Adobe Drive-In

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3550 Cedar Avenue South

Menu Favorites
Hand-Cut Fries
 ("I know, I 'pushed' a ton of 'em.")
"Homemade" Root Beer
 Pork Tenderloins
Delicious Rings

The Adobe Drive-In by all appearances was located at 3550 Cedar Avenue South,
on the northwest corner of Cedar Avenue according to John Edmunds, RHS '63, who worked there one summer. 
He said the drive-in was owned by a Minneapolis police officer, but that he can only remember his first name, Chris.
The menu items above were provided by John. 

"The name of the Minneapolis police officer who owned the Adobe was Chris Hanson", according to Jerry Polkinghorne, RHS '55 and Eddy Belmore.  Thanks guys!


According to John, "At this time (circa 1963), the Adobe Drive-In was flat-roofed (kinda Spanish architecture, but with a Scandinavian flair - - - that
Eric the Red, he got around!!).  There was a trailer rental place next to it or nearby."

In later years, the establishment was remodeled, renamed the Quarterback Club, and a huge vertical football became part of its architecture. 
"I know that Fran Tarkenton had a chain of drive-ins with that unique architectural feature", John tells us.

A to Z Rental occupied the building that I believe housed the Adobe Drive-In in years past.  It had been in business at least since the late 1970s. 
The trailer rental place was adjacent to it and probably was part of this same business which, in August, 2009, expanded half that block.

Well, things have changed since A to Z Rental . . .

 Things have changed since August, 2009 and it is now November 1st.  Yesterday, I drove by this area and the entire half block on the
west side of  35th and Cedar has been leveled.  I wonder what they plan to build now!

A year later, in November, 2010, I again drove by the area.
  A one-story structure can be found on the northwest corner and not too far to the north of it is a Holiday Station.

It is now April, 2011 and the corner building is called the Holiday Pantry.  The building to the north is, indeed, a Holiday Station.  Gas is $3.57.9!!!  I remember when it was 26.9 in 1959. 
It is now May, 2013 and gas is $4.39.9!


      Holiday Pantry          Both establishments         Holiday Station       View of both buildings

Photos taken:  4/3/11

Apparently, there was a root beer stand on this corner in 1940.  Sandra Ashley's (RHS '62) mom was a car hop there!

"Ray Truelson, who with a friend, Warren Nelson, started a root beer stand at 35th Street and Cedar Avenue South, in Minneapolis called the Adobe.  They sold it, and in 1949 opened the Flat Top Drive-Inn on Lake Street; Truelson later sold his interest to start Porky's."  Ray Truelson was also a June, 1946 Roosevelt graduate!   Source: Truelson's obituary

Chris Hanson, a Minneapolis police officer owned the Adobe Drive-In at some point after Ray Truelson.  As I understand it, it was not an A & W stand.

"My first job was at Adobe Drive-In where I got paid 50 cents/hour to car hop.  What I remember most about it is, it was fun!.
I worked for my friend, Marsha Rhoades' dad.  My sophomore summer during clean-up after hours, we used to have fun squirting each other with the ketchup and mustard dispensers!"
~ Joyce (Wiklund) Cook RHS '57 ~

Michael Green, SHS '76

"I am the son of Barbara Rhodes; the daughter of Norman and Ann Rhodes who, along with my great-aunt and uncle Chris and Atris Hanson, were owners of the Adobe Drive-In located on Cedar Avenue South
between 35th and 36th Streets in South Minneapolis. The Hansons and Rhodes did buy the restaurant from Truelson.  Chris Hanson was a Minneapolis police officer; retiring after they purchased the drive-in. 
The Rhodes sold their interest to the Hansons sometime in the early '60s and the Hansons ran it until it closed (I think it was around '67 or '68). 
My family and I lived across the street from Chris and Artis for many years; in the 4200 block of 41st Avenue.

My mom (RHS '57), her sister Susan Berry (nee Rhodes, RHS '62 or '63), and her cousins Judy Bunch (nee Hanson, RHS '55 or '56) and Vicky Swierkowski (nee Hanson, RHS '64 or '65?) all worked at the drive-in. 
I was born in '58 and my cousin Jenny Bunch and I have lots of memories of being babysat at the drive-in and making up imaginary order tickets. 
The fries were handcut - by the 50-gallon garbage can full, if mom's stories are true.  (Mom never did much like peeling potatoes when I was growing up!). 
It was not an A&W but they did make their own root beer - though I think it was a few pumps of syrup and the soda water added afterwards; and very well could have come from Rich-O. 
The onion rings were delicious!

My mother's best friend - Donna Kolstad (nee Iverson, RHS '57) also worked at the drive-in.  Donna dated a man named Arnie Kolstad who went to South and was best friends with my father - Ronald Green. 
The Iversons lived just few blocks up 36th Street, kitty-corner from Folwell Jr. High.  Donna and her brother Bobby are my godparents.  Mom also worked at the Parkway Canteen for a few years somewhere between '66 and 68'.

I believe the original drive-in building was torn down or substantially remodeled sometime in the late '50s.  The new/remodeled building was located where the pumps to the Holiday Station are now located. 
To the south was the lot of a U-Haul rental.  To the immediate north of the drive-in was a miniature golf course - though I cannot remember the name of it now.  Does anyone remember it's name?

The Hansons did sell to the Quarterback Club; who tore down the drive-in and built a new building right on the corner of 35th and Cedar (I remember it being in the center of the block).  That later became A-Z Rental; which eventually made way for the Holiday Station/Store.  I get a little blast from the past every time I go to fill up the car.  How odd and full circle to still go weekly to the same place I ran around as a kid.

Mom also worked at Matt's for a time in it's first few years of business
.  I often hear the "argument" about who has the best Juicy Lucy in town. 
I've eaten them at the 5-8 Club, the Nook in St. Paul, and other places, but for me Matt's is still the best. 


A couple of other things that caught my attention on the site:  Someone mentioned the Parkway.  Mom also worked at the Parkway Canteen for a few years somewhere between '66 and 68'.
My aunt Susan also worked at Rich-O (46th and 46th).  My grandparents lived at 45th and 46th.  My aunt tells me their "famous" burger was the Dilly Burger - a burger with a dill pickle chip stuck to the top of the bun with a toothpick.  My grandparents were good friends with the people who owned Joe & Eddie's Drive-In - Joe and Eddie.  Seems to me it was on 45th Street and Minnehaha, across the street from the Minnehaha Falls nursery.  I don't remember a Vic's Drive-In; but seem to recall a Vick's Drugstore, and believe it was at about 54th Street and 34th Avenue.

Thanks for reviving some great memories!"

Airloha Drive-In

Photo credit: Class of 1963

~ The Airloha Drive-In was located at 58th Street and 34th Avenue South, PA9-9457 ~
The popular Airloha, owned and operated by the Elman Lemley family featured the famous "Stratoburger", which was a burger with two patties

 with melted cheese in between, two strips of bacon and lettuce and tomato, a
Sons, Travis and Roger both attended RHS in the early '60s.

Travis Lemley
(1/26/44 - 12/23/07)

~ More Airloha History ~

Menu Favorites
Stratoburger Baskets
& Chicken
French Fried Shrimp
Grilled Pork Chops
Onion Rings & French Fries
"Best Cheese Burgers in town"
Sesame seed buns
Hot Dogs
Pizza Burger
"Best Slaw in Town"
Tacos with the Spicy French Dressing, huge with lots of cheese
Great Chocolate Malts & Ice Cream & Purple Cow Malts
Milk Shakes flavored with Coconut, Papaya, & Mango
Frozen Whipped Cones
Cinnamon Cokes!
Root Beer & Bee Bops

  * "They were made with cinnamon extract and sold as 'Hot 'n Tots'. 
They were good, but very strong.  The extract would cling to the ice, so when finished, it provided an extra rush."

Steve Hanson, RHS, '69 & Geoff Moore, RHS '66

What were "Bee Bops"?

The Gutzke family's mom and step-dad, the Petersons, purchased the Airloha Drive-In from the Lemleys and owned it for 17 years. 
Robyn, Tom, and Terry Gutzke were the kids.  According to Robyn, "There was many a good time there.  Do you remember the Homecoming dances when we had the bands on the roof?  Our grandmother prepared the batter for the chicken and also made the hand-dipped onion rings.  Grandfather worked the fryers.  It was a whole family affair."  Eventually Mrs. Peterson retired and sold the land.  The Drive-In was torn down.

"I worked at the Airloha drive-in when I was sixteen.  The lady that made all of our onion rings was Lela Brant, the grandmother of John Dyjak '62."
~ Nancy Smith Boston, RHS ~

  “Hey, don’t forget the Airloha pizza burger on the menu.  I still drool over it. 
I lived on  Keewaydin Place and 34th Ave. S.; and if anybody knows the recipe (especially the meat), I'd rank it up there with a Juicy Lucy and would be in heaven to lay a lip into a pizza burger again."
~ Jim Kolstad, RHS '69 ~

"There was an A & W car hop drive-in located across the road (now the Crosstown Highway), still on the west side of 34th Avenue S.,
the same side as the Airloha.  The A & W was next to the Cummings' large dairy farm and was also built by them.  The DePonti* airplane hangar and
Wold Chamberlain Field, which was the old Airport on 34th Avenue, were kitty corner from the Airloha," on the southeast corner of 58th Street E & 34th Avenue S.  "Eventually the airport bought out the farm.  Does anyone remember the huge Christmas tree bonfires out there that were held after
Winter Sports Day festivities?"

* Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame link for Angelo "Shorty" De Ponti, 1908 - 1991 

  "When the line was too long at the Airloha, we would go across the street to Vic's Drive-In for cheeseburgers.  This drive-in faced the airport."
~ Joyce (Wiklund) Cook RHS '57 ~

Prior to the Lemley ownership, "the Sander family owned the land on which the Airloha was built.  They didn't want a drive-in close to their home, so they declined selling it to Mr. Lemley for a couple years.  Apparently, Mr. Lemley had another man buy the land, saying he was going to build a house. 
At any rate, the Sander family spent a lot of time at the Airloha too."

"I loved the Airloha.  I remember their sesame seed buns.  And those darn palm trees."
 ~ Andrea Szalay, RHS, '78 ~

Best tacos around - for that time, anyway.  Huge, lots of cheese.
~ Rita Silver, RHS '70 ~

"Dick Peterson was the manager he was almost as much fun as the kids who worked there.  
I remember cars being lined up all the way back to the Legion on 34th Avenue on Friday nights and Sundays.  
I got a raise after one of those Sundays from Lem. 
Oh, by the way, the drive-in across the street (A & W) was Don's; and Lem's Aunt Juanita ran it.  I worked there before I worked at the Airloha."
~ Iris Dybwad, RHS, '58

"My family's phone number was the same as the Airloha's except two digits were transposed.  The Airloha number was PA 9-9457. 
Occasionally we would get wrong number calls for the Airloha.  I got a call from a guy wanting ten burgers with fries, six chocolate shakes and four strawberry shakes to go.  I told him he could pick them up in 10 minutes.
I've often wondered what happened that night!"

~ JaRene Strand, RHS, '64 ~

"I worked there in '56!  I remember when Lemley himself, was called back to the airport,
because a plane coming in for a landing (It was called Wold-Chamberlain then.) went down and crashed into several homes on M'haha Pkwy,
a few blocks off of Cedar Avenue. Anyone remember that?"

~ Sharron Stevens, RHS, '57 ~

"I don't remember that crash, but I remember the one that took out four houses on 58th and about 46th Avenue. 
I also remember a small plane crashing into Morris Park school."

~ Geoff Moore, RHS, '66 ~

"If I recall that accident, wasn't it closer to 38th or 39th Avenue South between 56th & 57th Streets?  Forty-sixth Avenue is next to the V/A Hospital. 
The plane that hit Morris Park school was a Navy TA4.  That's a trainer for an A 4 aircraft."
~ Dale Gordon, RHS, '67 ~

"Airloha with it's speakers was really something.  Still remember it whenever we pass that corner before crossing the Crosstown Highway 62 on the way to the Air Force Reserve Base. 
I flew on the military version of the Stratocruiser (HC-97) with the AF Rescue Service out in Hawaii in the '60s."
~ Jerry Sacre, RHS, '55 ~


Remember "Pinky" the little delivery vehicle that Lemleys used?  "Pinky" was an Isetta car.  The entire front end was a door! 
Some employees got in trouble for driving it on the sidewalk; it was that small. 
Many customers would buy ice cream at the little window next to where they parked the little delivery car.
"Rumor has it that Pinky is alive and well living in Bloomington.  Pinky grew up to be a Street Rod."

I read somewhere that the Airloha had multiple pink Isettas making deliveries around the neighborhood. 
Could someone confirm that?

"Pinky" facsimile

Source:  Online entries from Roosevelt and South High alumni

~ Interesting Email Messages ~

I received a series of emails from an interesting woman named Anne Kerr, who recently happened upon our web site seeking information about the Airloha Drive-In. 
She knew Captain Elman F. Lemley, father of Travis and Roger Lemley, owner of the Airloha Drive-In and a pilot for NWA.
Her research at the NWA History Centre in Bloomington reflects the following:  "Capt. 'Lem' Lemley had the first drive-through 'radio ordering system' in the Twin Cities at the Airloha.  
He got the idea from a drive-in in Billings Montana, when he was flying a schedule from MSP to Billings.  They started the business in 1948 and the radio ordering system probably went in about 1958 or 1959.

The Stratocruiser was a double-deck Boeing B-377 airplane with a cocktail lounge on the lower level accessed by a winding staircase just aft of the main cabin door. 
That's what inspired Lemley to call his double-deck burger a Stratoburger.

I found your web site because I googled Airloha Drive-In.  I googled Airloha Drive-In because I am writing a book about the Stratocruiser
and Northwest Airlines in the 1950's when I was a stewardess for four years."

Anne (Billingsley) Kerr graduated from Southwest High in 1952

"Come 'n get 'em!" says MSP Capt. E. F. Lemley.  Standing in front of the big, colorful billboard at his Airloha Drive-In, 
Lemley is holding a genuine "Stratoburger."  The Stratoburger is a double-deck hamburger.
~ NWA History Centre Archives ~

"The airplane to the right of the words 'Drive In' on the Airloha sign (above) is the Boeing B-377 Stratocruiser. 
Northwest bought ten of them and the first was delivered in 1949.  The last one went out of service in October, 1960.  
It was unbelievably comfortable and luxurious for passengers and included a cocktail lounge on the lower level.  The cockpit was nicknamed 'the greenhouse' because of its many windows. 
The pilots loved to fly it, we cabin attendants loved to work on it and the passengers just plain loved it.  But it was very expensive for airlines to operate and maintain, and
jets had already become the standard by 1960.", according to Anne.


~ Excerpts from Anne B. Kerr's upcoming book ~
'Fujiyama Trays and Oshibori Towels;
Recalling a time when passenger flight was an adventure and the Stratocruiser ruled the skies'

"Born in Worley West Virginia, Lemley soloed in a Bird OX-5 at the age of 15, graduated Blacksville High School and joined the Army Air Corps. 
After surviving the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, Lemley remained an Air Force pilot until after World War II when he signed on with Northwest Airlines.  It was while he was stationed in Honolulu with the Air Force that Captain Lemley got the idea for the Airloha Drive-In, which he started in 1948."

"Ever the innovator, Lemley also installed the very first drive-in radio ordering system in the Twin Cities area. 
The system was so new that business suffered slightly when it was first installed because folks not familiar with it were hesitant about trying it out. 
'All you do is come in the 58th Street entrance and pull up next to one of the radio microphone stands.  In a normal voice from inside your car you simply give your order.  By the time you get to the drive-in window, (approximately 3 minutes) your order is ready,' Lemley explained. 
'Customers can either eat on the lot or drive away with their food.  Plates, spoons, trays, cups – everything is throwawayable,' he said. 
He picked up the radio ordering idea in Billings, Montana when he discovered it at a local drive-in on a layover."

"The Airloha offered root beer, French fried shrimp, malts, frozen whip cones, and hot dogs in addition to the burgers. 
California Stratoburgers and Strato-California Cheeseburgers
completed the delicious series of gastric takeoffs on the hamburger offered at the Airloha. 
NWA employees, Lem said, were highly complimentary of the Stratoburger series, 'but because of that big, red Stratocruiser on my sign, the gang from Western, Capital, Braniff and North Central give me hell! 
They’re some of my best customers, though'."

"Captain Lemley retired from NWA in 1980 after a 36 year career. 
After retirement he became SCUBA certified, diving Truk Lagoon in the Pacific where he sat in a Japanese Zero fighter, 97 feet underwater,"
like the kind in the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, which he survived. "He died July 25, 2005 in Naples Florida at the age of 84."

"The original Twin Cities airport was built around 1920 on the site of the former bankrupt Twin City Speedway Racetrack, giving the airport its original name, Speedway Field. 
In 1921 the airport was renamed Wold-Chamberlain Field for WWI pilots Ernest Groves Wold and Cyrus Foss Chamberlain
In 1944 the site was renamed Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Airport/Wold-Chamberlain Field, with 'International' replacing 'Metropolitan' four years later. 
Today it is very rare to see the Wold-Chamberlain part of the name used at all. 
It is commonly known as Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.  The Terminal was on 34th Ave. 

I have attached a photo of me standing in front of the terminal wearing my brand new uniform.  It was 1956." 
When Anne got married in 1960 she had to resign.  I find that so sad and unfair to women.  Times were different back then. 
Thank you for sharing, Anne.
     Anne Billingsley, 1956                                   Anne (Billingsley) Kerr, 2008




~ Some Minneapolis Memories ~

"I would like to contribute some information about some of those Drive-In Haunts."

"The drive-in across the street from the Airloha was owned by Delbert and Donald Cummings, and I was one of their first employees. 
It was not an A & W root beer stand.  The root beer was purchased from the Rich-O root beer stand which was located near Minnehaha Falls on 46th Street and 42nd Avenue south [46th Ave. S?]. 
I think I was in 9th grade when I went to work for them.  I worked there all summer long.  Del and Don were dairy farmers on their property which was subsequently sold to the airport or the city when the Crosstown highway
was constructed.  The Cummings did not construct that building but rather moved it from another location.

The second owners were Vic and Marie Chase.  Vic owned the Mobil gas station located at 54th and 34th Avenue South.  I worked for them about two or three summers as one of their fry cooks, where I learned a lot from Marie's mother.  Her name was Gertrude and she was a bear to work with.  One of their specialties was the Texburger, which was mustard, ketchup and red pepper.  The redder the pepper the hotter it got!

When Vic sold the drive-in or it was vacated by the Highway, I went to work for a new drive-in that was built on 58th and Cedar Avenue. 
The new drive-in was located a half block south of the 5-8 Club.  It was built and owned by a guy who ran a restaurant on Nicollet and Lake Street whose name escapes me right now. 
He introduced me to making pizza and that was on the menu.  I cannot think of the name of the drive-in, but maybe it will come to me later. 
I think I worked there for two years.

There was another new drive-in that was built right across the street from the old airport terminal on 34th Avenue South.  (the Sunset Drive-In? or Vicks Drive-In?)  In fact, the guy who ran that was a guy with the name A__
That's right only the first letter of the alphabet.  And guess what, my mother worked there part-time in 1957 or 1958!

One more interesting tid-bit . . .My father and his dad, John Corcoran helped grade the very first runways at Wold Chamberlain Field with their team of horses. 
This was sometime between 1910 and 1920.  Their horses were on their property which was on 51st and 39th Avenue South. 
Grandpa Corcoran died in 1936, so I never knew him because I was born in March of 1937.

I thought that I might be able to add some information that could be included on the web site."

~ Additional Note from Pat ~

Return to Top of Page

"Seven of the Corcoran family graduated from Roosevelt:  Barbara, Margaret, Al, Patrick, Michael, John, and Joey.  I was a cheerleader during my senior year.  I was president of the Board of Governors and was All City President of the student council for my junior and senior years.  My younger brother, Mike (deceased March, 2009) graduated from Roosevelt in 1958. 
Four of us (Barbara, Al, myself, and Mike) went on to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

The drive-in on 58th and Cedar was about a half block south of the Five Eight Club (webmaster wonders if this would have been the Tom Tom Drive-In located in Richfield). 
When I return to Minneapolis from time to time, I still go into the 5-8 Club for a beer and the 'best burger' in south Minneapolis. 
I have been living in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area since 1961 and currently reside on Upper Nemahbim Lake in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin (the past 16 years).

I think you might be correct in calling the drive-in across from the old terminal of the airport, Sunset.

I attended the a Roosevelt all-class reunion in Arizona last February.  I think there were close to 80 people who attended.
My sister, now Barbara Davidson taught Home Economics at Roosevelt when my brother, Mike was a senior in 1958.  Dick Ramberg, the clarinet player with the band "Barbary Coast" had Barb for a homeroom teacher. 
I saw the band in Arizona last February and Dick and I talked about it."

~ Patrick A. (Pat) Corcoran, RHS '55 ~

~ Oh the Memories ~

"I thank you so much for the page of memories on drive-ins . . . and the Parkway Canteen."

"Okay, I am going to relive a few memories . . .
In the '60s, I grew up living on 58th Street and 44th Avenue South.  Before the 62 Crosstown came roaring through, we kids would ride our bikes to the Airloha Drive-In to get the best hot dogs around.  I was surprised they didn't include those hot dogs on the menu; they were sooooo good.

A day of fun for us kids would be to ride our bikes down to Skylane Bowling lanes, bowl a few games then run up 34th Avenue to the Airloha for the dogs. 
When this page of the web site opened and I panned down to see the familiar billboard sign, I burst out in tears tonight.  AND PINKY!!!!!! 
I remember those little cars driving all over my neighborhood all the time.  I keep telling my daughter about these cars when we see the tiny electric cars driving around now.

Thanks again for the wonderful site . . . so many memories about all those places.  Dave's Popcorn was the best.  Charlie's A&W was okay too, but the Airloha had 'em beat hands down for the best food.  Beek's Pizza still remains my favorite pizza long after the place has gone.  Only one place rivals Beek's, that's Tasty Pizza on 41st and Central Avenue NE.  They make the pizza the way Beek's used to."

~ Fred Axberg, RHS '72 ~

~ Old Airloha Employee... ~

"Yep, I'm the guy who cleaned up the parking lot, watered the new trees along the drive-up, and scrubbed the front of the building. 

Mrs. Lemley would drop by in her turquoise, 1955 Pontiac convert with little Travis in the seat next to her. 

"Lem" paid me well.  He said I could have all I could eat.  Of course they were not open at that time of the day.  That was 55 years ago. 
Anything that went on in south Minneapolis, back then, I can remember:  Marty's, the little beach at Nokomis, the stone quarry, all of the "good" parking spots, Carl the cop and Tom at the Minnehaha Park skating rink, and the friendly snowball fights in the Airloha parking lot after the RHS basketball games. 

If I  could do it all over, I'd do it all over.  We lived in a great era.  

If I could only find a good Stratoburger now.  By the way, large cones were 20¢ at the Dairy Queen."
~ Reminiscing ~

n, I stumbled onto this website just staring at my computer last night.  Airloha flashed into my mind.  How nice. 
I could go on for days with these memories.  The building across the street from the Airloha was painted orange (maybe could have been an A&W).
The Tom-Tom Drive-In never did too much business.  It was on the west side of Cedar Ave. S. approximately about 63rd Street., just a ways north from the old Airport Pet Hospital, just south a few feet from the gas company shut off valves sticking out of the ground.  Those pipes may still be there

The 5/8 Club has been there forever.

remember all of the plane crashes that ever happened out there. 
I was playing baseball across the street, in the V.A. hospital field when the jet hit the street and bounced into those houses on 58th and 46th Ave. S.  That was a horrible sight.  It is on the internet with a few pictures. 
A fireman friend of mine couldn't get his fire truck any closer than four blocks from there because of the crowds of people and cars blocking the streets. 
The Navy put the initial fire out.
To read more here is a link:

Roosevelt High School lunch was 50¢ and soybean hamburgers were 50¢ extra.
I played in the 120 piece band, and swing band.  I used to pick up Dick Ramberg (clarinet and sax) for swing band.  He was great back then. 
He and his mother would sit at home and memorize all the music.  I guess it paid off. 
Our band director, Oren Henning, claimed that he had yellow fever during the war and that's why he was a little shaky.  I don't know.  We loved him.
I played in the Woodrow Wilson Grenadier Band (trombone and drum major).  I also played in the Minneapolis Police band ten years.  I had my own band for 15 years.  Now, I have a piano bar in my garage in the summer. 
The neighbors come over to sing and dance.  Great times.

At Lake Nokomis one summer we had to stay out of the water because of the polio scare.

My friend Byron H. and I welded two bikes together and went down the steep hill by the little beach. We got going so fast that we were passing cars along the road.  I'll never forget that day. 
There were no such things as bicycle helmets back then.

My mother, back in the 50s, had chicken every Sunday. 
She would put the chicken in the pressure cooker and she would blow the top off of the cooker.  Steam and crap would blow all over the kitchen ceiling.  What a mess. 
We never had much money but we never went hungry.  My uncle, a religious fanatic, would come over for dinner.  He would go on and on with the grace.  I thought we'd never get around to eating.

I still have two small unopened cans of Gluek Stite from the good 'ol days, and the big wooden root beer barrel with a spigot, I think, from the Richo Drive-In. 
I bought it for $30.00 at a garage sale in Richfield about 20 years ago.  We use it for a TV stand in the basement. 
I could go on and on, but that's enough for today."

~ Lloyd Washburn RHS, '57 ~

~ Summer of '53 at the Airloha ~

"I worked the summer of 1953 as the "fry cook" at the Airloha.  That was between my junior and senior years in high school. 
I was the son of an NWA mechanic and we lived in Tokyo, Japan from 1948 to 1954.  I went all through junior and senior high school there, graduating in 1954 to attend the U. of M.

We were able to come back to the states every two years, so I returned for the summer of '53 and found my first REAL job at the Airloha. 
I was paid, as I recall, 75 cents/hour. 

The fry cook had a little grill in the back room along with a deep fryer.  We cut our own French fries in a hand-operated press using huge Idaho potatoes. 
We cooked deep fried shrimp, grilled burgers and pork chops. 

It was a GREAT job for a 16-year-old guy .... the only male among a bevy of young lady car-hops. 
It was especially fun when after we closed up (around 10 pm?), one of the girls who had a car would take a load of us to Lake Nokomis
for a late night (al fresco?) dip.  I don't remember any of the names ... perhaps one was Marlene, or MaryAnn?"

~ Joe Pehoushek, Tokyo, Japan, RHS '54 ~
Now in Sun City Center, FL

~ Fun Times at the Airloha:  '57 - '59 ~

Your drive inn site really brings back a lot of good memories. 

I was a fry cook at the Airloha from 1957 to 1959.  I graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1959, and then went into the Navy. 
We really had a good time at the Airloha, because all the kids from high school hung out there. 
I worked there with Jack Jensen, Mark Madvig, Mike McMillan, Iris Dybwad, Elaine Gertsen, and a lot of others I can't remember right now. 

We really had fun with the front room girls.  Like food fights when Dick Peterson or Lem Lemley wasn't there.  One time we cornered Elaine and squirted whipped cream down her bra and the back of her pants. 
Memories, Memories.  I have a lot of them but if I wrote about all of them it would turn out to be a book.

~ Jerry Salhus, RHS '59 ~

~ Airloha and the Cummings' farm ~

"This site appeared on Facebook today and I quickly got lost in it.  
I grew up on 35th Avenue, 1/2 block from the Airloha and loved their spicy Coke. I was pretty young, but my Dad would walk me over there for a treat once in awhile.  It was where the cool, older kids hung out.  Like my cousins, the Cummings, who had the farm you've mentioned.  That branch of the family was my father's great uncle.

When I was ten, I remember my cousin Sharon Lieberg, RHS'57 and Ron Johnson, RHS'57 were dating.  She looked so beautiful in her Homecoming Queen photos, and Ron was Winter Sports Day King.  Life for the bigger kids seemed like a fairytale.  I remember the band on the roof, I think my Dad walked over there to see what was going on.  I remember the turquoise convertible.  The Class of '57 was so cool.  
Iris Dybwad was Sharon's best friend.  They both lived near 57th and 26th.

As a little kid, I wanted to grow up and wear peddle-pushers, pony tails and tie my shirt in a knot at my waist, and hang out at the Airloha like they did.  When they got to babysit me, it almost seemed like I was their young friend, and the 'coolness' rubbed off on me.

Those were the days when we built treehouses and forts in the open fields that ran from 58th Street right up to the airfield.  It was a sad day when our forts were bulldozed for the Crosstown."

(Read more from Linda Woods on the Morris Park page on this website.)

~ Linda Woods, RHS '57 ~


the King of Pizza

~ Beek's Pizza, at 3836 Hiawatha Avenue, PA1-3836.  This was certainly a popular haunt! ~

"In April 1957, this converted fruit stand, located at 38th Street and Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis, opened as, 'Beek the King of Pizza'. 

The building was small, cramped, had a leaky roof but was an instant success. 
It had atmosphere.  The tables and chairs were used and the decor wasn't much but the pizza was great. 
The thin crust was covered with delicious tomato paste, spiced with Charles Beekman's own recipe,
fresh ground meat, then smothered with the best mozzarella cheese.

~ As far as pizza was concerned in general, it seems to me our only options were sausage or pepperoni. 
There are many more choices today, but with fewer spices. ~

It was a fun place. 
Young people from South, Roosevelt and Washburn High Schools
gathered on Friday nights, families came for dinner and guys brought their dates.  This was 'The Place'." 

In the 1980s, there were five Beek locations: 
St. Louis Park, South Minneapolis (Bloomington Ave.), Crystal, Southwest Minneapolis (Lyndale Ave. S), and Bloomington (Southtown Center). 
This Hiawatha Avenue location (photo above) was demolished as were many homes to make way for today's light rail system.

Source:  a placemat!

Beek's Pizza
Cynthia Fritzke, Dorsey Kleckner, Judy Kingsberg, Kay McLean, and Adrianne Leibrock (standing)
Submitted by Cynthia Fritzke

"This is 'Beek' - Charles Beekman, late 50's I think."
Submitted by Charles Beekman, son - the "Crowned Prince of Pizza" 1/27/11.
(with his 1958 Ford station wagon)


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