It started, as myths often do, in the dim, misty long ago times. Summer was ending, the days still hot but the nights were cooling, and school was beckoning. There was a fire, a charcoal grill fire. This was long after we had invented BBQ Cheetos, and we stood around the fire and talked of how good, how very good, how very much better than ordinary were burgers and dogs on a charcoal grill, and how we would miss that goodness through the winter, and why couldn’t there be charcoal grilling all year round, why must fire end with summer??????
Why couldn’t we make a place where we could have a charcoal fire all year long, where the burgers and dogs always taste like fire and we would call that place:
And it was good.
And the story did not leave us with summer, but grew and changed and morphed over time.
When the youngest brother was still very young, we began to see him as the emblem of the Wallyburger,
the Wallyburger chef.
The story grew strong.
He would wear all white, like a superhero. A white cap and a white apron; white T shirt and white carpenter pants…..and as the story grew, the apron grew greasy. What was once shiny white became a little…less so.
Like Mel on Alice. Only more so.
And Wallyburger Chef would have a 3 day growth of beard, even though he was really 3 years old, and the whole hipster scruffy face thing was decades in the future.
He would have a cigarette hanging out one side of his mouth, with a long ash that was just about to fall……
But because the burgers and dogs were
The people would come anyway, and pay any price. That good.
and years later, in front of the TV in the Ancestral Home, Dad gave the command.
That’s what Dad said as he was watched Phantom Gourmet.
“The Walls should invade Wahlburgers“
A little back story seems in order……
Dad – raised in Dorchester.
Wahlbergs – from Dorchester.
Dad was a cop.
Donnie Wahlberg plays a cop in Blue Bloods
And so the plans for invasion began….the problem was that as Wahlburgers was being built ( we couldn’t invade until they were actually there) the various reports had the location sometimes in Hingham – the actual location – and sometimes in Boston, easier to get to, but out of town speak for a place in Massachusetts that isn’t Cape Cod or the Berkshires…..
But Dad got sick right around the time that Wahlburgers opened in 2011, so he never got there.
This Spring, my Number One Son and his girlfriend and I all went to Hingham.
Jake knew the way because in a past job, he delivered the buns.Because Dorchester is all about the connections, even in generations removed.
I got the Thanksgiving Burger – natch.
it wasn’t quite an invasion.
It was a good meal with a leisurely drive to and fro.
And we discussed if Dad would have gotten an O.F.D. (Originally From Dorchester) or a Triple Decker…(more properly called a ‘Tree Decka’ from what I remember in Dorchester-ese). And since my son didn’t know the
story….well. I guess that’s what this is for. Our family. Our story. Their burgers.
While the family is gathered round to remember and connect (and eat – eating is wonderful for the memory!) we will not doubt be remembering the Wallyburger chef. And Dad. XoX