Thursday, January 13, 2011
Al Pshea, Memories of the Barrel
I was 91 last November. I graduated from Saugatuck in 1938. I can remember back to when the interurban used to run into Saugatuck, it would go in front of the big pavilion, down to where the Butler is now. There was a lumber yard down there, it would turn around at the lumber yard and went back.
I used to work at the root beer barrel. Originally it was owned by people named Kelley from over by the Saginaw area. And they started that barrel, and I worked there at nights and mostly on weekends. I worked there as a cook. I'd stand there at the window and made hot dogs, they had foot long hot dogs and ice cold root beer. That was the big feature. And I worked with Kelly's until they sold it to the McVoys there in Douglas. I worked then for the McVoys there a number of years. I don't remember the years. It was after the war. I would say 1950, in that area.
There used to be a miniature golf course to the west of the barrel and there was that big long big building that was built, it was supposed to have had the longest bar in this part of Michigan, and that's been gone for years.
I remember the Kellys. They were very very nice people.
I remember one weekend, on a Sunday, right around the 4th of July, I put out over 100 pounds of foot long hot dogs. And we'd go through 3 or 4 freezers of frozen mugs. We used to take the mugs and put them in a freezer so that they had ice cold root beer. We had two great big freezers in the barrel.
Dr. Corkill was the local doctor and head of the community hospital (now the Kirby House). He used to stop in, and we could see him coming. When he stopped in, regardless of what orders there were, he immediately got waited on. I mean, he was a doctor, and that was the way we ran things.