Monday, August 07, 2006
The Great A&W Root Bear
When I think of A&W, I think of the Root Bear and his trademark tuba music, in television commercials showing strange characters falling in step behind the bear down deserted country roads with the slogan, "Follow the great Root Bear to A&W."
I have always loved fast food, and A&W was the top of the fast food chain when I was a kid. Going to a Drive In A&W was always a real treat. I also remember the first sit down A&W in my area. It was about a 45 minute drive, but it was worth the drive, because as well as being able to eat in your car, this A&W had a huge dining room with a fireplace right in the middle. We used to drive the 45 minutes out of our way just to eat at the 'dine in' A&W, because it was something special. Then in the 80's as they started closing most of the drive in restaurants and converting them into dine in only restaurants, we started going out of our way to visit the remaining few drive in restaurants. The last remaining A&W drive in was in Langley, BC, and happened to be just a short drive from the Hillcrest Drive In (our last remaining drive in theater), and it was always great fun to have dinner at the A&W drive in and then take in a double or triple feature at the Hillcrest. They finally closed the last remaining A&W drive in about 8 years ago (we were there on the last day). I sure miss that cool tray they would hang on your window with all your food on it! I started collecting A&W memorabilia many years ago. It started with the mugs and then moved on to just about anything I could get my hands on. Here are a few photos of my collection. The two items I really want to add to my collection are; 1) one of the trays that hung on your car window, and 2) one of the A&W Root Bear portraits that hung in every restaurant in the 70's and 80's. Every restaurant had the same photo of the Root Bear, in an oval frame and beveled glass. As a kid I remember thinking that these pictures looked so cool and sophisticated.