Tik Tok: The Sound of Time and Memories
by Inara Verzemnieks, The Oregonian
Monday July 28, 2008, 11:54 AM
Above: Kelly Burg of Vintage Roadside sells a Tik Tok t-shirt to Ted Beecher at the recent Tik Tok Drive In reunion. Photo by Leah Nash.
Yesterday we wrote about Kelly Burg and Jeff Kunkle, a couple who, through their business, Vintage Roadside, are trying to preserve the histories of mom and pop establishments like the Tik Tok, Portland's first drive-in restaurant, and bring long-gone places back to life. Their efforts inspired a number of people -- from former employees to customers -- to call in and share their Tik Tok memories -- the kind of everyday details that are often overlooked by history, but which make a place real.
* The man who called to say that after he came back from two wars, each time, the first thing he did, after he kissed his mother and shook his father's hand, was ask for the car keys and then head to the Tik Tok for a BBQ pork sandwich and a hot fudge sundae -- "Those were things you dreamed about."
* The fourth-generation farmer out in Eastern Oregon who recalled that, as a boy, after they finished the harvest each year, the big treat was to head to Portland and to the Tik Tok. "There was no drive-in in Eastern Oregon at the time." He remembered the novelty of being served in the car, having someone come out and put a tray on the window. He always ordered fries. "Growing up on a farm, you got potatoes one way -- mashed."
* The employee from 1945 to 1946 who talked about the way the guys behind the soda counter would throw the ice cream in the air and catch it in a glass; the jewelry store owner who would bring his 39 Ford Convertible, pure black with white sidewalls... His sisters worked there, too, as carhops. And at that time, the carhops dressed in more demure slacks. The little skirts -- they came later.
If you have further memories, photographs, history, or you'd like to know where to find one of our Tik Tok t-shirts we'd love to hear from you. You can click here for our contact form.