The Friday Arizona Republic last week had a long write-up by movie reviewer Bill Goodykoontz about George Lucas’ popular coming-of-age film, “American Graffiti.” The film starred the voice of Wolfman Jack, plus Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Charles Martin Smith, and Cindy Williams. An unknown Harrison Ford appears because he was doing some carpentry work for Lucas and the director asked him to play a teenage drag racer. Of course, the rest is history, as many of the actors became famous stars, and several have received Oscar nominations and Emmy awards. And George Lucas created “Star Wars.”
But many people believe that the true star of the movie was Mel’s drive-in, the local fast food joint that the kids all cruised in whatever vehicle they could get the keys to. I’ve often told out-of-town friends about Kearny’s own version of Mel’s drive-in, which, of course, is Buzzy’s. On Friday nights after a home football game of our Ray Bearcats, we can see a long snake-like procession of headlights coming up Tilbury Hill, as the Kearny kids cruise from Constitution Hall by the railroad tracks, up to Buzzy’s, onto Alden Road and downtown Kearny proper. They then make the turn-around between Cosmic Coffee and the ARC/NEPC building and continue their loop back past Buzzy’s and down Tilbury Hill.
Anytime someone visits us, Buzzy’s is on our list. Some people drive into Kearny simply to get Buzzy’s Famous Fry Bread. We always tell people Buzzy’s has the best French Fries on the planet. And whenever we get nostalgic for a Butterscotch Milk Shake we’d walk to Buzzy’s.
With “American Graffiti” celebrating its 40th anniversary I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate the many years we’ve all enjoyed Buzzy’s. And lend some support to the efforts of many people for Operation Rebuild Buzzy’s. Visit Facebook.com to sign up.
Thanks for all the memories, and here’s to many, many more in the future.
/s/ Gerry Kaufhold