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Patty’s Ponderings: Remember A & W Drive-ins?

A & W Drive-in picture from Facebook

Our friend Kay Hoogendorn had this picture on her Facebook page and it brought back a delightful memory from a time in my life that was quite often less than contented.

Spending the majority of my youth in Yankton, South Dakota was, to-be-honest, not one of the best intervals of my life. Being a painfully shy, smart, fat kid, with curly hair, who lived on the State Hospital grounds, I was the constant target of bullying from both male and female classmates right into high-school, where I finally found refuge in theater.

That being said, there were some creature comforts that provided soul-soothing between the violence I experienced at home and the taunting I experienced nearly daily at school.

Of course, it’s a food memory. A lot of the good ones are.

There was an A & W drive-in on Broadway in Yankton. Like all ‘A & dubs’, (as we called them), car hops would bring out your orders on a tray that attached to the driver’s side window of your car. They had the iciest, coldest, bestest root beer and root beer floats in giant, frosty, glass mugs. On a steamy summer day, after an afternoon of swimming, going there was such an incredible treat.

They had a special sandwich at this place called, the “Yankton Burger”. It was a delicious concoction of a quarter pound burger, with a slab of ham, American cheese, some savory sauce and a kosher dill pickle slice that topped it off. It was heaven on a bun, usually cooked to juicy perfection by whatever 15 year old was manning the grill and served with a mountainous heap of crispy fries!

Just thinking about that burger and drive-in conjures up memories of my mom and sisters laughing, munching, and commiserating about our lives in ways we weren’t always capable of within the tumultuous confines of our daily lives at home.

I miss those times, those smiles, those conversations and those burgers!

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