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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