of Ol' South
Eddie Murphy once stopped in for a 4
a.m. bite. Patrick Swayze has sampled the fare, too. Golfer Fuzzy Zoeller
swears by the German Pancakes, which he enjoyed every time the Colonial
was in town. Now, he drops by before fishing trips. And Van Cliburn once
told an international piano competition audience four nights in a row
to stop by for some coffee and a late-night snack.
Our call for stories about Ol' South,
which turned 40 in April, garnered many tales, including giggles about
Pauline Berg, a famously popular waitress at the restaurant through the
1990s who entertained her guests with renditions of "I'm a Little
Teapot" and "The Beaver Song." Last year, Berg passed away,
but her songs live on. We hope you enjoy the stories. Oh, and Happy Birthday
I just remember
the Beaver Lady who had a beaver finger puppet and would sing the Beaver
song if you asked her to. It began, "Beaver One and Beaver Two,"
but I don''t remember the rest.
Kelly Melhart '98
I just remember Pauline singing the "Beaver Song."
Beaver one, Beaver all,
Let's all do the Beaver Call.
Beaver two, Beaver three,
Let's all climb the beaver tree.
Beaver four, Beaver five,
Let's all do the Beaver Jive.
Beaver six, Beaver seven,
Let's all go to Beaver Heaven.
Beaver eight, Beaver nine,
Stop! It's Beaver Time!
Ginger Richardson '96
fond memory is the time it snowed so hard we had classes cancelled in
January or February 1963. We "borrowed" cafeteria trays from the TCU cafeteria,
put on overalls, winter caps and gloves and went Benbrook Lake to slide
down the dam. After we played in the snow and totally wore ourselves out,
we went to Ol' South and ate pancakes and enjoyed winter like other people
do up North. The group included Ellee Denton, Bobbi Gilpin (Schlidt),
Angela Dern (Castleberry) and J.B. Ballinger. That was our freshman year
and life was good. We bowled at the bowling alley, ate pancakes and enjoyed
the friendships back in 1962-1966 while we attended TCU.
Phyllis Ballinger '66
I used to
bowl at the bowling alley and then visit the Ol' South Pancake House.
Last year I married my husband Dennis at midnight at Robert Carr Chapel.
Following the wedding, I had my reception at Ol' South. We parked the
limo outside, toasted with champagne and proceeded to the party room.
Most people ordered German pancakes (my very favorite).
Linda Houser Ferdinand,
Institute of Behavioral Research
dance clubs meet there informally after dances about once or twice per
month, starting about midnight. We are dressed in our tuxedos and fancy
dresses and mingle with the cowboys and other characters of Fort Worth.
It's quite a contrast.
that Ol' South was the first place that I ever heard of "buttermilk" pancakes,
back in the late '60s. These were definitely not my mother's pancakes.
I was surprised at how beautifully golden-yellow and perfectly round they
were. In my boyish way I clearly understood why they were called "dollar"
pancakes, because they brought to mind the big dollar coins that all my
Western heroes tossed onto saloon bars. Cautiously, I put the first small
bite in my mouth, and that sublime moment is when Ol' South Pancake House
found a permanent home in my soul, for not only were the pancakes delicious,
they were made with the grossest drink I knew of and that was pretty darned
"neat-o" for a boy like me. In time, Ol' South would also introduce me
to other delicacies, like the perfect accompaniment to dollar buttermilk
pancakes—eggs scrambled with cubed ham. But even today, when I go to Ol'
South it never fails that dollar buttermilk pancakes are the first things
I look for on the menu, whether it's morning, noon or night.
Sawyer (current TCU faculty member) and I were students at TCU in 1979,
we would go to the upstairs area above Ol' South to the bowling alley
to play a video game called "Tank." We probably sank $100 worth of quarters
into that game during the year.
Speech Communication Department
I do remember
bowling upstairs and basking in the glow of one of Pauline's puppet shows
just before she dressed out my German pancake. But my most fond recollection
of Ol' South was eating there three times in the 24-hour period prior
to my wedding. After a rehearsal dinner at Jons Grille and a long night
of carousing, we finished off with a late-night snack at Ol' South. The
next morning my family attended a special intentions mass at St. Andrew's,
and then it was back to Ol' South. Finally, later that afternoon, I treated
my groomsmen to an all-they-could-eat at ... you guessed it, Ol' South.
Each stop was certainly not by design, it just seemed to be the place
to go in each instance. I've been married 10 years now, and my family
still frequents good old Ol' South when we can.
Mooney '90 (MLA '92)
I have such
a vivid recollection of my time spent studying at Ol' South in the wee
hours of the night. I studied there regularly with friends from 1979-1982,
and I still remember my favorite dish: Neptune crepes. Why would I remember
that, when I haven't been there for 20 years? Ol' South obviously made
an impression on me!
Lind Scott '82,
Director of International Admissions
When we were
in school in the '70s, Ol' South was the only establishment open 24 hours.
Hence, it rapidly became our stopping point where over German pancakes
and caffeine we would solve all the world's problems as only idealistic
youth of the Vietnam Era could. Upon returning to Fort Worth in 1997 after
13 years in the Midwest, I couldn't wait to get to Ol' South. I settled
into a booth and was greeted by my eternal Ol' South waitress. Only their
names and faces change, you know. Their smiles and good humor never vary.
With flourish, my waitress presented the plate, squeezed lemon juice into
the pancake, stirred the lemon-butter-sugar concoction to the edges of
the pancake, carefully folded the pancake into a neat square, gave it
the traditional crisscross cut and slid it under my nose. Aaahhhhh, such
perfection! With the very first bite, I was in heaven and transported
back to those wonderful days when Ol' South was THE late-night haven of
TCU students. When my daughter graduated from her Indiana prep school
and joined me in Fort Worth to begin her own undergraduate career at TCU,
I introduced her to the Ol' South tradition—and to German pancakes.
director of the Center for Professional Communication
you have gotten several mentions of this one, but there is an older lady
there. No one I know even knows her real name, we just call her the Beaver
Lady. She has a little beaver finger puppet and sings a song. I can't
recall all the words, but the gist of it is:
Beaver one, beaver all,
Let's all do the beaver call
Ffft-ffft-ffft, ffft-ffft ffft
Beaver one, beaver two
Beaver says, I love you,
Etc., etc., you get the idea. She brought the house down so much I think
they made her stop doing it. My days at Ol' South were limited after that
disgusting display of censorship.
TCU Campus Police
recollection was the time Barrett Jackson hid a dairy creamer container
in his hand, held it over his eye and stabbed it with a knife, creating
the illusion of a massive, self-inflicted eye injury. Disgusting, juvenile,
but we laughed our butts off. Also, I think I learned that trick where
you can stand a salt shaker at an angle at Ol' South. Great bar trick.
J. Lumpkin '95
I have a
vague recollection of an impromptu "contest" that started up during a
late-night study session. A number of students from the Brachman Living/Learning
Community were studying there, and it had something to do with how many
whole silver dollar-sized pancakes you could stick in your mouth at once.
The Ol' South study crowd was legendary. You could study there all night
there without disturbing your roommate.
in Fort Worth, Ol' South was an institution! Many times we ended up there
after dates for some German pancakes or a full breakfast. The senior girls
at Paschal High School kidnapped the senior boys and took them to Ol'
South for breakfast my senior year (1968). Back then Paschal had high
school sororities (called charity clubs), and it was a favorite "rush"
activity to kidnap us in our PJs and take us somewhere for breakfast.
The tradition continues. Thirty-six years later we kidnapped my daughter
and her friends on her 17th birthday and took them—in PJs—to Ol' South!
A group of
retirees, known as the ROMEOs (Retired Old Men Eating Out) meets there
once a week. They say women are welcome, but who wants to dress to go
to breakfast at 7 a.m.?
I was a
student at TCU from '71 through '75 and remember when Ol' South was in
a little building under the railroad overpass. During Finals Week, we
went there to study. Football games were usually followed by a stop at
Ol' South. Other times, we went there in the wee hours for snacks after
playing bridge all night in Brachman Hall. Friends with little or no cash
either had a Dutch baby or mixed syrup in their water for a cost-free,
flavored beverage. The move to the "new" building with the bowling alley
seemed a little strange, but all the regular employees moved, too, and
we could still get those great German Pancakes, so it worked out OK, even
though the decor still feels just a bit too modern.
Instructor in the Intensive English Program
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