Pink Flamingo Poodle

I’m sure that my memories of that night in August 1957 differ a bit from The Commander’s. And Radical Betty’s. And definitely my brother’s. I was 3-1/2, so my memories are disconnected little blips. Waking up in my bedroom in our old house on Superior Street in the dark. Or do I remember that? That room wasn’t my bedroom until I was six. I don’t remember what was in there before it was my bedroom, a den or something, but maybe I had been put down for a nap in there. Or maybe I was in another room. I DO remember that Radical Betty took me and Uber Kayak Woman to the Pink Poodle drive-in restaurant. I loved going to the Pink Poodle and I remember having FUN that night. Giggling with UKW in the back seat of Radical Betty’s car. Going to the Pink Poodle late at night with Radical Betty and UKW was an *adventure*! That night, we were on our way out to the moominbeach (sshh, my granddaddy was still around then and he’ll probably shoot lightning bolts at me if he reads this). I stayed with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins for the next week. I think I slept at The White Tornado’s cabin, in Susie’s or Sandy’s bottom bunk (I hope I didn’t wet the bed), because I remember The Commander saying she had never seen the skin behind my ears so clean. But I think I spent my days at the Old Cabin with the grandparents and Radical Betty and Bubs and UKW and Pooh, et al. I don’t remember a whole lot about that. After all, it was just life at the cabin and I was well accustomed to that. I DO remember DEMANDING that I be served four-year-old straight pickles. Whaddya mean, you don’t know what four-year-old straight pickles are?

My moom was away for a week. I don’t really remember missing her that much but maybe I did. But I was with my Grandma (who always made things all right) and all my aunts and cousins (who always made things fun) and we were swimming and running around like wild Indians on the beach and making forts in the woods. I think my dad showed up a few times, although he was staying pretty close to town. Because. When my mom finally did show up, she looked a little tired and I was in The White Tornado’s beautiful and spotlessly clean cabin living room and I asked, “Where’s the baby?” Her answer. “He’s not coming home.” Hmmm… I know I did not really understand how to process that. I didn’t even realize what it would be like to have a baby sibling (no telling the gender beforehand in those days). But I had been excited anyway and I remember my stomach dropping into some kind of pit.

As you might guess by the photooo, this story had a good ending, at least for 47 years*. Although I know it from several viewpoints (albeit in a rather patchy way), I can really only give you a high-level overview. My brother was born with an Rh-negative incompatibility (excuse my lack of knowledge of proper medical terminology, I don’t feel like Googling). His complications were so severe that my doctor-uncle thought he was going to die and told The Commander that, pretty much point blank. Which was appropriate because it was the truth. Until my doctor-uncle and another colleague or two cobbled together some sort of contraption that transfused his blood and he came home and grew up into The Engineer.

And so, I am on Facebook as some of you know and/or are tired of hearing about. I joined a group called something like “I love Sault Ste. Marie”. Because I do. This week, they have been posting photos of old restaurants that are no longer around. Dorothy’s, A&W, Flair, Knife & Fork, Penthouse, Dog & Suds, I don’t remember what all, although I do remember all the restaurants. Clyde’s Drive-In? It’s still open (thank you god). I kept thinking Pink Poodle, Pink Poodle, Pink Poodle but I didn’t have a photooo** and I couldn’t exactly remember where the place was located and I started wondering if I was the only person on earth who remembered the Pink Poodle. And then somebody asked, “what ever happened to the Pink Flamingo?” Say what? I thought, “They are talking about the Pink Poodle!” I waited. Somebody finally commented about the Pink Poodle. I thought, “Maybe I’m not nuts!”

Was there a Pink Poodle? If so, exactly where was it? Was there a Pink Flamingo?

* When my brother was born, no one knew anything about hepatitis C, therefore they certainly didn’t test donated blood for it. It takes a *really* long time for H-C to incubate (?) and make you sick but he contracted it at birth and that is what he died from, at 47.

** When I was a kid in the 1950s, cameras and film were expensive, not to mention getting that film developed. If digital cams and the internet had been around then, I would just about bet that The Commander and Radical Betty et al, would’ve been the original mommy bloggers.

6 Responses to “Pink Flamingo Poodle”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I used to love the A&W– for their hamburgers and to get to sit in the car and get served. We had a darling little drive in called Pat’s that was torn down to build one of the many Rite Aids in the area. It had the best milkshakes in town. You have very clear memories of childhood; I’m impressed because I don’t remember as well as you do!!

  2. Kathy Farnell Says:

    There used to be a “Dog n’ Suds” at HL. Never heard of the Pink Poodle though. (The Pink Flamingo sounds more like South FL than Northern MI.) Up at the Soo – maybe you could check the local Library for information about that.

  3. kayak woman Says:

    Blech! I think I could write a whole blahg entry about the number of drugstores that are being built. Some of them around here are actually replacing old fast food restaurants! I’m not sure if I can articulate how crazy that seems.

  4. pooh Says:

    You can probably blame us boomers for the fast food ==> drugstore conversions. Fast food = BAD for you, Drugstores = places to buy stuff we now need because of all the BAD fast food (that tastes so good, when you’re in the mood).

    I just walked to the nearest Walgreens yesterday to get Caltrate vitamins, b/c biking doesn’t give me enough weight bearing exercise. Come to think of it, the Walgreens sits on the site of the old Parkmoor Restaurant, which survived for 75 years, then closed. It wasn’t a drive up when we moved to St. Louis, but I think maybe it’s earliest incarnation might have been.

    I don’t remember as much about Jay’s birth, but it wasn’t as scary as the Engineer’s, and I was only 2 1/2. You do have a superior memory when it comes to your early childhood.

  5. grandmothertrucker Says:

    There is a a Pink Flamingo on Groesbeck in Clinton Twp., but that’s a sleezy Motel. There is a Pink Flamingo in Richmond, which is a little Family Diner and I have never been there either.

    I miss Ron’s Restaraunt on Flint Road between Houghton & Higgins Lake… what’s there now? The North Shore Party store used to have ice cream, but that’s gone too. 4 seasons General Store is still there to walk to from the HL cabin, and they still make the donuts. They don’t taste the same to me, but they are there. They had penny candy and Bev & Ray owned it then. I loved them.

    I remember Doug Farnell taking me to the Big Boys on Woodward Ave, and we ordered our food from the clown in the parking lot. It scared me. Then some nice lady came out on roller skates I think, and gave us the food we told the clown about. We shoved our garbage in the clowns mouth, he ate it!

    Liz Carter and Ralph Bayes took Suzie and I to the Egg & I on Woodward Ave. Ralph ordered a peanut butter sandwich. The waitress said they didn’t have peanut butter sandwiches… Ralph said, “Well forget it then, I’m leaving.” He was joking laughed. In 77 they tried putting telephones on all the tables with numbers above them, and you could call people at the other tables.

    The I-Hop by the Shrine Church on Woodward is still there. You can skip church and go there still if ya want, but the Ponderosa where all the cool kids went is gone now. You could find a whole table or two of kids skipping church and a pile of the Shrine Herald to take home to make mom and dad think you went to church.

    Mom n Dad took alllll the Courtois kids, (that were there) to the Latern Restraunt at Houghton Lake. I remember it was dark in there. They also took us to Richards Restraunt. They had the best pizza and neat red plastic cups. They had a bowling alley attacked where my brother Don took me.

    I was the 10th child…. I had to wait for Kathy to have Scott to see a new kid around in the family. I was 7. He was tiny an sat on the kitchen table. i was amazed at how tiny his fingers were and that he slept so much.

  6. Jay Says:

    I remember Granddaddy going to the A&W to get jugs of Root Beer.
    I still like A&@ Root Beer, although I don’t drink much pop nowadays.