Monday, June 10, 2019

Del City Oklahoma 50th Class of '69 Reunion Weekend

This is not my normal travel review, only a short trip and not very exotic location, but I had such a wonderful time that I wanted to document it for myself as the weekend was so full of marvelous memories.  The DW and I are traveling to Oklahoma City for my Del City High School Class of '69 50th class reunion.  I'm also revisiting the famous Oklahoma Onion-fried hamburgers of my youth.

June 6th 2019  -  Thursday  -  Midwest City
Lizards - Class of '69
A nice day for travel.  We left Twisted Oak Ranch about 9:30 am and after a brief stop at Gary Creek Ranch to drop Maisie, our dog, we were heading north towards Oklahoma.  As a fan of good hamburgers I am combining my reunion with a tour of Oklahoma's famous onion-fried hamburgers.  First stop is in Ardmore Oklahoma at the Hamburger Inn in old downtown Ardmore serving burgers since 1938.  This is one of the original onion fried burger diners as the burger is a depression era innovation.  I ordered a double onion fried with fries and DW ordered Cheese Tots.  Good.  Also great pie and breakfast here.  We continued north to Midwest City and my DS/BIL's (dear sister/brother inlaw) new house.  Of course my DW had just recently decorated the home so she was very familiar.  We have the Africa room.   Only a short visit as we were soon off for our first function.  In High School I was a member of a group of twelve fun friends who decided we would really enjoy our senior year.  We had our signature look of v-neck sweaters, our own parking spaces, our own seats (row 1) in the auditorium, and more.  We were called the Lizards and we had the Lizard reunion in Edmond Oklahoma at Ted's Cafe Escondido.  Very good food and we had our own function room.  We had nine Lizards with spouses attend and it was a fantastic evening.  Each member in turn had to review several subjects including: founding of group, meeting your spouse, outlandish activities we did senior year, and more.  The memories were jogged and what a way to begin the reunion weekend.  A fun day.

June 7th 2019  -  Friday  -  Oklahoma City
Sid's Diner - El Reno, OK
My BIL fixed us a wonderful breakfast with his signature Pecan & Blueberry Waffles...very good.  We had a relaxing morning and the DW had a decorating / shopping project today.  So I was free to travel with a Lizard brother to El Reno Oklahoma the 'Onion-fried Hamburger Capital of the World'.  El Reno has an annul O-F burger festival and three excellent diners/restaurants featuring the onion-fried burger.  We chose Sid's a diner and I think the more traditional of the three.  I again had a double and onion rings.  It was fantastic and well worth the drive.  We then drove out to the old Fort Reno cemetery to see the graves of early military soldiers from the Indian Wars.  I checked into the host hotel, Hilton's Embassy Suites in the Medical district, about 3:00 and soon the DW was dropped off from her day of shopping.  The first official Reunion event was at 5:00 pm at the HeyDay Center in Bricktown, the great entertainment district in OKC.  It was a good Welcome Mixer and it was great seeing classmates.  I did have a new drink: Loaded Blue Moon.  I had some of the families season tickets for the Oklahoma City Dodgers so walked across the street and canal to the Bricktown Ballpark.  I was really more interested in seeing the ballpark architecture, statues of famous Oklahoma baseball players, the billboards, the local fans, and happenings on the field and concourse than the game itself.  It was fun, and we got to visit with DCHS class of '69 'MrBaseball' and his DW who attended with us.  We bailed in the 7th inning and drove the short mile back to the hotel to rest.  It was very enjoyable Class of '69 mixer and fun evening overall.

June 8th 2019  -  Saturday  -  Oklahoma City
Lunch at 1492 - OKC
I had a very nice hotel breakfast and then visited with classmates this morning.  For lunch the DW and I took the events chief organizer and an old 'sweetheart' out to lunch at 1492 a very trendy restaurant with a Latin/Mediterranean/OkieMex menu.  It's located in the new revitalize Mid-Town area of OKC and I was impressed with the neighborhood and food.  We ordered the specialty appetizers and various entrees.  All very good.  For dessert we had to have a Tres Leches cake and it was amazing.  Afterward we drove through the downtown area before returning to the hotel.  Not much time to rest before events began to unfold.  The hotel has a complementary happy hour so many classmates began early for apĆ©ritifs.  Our banquet area opened about 6:30 pm so the party moved there for the evening.  It was a nice large room with a nice bar set up and well decorated with DCHS memorabilia. Impressive.  Dinner was salad, a steak entree with vegetables, and nice dessert choice of Chocolate or Creme Cheesecake.  Our entertainment was Ronnie Kaye a very popular disc jockey from our days in the 1960's in OKC.  He was fantastic and had most of the crowd up and dancing.  I've never seen so many old folks dancing the night away.  There was plenty of time to visit classmates, see the old yearbooks and photos, and enjoy the evening.  Everyone really had a wonderful time.  Seems the next Class event will be in two years and will be a cruise...this will be most classmates 70th birthday year as well.  Yes I will be organizing that.  We retired about 10:45 p.m., no way I could make it to midnight, so the 81+ year old Ronnie Kaye outlasted me.  It was a great day with great old friends.

June 9th 2019  -  Sunday  -  Midwest City
Sunday School 50+ years on
About 7:00 a.m. we were wakened by alarms on the TV and from my telephone.  Seems a huge thunderstorm was passing through the Oklahoma City area.  DW was going to get to experience some typical Oklahoma weather.  This was not a tornado warning so not the full weather experience. Breakfast in the hotel was again good and a lot of classmates there to visit with as well.  The weather began to clear and we packed and checked out about 11:00 a.m.  We drove to Del City and met up with two of my old friends from Church 50+ years ago.  Eight of us had a delicious lunch at Ted's Cafe Escondido in Del City.  Another wonderful meal and visit.  At 2:00 pm we went to the beautiful  Del City Community Garden to meet other members of our 50 year anniversary Church youth group.  The weather was now completely clear and pleasant as we had an informative garden tour conducted by my BIL the Gardener and founder.  Another good reunion with friends.  Afterward we returned to the house in Midwest City and later visited with other family and friends.  Another great reunion day.
June 10th 2019  -  Monday  
J&W Burger & Fries
We slept very well and decided to head south by 9:30 am.  We drove to Chickasha and ate an early lunch at the J&W Grill.  Another of the original Oklahoma Onion-Fried burger diners.  These burger have more onions than the previous two and they apply onions twice in the cooking process.  I had a double and half order of fries, DW had tots.  Very very good burgers.  Hard to judge the best of the three, it depends on your 'like' of the onions.  Sid's and JW are best for me.  If your keen on the onions then JW,  if you prefer fewer onions then Hamburger Inn, if you want the middle ground then Sid's is you place.  Basically Hamburger Inn cooks the onions on the meat, Sid's mashes the onions into the meat, and J&W mashes the onions into the meat and then adds them on the meat again.  Four hour drive home from Chickasha and we traveled basically the old Chisholm trail (Hwy 81) most of the way.  Home by 4:00 pm.  An easy travel day home.

Truly the entire weekend was a highlight, but the Lizard gathering on Thursday night was a great prelude for the weekend.  The official events were wonderful and certainly exceeded my expectations...I thought it was an exceptional weekend.  As for food I enjoyed my Oklahoma onion burgers and the lunch at 1492 was really fantastic.  Of course visiting with Classmates, Friends, and Family was the best highlight of all.

More Photos:

Thursday:  Lizards & spouses

Friday: Fort Reno Cemetery

Saturday:  Ronnie Kaye

Sunday:  Del City Garden