People ask me sometimes where I get the ideas for my weekly column. My answer is, an idea will come to me in the strangest ways. It can be as simple as seeing a person or place that reminds me of a part of my life. Recently, I was sitting in McDonalds having breakfast by myself and when I looked out the window toward Goodrich Boulevard, I could see in my mind, a site from many years ago.

I started the 7th grade at Will Rogers Junior High in the fall of 1968 (I believe?). This was the last year of “open campus” for Will Rogers, and the first year that the freshmen would no longer be at the high school for a while, but would be at the junior high for the next few years. So the freshman class, when I was in 7th grade, spent two years at Will Rogers as the oldest class. Two of my friends who were in that class, Debbie and Martha, are always telling me they were the “Top Dawgs” for two years. Well, knowing them two, they probably were, but me being just a lowly 7th grader at the time, I don’t remember it! Lol….But what I do remember is, open campus….

While I was sitting at McDonalds looking out, in my mind, I could see the many kids coming down the boulevard heading for QuikTrip, The KuKu, Roys Drive Inn, and other places to have their lunch. There was also other lunch option as well for the kids that didn’t want to leave campus, such as the school cafeteria and the candy shop that was across the street from Will Rogers. Very seldom did I go to the KuKu for lunch because that seemed to be the most popular spot, and there was always a crowd of kids there. Understandably, as you could buy a hamburger there for 15 cents at that time. I guess maybe a few of my buddies and I must have had a little more expensive taste in our food fare, because we would venture on down to Roy’s Drive Inn where burgers were a whopping 18 cents each.

Yes, those were great times in my life, with lots of memories of the kids I went to school with that started that school year and would continue right up until graduation. Since my retirement, I have spent more time with my former school mates than I ever have since my graduation 45 years ago. Some of these former school mates have come back home after retiring to live in Miami and have renewed old friendships from many years ago. I’ve said it many times, and believe it myself, that the friendships you made growing up, will be the best friends you ever make in your lifetime. When you become old, it will be those friends, there to check on you.

When the “open campus” was closed the following year, we still had the option of eating in the cafeteria, bringing our lunch, or purchasing a sack lunch before school from the candy shop. When I think of the candy shop, two things come to mind, taco flavored Doritos and bologna sandwiches. I have not had any of those Doritos in years, but I still favor bologna sandwiches. Now days, my bologna sandwiches are prepared with smoked bologna rather than a slice of Oscar Mayer like were made by the candy shop. I guess maybe it is my taste for the upper end food fare like when I bypassed the 15 cent hamburgers in favor of an 18 cent burger?

Smoked Bologna

1 roll of Bologna

Yellow Mustard

BBQ Dry Rub (Use your Favorite home recipe or Heads Country Dry Rub works well too)

BBQ Sauce


Take a knife and score your bologna about a ¼- to ½-inch deep in a criss-cross pattern. Add the mustard to the bologna and rub it over the whole roll with your hands. Add a generous amount of BBQ rub to the roll of bologna and place on the smoker at 225f to 250f. After about an hour or so of smoking the bologna, remove from smoker and add the BBQ sauce to the meat. Cook until you reach the desired doneness.