones, run by his son and grandson. They make better coffee than Starbucks, but I can’t vouch for the hamburgers.

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      • I’ll vouch for the hamburgers. I had a craving for a “Macca’s” the other day. Might have to go satisfy it today now you’ve raised it again. When I was in my 20s, eating a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder the morning after was seen as the best type of hangover cure.

        PS. Australia is the only country, aside from Italy, where Starbucks has failed. Same reason as Italy: we love our coffee!

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      • We’ll have to come visit for the coffee!. Starbucks is over roasted makes it taste too strong. I think it is something more than coffee here. Ambiance maybe? I don’t drink it at all anymore, but Tazo tea is very good, and the frozen drinks. But the pastry is ugh!

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      • My favorite hangover cure in my 20’s was a frozen coke. Put the bottle (they came in bottles then) in the freezer before you went out in the evening and it was just right when you got up to catch the bus to San Francisco for work in the morning.

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  2. Oh my goodness! I do remember the pike. I was there as a child too. The first time I saw a house of mirrors. and the board walk was a name that was written into construction plans to avoid code violations then being created. It left them open to use whatever materials they deemed necessary because a wooden board walk was risky to insure.
    There was some areas that had wood that led out to a pier. I recall the land was part state and part private lease. It burned down mostly and was replaced, the board walk didn’t burn because it was concrete, I think that is when code changes were made. Not sure on facts, just memories. Back then there was no income tax either and state tax was paid in mills. I remember burgers as a dime because it included 1 mill tax. I still have five mills in a collection. Somewhere I have a picture of the pike. The red cars ran out there.
    Nice story post too. Thanks

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    • How exciting to find someone still around who remembers the pike and early Long Beach. The red train ran straight up the middle of American Ave. We took it to Los Angeles to visit my aunt. Glad to hear the definition of “boardwalk” . It makes sense. I don’t remember mills, or income taxes either! You must have been more aware than I! We seemed to have spent a lot of time at the beach. I remember a breakwater. My mother told me there were octopus there and I needed to be careful! Needless to say, that kept me closer to shore.

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  3. What a hamburger combo Al and Sam were.
    Terrific post!

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