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|~ Minnehaha Falls ~|
"There are great memories of Minnehaha Park, not
only playing tennis, but in the winter, skating.
The warming house had two big pot bellied stoves that would keep the warming house nice and toasty!
It could get so cold outside, especially when it was below zero!!!!
There was a special rink to the right as you went out of the warming house and that was where the hockey team practiced.
And way in the back of the entire rink was a place where the figure skaters practiced.
But I graduated in 1955 and I think all of that is gone now.
Even the drug store and the bakery. Fun to remember all those things tho!
My husband and I live in Baja México now, just south of Rosarito and we really enjoy it!"
~ Submitted by: Marilyn Ludvigson Scott, SHS, February 9, 2011 ~
(Webmaster: I tried to respond to your questions, but do not have your complete email.)
Minnehaha Falls 1867
Minneapolis Public Library collection
~ My First Real Job ~
"Lani, gosh, I forgot to tell you about my first real job.
I started at the Minnehaha Falls pony rink at age 11 (1950) at Hiawatha Avenue and the Parkway.
I led the ponies around in a circle, shoveling up pony poop, frying my brains in the hot summer sun from 1:00 p.m. until dark.
The pay was $4.00 for all day.
Minnehaha Depot ("Princess")
4801 Minnehaha Avenue
Minneapolis 17, MN
Then I would head for Ray's Diner (later Paul Pearson's Drive-In), across from the Canteen, and had a chicken dinner for $1.25. Not a lot of money made here, but Ray made good chicken.
I must have really liked ponies. I worked there three summers. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!"
Webmaster note: What is even more amusing is that you very likely led me around the pony rink with my dad, one of the few memories of him that I hold.
Milwaukee Road employees referred to the Minnehaha Depot as the "Princess" because of its delicate gingerbread canopy.
The depot was built in 1875 to replace a smaller station on the first railroad line into the Twin Cities from Chicago.
In the depot's early years, Minneapolis residents flocked to Minnehaha Park via train to enjoy summer weekends.
The depot is managed by the Minnesota Transportation Museum. Photo 1971
~ Lloyd Washburn '57 ~
|Our first Town Talk Cafe (July, 1938) was to the left of the Nile Theater, the large picture window. (See "Theaters" page on this site.) Mother and Dad started out selling nickel candy, ice cream and donuts. In those days the theaters didn't sell candy or popcorn. My dad had the idea of selling popcorn and contracted with some guy to buy the very best popcorn in big 50# sacks. The owner of the Nile theater had to sweep up all the empty boxes. He started counting how many boxes dad was selling and soon put in his own popcorn. That didn't stop dad, the people would line up all down the block to buy ice cream so the theater owner who was also the landlord tried to raise the rent and dad moved out.|
|~ 2707 1/2 East Lake Street, 612-722-1312, 1946 ~|
|~ Front 2707 1/2 East Lake Street ~|
|~ 60-year-old magazine article about the Town Talk ~|
|~ Counter at this location ~|
|~ Number 2 or 3?, 1954 ~|
|2707 1/2 East Lake Street - opened in 1946 - 2nd Town Talk Diner|
"The baker woman holding the
flat of strawberries in the magazine article, started working for us way back at the drive-in
and was the baker at 50th and France. She never did tell me how many years
she worked for us but I remember I was very young when she started.
3rd Town Talk Diner:
By that time mom and dad were selling sandwiches and hamburgers, a full diner menu. He knew he had to own the business to have complete control. He started a twin Town Talk Diner downtown on 7th and Hennepin. It was actually two diners, one from 7th and one from Hennepin and they met in the middle of the building. I can still remember it well as I used to help dad with the change counting in that basement as well, but I was only about 6 years old or so. Dad sold it to his younger brother Carl and he changed the name to the Tick Tock. Dad was opening the Drive-In and it was so very busy he had to spend all his time there."
Grand Opening - 1955 - 4th restaurant
|Grand Opening by daylight 1955 - 4th restaurant|
|50th & France Avenue South - Closed February 7, 2011 - 5th restaurant|
"John McCarty of St. Paul
Development Corp is the one who bought our place at 50th and France. It is
now the 50th Street Cafe.
~ ~ ~
My name is Marston Pearson. My parents, Paul and Helen Pearson, started Pearson's Drive-In in 1955. A friend sent me the link to your web site showing past Drive-Ins. I see you need a picture of the Drive-In so I have attached one and also of our Town Talk Diner and our last restaurant, Pearson's Edina Restaurant.
My father passed away in 2005. My mother is still going strong at 93. I grew up in the Drive-In & Diner business.
We also had several Town Talk Diners in Minneapolis. The most famous was the Town Talk at 2707 1/2 East Lake Street started in 1946. It used to be an alley and dad was on the board of the Odd Fellows lodge that owned the buildings. He convinced them to let him turn the alley into a diner. It was so narrow that he had Palen Fixture Company custom make all the stainless steel equipment and the counter to be narrow so there was a bit more room for the customer side of the counter. He had large marble tiles on the walls and perforated aluminum ceiling tiles that let the air conditioning through and could be easily washed. There was a telephone booth that sat two people in the back. We kids ate many a meal in that booth waiting for our parents to take us home. The basement had real character. It used to be huge oil tanks. It was quite a cave down there after dad removed the tanks. Dad had a big chest freezer, a wash sink and a very small table. I would use the freezer top for my table and stand on a milk carton and would help count the cash drawers with him.
We made all the deserts, pies, rolls etc. at the Drive-In down on Hiawatha and Minnehaha Parkway. We had to deliver food to the Town Talk almost every day.
We had a big old safe in the back room in the diner and some burglars had the bright idea of stealing it. They broke through the glass blocks next to the back door and used a tow truck. They ran the tow cable in the back door, down the long hallway to the safe, tied the cable around the safe and jerked it out and down the alley. The police found it down by the Mississippi River, pealed open. The laugh was on the robbers though. The night before, the manager on duty absolutely could not get that old safe open so she just left all the cash drawers under the counter out front. The safe was EMPTY. The money was just lying out in the open under the counter and was still there when we came down to investigate.
The Indian boy on the sign at the Drive-In was my little brother, Paul Jr., I was too skinny. They dressed us both up in deer skin loin cloths, head dresses on our heads and stood us both on the dining room table at home and took lots of pictures. Jr. was two years old and I was four.
My wife, Maureen, started at the drive-in as a car hop, no roller skates by this time, when she was 16 and we have been together ever since. We just retired as we sold our Pearson's Edina Restaurant February 7th, 2011 at 50th and France Avenue South in Minneapolis. We operated there for 38 years. Time to retire and play with my grandkids."
Dine in your car.
Twin Burger Platters
Large onion ring on top of burgers
Onion rings for $1.09
Chicken in '71, maybe prior
Hot Fudge Brownies
Graham cracker crust pie
Porky's "America Graffiti" Experience has Closed!
"Porky's, since 1953 offering the most "America Graffiti" of curbside experiences as the Twin Cities' signature drive-in restaurant, served its last burger and root beer float Sunday, April 3, 2011 and is on the verge of being sold."
"Porky's on University Avenue, has been a central meeting spot for car fans to gather and admire each other's favorite toy.
Classic cars, muscle cars, customs and motorcycles can all be found cruising up and down the strip as well as the people who love them."
The establishment was not losing money, it was just a business decision. The Central Corridor light rail "is going to ruin the avenue,
and I'm sure there isn't going to be any parking", Nora Truelson said, adding that
"high taxes and disruption from the rail's construction were also factors".
Photos submitted by James D. Goudy, RfldHS '58
Porky's restaurant is 58-year's old. Nostalgia-laden items from a 1950s-era drive-in diner will be auctioned off. The online-only auction began at 6 p.m. Monday, April 4, 2011 and concluded Wednesday night.
More photographs that hung on the wall inside the University Avenue Porky's
1) Porky's on University Ave. one week before closing, 2011
2) Lyndale Drive-In, 58th & Lyndale Ave. S, 1951
3) Porky's Lyndale Drive-In (The Checker Board), 5751 Lyndale Ave. S, 1956
4) Porky's on East Lake Street between 20th & 21st Aves. S
5) Porky's, 3118 W. Lake St. 1961
Photos submitted by James Goudy, RfldHS '58
"The legendary Porky's drive-in restaurant first
appeared in 1953 on University Avenue in St. Paul and was
followed by three more, two on East Lake Street and one on Lyndale Avenue South." These photos are of the St. Paul location.
Porky's later became Nora's (named for Ray's wife) on East Lake Street between 20th and 21st Avenues South. "In 1990, Porky's on University Avenue
was re-opened without the car hops this time around, but the hotrods were back, and so were the twin burgers and skin-on fries."
It is the only Porky's in the Twin Cities known to still be in business.
In 1953, Ray Truelson opened Porky's Drive-In on University Avenue in St. Paul,
after stints running a root beer stand and the Flat Top Drive-In, at 4604 East Lake Street, in south Minneapolis.
As many of us remember, the signature item on the menu was a hamburger with an onion ring plopped on top of the bun.
At the height of its popularity, Porky's boasted four local outposts. Over the years the lure of drive-ins waned, and every Porky's location closed.
In 1990, the original Porky's in St. Paul gloriously reopened. Technically, it's no longer a drive-in because there is no carhop service.
Many folks still eat on site, pulling their cars into a parking space after buzzing through the drive-thru window.
On weekend evenings during the short, hot summer, the drive-in is a magnet for classic-car buffs
and serves as the center of the University Avenue cruising scene.
Truelson died in 1994, but his legacy lives on.
Honor his great works by ordering up a few of Porky's habit-forming cheeseburgers and a chocolate malt,
while sitting in your car under the watchful eye of a grinning neon pig.
~ More about Lake Street ~
A former car hop who worked at the Lake Street Porky's reports, "The black A-line skirt we wore had to be at or below our knees, no shorter!"
~ Jerilyn Miller Blom RHS '61 ~
"Many 'cruisers' would enter Porky's, stop to talk to someone, block traffic, and then leave without eating. Porky's then started charging people to come into the parking lot, but gave credit on the food purchase so they didn't get jammed up with 'cruisers'."
~ Tom Watembach, SHS '63 & Carole Kortz, SHS '63 ~
Tryg Truelson, the original owner's son has opened a trendy, but not so inexpensive restaurant at the Nora's location on
W. Lake Street.
It is appropriately called, Tryg's. I see he offers Porky's onion rings on the dinner menu for $6.50. They were $1.09 back in our day.
~ Bryan Björnson RHS '70 ~
StarTribune Obituary, September 13, 1994
Submitted by James Goudy, RfldHS '58
If you look closely, you'll see a sign limiting parking to two hours - "2 HR. LIMIT PARKING"!
Ring King Drive-In
May be one and the same asWhitey and Al's
4001 Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota???
Ring King Drive-In, a drive-in totally unfamiliar to me,
was located on the southeast corner across from Taylor's Pharmacy at
4001 Minnehaha Avenue. Does anyone remember this eatery? What memories do you have? Any photos?
I am told it closed about 1964.
See also: WHITEY AND AL'S DRIVE-IN
1900 40th St. E
Minneapolis 7, Minnesota
~ photos and more information needed ~
Left: This sledding hill is located at
Right: Winter is nearing an end and now we experience
puddles and mud!
were taken from
40th Street and 20th Avenue South, looking northwest.
Remember Sibley Field?
What do you recall about your experiences at Sibley? Let's list them here.
Sibley Field Link
View MORE Drive-Ins & Haunts
If you have drive-in or eatery memorabilia you would like to see appear here, please email the webmaster.
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