Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Brady’s Chuckwagon – Part 2

1972 Brady's Chuckwagon Menu
(Note that Wild West Sarsaparilla is on there!)
Here's the second part of the article about Brady's Chuckwagon Catering that ran in the Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine back on July 30, 1972.

In this portion of the article, supervisor Marge Gender explains how one chuckwagon employee found romance. We also learn how John Brady was able to brew and stock his trucks with so much coffee.


Teamsters in hotpants (Part 2)
Photostory by Tom Kaib
Marge Gencur and John L. Brady
Romance? It happens. Marge recalls one girl who was on the job only a month before she married a customer. “But I think she took the job just for looking. It’s not good for business.”
So besides the faint prospect or long odds of romance, the trucks carry The Plain Dealer, peanuts, cough drops, Alka-Seltzer (no reflection on the chow), chewing and smoking tobacco, cigarettes, flint and lighter fluid, Kleenex, hair combs and gloves. Pie is 35 cents a slice – ample, home-baked and luscious.
Although some of the trucks come with refrigeration units, Brady disconnects them and uses crushed ice for cooling. “Too much trouble with the units,” says Marge Gencur. And although she can’t and won’t discount the sales persuasion of a Midge Gore, Linda McIntire, Helen Bennett, Harry Bell, etc., Marge maintains the food quality helps immensely. Coffee is a key. Many caterers brew the coffee right on the trucks.
Marge and Brady feel that in order to keep water hot enough to brew coffee, you necessarily burn it too strong. So almost all of the coffee from Brady’s is brewed at the commissary (capacity is 160 gallons every 15 minutes) and pumped to the trucks through a metered system designed by Brady. This is also ordered ahead by the driver, say 11 or maybe 25 gallons. The pumping capacity is five gallons every 18 seconds. Only Harry brews his own. He simply sells too much to carry it all pre-brewed. But he has a walk-through van specially-designed and can turn out pretty acceptable mud. Trucks driven by most of the girls are pickup-mounted, so they have to get out in the weather, which in winter tends to turn hotpants into ski pants over a layer or two of thermal underwear, which makes for a whole new ball game, and the big cheap doughnut guys get their at-bats.
But then you can imagine how much ice and snow and wind a really sincere molasses-dipped “thanks hon, have a nice day” is going to melt.
Gabby Hayes and Walter Brennan, eat your hearts out.
Right on, wagonmistress!

Helen Bennett of Lorain serves workers at Ohio Brass on W. 150th Street


muley said...

nice articles....my mom, Theresa Lieb worked for Mr Brady years ago.

Anonymous said...

The Brady Chuckwagon truck would stop in front of Ace Car Wash on Colorado Ave. in the morning and the workers would file out for coffee and breakfast. I would always get a cinnamon doughnut (tasted like it was from Bob's?) and chocolate milk. Hey, I was a kid. I was neat to see all the stuff they had to sell once they opened the side panel of the truck. Can't remember the driver but I do think it was a lady.