The Toasted Pups eatery
This picture came from the Marietta High School 1955 yearbook, The Olympia. The right side was an ad for The Toasted Pups Grill.
The Toasted Pups was on the North Park Square, separated from the block The Strand and Cobb Theaters on by Root Street. Root Street looks more like an alley than a street.
After the toasted Pups next in that spot was Dr. Cutherson, an optometrist. My uncle Leonard made glasses there.
I don’t know what else was there, maybe a Goldstein uniform shop or something because Hubert Goldstein owns the building. Now the space is empty and needs improvements – it has been in the news off and on lately, for being an eyesore.
But, back to The Toasted Pups: Back in high school sometimes when we got out of a movie late we would stop in the eatery for a bite to eat before heading home. I remember one cold wet evening after a movie going into The Toasted Pup – I remember the blast of hot wet air and the smell of grease hit us as we opened the door to go in. It had a long counter with stools – that was the dining area.
Behind the counter was a grill, a counter to prepare stuff, and a cash register.
At the end of the room was a window and a door going outside to Root Street and beside the door was a window.
We ordered coffee and had a seat. There were a bunch of men in the place chatting staying dry and warm. The cook, who was the only evening employee, was a blond guy, not too much older than me. If I was 16, then he was probably eighteen. I slightly knew him because we had a mutual friend, Grady.
The blond guy served our coffee and whatever else, probably french fries and went back up to talk to his hanging out spot and leaned against the counter and continued to talk to some of his friends.
The door opened and a black man stepped in. He was probably in his 40s, non-descript dressed. He sat down at the counter. The blond guy jumped up from his leaning perch and rushed over to him and plainly told him to leave. He was not abusive to the black man but he was stern. As he held the door opened for the man to go out he told him he would have to order from the window outside on Root Street.
The man walked around the corner on Root Street and ordered from the window and had to wait in the rain and cold to get his food. Then, he disappeared into the night.
The blond guy and the men he was talking to were trying to figure what made him do something so stupid. Was he drunk? Was he crazy? They finally decided he was probably from up north where they allowed such things.
I felt sorry the man. We were in the middle of the caste system and didn’t even know it.
Fast forward about six months or so on Halloween night. My sister just bought a new white 1959 Chevrolet from Anderson Chevrolet.
She and my mother went to the downtown area to sit on the Square in the new car and watch people walk by dressed up in their costumes.
I was with my cronies. I was the one driving my family’s 53 Chevrolet. I ran into my sister and my mother and I begged to swap cars with them so my cronies and I could cruise around in my sister’s new car. She generously let me take her new car.
Within ten minutes I had a wreck in it. Driving down Washington Avenue I sideswiped a car coming in the opposite direction. Or it sideswiped me, or both… who knows?
The guy driving the other car was the blond guy that was the cook at The Toasted Pups
Grill. Lordy, Lordy. It was a small town.