Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Thursday, November 19, 2009
So at Clinton, still some distance from Oklahoma City, we headed north on State Highway 183. Then we turned onto 33 heading to the northeast. We really didn't know where to go. But it was time for lunch. So for no reason at all and completely on a whim, we turned east along US 270/281 and headed for Watonga.
We could see the huge grain elevator silos easily five miles away. But we wondered about a restaurant when, lo and behold, there it was. Wiggee's! Wiggee's Burger Ranch. Just a few feet beyond the intersection of Clarence Nash Boulevard (State Hwy 8) and US 270/281.
Now Watonga is one of those little country towns that we all pass through as we travel. The official state map of Oklahoma says the population is 5,000. But according to Barbara Wigington--our hostess and part of the ownership team at Wiggee's--it's more like 2,000 or 2,500 now. (Photo from left to right, Diane Wonack, Barbara Wigington, Bill Wigington.)
Wiggee's is one of those great little places where the locals come for breakfast and lunch. It's the kind of place where, after you've been in the place for three minutes, you're engaged in a conversation with someone as if they were waiting for you to come in.
Now, when two big bald guys from Minnesota walk into Wiggee's, all of the conversation stops and the heads turn. Barbara greeted us with that wonderful way people speak in Oklahoma and explained we could still get the buffet, or, we could order from the menu.
When you finally make it to Wiggee's, order from the menu. Get a Wiggee Burger. They come in several varieties, all of which look pretty good. I chose one that appeared somewhat unusual: the Big Wiggee. Ted ordered the Ranch Wiggee.
If you're lucky, you'll be waited on by one of the friendliest waitresses you're likely to meet--Diane Wonack. And when she delivers your Big Wiggee, you'll find two burger patties garnished with cheese, mushrooms, jalapeño peppers, bacon, chili, and, if you want them, grilled onions. I had those, too. Ted's Ranch Wiggee was similar, sans the jalapeños and chili.
All this was cooked up by Bill Wiggee (the other part of the ownership team), who toils out of sight in the kitchen.
Paying the bill was the fun part. We, of course, had to explain what brought two guys from Minnesota to Watonga. Once we had explained that we were helping Ted's daughter move from California to Minnesota, Barbara revealed her Minnesota connection. At one point in her work career, she worked for Control Data when Control Data was one of the giants in the mainframe computer business. Well--turns out that Ted worked as a communications manager for Control Data in Minneapolis, and I did freelance work for the company for about a year in the early 1990s. Small world. Happens all the time.
We learned in our chat with Barbara that Watonga's claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of Clarence Nash, the voice of Disney's Donald Duck. You'll notice above that the town has named a street after him. You can see the Wikipedia entry on Nash at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Nash.
So if you're passing through Watonga, Wiggee's is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Address is 420 W. Russworm, but you'll see it when you drive into town. Here are some highlights from the menu:
Noon Buffet, all you can eat, $6.99
Burger and Fries, $4.99
All-You-Can-Eat Burgers and Fries, $6.99
All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast of biscuits and gravy, $4.29
Coffee or Tea, $.75 all day
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I did have some anomalies; I noticed that I sometimes made opposite choices. For instance, I noticed that when I compared Samarkand to Viet Nam, I chose Samarkand; however, when I compared Viet Nam to Samarkand, I chose Viet Nam. I am not sure why that happened, other than to say that I took several days to do this exercise. Also, thinking back, I did not establish a firm set of criteria from which to make a decision. My decisions were mostly emotional and based on my readings and general interest in geography, politics, commerce, people, and history.
So in the list below, you see my choices ranked by priority. The number in parentheses following each location indicates the number of votes for that place. You may wonder how I came up with these locations. Some come from my interests, such as View Nam (I never served in the military during that conflict, but I want to go there), and Angkor Wat, which has interested me ever since I learned about it as a kid. Some come from my ham radio contacts that I've made around the world. I would make contact with someone in the Seychelles and then grab my atlas to see where it was. Same for the South Pacific islands. I realize that is a region, but I couldn't pick just one island. There are several archipelagos I'd like to see in that part of the world. Samarkand made the list because of a book I read, The Amulet of Samarkand, a fantasy about a young magician and a 5,000-year-old djinni named Bartimaeus (Book One of The Bartimaeus Trilogy). It seems quite exotic, has 2,500 years of commercial history, and is smack dab in the middle of the Silk Road, the collection of ancient travel routes from the Asia and the east to Europe.
Now you'll notice that Hawaii is not on my list. Turns out that we have been planning for some time to go to Hawaii in September for a couple of weeks. As long as those plans were already laid in, I saw no reason to included it in the list. However, I did include Rome, France, and the Caribbean Islands--places I have visited before. Rome is such a great city and I will one day travel there again (maybe on my way to Pompeii). France is on my wife's wish list, but as you can see, I would just about go ANYPLACE other than France. I included the Caribbean Islands because I've only been to the Turks and Caicos Islands (Providenciales and Grand Turk), and I want to vagabond from Trinidad and Tobago up the volcanic island rim to Cuba. Actually, when I look at my list, I could easily move island vagabonding adventure to number two.
So take a look. Tell me what you think.
1 Machu Picchu (Peru) (58)
2 Samarkand (Uzbekistan) (53)
3 Cuba (48)
4 South Pacific Islands (48)
5 Viet Nam (48)
6 Greece (47)
7 Caribbean Islands (45)
8 Australia/New Zealand (44)
9 Angkor Wat (Cambodia) (42)
10 Pompeii (Italy) (39)
11 Prague (Czech Republic) (37)
12 Namibia (36)
13 Morocco (35)
14 Egypt (33)
15 Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) (33)
16 Malta (28)
17 Nazca Lines (Peru) (26)
18 Dubrovnik (Croatia) (23)
19 Costa Rica (22)
20 Kenya (22)
21 India (17)
22 Seychelles (Indian Ocean) (15)
23 Belize (14)
24 Mauritius (13)
25 Easter Island (Chile) (12)
26 Montenegro (12)
27 Turkey (12)
28 Aztec Ruins (Mexico) (5)
29 Rome (Italy) (2)
30 France (0)