AVOC.info
Quick-Search:    

Advanced Search


8-18-08 Memories of “The Varsity” in Athens, Georgia – 80 Years Old

The VARSITY is turning 80. "What'll ya have? What'll ya have?"

AVOC

.

August 16, 2008

.

Memories of “The Varsity” in Athens, Georgia – 80 Years Old

.

By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc

.

Jack Hogan, Bogart High School Class of 1954, recently sent an email about his memories of the Varsity.   All of us from Oconee County of the 40’s, 50’s and early 60’s era, have many memories of The Varsity, at the corner of College Avenue and Broad Streets, directly across from the UGA arch in Athens.  

.

It was a popular place for commuting students at UGA.   I remember Alton Butler, Hinton Mitchem, Jimmy Woodworth and many others eating lunch there on almost a daily basis.   You could get two Dogs and an Orange (Squirt) for less than a Dollar.

.

Coffee with sugar and cream was an “All the way Joe”.   A hotdog without chili was a “Naked Dog”.    Hamburgers were called ‘steaks” and ‘chili steaks’.   In the late fifties and early 60’s, there were occasions when I ate all three meals at the Varsity.   You could also get French Fries and Onion Rings but I seldom did.    I did like the apple pies.

.

Years later, with more funds, I enjoyed going to The Varsity for waffle ice cream cones at the old location but mostly at the current location at Broad & Milledge Avenues.  We saw Hank Aaron hit his record setting Home Run on the TV there in 1974.  We took family members there when our parents were elderly and when our daughter was growing up.   Out of town relatives wanted to go there.   My favorite cone was a double scoop of Almond Toffee and a close second was Black Cherry.

.

Varsity at Broad & Milledge in Athens

.

I remember meeting folks at the varsity.   It was a landmark and everybody knew where it was.   We thought the food was good.   For those of us growing up in rural areas eating farm raised beef, pork and chicken, it was different and a special treat.    We only learned later about the “health issues”.UGA graduates who moved away always wanted to visit the Varsity when in Athens.

.

The Varsity at College and Broad had chairs with arms for seating in front of the television.   Many of us kept up with National and Local news there.    I watched the January 20, 1961, inauguration of John F. Kennedy at the Varsity.    I remember the heavy coats, Robert Frost reading his poem, and Kennedy saying, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what can you do for your Country”.   (That attitude and challenge is not as popular in today’s political climate).

.

During that same era, the UGA was integrated by the admission of Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes.    During the turmoil, Governor Vandiver appeared on the TV (I saw it at the Varsity) and announced he would not close the school.   He later paid politically for that but his decision was appreciated in later years. 2-24-05 Memories of Governor S. Ernest Vandiver, Jr. See more detail on Governor Vandiver’s historic Public Education Address on January 18, 1961.   http://sos.georgia.gov/Archives/what_do_we_have/online_records/historic_documents

.

On some occasions, Tech-GA games, I visited the Atlanta Varsity and when we lived in Marietta in the late 60’s.   The Atlanta Varsity was also very popular.  

Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Varsity and see names of famous persons visiting the Varsity.

.

Modernity and health issues, notwithstanding, I still make an occasional trip to The Varsity in Athens.   It is usually a pleasant experience with nostalgic memories.   The Old Varsity downtown holds the most lasting memories.


THE VARSITY

.

August 13, 2008

.

The VARSITY is turning 80. "What'll ya have? What'll ya have?" 

.

Jack Hogan (BHS Class of 1954)

.

Since I am sure you remember THE VARSITY, I thought you would be interested in this little bit of news. The VARSITY is turning 80. "What'll ya have? What'll ya have?"

 .

The food is a little on the greasy side, but it's the best hot dog I have ever eaten. I'm not exactly sure, but I believe there are about five locations in the Atlanta area and, of course, one near the UGA campus. I always thought that THE VARSITY in Athens was the original one. However, I think the one in Atlanta near the old Greyhound Bus Station was the first one established.

 .

"What'll ya have? What'll ya have?" I would love to have two dogs a-walking rite now !!!

 .

When J.E. Walls and I worked at the Athens Ice Cream Co-op during the summer of 1953, we walked to THE VARSITY (at that time it was located immediately across the road from the UGA arch) many times for lunch and ordered two dogs and a coke for ......twenty-five cents. We always had to have our order on our mind and money in our hand.


Quick-Search: