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While our beer trail buddies were sunning themselves in Florida, Marvin and I were keeping our eyes on the local tavern scene.  One place especially caught our notice:  Pixels Arcade and Sports Bar at 2049 Witzel located in the strip mall at Washburn and Witzel.  We picked a night we were free, Wednesday, March 27 and set out.  Without Don and Judy (who are still in Florida) we piled into Gary’s roomy Honda.  We had a fifth passenger, our son Tom, sitting in for Don and Judy.  Buckling up seat belts in the back seat of Gary’s Honda CRV took some maneuvering, but we managed.

Pixel’s Arcade is located in the southern part of the former Kodiak Jack’s restaurant and bar building.  That was a popular

All set for some fun!

steak house and bar that closed in 2015. Entering Pixel’s one would never guess this place had once sported an outdoor Alaska look with dioramas of Alaskan wilderness complete with stuffed grizzly bear, elk, eagles and other Alaskan wildlife.

Now the walls are painted a deep blue; the bar is a rectangle set up in an open space.  No back bar, no stacked shelves of liquor.  The emphasis definitely falls on the rows of arcade games.  We sat at the bar and ordered our beer from Lynsde, the bartender.  The tap beers came in two sizes, we chose the 16-ounce.  Marv and I had Spotted Cow and son Tom had a Fanta.  We are pleased that Pixel’s sells Coke products!  Elaine had a Blue Moon complete with Orange slice. Gary, our designated driver had nothing, not even water.  Marv struck up a conversation with the owner

Lynsde, our bartender

Rob.  He told us the place opened on March 15thwith about 45 to 50 “attractions.” Its Facebook pages show many pictures of the renovation.  I asked him why he decided to open a place like this.  His answer and smile were quick, “I got divorced, so I could do what I wanted.”

The room is filled with game machines– four dart ball games, oodles of arcade games including “Joust” and “Double Dragon,” and “Vanguard,” 3 flipper pinball machines: “Iron Maiden League of the Beast, “Family Guy,” and “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.” There are also three pool tables, a Skee Ball game, two Hydro

Marv and Rob talk game machines

Thunder games, and an Air Hockey game.  A father and his daughter were playing that with much excitement.  There are many TV sets mounted on the blue walls just below the ceiling and above the games. All were showing sports shows. The open spaces left in the room are filled with tables and chairs.

We took our drinks and sat at one of the many tables and decided what games to play.  There was a quarter machine!  Too bad Judy wasn’t here, we said, counting out our quarters.  Tom had never seen such a machine.  Well, we told him, you drop in a

Tom learns about quarter machines

quarter which falls through a slowly spinning wheel onto a sliding tray or shelf of quarters and hopefully knocks some other quarters off the shelf.  These fall on other quarters and could push one or more though the slot and into your hand.  I tried first-no luck at all.  Then Elaine dropped in five quarters one by one and eased one quarter out!

Next she and Marvin renewed their rivalry at the Ripley’s Believe it or Not pinball machine.  Marvin says this machine at one point dropped two balls simultaneously. Owner Rob had told us that the pinball machines made the most money and that he was ordering a couple more.  We think that’s because the player gets to do more than just watch the action on a screen. This time Elaine was victorious earning 3,035,900 points to Marv’s 1,585,170.  Nice going Elaine!

Marv remembers playing pinball machines at the Hampshire, Illinois, bowling alley.  While his folks bowled on their teams, he took his pocket full of dimes (that’s what a game cost then) and played pinball.  Rarely my sister and I had a chance to play when our folks took us out for supper at a bar/restaurant in Sheboygan.  Remember that in Wisconsin kids can be in taverns as along as their parents are with them.  I certainly wasn’t very good at the game, but liked seeing the balls bounce off the lighted stops on the game.

We found Pixel’s to be a fun place.  We liked seeing kids and their parents playing the games, eating pizzas and generally having fun.  Pixels has designated times for kids to be there and designated times for them to leave.  (I think 8:00pm is the latest they can be there.)  The place has a cacophony of noises from the games, the laughter of the kids and their folks.  We could have stayed there for supper as Pixel’s serves eleven varieties of pizzas. We also noticed on Pixel’s Facebook page that they stage tournaments.  Neat place!

Marv watches Elaine win

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When in Rome…

Do as the Romans. Heard that often as a kid and knew that it meant you did not order Chinese food at a restaurant in Rome.  So too in Wisconsin, you’d order a beer and brat especially in my hometown, Sheboygan.  And if you were visiting California? Well, then you’d visit vineyards and sip wines.  Hmmm, well maybe that was then, but there’s a new “now.”

On our last two visits to California we hadn’t been to a single winery. Actually that’s not true.  We did go to one, but that was just to pick up a standing order of my daughter and son-in-law for some table wines.  However, breweries? Yeah. They seem to be popping up all over in the Yolo, Sonoma and Napa counties.  The counties loaded with the fields of grape vines and wineries.

So it was on our last visit, Thanksgiving 2018, as the “Camp Fire” 80 miles north died down and the air cleared of smoke from a rain that we spent a sunny day in Sacramento and lunched at the Sacrament Brewery.  Our table was on the lower level nestled next to the brewery paraphernalia—a long row of stainless steel vats.  A few minutes later a few young people were bustling around the vats, draining this one and checking valves on that one.  They were the owners of the brewery.

We meet the Sacrament Brewery Crew

Marv and I introduced ourselves to them and handed out our “Riding the Beer Trail” cards.  We told them our blog started in

2009 after our first “ride” to Oblio’s, Trail’s End and Jerry’s.  Presently we have had about 70,000 hits.  And we know it is read by people in 70 different countries.  Oshkosh issues 134 class A liquor licenses a year we told them feeling smug.  “Oshkosh, Wisconsin, has five micro breweries at last count.,” we bragged (and slightly exaggerated),  “Every city and town in the Fox Valley from Green Bay south to Fond du Lac has at least one.  Well, no, guess that Fondy doesn’t have one…yet.  But they will soon.”

“Can I take your picture?” I asked.  “I’ll write up a blog post about your place.”

Michael, my son-in-law, reminded me as we drove back to their home in Woodland that there are many other small breweries in the area. He mentioned The Blue Note in Woodland. Of course I had been there.  It’s not unusual to find students from UC Davis drinking a beer and studying their notes for their university classes.

And we had visited another one where they offered a flight of seventeen!! beers to sample.  A quick Google search says there are 17 craft breweries in Sacramento.  Wow! Maybe Wisconsin should annex Sacramento.

The beer trail riders began in August of 2009 with the idea of visiting these old places and have a beer or two.  It was never our intention to delve into a tavern’s history, but if the owner was in the bar, we were going to ask.  So it was that first night that Jerry’s owner Steve said Jerry’s was the oldest tavern in Oshkosh.  Some months later, Acee Duecee said that was nonsense, though Herbie didn’t say it quite so nicely.

The guys at Oblio’s have pictures that show their bar in much earlier times, but most of the information we gathered back then was from present day owners and more hearsay than fact.

Then along in 2012 Larry Spanbauer published his book Oshkosh Neighborhood Taverns and the People Who Ran them.  If you’ve

Front Cover of Larry’s Book

been reading our blog over the years, you know we refer to Larry’s book frequently.  That’s because he provides a detailed list of dates and owners of the 70 or so taverns that were in existence when he wrote the book.

Larry’s original intent was to write a book about the tokens taverns handed out to customers.  He does that very well.  But it so happened his book and our trail rides occurred at the same time.  Seeing our struggle to find the background of a tavern inspired him, so he told us, to expand his book to include the dates and owners of the tavern as well as the name changes.  We did not know this until he gifted us with one of his books.

We found his information very helpful in determining the history of a tavern:  when it came into existence, who owned and operated it over the decades, what changes were made to the tavern’s name, etc.  We found of particular interest what happened to the tavern during Prohibition (1920-1933). Some ceased to exist, some became restaurants, (rumor says Oblio’s became a Chinese chop suey place).  Some bars sold near beer and soft drinks. Supposedly Jerry’s became an ice cream parlor, yet beer and hard liquor were available in a back room. Wink. Wink. We were once shown where the “secret” door was that led to the booze.

Larry’s book also contains pictures and articles on taverns that had closed their doors, been torn down, etc. before 2012 when his book was published.  A number of these were in the college area on Wisconsin Street.  Some had already been demolished by the time the six of us moved to Oshkosh (late 1960s). A few like Tosh’s, Andy’s Library, and the Titan Tap were around but long gone by the time our beer

typical pages in Larry’s book

trail rides began.

Larry’s book provides an historical account of the tavern business in Oshkosh. He answers questions of when and where and why taverns flourished in the city.

His book is on the table beside my notebook every time I write my first draft of a tavern visit.  But it’s more than just a list of taverns, their owners and pictures of bar tokens.  For in it you can see how the city echoed the national worldwide events:  World War I, Prohibition, Depression era, World War II, the loss of factories along the Fox River and so on.  Although his book is out of print, we know he gave a copy to the Oshkosh Public Library.  Check it out.

Thanks, Larry.

 

Pages showing tokens for drinks

The Howard, originally the Eagles Club House, on Washington Avenue, had just completed a thorough remodel under the guidance of Senator Ron Johnson’s two daughters.  It was open now on the 23rdof October, but only until 6 PM.  Therefore we six set out earlier than usual from Don and Judy’s in the white van. Washington Avenue and other streets in the area were in the last throes of repaving, but Don found a way to the

One of The Howard’s bars–coffee here.

new parking lot (formerly a gas station).

We walked across the lawn (sidewalk wasn’t rebuilt yet) to the front door and recalled the other two attempts at restoration: the Electric Lounge in 2011 and Studio One at Washington Square in 2013.  The Studio One owners had ambitious plans for the place; plans that got thwarted months later when a heavy rain flooded the bowling alleys on the lower level of the building.  The place sat empty until the two sisters decided to renovate it to its former glory. Work started in 2017 and was nearly complete by October 23 when we stopped in.  The café on the first floor was open and a few people were there sipping coffee and working on their laptops.

Don stepped up to the counter and asked what beer was available.  “None” was the reply.  They had mainly a variety of coffees and juices.  Well, can we see the changes that were made? We were given a brief tour of the ballroom—very nice.  But the bar wasn’t open on the north side of the ballroom.  “Can we see the bowling alleys?”  “No.” “Why not?”

We looked at each other.  Decision made.  “Let’s go to Jerry’s.”  We left mumbling about a possible return months later.

Think this guy could use a beer!

Jerry’s Bar, home of the Otter Street Fishing Club, is just a short distance away by car, but miles away in atmosphere.  It had been decorated for Halloween, but not the cute stuff with smiling pumpkins. Rather it was festooned with macabre witches and ghouls.  Jerry’s was one of the first stops we made on the evening we began our beer trail rides back in 2009.  Then a huge set of antlers hung from the ceiling with an assortment of women’s bras dangling from their various points.  A few years later, the antlers were still there minus the bras (part of the #metoo movement?).  Now the antlers are gone; I don’t know why.  To Judy’s delight a quarter machine has been added.  We gave it a try and had our usual bad luck with that.

Usually at this time of day Scotty, the owner, would be behind the bar, but not tonight.  Instead a pleasant guy was there eyeing the clock as he only had to work another 30 minutes or so.  We all ordered October Fest served in frosted mugs.  All, that is, except for Gary who would now be our

Marv and guest chat about California

designated driver. There were a few guys at the end of the bar and another guy who struck up a conversation with Marv.

The November election was not far away.  We did not talk politics, but rather early voting. There’d been a push for early voting. Gary and Elaine had to vote early in the Omro Town Hall, as they would be on a trip to New Orleans on Election Day. Wisconsin’s early voting is not the same as absentee voting in which a ballot is mailed to the voter, who fills it out and mails it back in.  Instead it is done in person this time at Oshkosh City Hall’s city clerk’s office. One other time it was in the council chambers at City Hall and once even in the convention center downtown.  Marv, son Tom and I voted the third day that early voting was available without any problems.  Don and Judy voted a week or so later and said the corridor to the City Clerk’s office was jammed with voters.  Now, weeks after the election, we all know the turnout of voters was one of the highest ever in a fall bi-election and we were glad we voted early before the rush.

Jerry’s Bar has only two TVs—one to the left and one to the right of the back bar.  An endless drone of weather reporting was on one.  The other had the three other bar patron’s raptly watching Home and Garden TV. That’s right—not one of the umpteen sports channels Spectrum TV offers.  What’s the world coming to?

We had time for one more stop and that was going to be a supper spot.  We decided on the Mexican restaurant, South of the Border, on Oregon Street.  We drained our beer glasses and left.

All the goodies at Jerry’s

DD’s BBQ’s bright pink food truck, the Dirty Pig, has been a common sight at Oshkosh farm markets and community picnics for several years now.  But late summer 2018 they opened in the former Ohio Street Station site at 815 Ohio Street.  This spot had been a tavern for decades.  There’s no parking on Ninth or Ohio, but there is a small parking of sorts on the corner of Ohio and 8thand also behind the tavern and a couple of  stores clustered there.  That’s where Gary parked the white van on September 12, our second beer trail stop. But rather than enter via the back door, we walked around to the front door on Ohio.  I crossed the street in order to get some pics of that place.

Since we were there for supper as well as beer, we took a table for six in the dining room.  It is the front room of the tavern.  It has seven tables with red and white-checkered vinyl tablecloths.  A big photo, 6 feet by 3 feet of the Dirty Pig food truck hangs on one wall.  The truck looks like it was once a yellow school bus.

Also seated in the dining room was a large party of the Red Hat Ladies.  One of them is a bobber friend of mine at the 20thStreet Y.  I snapped their pic.  The next day in the Y pool I asked her if she was familiar with the poem by Jenny Joseph that inspired the Red Hat Society.  No, she didn’t, so I looked it up online.  It’s called “Warning” and begins “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me…”.  You can find the complete poem online at poemhunter.com by typing in the title and Jenny Joseph.  It was in the British Lit. Anthology I used when teaching at Lourdes. An assignment I used with it was to ask them to write their own “When I am old…”.  Interesting to note that Josephs wrote the poem when she was 29.

  Carrie, our waitress was at our table to take our orders. Not that we were surprised, but Judy forsook beer and had a brandy Manhattan.  Elaine, Don, Marv and I had Bare Bones Amber Ale.  Nice to see a local brewery’s beer in a local restaurant. Gary, our designated driver had water. We started out with baskets of appetizers, the very popular battered deep fried veggies.  Of course our supper choices were all bar-be-que dishes from Marvin, Don and Judy’s BBQ ribs and chicken combo, Elaine and Gary had pulled pork sandwiches, as did I.  There were three bar-be-que sauces on the table:  hot, sweet, and mild.  Marvin said he didn’t like strangers pulling his pork so he ordered ribs and chicken.

Since it was September, the new TV season was just beginning so we talked about that.  We had watched “Magnum P.I.” which we

The Red Hat Ladies

thought had little in common with the original.  Higgins is a woman, former MI6 agent.  Don had watched “This Is Us” but no one else had.  We own the DVD’s of the early Perry Mason shows and usually watch one of those rather than reruns or shows like Survivor.  One of the good things about watching the old Perry Mason shows we don’t have to mute all the political ads.  And, yes, we did talk about the upcoming election.  All six of us are voting early.  I started doing that when I was a poll worker and was never working at my polling place.  Now it’s just easier, I guess.

After our meal we stopped at the bar for a chat with the bartender.  He knew about our blog, as he had been the bartender at the Maple Pub when we visited that place.  He also told us the D and D stand for David and Deb, the owners.  We snapped a photo of two employees who raved about the place. The barroom is separate from the dining room.  The bar itself is a large rectangle

The Riding the Beer Trail Six

with the liquor arranged in racks in the center. Two TVs hang over this center space. There are ten taps including beers from two local brewers:  the 5thWard and Bare Bones.  Also Pabst on tap.  Gotta tell my nephew about that.  There are also four gaming machines, three tables and a smaller than regulation size pool table.

When we were at this bar back in 2010, Larry Spanbauer’s book Oshkosh Neighborhood Taverns and the People Who Ran Them, had not been published.  All I knew was there had been a tavern on this corner run by a Nigl for ages.  According to Spanbauer, Joseph Nigl opened a grocery store and tavern in this current building in 1884.  The grocery store was in the part of the building that is now the dining room.  I have learned that such combinations were popular back then.  He ran this business until 1921.  Mr. Nigl was also an alderman from the 6thward from 1905 to 1918 and president of Peoples Brewing Company.  Mary, his wife, and Alois Kinatedor ran the tavern and

Elaine and Marvin with the Dirty Pig

grocery store from 1921 to 1936. The tavern’s name was Nigl’s Gemuthlichkeit Tavern.  In 1936 John Seibold became the owner.  He kept the name and moved the entrance to Ohio Street.  I’m guessing that the grocery part had ceased to exist by this time. From 1943-1942 the owner was Claude Boushelle and the name was Claude’s Bar.  In 1948 it was again a Nigl owned tavern.  Francis “Punky” Nigl changed the name to Punky Nigl’s Bar.  He also ran the Nigl’s tavern across the street that was called Nigl’s Chieftain.  From 1972 to 1975 Alvin Nouse owned it and called it Al and Pat’s Bar.  From 1978 to 1981 it was called O’Malley’s Pub and owned by William Rodhe and James McLaren.  In 1982 through 2007 the owner was Gary Basler and the name changed to Ohio Street Station.  That name stuck until DD’s BBQ took over, but there were two different owners.  In 2007 to 2010 the owner was David Toss and in 2011 Janet Schneider.

Spanbauer’s book also includes a full-page picture of the place with a band standing at the entrance.

Now that summer has left us and the last outdoor farm market was October 27, I think we will have to wait until next spring and summer to see the Dirty Pig food truck again, but we can always stop in at DD’s BBQ Company for some pulled pork.  Except for Marvin.

Taps at DD’s BBQ Company. Cheers!

We’d let a whole month slip by without a beer trail ride.  Time to get going.  We chose The Hangar at 1485 20thStreet, as our first stop on September 12. True to its name, the Hangar sits on the edge of Wittman Field.  The east-west runway is clearly visible from the patio behind The Hangar.

We parked in the gravel parking lot behind the building. No one was seated at the outdoor patio, but had there been an air show it would have been packed.

We weren’t here for dinner, just beer, so we bypassed the relatively empty restaurant and entered a very crowded barroom.   It was the

Landing at The Hangar

tail end of Happy Hour so there was a deal on the beer.  I’m not too sure what it was, but the bartender kept handing us a lot more change than we expected.  Don and Elaine drank Alaska Amber; Marv, Judy and I had New Glarus Spotted Cow.  Gary, our designated driver, had nothing.  We took a small table away from the circular bar where we all could sit down, talk, drink and munch on popcorn.

Originally, this restaurant and bar were known as The Charcoal Pit.  And the burgers and brats were grilled over charcoal.  It also had an aeronautic theme.  The owners decided to retire and the business passed to a daughter and son-in-law a year or so ago.  So, except for the name, some menu changes, and a few decorative changes, the place seems the same.

The Hangar plays up its aeronautic theme with lots of photos of planes and parts of planes–a large wooden propeller from an old plane hangs on one wall.  Photos of EAA participants and / or their planes hang on other walls.  One photo shows the maiden flight of the China Clipper flying over the Golden Gate at San Francisco before the Golden Gate Bridge was built.

 

Seaplane Overhead

All this led us to talk about our flying adventures. We agreed the glamor of flying is long gone.  I recalled flying British Airways to London back in the early 1980s with my mom.  Our dinner came on real dishes with real silverware and glass tumblers.  Not any more. All of us had stories of delayed flights, lost luggage, crowded seating.  Sigh.  Somehow makes train travel sound good.

Three men and nine bottles of Coors were at a table next to us.  We assumed they were in Oshkosh for some aviation event, but we were wrong.  They were here for a golf tournament at the Oshkosh Country Club.  Did we know where that was?  Don and Gary did and told them the course was very nice, though I don’t think they’d ever played it.  We suggested that since they were in Wisconsin (the Chicago area was their home) that they should drink our Wisconsin beer:  Spotted Cow.

Judy and Don come from larger families than the rest of us and are the youngest among their siblings.  Judy told us one of her older sisters had died.  Not unexpectedly as she had been ill for a very long time. “She was a great cheerleader in high school,” said Judy.  So Judy practiced the cheers.  She took us back to a time when football cheerleaders wore long full skits and bulky letter sweaters.  And the cheers were very different too.  With that we began reciting some that we remembered:

“Baby in the high chair

Who put her up there?

Sis, boom bah

Golden Raiders Rah! Rah! Rah!” (The Golden Raiders were Sheboygan North’s team.)

 

And Also from North: “Two bits, four bits / Six bits a dollar/ All from North High/ Stand up and holler.”

 

Or this one:

“Big apple Little Apple

Suzy Q

C’mon team we’re rootin’ for you!

With a struttin’ to the left

And a struttin’ to the right

C’mon team let’s

Fight! Fight! Fight!” This one was from Chilton.

At Marvin’s high school in Illinois, they didn’t strut—they boogied.

And, of course “Let’s do that locomotive/ And do it slow…”

Nothing better than popcorn with a beer.

The kids in the stands in those days knew all the cheers and yelled.  I’m not saying that was better than today, just different.  Now at the college games we go to, the cheerleaders are mainly doing stunts and their outfits are skimpy compared to those worn in the 50s and 60s.  They no longer call themselves cheerleaders, but instead refer to themselves as stunt squad members.

Oops, our glasses were empty and we had decided that our second stop would be our supper stop.  We said good-bye to the guys from Chicago and left the bar.

 

We left Knuth’s and walked down Ripon’s main street to Roadhouse pizza.  Along the way Judy, Elaine and I commented on the women’s ready-to-wear shops pausing to gaze in the windows.  We lamented the loss of such shops in Oshkosh, especially my favorite The Gilded Lily.

At Roadhouse Pizza – Love the Sign

Ripon’s Watson Street was lively this Wednesday afternoon.  Watson Street is a very wide boulevard.  I always liked them.  My Sheboygan home was on a boulevard.  Like most, this one held many trees and flowering shrubs as well as streetlights.  But Ripon’s is much wider, more like a park with benches and statues.

Roadhouse Pizza sits on the corner of Watson Street and Madison. It occupies two storefronts.  We entered the one that took us right to the bar that is very long and this day was crowded. All except Gary (our designated driver) had a beer.  Marv and I had Ale Asylum Ambergeddon.  There were eleven beers on tap and an additional 24 available in bottles.  If Marv had waited for me to choose what I wanted to drink we would probably still be there.  So, he chose for me.  As usual there was the Miller Lite but why drink that when you could have on tap Tyranena Balling the Queen, or Blue Moon Summer Wheat, or Goose Island Project No. 1 Scotch Ale.  Among the bottled or canned beer were many I had never heard of like Toppling Goliath Light Speed, or White

Beer Lists on the Back Bar

Claw Raspberry, or Zywiec, or Flying Dog – Bloodline, or one I had heard of, 3 Sheeps Fresh Coast IPA.

Since we were out of the range of Larry Spanbauer’s book on Oshkosh taverns, I relied on the website for Roadhouse Pizza to learn of its background.  Like a lot of Oshkosh taverns, Roadhouse Pizza is located in an old building that dates back to the 1870s.  Their website says it was “at various times a saloon, a battery shop, a piano and music store, and an ice cream shop.  In 1959 the space was a restaurant named Mill’s Grill which later became the Maple Lunch Restaurant, then the Happ Inn Restaurant and finally in the 1970s Gus’s Pizza Palace.” Roadhouse moved from Fond du Lac to Ripon in 1978.  It underwent major renovation in 2009 – 2010 adding another adjacent storefront.  Its current owners are Andy Radke and Alisa Zabel.

I gave Elaine my camera and she snapped some pictures of the back bar and the murals on the walls.  She says this place is very popular

One of the many murals

with high school and college sports teams as a place to celebrate after a game.

We carried our beers outside and sat at a table enjoying the late afternoon sun.  Across the street sits the original Marcus movie theater, the Campus Theater.  It opened in 1935.  Marcus theaters are sprinkled across the Midwest; most of them are multi-screen with reclining seats and full menus.  If you want to attend a movie, you select the seat you want and the time of day.  Except for Tuesdays, the cost is around $12 to $14 dollars. According to Elaine’s friend Bev, at this Marcus Theater no reservations are needed and the seats are unassigned.  And, the cost of a movie is only $5.00 and has been that for years with no plans to raise the price.  Antman and the Waspwas that night’s movie. We talked about going to the movies “back in the day” when you could buy a ticket before 6:00PM and get in at a lower fare.  Once inside you could stay as long as you liked.  Most theaters showed double features; some ran movies for 24-hours. One of my dad’s patients told how he and his brother would spend the night in a movie theater while travelling to avoid the cost of a hotel room.  That’s going a little too far.

 

Enjoying our beer on the patio.

We were wrong to think that we were escaping the EAA crowds, for soon some settled at a table near us.  Not hard to see that they were here for the EAA because not only did they have the entrance bracelets on their wrists, but their hats and shirts had aviation prints.  Where from? we asked.  Washington and Idaho.  We gave them our card and urged them to try a Wisconsin beer like Spotted Cow.

Though I thought a dinner of pizza would be great, Elaine and Gary wanted us to try a Mexican supper at El Fogon.  This place was on our way back to Oshkosh at 800 W. Fond du Lac Street.  Gary, our designated driver and probably the only one who knew how to get to this place, drove.  As we walked inside, Judy asked, “Do we have to drink beer?  I’d rather have a Margarita.”  The place was busy (all of Ripon seemed busy that night).  The wait staff pushed a couple of tables together to make room for the six of us and handed out menus.  We ordered drinks.  Judy had a large Margarita that came in a large bowl-shaped glass. Elaine and Don had blended Margaritas; I

The Original Marcus Theater

had a medium Margarita that came in a tumbler.  Marv ordered a Mexican beer and Gary asked for water.

Most of us ordered tacos or enchiladas. I chose a salad. Hard to avoid talking about the EAA. Marv and I told them about the book The Oshkosh Connectionby Andrew Watts that is thriller set (at least the last half) at the EAA.  The leading character is a CIA agent for the US who works with a female Canadian agent.  He is an experienced pilot, but mainly is on the track of an international opioid group that is intent on wheeling and dealing at the EAA.  A US Senator and his aerobatic flyer daughter are also involved. Lots of fun reading.

The last of our Mexican food and Margaritas were gone. It was time to move on.  One more stop before home-ice cream at the gas station at Pickett.  Nothing like a double dip cone on top of a Margarita and tacos.  Great night.  But we’ll be riding back in Oshkosh the next time.

Whoa!! Judy’s Margarita

 

 

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