Friday, January 31, 2014

Glenda’s Tea Party!

David and I were headed to St. Louis, MO for my Aunt Lois’ 100th birthday party.  (More about that in a later blog)…With all of the family gathering for this momentous event, my oldest sister Glenda wanted to have all the “ladies” that could attend, come dine at a favorite place of hers.

This is The Tea Room in the Valley.  It is owned and operated by a family consisting of ladies, Elaine Willingham, Francine Gallo and Tina Cassimatis.  Each of these ladies has a position in the restaurant and they each do their part wonderfully! I believe our hostess told me it was herself, her sister & their mother.  Mom is the kitchen making all the delicious food!

The Tea Room is housed in a lovely older farmhouse.  If it weren't so cold, I could see us all gathered on the front porch to sit and chat for a bit.  A lovely home indeed!

As you can see by this photo, the place was full of happy hungry ladies!  The atmosphere is very nostalgic, with old photos, plates and such hanging on the walls, with mixed knickknacks here and there.  They do have a gift shop that sells tea, soap and such. Very warm and friendly!

This is a photo of my sister’s and me.  From left to, Bonnie, Karole and the Grand Dame, Glenda.

Our hostess was kind enough to take a photo of our whole table.  From front left is my great niece Sarah, my niece Tanya, my great niece Leah, myself, my great nephew’s wife Sarah, my sister Bonnie, my sister Karole and my sister Glenda.

This is a photo of my luncheon entrée!  This is the British Sampler. ($11.95) The sampler consists of three hearty tea sandwiches: Egg Salad, Chicken Salad and Cucumber w/zesty cream cheese. It also included a Small Garden Salad with a Dressing of your choice, plus a Cheesy Herb Scone w/ Butter and Jam.  We each enjoyed delicious hot tea or drinks of our choice.  My choice was delicious.  I ate every bite!  The scone was amazing!

This is the only other photo I took of one of the other entrees.  This is A Hearty Slice of Quiche from Today's Selection. ($9.95) It includes a Small Garden Salad with dressing of your choice and one of Mother's Signature Popovers with Butter and Jam. This was Leah’s entrée and she wanted applesauce or something else instead of a salad and they were more than happy to accommodate her request. Leah enjoyed her entrée as well!  The popovers are to die for!

Glenda wanted us all to try the desserts and we ordered three different kinds to share.  One was a chocolate raspberry cake, another was a hot berry cobbler with vanilla ice cream and I can’t recall the last dessert.  But they were all delicious!  All the desserts are displayed in a glass case that can be rolled up to the table for viewing.  Very smart indeed on their part!  :) Thank you Glenda!

Everyone truly enjoyed their meal and we had a great time talking about family antics and silly things like that.  We were laughing and carrying on for a good couple of hours. We all enjoyed each others company and this quiant dining experience. A pleasent day indeed!

The Tea Room in the Valley is located at 505 Meramec Station Road, Valley Park, MO 63088. Phone: 636-225-4832.  The Tea Room’s website is:

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks to Big Daddy Dave for letting me blog about my special outing with my sisters and nieces!  Each of us enjoyed the experience!  Thank you Glenda!

Have a great day and enjoy life!

Take care,
Laurie...Big Daddy Dave’s better half J

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wild Wings Café – Knoxville Tennessee

This restaurant is not to be confused with Buffalo Wild Wings.  It took us about 3 years after we moved to East Tennessee to stumble on this place as its tucked away on the back side at the far west end of Knoxville’s Turkey Creek Shopping area.

The setting is not what one would expect behind a huge shopping complex and near I-40!  The structure and setting reminds me of a Bahama Breeze Restaurant. I ‘borrowed’ this photo from the Internet as our most recent visit to Wild Wings Café was this winter…

This photo was also ‘borrowed’… I like it because it shows the inside of this very large restaurant and entertainment venue at a very busy time…large crowds and lots going on!

Our photo shows a portion of the inside of the restaurant looking from our table over toward the big bar area.  Wild Wings Café is not just a restaurant and it’s not just an entertainment venue…it’s also a huge sports bar.  Look at all the flat screen Televisions!

Speaking of entertainment, to check out some of the free live music events scheduled at Wild Wings Café, you can go to

The food at Wild Wings Café is all about comfort and quality sports bar cuisine. We both ordered the Legendary House Salad topped with bacon and cheese, served with balsamic vinegar dressing and a piece of cheesy Texas toast. ($1.99) It was very nice…

On a previous visit, we both ordered the Big Buffalo Chicken Salad. ($8.99) For this salad you choose between fried or grilled chicken and then you specify the marinade for the chicken.  The chicken is then served on cold crisp greens with cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, bacon and it’s served with homemade blue cheese dressing.  It was an excellent and very satisfying dinner salad!

Other dinner salads include: Incredible Chargrilled Chicken Salad; Café Club Salad; Fajita Fiesta Salad; Totally Terrific Thai Chicken Salad; The Wild Chef, and; Hunky, Chunky Chicken Salad.  Prices range from $7.49 to $9.99.

I ordered a bowl of the soup of the day… ($3.99) I can’t remember what it was…and I can’t find my receipt…but I think it was broccoli cheese soup.  It’s one of my favorites! 

As might be expected in a sports bar, there are no less than 30 appetizers on the menu at Wild Wings Café.  On our next visit I plan to try the Hot Shots ($6.49), spicy sausage and cheese fritters with honey mustard for dipping, and the Drunken Shrimp ($7.99), shrimp plunged into beer marinade and broiled then served with bread for sopping up the sauce.

Laurie decided to try one of Wild Wings Café’s 7” Flatbread Pizzas.  This is the Pepperoni with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. ($4.99) While it wasn’t the best pizza ever, it was very nice and it hit the spot.  In addition to 3 other Flatbread Pizzas, Wild Wings Café offers Wild Wraps, Sandwiches, Burgers and Sliders…along with 8 different extras or sides…

As per the company website, Wild Wing Cafe was born at the beach.  Specifically the first restaurant opened on South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island.  “…vacationing families and laid-back locals flocked to the town’s first-ever restaurant to serve gourmet chicken wings and buckets of ice cold beer.”  The first Wild Wing Cafe opened in the late 1990s with only eight sauces and rubs as compared to the plethora of choices offered today.  

Did I forget the wings?  Well…what can I say!  We were hungry and we’d skipped lunch.  So since we were dining on a day when Wild Wings Café was offering all the wings you could eat for a fixed price, we placed an order for our first batch of 10 wings…and then our second batch of 10!  We chose several sauces for our wings…and there are no less than 33 options!  We tried 4 different sauces…Atomic Meltdown, Red Dragon, Flaming Parmesan and The Slayer.  The wings were very good indeed!

With 33 wing sauces and rubs, it seems fitting that the company now has 33 locations in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Tennessee.  Our Knoxville location is at 11335 Campbell Lakes Drive.  Phone: 865-777-9464.  Website: We’ll be joining a group at Wild Wings Café for dinner and some bluegrass music in late April…but we will be back for the wings and appetizers before then!

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Monday, January 27, 2014

Reynolds-Alberta Museum – Part IV

This will be the last posting from our summer trip regarding the autos, trucks and motorcycles on display at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin Alberta Canada… However, there will be one additional posting after this one that pertains to a different mode of transportation.

Ahhh…another memory from the past!  This is a 1956 Oldsmobile Super Eighty-Eight.  It’s in original condition…no restoration!  This Olds was built in GM’s Oshawa Ontario plant.  Its original cost was $3,276 (C) and its V8 engine developed 240 horsepower.

I didn’t have a Super Eighty-Eight but I did have a 4-door 1956 Olds Eighty-Eight.  Mine was white over red and I used it to commute back and forth to Michigan State University in East Lansing Michigan to our home in Jackson.  It was 6 years old when I bought it and it served me well.  The only problem was (is) that I’m not handy or mechanical in any way shape or form.  Back then, I knew even less about cars.  I kept adding oil as needed but I never figured out that the oil needed to be changed…until it was too late.  One day the engine just ‘froze’ up!  Lesson learned…

This is a 1954 Kaiser-Darrin fiberglass sports car.  This car has unique doors that don’t open in the traditional manner…they just slide into the fenders of the car.  This car was designed by Howard “Dutch” Darrin who presented the design to Henry J. Kaiser.  Kaiser immediately disliked the design but it was saved due to the old adage…”Happy wife, happy life!”  Kaiser’s wife liked the design and it went into production.

This was the first production fiberglass sports car in the USA, beating the Corvette to market by one month.  Only 435 of these cars were built.  Laurie and I have now seen 3 of them… They are striking automobiles!  The “Darrins” were built in Toledo Ohio.  They originally cost $3,652 (US).  They were built on a Henry I chassis, had a manual transmission and the 6-cylinder engine only delivered 90 horsepower.  To view photos of the Henry J automobile and to learn more about that car, go to  To learn more about the “Darrin” itself, go to

This behemoth of an automobile is a 1959 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight 2-door convertible.  It was the longest GM car produced in 1959, measuring over 18 feet in length.  This 4,300 pound auto was powered by a 394 cubic inch V8 engine that produced 315 horsepower.  Back in the day, it cost $5,598 (C). 
In the late 1950s, size equaled ‘class’ in North American automobiles.  Note: This model came with an optional portable transistor radio in the glove compartment!

I have memories of this automobile or a variant thereof… At one time my mother owned a Hillman!  This is a 1950 Hillman Minx Mark IV.  At just over 2,000 pounds, it weighed less than half of the Olds 98 convertible.  It was equipped with a 4-speed transmission at a time when most North American cars had a 3-speed.  This Hillman was powered by a 4-cylinder 42 horsepower engine and it cost $1,666 (C).

In 1950, to help with Britain’s economic recovery following WWII, 3,279 Hillman’s were imported into North America.  In 1964, Hillman (the Rootes Group), was acquired by Chrysler Motors.  That company used the Hillman name on autos until 1976.  For more about Hillman autos, go to

As we returned to the main building from the aircraft exhibit facility, (posting to come), we noticed a number of motorcycles on display in the foyer on 2 small balconies.
From left to right:
  • 1978 Honda CBX1000.  This motorcycle was introduced as a high-performance racing ‘superbike’.  Despite its power it never caught on as it wasn’t as fast or as cost effective as other superbikes at the time.  It weighs 561 pounds and its 103 horsepower engine could power the motorcycle at speeds up to 135 mph.
  • 1978 Honda CT90.  The “C” stands for ‘cub’ to indicate size and the “T” stands for ‘trail’ indicating the intended use of this motorcycle.  This line was introduced in 1959 and it was finally discontinued in 2000.  It may well have been the best-selling motorcycle every produced.  It sold for $899 (C), it weighs 179 pounds and its 7 horsepower engine allows for speeds up to 56 mph.
  • 1965 Suzuki K10.  Suzuki was founded as a manufacturer of silk weaving looms.  The company switched to manufacturing automobiles in 1937.  Following WWII Suzuki found renewed success manufacturing a ‘clip-on’ gasoline motor that would power a standard bicycle.  In 1963, the company entered the North American market offering reliable small motorcycles with greater power.  This model has a 6.5 horsepower engine that provides speeds of up to 56 mph.   

These motorcycles were mounted on another balcony on the opposite side of the foyer…

From left to right:
  • 1969 Harley-Davidson M65 Sport.  In the early 1960s, Harley-Davidson didn’t have a product line that could compete with the Japanese motorcycles flooding the North American Market.  The company turned to its Italian affiliate Aermacchi to meet the demand.  1,750 of these were built, badged and sold in North America as Harley-Davidson products.  They weighed 119 pounds, had a 1.2 horsepower engine and they sold for $275 (US).
  • 1975 Triumph Flat Track Racing Motorcycle.  It was built for a very successful Canadian racer who won 13 Alberta championships in the heavyweight division…750 cc expert class.  It is displayed as is following its last race.
  • 1956 Triumph TRW Motorcycle.  These were built in Great Britain for the Canadian Army to replace their WWII era motorcycles.  It was a modified version of Triumph’s commercial motorcycle.  Its 2-cylinder 16.8 horsepower engine could propel this bike at speeds of 70 mph.

This nice convertible is a 1954 Dodge Mayfair.  It was built in Hamtramck Michigan. (I taught school in Hamtramck in 1965 – 1966) In 1954 Chrysler began offering this sold-in-Canada-only convertible.  It was the first convertible built by Chrysler in over 15 years.  This model had a 6-cylinder motor that produced 108 horsepower.  Back in 1954, you could purchase this car for $3,084 (C).

Back in time… This is a 1911 Overland Touring Car.  It’s the first car collected by Stan Reynolds.  He took it in trade back in 1951 as part of the purchase price of a used car.  The headlamps are run on acetylene gas from a carbide generator mounted on the running board.  The side and tail lights are run on coal oil.  This automobile was built by the Willys-Overland Company in Toledo Ohio.  It has a 4-cylinder motor and it would have cost $1,250 new.

The Overland Automobile "runabout" was founded in 1903.  In 1908, Overland Motors was purchased by John North Willys.  In 1912, the company was renamed Willys-Overland.  Overlands continued to be produced until 1926 when the marque was succeeded by the Willys Whippet.  The Willys-Overland Company had a long and interesting history.  To learn more, go to

Now this is one very serious auto maintenance, repair and restoration shop!  As you can see, work was ongoing on a variety of vehicles.  All automobile collecting requires is money, mechanical and creative talent plus lots of time!

This is an example of the transformations that take place in the auto shop!  The unrestored half of this 1928 Dodge Brothers Coupe 130 Victory Six has been left exactly as it was when it came to the museum…and the other half demonstrates just what can be accomplished by dedicated and skilled mechanics and craftsmen.

This car had a Budd all steel body from Detroit but it was assembled at the Dodge Brothers plant in Toronto Ontario.  About 81,000 of these cars were built in 1928.  Still, it was the company’s last year as an independent manufacturer. The company had been losing sales to Oakland, Hudson, Nash and Durant. Chrysler bought the company late that year.  This auto cost $1,455 new and it had a 6-cylinder motor that developed 58 horsepower.

The company was founded by Horace and John Dodge in 1900.  Tragically, both brothers died in 1920.  To learn more about the history of this company and the Dodge brand, go to

This great looking 1950s Chevrolet station wagon was sitting outside the main entrance to the museum.  A volunteer will drive visitors out to the aircraft exhibit.  We thought that this was just another example of the quality and style of this museum.

While visiting the Reynolds-Alberta Museum we took a break and had a sandwich in the cafeteria.  We were joined by an Albertan farmer who happened to collect Rolls-Royce automobiles.  He was at the museum for an owner’s rally. ( He told us that he had 19 Rolls-Royces at his farm and he asked us if we had time to drive over and take a look at them.  Sadly, it was our last day and we couldn’t take him up on the offer.  He’d flown in on his own plane but his farm wasn’t too far away… We had a great time visiting with him.  He was very informative indeed!

There is only one more segment to report on for the Reynolds-Alberta Museum… It will be focused on aircraft.  The Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame is located on the museum grounds.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hot Rod 50’s Revisited…

It was time for a movie, so Laurie, Dawn Marie and I went to see ‘American Hustle’ at Foothills Mall in Maryville Tennessee.  We all thought that it was a great movie… funny and entertaining with great acting!

So…where to eat after the movie?  It had been awhile since we’d been to Hot Rod 50’s, a nearby diner in Alcoa Tennessee that specializes in piles of comfort food… Since it was only a couple of miles from the theater, the location worked for us too!

This is Hot Rod 50’s Diner at night in the winter… Note the closed in patio which provides extra seating in the winter.  We checked and it was a bit too cold on the patio for us to be comfortable…

The atmosphere at Hot Rod 50’s is a bit over the top…a 50’s rock and roll diner to the max!  Hot Rods 50's Diner is not a franchise.  It is a family owned and operated business that relies strongly on what their customers tell them.  This restaurant’s motto is that they ‘offer great food, great atmosphere, and great service all at a great price”.

Laurie had been craving a Frito Pie… Hot Rod 50’s version is called a Frito Pie Casserole. ($7.99) Basically, it consisted of Frito corn chips covered with chili and cheese with more corn chips on top.  They bake their version and it’s served with sour cream, lettuce and tomato. 

Laurie reported that it was OK…but it wasn’t what she thought of when remembering back to Frito Pies in her teenage years.  She’d prefer a big dish of Fritos, smothered in hot chili and shredded cheese.  Forget baking it…as it changed the texture of the dish.

Hot Rod 50’s has a huge menu!  Among the entrees and casseroles listed, I noted the Deep Fried Turkey Dinner, Hot Rod’s signature dish. ($11.99) This entrée consists of sliced deep-fried turkey breast, served with dressing, gravy, and homemade cranberry sauce…along with 2 sides and Texas toast!  Another item on the menu, which was a regular at our house when I was a kid, is the Shepherd’s Pie. ($7.99) This casserole is made with seasoned ground chuck sautéed with onions, carrots, peas, and mushrooms, then topped with mashed potatoes and cheese and then until baked golden brown.

Dawn Marie ordered the Chili Cheese Dog Dip. ($7.99) This consists of Hot Rod 50’s Angus hot dog topped with melted American cheese and served with a side of homemade chili for ‘dippin’.  No complaints there…except that she prefers her chili without beans.
Hot Rod 50’s has 16 Hot Dog combinations you can order. How about the Inferno Dog? ($7.99) This is their Angus hot dog topped with pepper jack cheese and XXX peppers.  As they say, “CAUTION! Order at your own risk! VERY HOT”...  Then there is the Guacamole Dog. ($7.99) It doesn’t sound good to me…a hot dog topped with fresh guacamole?  My favorite would be the “Woody” Dog. ($8.99) This is a deep fried Angus hot dog wrapped in bacon & cheddar.  Yum!  All hot dogs are served with one side item…

Dawn Marie also ordered a side of Creamy Cheese Grits. ($2.29) While they certainly weren’t the best she ever had, they were good.

Other sides include; a House Salad; Baked Beans; Tater Tots; Cole Slaw; Ribbon Fries; French Fries; Steamed Broccoli; Fried Okra; Rice Pilaf; Sweet Potato Fries; a Cup of Soup; Cottage Cheese; Creamy Cheese Grits; Onion Rings; Sliced Tomatoes; Macaroni and Cheese; Candied Carrots; Chunky Apple Sauce; Sweet Kernel Corn; Mashed Potatoes; Caesar Salad; Side Spaghetti; a Cup of Chili, and; Stuffing.  Making a decision can be challenging!

I ordered the 2/3 pound Jalapeno Burger. (1/3 lb. $7.99 or 2/3 lb. $9.99) Hot Rod 50’s topped their large steak burger with pepper jack cheese and their jalapeno bottle caps.  Not only was the burger very good…cooked medium rare as requested…those jalapeno bottle caps with the pepper jack cheese provided that little bit of extra ‘bite’ that I enjoy!

The burgers at Hot Rod 50’s are a specialty and they’re very good.  There are no less than 47 varieties and combinations to choose from.  A customer’s first visit can be a bit overwhelming just trying to read the huge menu…and then make a decision.
For the truly ambitious…or who are just into gluttony, they can go with the Chubby Challenge!  This is a giant 33 oz. triple decker burger, smothered with American cheese and garnished with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles.  It is served with a pound of French fries! ($17.99) The challenge is that if you eat it all, (including the French fries), within 30 minutes of its arrival at your table, you get a FREE Chubby T-Shirt and your picture will be posted on the walls of fame!  The scary part is that there are dozens and dozens of photos posted on the walls showing people who’ve achieved the Chubby Challenge!

Since we’d lost all semblance of control anyway…from a dietary standpoint…we decided to order some dessert.  I enjoyed this very nice vanilla shake! ($3.49) Hot Rod 50’s thick shakes are hand-spun made to order and, as you can see, they’re topped with real whipped cream and a cherry.

A number of fairly unusual desserts are offered as well.  How about a Fried Banana Split…enough for the table! ($6.99) This is a classic 50’s dessert with a twist. A banana is dipped in their cake and fried.  Then it’s served with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream.  Finally it’s topped with hot fudge, pineapple and strawberry toppings, chopped nuts, real whipped cream and cherries on top!  If that doesn’t do you in, try a Fried Twinkie Sundae. ($4.99) A Twinkie is dipped in their cake batter and deep fried.  Then it’s served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, topped with real whipped cream and raspberry sauce.  Wow!

Laurie and Dawn Marie both ordered ice cream with a topping. ($2.08 single scoop/$3.08 double scoop with a topping) The photo shows Laurie’s ice cream topped with caramel.  Dawn had hot fudge on hers.  Their desserts were a hit!

Our service was cheerful and helpful as usual and this is a fun place.  Although the ladies weren’t overwhelmed with their meals, sometimes it is just a matter of choices.  We can definitely recommend the burgers as well as the soda fountain productions!  My favorite sandwich of all is The Hog, a humongous pork tenderloin sandwich.  It comes with a side for only $7.99!

Hot Rod 50’s is located at 373 Hannum Street in Alcoa Tennessee.  Phone: 865-984-7171.  For the website and menu, go to

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a ‘lite’ après theatre dinner!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Reynolds-Alberta Museum – Part III

This posting is part III of Laurie and my visit to the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin Alberta Canada.  There was just so much to see!

As it states on the side of the tractor in the photo above, this huge piece of farm equipment was manufactured by the Gas Traction Company of Winnipeg Manitoba Canada.  The O’Grady Anderson Company in Winnipeg was licensed to build these massive tractors by the Gas Traction Company of Minneapolis Minnesota.
This is a 1910 Model B 25hp.  Its original cost was $3,000.  By 1920, the demand for giant tractors like this one had greatly diminished as much of the prairie sod was broken up and under cultivation, allowing more maneuverable lighter weight tractors to do the job.  This is the only surviving Canadian built Gas Traction Tractor…

Part of the charm which added to our interest as we toured the museum was the attention to detail and all of the transportation related ephemera on display.  Full scale vignettes like this one with a farm supply storefront helped provide an appropriate setting for the collection.

Note the distinctive eagle on the globe at the front of the farm store.  J. I. Case introduced the eagle symbol and logo for the first time in 1865.  It was based on ‘Old Abe’, a Wisconsin Civil War Regiment's mascot.  The J.I. Case Company was founded in 1843 in Racine Wisconsin.  It continues today after merging with New Holland N.V. and it’s now known as CNH Global.  The company also owns the International Harvester brand for farm equipment.  For more information, you can go to

This unwieldy looking machine is a Boggona “Pony” Snowmobile.  This 7 horsepower, single-cylinder 4-cycle snowmobile was built ca. 1960 by General Machine and Welding in St. Boniface Minnesota.  It cost $1,000 (C).  This unit was first introduced in 1958 as a lightweight alternative to the heavy, large snow machines that were being built at the time.  A total of 85 were built before mass production by larger producers forced the company to abandon the business. 

This North Star Gas Station is yet another display inside the Reynolds-Alberta Museum that helps take you back to an earlier era!  I love the contrast in gas pumps from different decades…

The auto ‘being serviced’ in front of the North Star Gas Station is a 1934 Oldsmobile Special Sedan Model F-34 Six.  This 6-cylinder, 84 horsepower vehicle could reach speeds up to 77 mph.  At $1,065 (C), it was the most expensive 6-cylinder Olds built in 1934. 

This car was built at the General Motors plant in Oshawa Ontario.  It had dual side mounts/running boards and a rear mounted trunk.  1934 was the first year that General Motors introduced independent suspension and that helped drive Oldsmobile sales to 84,000 units that year.  Interestingly enough, in 1934 GM was still building their cars with a wood frame sheathed in steel.  It wasn’t until 1937 that the company switched over to all steel frames…

In addition to all of the ‘big stuff’ in the collection, the Reynolds-Alberta museum has hundreds and hundreds of old signs, oil cans, etc.  A real gearhead could lose track of time looking at all of the miscellaneous items on display throughout the facility.  This room inside the North Star Gas Station is used for educational purposes…

This pink ‘boat’ of a car…with Laurie behind the wheel…is a 1958 Buick Limited 2-door convertible.  It weighed almost 4,700 lbs. and, unlike today’s autos, it could comfortably carry six adults.  Leather upholstery was standard and it had a V8 engine that delivered 300 horsepower. 

At $6,619 (C) this was the most expensive Buick built in 1958.  Only 839 of them were built.  When this car was produced a recession was underway and that year only autos like Volkswagen and Rambler showed any significant sales gains.

The ‘blue bomber’ in the foreground brings back a ton of memories!  This brand of automobile was my stepfather’s car of choice… This is a 1951 Hudson Pacemaker Six Model 11A.  This was Hudson’s economy class vehicle, with a price tag of $$3,072 (C).  The Pacemaker seated 6 comfortably and its 6-cylinder engine developed 112 horsepower.  The car’s signature low profile was the result of a step down frame… The passenger compartment sat inside the vehicle’s frame…

The Hudson Motor Car Company based in Detroit Michigan, made Hudson and other brand automobiles, such as Essex and Terraplane, from 1909 to 1954.  Hudson scored a number of automotive firsts, including dual brakes, the use of dashboard oil-pressure and generator warning lights, and the first balanced crankshaft.  The latter innovation, which allowed the Hudson straight-six engine, dubbed the "Super Six", to work at a higher rotational speed while remaining smooth…developing more power for its size than lower-speed engines.

The company also hired Elizabeth Ann Thatcher in 1939.  A graduate of the Cleveland School of Arts, now the Cleveland Institute of Art, and a major in Industrial Design, she became America's first female automotive designer.  Her contributions to the 1941 Hudson included exterior trim with side lighting, the interior instrument panel, interiors and interior trim fabrics.  To learn more about the Hudson Motor Company, you can go to

FYI...The car in the background of the above photo is a 1953 Willys Aero Ace.  The Willys Overland and its successor, the Kaiser-Willys Corporation, produced Willys from 1952 – 1955.  The Willys was a compact fuel-efficient car…built when the public wanted big and flashy cars.  To learn more about this stick shift 90 horsepower automobile and Willys, go to

As it’s partially black and it’s against a black backdrop, this auto is a little hard to see…but it’s a 1956 Monarch Richelieu Phaeton Hardtop.  This was the top of the line Monarch…with extensive chrome trim and power options like power windows, seats and antennae.  This 6-passenger automobile with its V8 engine producing 225 horsepower, s0ld for $3,509.

Monarchs were built by the Ford-Monarch Division of Ford Motor Company of Canada in Oakville Ontario.  Only 700 of this particular model were ever built.  The Monarch line was introduced in Canada in 1946 and its name survived until 1961.

You may have noticed a theme as you looked over the last few automobiles that I’ve posted… While we were at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum, the feature exhibit was entitled “The Fabulous Fifties”.  More than 25 vehicles were included in this special showing which ran from mid-May to mid-October. 

This is just another automobile from the 1950s!  It’s a 1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn 4-door saloon.  Between 1949 and 1955 this was the smallest post-war Rolls produced.  Only 760 were built, mainly for sale in North America.  It’s pressed steel body was also unique as the company usually only sold the chassis with the body being added by a coach maker.

This car had a top speed of 94 mph and it could go from 0 to 60 mph in what is today a sluggish 15.2 seconds.  There is a 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn for sale in Maryland for only $59,900!  Check it out at

The original Rolls-Royce Company was founded in 1906 and it operated until 1973.  The current company, Rolls-Royce Motors was created in 1973 during the de-merger of the Rolls-Royce car business from the nationalized Rolls-Royce Limited, a builder of jet engines and other products.  Vickers acquired the company in 1980 and then sold it to Volkswagen in 1998.  In 2002, Volkswagen sold Rolls-Royce to BMW.  For more information, go to and

This is a 1958 Edsel Pacer.  It featured the iconic or perhaps ‘infamous’ ‘horse collar’ grill and a push button transmission.  This model had a V8 engine that developed 302 horsepower and it sold for $3,465 (C).  Edsels were only built from 1958 to 1960.  The goal was to provide an extra option to the Ford-Lincoln-Mercury lines and to take market share away from General Motors and Chrysler. However, weak management support for the vehicle combined with a recession and the car’s design made ‘Edsel’ a word that became synonymous with commercial failure.

The Ford Motor Company lost millions of dollars on the Edsels development, manufacturing and marketing.  Total Edsel sales were less than half the company's projected break-even point. The company lost $350 million, (the equivalent of $2,802,796,804 in 2014 dollars) on this venture.  Only 118,287 Edsels were built, including 7,440 produced in Ontario Canada.  For more information, go to

That’s about it for the 3rd installment of our tour of the Reynolds-Alberta Museum… There was so much to see that 2 more posts will be forthcoming.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Monday, January 20, 2014

Doug’s Place - Will # 5 Do the Trick?

We love trying new restaurants!  Because of this, we are probably beneficial to the restaurant business, but not too helpful to any one location.  We scatter ourselves around too much to become habitually fixated on one dining establishment.

A new restaurant recently opened in Loudon County Tennessee…and back in mid-December, we decided to give it a try…

This is Doug’s Place… This restaurant occupies a building that, with the opening of Doug’s, has housed 5 restaurants in the 4 ½ years that we’ve lived in East Tennessee!  First there was Catino’s (Italian/Pizza); then there was a short-lived Ayala’s (Mexican); followed by Tellico Grill (a bit of upscale casual American food); then American House of Pancakes (casual breakfast, lunch and dinner) and; now we have Doug’s Place.
Of the group, Catino’s was decent with relatively good pizza; we never ate at this location for Ayala’s; we liked Tellico Grill but it was a little pricy, and; American House of Pancakes was adequate at best… So, the big question is whether or not Doug’s Place will prosper and survive.  There are 2 other adequate to good restaurants in a 2 block radius…one Italian, (which we don’t care for) and one Mexican which is good if not great and it is very popular with the local populace.

The interior of Doug’s Place has been cleaned up and redecorated a bit.  It has a comfortable casual ambience.  This is the front room of the restaurant. 
According to what we’ve been told, one special drawing card is the chef, who was fairly popular as a past chef at the nearby Tellico Village Yacht Club.

Doug Patterson also operates 2 other nearby restaurants...Tanasi Cafe and Toqua Grille, both in Tellico Village/Loudon County Tennessee.  To check out his facebook site, go to  

This is a view of the back dining room at Doug’s Place.  There is also a large outdoor deck that is used for dining in warmer weather.  We arrived early for dinner...and when we left, the entire restaurant was packed...

Our waitress started us out with this bread basket.  Although we have been trying to reduce our intake of carbohydrates, for this meal we ‘sacrificed’ ourselves in the interest of being able to provide a complete appraisal of Doug’s offerings…  We liked the variety of rolls offered.  They were warm and fresh…providing a nice ‘chew’ as relates to texture.

We also decided to splurge and order an appetizer… This is the Doug’s Coconut Shrimp. ($8.00) These 5 jumbo shrimp are hand tossed in coconut infused flour then flash fried and served with key lime dip.  They were very nice!

Other appetizers at Doug’s Place include: Ahi Tuna California Rolls ($8.00); Bruschetta ($6.00); Spring Rolls ($7.00); a Tortilla Flatbread Quesadilla ($6.00) and; the ubiquitous Hand-breaded Chicken Tenders ($6.00).  For a bit of a twist the Chicken Tenders are served with a green chili dipping sauce…

Entrees at Doug’s Place include 2 sides.  For one side, Laurie and I both ordered a Side Garden Salad.  The size of the salad was just right and the ingredients were fresh and provided contrast with a splash of color.  These salads were another positive in our dining experience…

There are 2 dinner salads on the menu.  One is the Classic Tex Mex ($8.00) and the other is the Smoked Turkey Club. ($9.00) You can also turn the Traditional Caesar Salad ($4.00) into a dinner salad by adding grilled chicken or grilled shrimp. ($7.00 and $9.00 respectively)

I rarely order steak when we’re out in a restaurant.  On the other hand, the ability of a restaurant to serve a quality steak for a reasonable price is one true measure of the place…and of the chef’s abilities.  My entrée was the Peppercorn Sirloin Steak ($14.00).  This is a 10 oz. marinated hand cut sirloin steak finished in a creamy green peppercorn sauce.  For my second side, I chose a baked potato…

The steak was quite tender and good…plus it was medium rare as requested! The peppercorn sauce was an excellent complement to the meat.  The baked potato was done just right as well…and it was served with butter, sour cream and cheese on the side.

For those who aren’t quite as hungry, Doug’s offers sandwiches as well.  These include a Catfish Po-Boy, a Hot Double Stacked Ruben, a half-pound hamburger, a Grilled Veggie Wrap and a Chicken Breast Burger.  Sandwich prices range from $7.00 to $9.50, (depending on add-ons to the burger), and all of them come with French fries.

Laurie surprised me when she ordered the Boneless Pork Chops with Caramelized Apples. ($11.00) I can’t remember the last time that she ordered pork chops in a restaurant.  Most of the restaurant pork chops we’ve had, except in very high-end places, tend to be overcooked and a bit dry.
Her two pork loin chops were marinated, then grilled and served with sweetened granny smith apples in a light sauce.  Her second side was the oven roasted red potatoes.  The pork chops were moist and she gave her meal two thumbs up!

Other entrée’s at Doug’s Place include: Honey Lime Chicken ($11.00); Fried Shrimp ($13.00); Baby Back BBQ Ribs ($12.00 half rack/$16.00 full rack); Grilled Smoked Tuna Steak ($15.00); Red Wine Braised Brisket ($13.00) and; Fresh Atlantic Salmon ($17.00).  A selection of 11 sides is offered…
There are also 2 Asian plus a Pasta entrée on the menu: Mango Coconut Pork ($9.00); Sesame Ginger Beef Stir-fry ($10.00) and; Penne Pasta Basil Alfredo ($9.00).  You can add grilled chicken or grilled shrimp to the pasta offering. ($12.00 and $14.00 respectively)

We noticed that our friendly and efficient waitress was really promoting Doug’s Tennessee Bread Pudding for dessert.   We both love bread pudding and by the time she asked us about dessert, we were primed and ready to give Doug’s version a try.  It was served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and it was topped with a caramel cream sauce.  Luscious and good to the last bite!

To summarize, Doug's Place is a friendly warm place, service is good and the food is definitely a cut above most dining options within a 15 mile radius.  We were very pleased and we will be back.  We definitely wish Doug’s Place the very best and we’re hopeful that this restaurant will survive and prosper for years to come!  It's located at 222 Lakeside Plaza in Loudon Tennessee.  Phone: 865-657-3503.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by to check out a new restaurant with Laurie and I!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave