Cassi Creek: People consider the first language you learn to speak as a mother tongue or milk language.
Is there also a mother clam chowder, a mother cheeseburger or a mother pizza that drags you swiftly back, salivating uncontrollably for a long ago favorite food?
The first time I had a pizza that wasn’t from a freezer case or that had a chef on the mix box was in autumn 1961. I recall going into a new restaurant in the afternoon to try their pizza. It was more exciting than I can describe, more delicious than any I’ve ever had since then. It was worth spending bus money and walking home from uptown for the rest of the week.
It was/is owned and operated by a family who emigrated from Greece. They’ve made a tremendous success of their business.
The pizzas were hand tossed in the front window in full view of customers and passersby by an older family member, uncle perhaps. He always had flour-covered hands. The waitresses wore dark skirts and most of them had white handprints on their butts. Not acceptable today, merely a fact of life then.
I’ve eaten many pizzas there, dine in or carry out. I’ve consumed many liters of coffee waiting to sober up enough to walk to the car that magically stayed in its lane and hit nothing on or off the road.
I can recall one night when three of us spent an evening drinking in the Missouri River bottom lands then drove back across the river to get pizza. We tried for the angle parking in the driveway to the state capital. Somehow, the driver managed to park parallel to the road, in newly planted flowerbeds. We figured we’d do more damage trying to correct the error so we made it across the main street to Arris’. The waitress immediately came over with three cups and three pots of coffee. Miraculously, we’d done no harm to anyone but ourselves. We somehow escaped being ticketed for the parking violation, and two of us managed to avoid losing all the coffee and pizza.
Here’s the web site. Look at the 1961 prices.