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"How I Invented The Cheeseburger"

Way back before I sang with Misty Morgan, before Misty recorded on Starday
as Maryanne Mail, even before I was Jackie Blanchard and the Rockin'
Impalas, I was part of a teenage Pop vocal quartet called The Dawnbreakers.
We had one single on Coral Records, a subsidiary of Decca: "Boy with the
Bebop Glasses" b/w "The Things I Love".

As a result of the airplay, an agent out of Buffalo named Harry Ricci
booked us on a Canadian tour, up around the Northern Ontario mining
country. I remember two of the towns were Sudbury and Timmons. They were
the biggest places. It's probably completely modern now, but at that time
it looked more like the nineteenth century than the twentieth. It was an adventure. 

It seemed like every town had a theater, and that's where we put on our
show. One was a long- closed movie house, and for some reason the stage was
unusable. We had to do our show from the orchestra pit. At rehearsal the
first day I plugged in my guitar and amp and got semi-electrocuted. The
orchestra pit was the lowest point in the building and all the dampness
gathered in that part of the cement floor. Plugging in my guitar was like
using a toaster in the bathtub. 

Somebody brought a flattened cardboard box for me to stand on to break the
ground. It worked, and we went ahead with the rehearsal. After the first
song the theater manager walked up to me and said, "Sounds great, Jack",
and put his hand on my arm. We both got zapped. 

At another theater, for the price of admission you got our show and a Jerry
Lewis movie. There were no dressing rooms, so they hung a light bulb behind
the movie screen and we changed there. We could see the movie in reverse on
the back of the screen. We could hear the crowd laugh at Jerry Lewis, but
whenever the screen dimmed down the laughter took on a different tone. With
the light bulb shining on us, they could see us running around in the buff
right through the screen. 

After the first matinee, we went out to get something to eat at a little
diner around the corner. I'd been on a cheeseburger kick for several
months, and that's all I wanted. The waitress said, "I don't think we have
that". 

I asked if they had hamburgers. She nodded, and I said, "Just melt some
cheese on top of it." She looked nervous and said she'd have to go ask the
owner. 

She came back and said, "He's afraid you won't like it." 

I said, "I'll love it! Please! Just give it a try."
And I did love it, even though it was on toast. 

The owner, a Chinese gentleman, came out from the kitchen to ask me if it
was okay. I told him it was the best I ever had. 

After the evening show we headed for the same diner.
As we approached it we saw a large sign in the window.
This is what the sign said: 

"CHEESEBURGERS". 

Copyright  2000 Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.

 

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