Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pilgrimage to The Torch

When Flint Expatriates return for a visit, they often end up at The Torch. Here's Jeremy Gatica, who was born at St. Joe's and worked at the Capitol Theater, and his girlfriend, Megan Crane, who isn't technically from Flint, but might as well be since her dad and grandfather are both Flintoids. They call Petosky home now, where Jeremy owns his own business — Graphics Unloaded.


25 comments:

  1. Megan was reared on Tales of Flint, new myths for the Ages...Her Father's Adventures and mis-adventures, knowing in Her Mind the sweet ambrosia of a Vernors float at Kewpees', the lewd comments of detainees in the old jail while we sipped a frosty rootbeer at the A&W, the infamous party house on North Chevrolet Ave, where the walls were carpeted,(orange and red shag), and the t.v. set was hanged from the ceiling... She had to go, a Quest worthy of a Joan d'Arc, or the Amazon Princesses of Olden Tymes...

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  2. I'll buy any Flintxpat a beer at the Torch between Sept. and July.
    But how about Hat's Pub? Now THAT was a bar.

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  3. The torch was a longtime hangout of newspaper reporters from the Journal.
    In recent years, as our 401ks went up and our beer drinking went down, we still enjoyed a good hamburger or BLT for lunch at The Torch.
    At least a couple of the newspaper folks who took the recent buyout had their good bye party at The Torch.
    It's an old style bar with real atmosphere and people.
    Applebee's or The Torch, I'll take The Torch anyday.

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  4. That picture was taken after Corey Robinson's memorial, which was held at Churchill's. A bunch of us walked over to the Torch for grilled cheese sandwiches and fries. I was five months pregnant with my son, Matthew. I have to say, that was one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I've ever had. I'd love to go back at some point, while not pregnant - those stairs were a killer!

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  5. wow, a bunch of places I remember from when I lived there (Hat's, Churchill's, The Torch; I take it Hat's is gone). I was also a frequent 'visitor' at Doubie's.

    Speaking of Churchill's (which, now that I think of it, opened after I had moved to Pontiac), we were in there the night before my sister got married, and the waitperson would not accept her passport as valid ID (living in Chicago, sis had no driver's license).

    But the "infamous" party house on N. Chevrolet? That I never heard about ... do tell.

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  6. ahhhh...N.Chevrolet Ave., infamous and illicit incidents in illegal, immoral, intoxicated behaviors, way back in the Stone Age. can't tell too much, the statutes of limitations haven't run out on some of the "incidents". The t.v.'s name was Stoch I'll tell You that much. And that the guy next door was murdered not too long ago. The funny thing is, my Dad grew up right up the street back in the 20's and early 30's. We hung around with Theater people from U-M sometimes, so there was HST type weirdness on many occasions. And we all started off as such nice Catholic Boys...I had heard the ceiling came down in Hat's pub one night. But, Paddy MaGee's had the BEST chips! Screw Slim Chipley. And I'll buy a beer, Stroh's of course, for ANYONE that can name the singer that sang:"There's a lot of happy people in Koegel's Family, 'cause Koegel meats are made up to a quality...".

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  7. When you said "the bar" in a sentence, you were always referring to The Torch. That little Buckham Alley (along with the Copa and whatever else decided to go in there) was the best urban hangout for my generation. Although that summer at the El Matador was pretty fun too. :)

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  8. Oh good grief, bustdup, I wanted facts!!

    Our house on Milbourne, if I'm remembering correctly, had red shag carpet in the upstairs bathroom.

    You also reminded me of the lewd comments from the jail ... oh, the good old days! What's that about nostalgia again?

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  9. well Gillian, I could post some of them, but Gordie would be busy w/His cyber eraser....His Mom reads this site, as do my Siblings and Father on occasion, and it's taken me close to 30yrs. to regain my reputation, soiled as it is. Be content knowing that Rasputin would've shook his head in disgust...or envy.

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  10. OK, guess you're off the hook. (Like I even know who you are to force you to spill!)

    I'm still trying to figure out how my sister can bring back Vernors, Koegels and a rock & rye for me from Flint, seeing as how she is flying out there, not driving as I had originally thought. A kewpee burger might not be outside the realm of possibility, though ... there are no good burgers, or hot dogs, here.

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  11. Hey, I went to Central (or was it Whittier?) with Jeremy. Glad to see he's taken advantage of the awesome art market up in Petoskey. My wife (a graphic artist) continues to pressure me to move up there.

    BTW...Jeremy not only helped out at the Capitol in its '90s heyday but also did technical work for the "Take No Prisoners" TV series for a few episodes.

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  12. Aaah, Paddy MaGee's! That place did excellent deep-fried veggies. Have not yet encountered their peers. And once at the Copa, I ordered Drambuie (I was young and thought that drinking liqueurs made me sophisticated). The bartender had no idea what Drambuie was and maybe did not notice the proof on the label. He served me a great big tumbler full. I kept passing it around the table - but, I'm ashamed to say, it really affected my sloooow drive home.

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  13. Sarah, maybe the bartender was Humphrey Bogart reincarnated as 'buie,(a Gaelic word meaning sandy colored) was his favorite libation. I never made it past the chips at Paddy's, should've though. I hit there after shutting up the University Club in the top of the Genn., especially after FPD raided the King's Armor that one night. The place was wild back then...Gillian, can't You get fedex to ship the treats? I can relate too, as I wanna do great bodily harm to Jeremy and Megan when they come back north w/no treats for the old fart. no kewpees, no conies...bad, bad, bad.

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  14. I'm sure we'll work something out, bustdup! At least on the Koegel's front. I haven't had a Vienna since the last time Sarah went to Flint. She's a good sister. Our other sister goes to Michigan every year for Thanksgiving and brings back bupkiss!

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  15. I remember listening to Mr. Tucker, my psychology teacher at Powers, play at Paddy McGees. I think Mr. Lavengood, a teacher from Whittier/Central played there, too. It was always a blast to see teachers in "the real world" and they were great! I always have liked Irish bar music. My favorite memory of the Torch is going there after my wedding reception, which was at the now defunct University Club. Yes, like a true Flintxpat, I came back for a week to get married in the style only Flint can generate. I have a lovely picture of us dancing with the glittering lights of Flint as a backdrop. Unforgettable. We are still married 17 years later, forged in the flames of Flint.

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  16. How the hell did the King's Armor ever manage to go out of business?

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  17. good gawd susan, I probably cooked Your wedding reception meal at the University Club. Rene was the mngr. there and we had a German Chef named Hans. What year was it? I worked at Gibbie's also Gillian. what hellish shift that was; I worked the broiler, in the "window" on display all night with the damn disco music thumping in my ears the whole time. Let's see...Teddy was the owner's son at King's Armour, Tammy and Benny were head bartenders, Robin was the Playboy Bunny Waitress. I remember seeing pounds getting cut up there, before the bust that is. And yeah, the corned beef sandwiches were out of sight. Damn shame it's gone, but probably better to go down like that instead of fizzle pissing away...Arron, Jeremy's a World Class Good Dude. Proud to have Him in la Familia. And Gillian, You know the proper way to cook a Koegel's?

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  18. Ummmm, bustdup, I probably do not! I usually grill 'em.

    Where was Gibbie's again?

    I was only in the University Club once, to eat. That was by boss' daughter's wedding reception, in around 1981-82...maybe.

    I was talking with my (other) sister and mom today, and I realized I also had completely forgotten about Harrison St., which is where, she informed me, Uncle Bob's Diner was. How do you forget a whole street?

    Also, I recall being afraid of going into Burroughs Park because once a girl had been found dead there, in or around Gilkey Creek.

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  19. Here's an entire post on Uncle Bob's if you want more info:

    http://www.flintexpats.com/2007/11/uncle-bobs-diner.html

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  20. ah well, I was way outta Flint by '80. Mr. Gibby's was on Miller Rd, near the expressway exit-northbound. I try to go by Uncle Bob's whenever I'm downstate...damn fine cheesecake. We'd grill the conies first, rolling them so they're evenly seared, then steam 'em. buns too. The coney chili was superb, but Gawd almighty the grease! I'd kill for a steady supply of 'em! Everybody keep Yer fingers crossed for Megan: She's about to POP Grandzilla! Grandbaby #2!! The world takes on a new glow when Ye become a Grandparent.

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  21. Hey, Dad, I tried to bring you back a Halo Burger once. It lasted two days in my fridge before I caved and ate it. I promise, we'll get you a quart of coney sauce from Gillie's next time we go down. Unless I eat it all on the way home, heh heh heh. I don't know how many different times throughout this pregnancy I've craved a good Flint coney dog.Thankfully, Jeremy knows how to make Flint-style coney sauce.

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  22. bustdup, you wouldn't have been cooking for my wedding reception if you got out in the 80's because I was married in Jan'92. But Mr. Gibby's. I had a friend who would have us call there and page him as a doctor so he could pick up women during hunting season. Before cell phones and pagers, it was "paging Dr. Smith..."

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  23. Bustdup, was it the place across from the mall? congrats on the new grandbaby, in advance.

    My sister Sarah called me from Dort Hwy. yesterday. She and hubby were seeking coney sauce. Too bad I didn't read these comments earlier! She also 'lost' Angelo's, lol.

    So you grill 'em then you steam 'em? Thanks!

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  24. Thanks! Meghann had Jonah Lee, Friday nite, 8pm-8#'s 10oz, 18.5in oal. Both Mother and Child doing Fine! Sorry I missed the wedding dinner, but was glad to get gone outta Flint in '77! And I'm not surprised the paging trick employed by Your Buddy. Never heard so many BS tales in my Life as I did in Gibby's. I'm not sure which mall You mean Gillian- not Gennvalley, too far down Miller for Gibby's. mr. Gibby's was located where the old Hojo's was on Miller Rd, near 469& I75, northbound exit, sat parallel to Kmart at the time. I think it's still there. Bill Knapp's was across Miller Rd. from it. And Miller Rd. Dairy,(worked there after school) was just down the road, along with Yorkshire Plaza, where Petko's was-worked there after school, and not too far from Nancy Kovac's home. Was it where You thinking Gillian? I know what You mean about street's 'disappearing' from Your memory, mine's doing the same...

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  25. who owned miller road dairy

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