...will have to wait 'til Friday.
(Recycled post, originally published 23 Nov 2010, 12:05:00 PM)
You see, Pizza Hut will be closed on Thanksgiving day (the one convenient to me at least). For some time now, I've favored them over others; having long considered grease an essential ingredient of a good pizza. :-)
Wasn't always so; when I first came to Houston in the mid '60s, the absolute best pizzas, bar none, were served by Shakey's, but they became history here when Hunt International bought them out in the mid '70s and closed the local restaurants (Domino's taking over most of them).
A lot of other buyouts followed, with the results that an outfit once having hundreds of locations all over the country has now been reduced to a few dozen, mostly in their home state of California.
Second best (also now history) was the Post Oak Drive-In Theater. Instead of pulling out a frozen pizza and shoving it into the oven, they made theirs from scratch, just like a real pizzeria.
One of their toppings was chili. When washed down with the beer I had snuck into the the drive-in, it was fantastic. (Just had to be sure to also bring along a trash bag, a roll of paper towels, and some wipes; messy doesn't begin to describe it. :-)
Once in a while I try to duplicate that experience by adding chili to a frozen one. Close, but somehow just ain't the same.
By now, instead of asking "What about turkey?!!!", you've probably deduced that I'm not a big turkey fan. Give me pizza and beer, and throw in a DVD to watch (there'll probably be nothing but football on TV that day), and I'm all set.
Did I just commit blasphemy with that "there'll probably be nothing but football on TV that day" above?
Well, I've never been much of a football fan either, except for a brief shining moment in the late '70s when coach O. A. "Bum" Phillips raised what was then the Houston Oilers to superbowl material, twice actually making it to the playoffs (only to run into that steel wall called Pittsburgh).
Something I'll always remember was the wonderful welcome the team got from cheering crowds that greeted them when they came home. They had to be feeling pretty low from those defeats, and for those fans to give that kind of "Welcome Home" made me proud beyond description.
(For a while, before those playoffs, I'd considered the Oilers as mostly just their two prima donnas (Dan Pastorini and Earl Campbell). But, while on vacation with friends in New Mexico, I saw a game (don't remember who they were playing), where both of them were benched and the remaining players went out there, just like a real team, and WON!)
Unfortunately, Phillips was getting more publicity than team owner Bud Adams (worthy of his own story) and many of us felt his days were numbered.
Sure, enough, Phillips was eventually fired and went to New Orleans to coach the New Orleans Saints (at that time owned by River Oaks native (and neighbor of Bud Adams) John Mecom. I think there was a rivalry between them worthy of a TV movie, if it hasn't already been done.)
So many Oilers' players (Campbell, Pastorini, others) followed him there, our secretary began referring to the team as the Houston Saints.
Well, I've managed to wander all over the map this time, even including one of my least favorite subjects. So, I think it's time to close this one.
Hope you have a really wonderful thanksgiving. I'm gonna give it a shot. :-)
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