Wednesday Wackadoodle

As I wrote when I gave a post the same title in October, 2018, it’s Wednesday and some people who know me think I’m a wackadoodle.

After 15+ months of living in Arizona, my wonderful wife and I finally ate at a Five Guys. The one closest to us (it’s not that close as according to Mapquest it’s more than 14 miles driving distance away) is having staffing problems, I guess, and is only open Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 4 PM. We tried to dine there a few weeks ago on a Saturday only to discover it was closed.

We regularly visited a nearby Five Guys establishment when we lived in the mid-Atlantic. Well, we did before the damn virus. I remember one young woman entering the store with some of her friends. This woman did not have a mask and tried to use the top of her sweater as a face covering. The manager kicked all of them out.

As I have written before, while I think In-N-Out has better burgers–although Five Guys has good burgers–I have never tasted better fries anywhere than Five Guys fries. My wonderful wife and I split a regular order of fries and no, there were none left when we left.


Once again, the decline in memory due to aging has affected a post. I was concentrating so much on remembering to tell the Five Guys story that I have forgotten what else I had intended to write about today.

Although it was a sad event for car aficionados, in some ways it was perhaps fitting that a major fire struck the former Packard factory in Detroit on this day in 1959. From Wayne State University a relevant photo:




The last Detroit-built Packard had left that facility in June of 1956 and the last car badged as a Packard was built at the Studebaker facility in South Bend, Indiana in July of 1958. Studebaker and Packard “merged” to form the Studebaker-Packard corporation in 1954.

What was left of the facilities after the fire was used by other businesses mainly through the late 1990s, although the last company didn’t leave until 2010. Maybe the fact that vandals pushed a dump truck off the fourth floor in 2009 led to that decision. Not surprisingly, the building began to be overrun by “outsiders,” or criminals as I would call them. In January of 2019, the bridge over Grand Avenue collapsed. The next month a part of the plant owned by the city of Detroit was demolished. The latest on the plant is that the supposed owner is trying to sell it to an entity that will completely demolish the facility in the hopes that another company or companies will use the site for industrial purposes.

From the legendary book Packard A History Of The Motor Car And The Company a picture of the plant while under construction in the summer of 1903:



The plant had 3.5 million square feet of space and it sat on 35 acres of land. It was designed by renowned architect Albert Kahn and was the first industrial site in Detroit to use reinforced concrete in its construction.

If George Mason had not died unexpectedly in late 1954 perhaps Packard would still exist and would still be manufacturing cars at Grand Avenue. At just two letters, “if” might be the biggest word in the English language.






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8 thoughts on “Wednesday Wackadoodle

  1. When you were young and had that huge mop of curls (as I did) they could have called you Golden-doodle.


  2. The first time I stopped at a 5 Guys, I was unaware of how many fries you got. Thinking it was like most other burger joints, I ordered a large fries. When they handed me the bag, I asked where the burger was as all I could see were fries. In the bottom I was told. Sure enough it was, hidden by the 4 pounds of fries. Not made that mistake since.

    We don’t have a 5 Guys nearby, but we do have Tava’s Diner. Lady is well known locally for her burgers and fries. 1/4 pound hand formed and seasoned burgers and fries that are the equal of 5 Guys. Blanched properly, correct oil temp and cook time. I used to stop, pre Type 2, at least once a week when I was in town. These days, trying to manage the Type 2, about once a month.

    Speaking of the Type 2, since last Memorial day I have dropped almost 40 lbs. Diet change has worked wonders. Been many a year since my weight started with a 1. But I do miss biscuits, french toast, pancakes, blueberry pie, taters twice a day, BBQ beans, corn on the cob, peanut butter on Ritz crackers, and all the other good tasting foods. I had to go to a doctor for unrelated issues yesterday and he took blood for an A1C test. My last one, 4 months ago was 6.4 so if this one is around that I might “cheat” a bit more often. Boring food is, well, boring. .


    1. Good to “hear” from you, sir. Glad to read about your progress. As David Banner (not his real name) has told me on occasion, it’s OK to enjoy yourself once in a while with “bad” food. Remember that he graduated from medical school and had his own practice for years.


  3. Thanks a lot!! Now I’ll have to go to Five Guys for lunch tomorrow!!! Fortunately it is only about 3 miles away.

    On Saturday the wife and I drove out to Westminster to pick up a replacement threshold that the remodelers destroyed. Since my wife drove, I got to peer out the window and spied a beautiful vintage car for sale at a business. And as we passed I picked out that distinctive Packard hood ornament.


    1. Talk about synchronicity…I just mentioned you in a reply to DDM. As I wrote to him, someone I have known a long time who graduated from medical school and had his own practice for many years tells me it’s OK to have some M&Ms every now and then. (Whoever invented M&Ms was a genius!) I think you can have a Five Guys lunch.

      One time, I ate two large orders of fries by myself in addition to a burger at Five Guys. What can I say? I just love Five Guys fries. Of course, my standard Wendy’s order used to be two triples, fries, a Coke and a Frosty. We don’t eat at Wendy’s anymore after a very bad experience at the one closest to us here in Arizona, but I ate there almost once a week from about 1980 to 1985. I still think In-N-Out has better burgers than Wendy’s.


      1. So I did not get my burger, but I ended up getting some hellacious ribeyes from Costco.
        My favorite at Five Guys is the single. For what it’s worth, I prefer two singles to one double. Go figure. I wish we could get an In N Out Burger here on the east coast.
        And yes, the only time M&Ms would be bad for you is if a six ton pallet of them fell on you.


      2. Thanks, Doc. I also get the “little” cheeseburger, or single patty, at Five Guys. Have to leave room for the fries…

        My love of M&Ms is impossible to put into words. I crave them almost every day, but seldom eat them.


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