I didn’t move to Dallas until the late ’70s. About ’81, with a new record-buying job, I moved a little closer to work, to some University Park apartments that have long since been replaced by a shopping center. Just around the corner was Goff’s Hamburgers. I had left behind the best charbroiled burger in the world, the tragically defunct Split-T (you can still find people moaning about it on blogs 40 years later), when I left Oklahoma City in ’77, and have been on a quest ever since for a decent charbroiled burger, so I was not unhappy to see Goff’s within walking distance of my new apartment at the time.
Back then, I was just a hard-working young woman with a record job. Once in awhile after work I’d stop at Goff’s for takeout, and I was always treated abominably. Talk about bad vibes. Because of this I only stopped there when I was in a hurry for a quick takeout meal, and I never understood why the “bad vibes” and rudeness were being directed at me. I knew I was a good, well mannered person who hadn’t done anything to offend them, so I assumed whatever the problem was lay in the mind of the owner or manager, whatever he was, and it turns out I was right.
This week, 30 years later, I saw Goff’s had located to a location facing the SMU campus, so out of curiosity I stopped in there. The young guy at the register was very nice. I had no interaction with anyone else. On my way to the drink machine, however, I noticed a large B&W historic photo on the wall of three slightly long-haired guys, hair barely over the ears, sitting in the foreground at a table surrounded by a phalanx of uniformed police standing passively with their hands folded, waiting, next to the owner of the restaurant, near the three seated young men. The caption said that the ’60s “longhairs” were refused service and so they were having a sit-in. At first, I was slightly bemused by the photo, but after reading the caption, it became clear that whoever left it there (the joint is under new ownership) still thinks discriminating against someone for their hair length was a commendable and/or amusing action. Never mind that these “longhairs” were among a brave group of people who history has acknowledged as preservers of our Constitutional rights. Yes, I was offended.
Even more offended when I realized that my earnest hard-working fair-playing tired ass was treated rudely in the ’80s, some 20 years after the fact, because some deluded Archie Bunker never opened his mind or heart. It’s time the new owners changed the caption to acknowledge the misguided actions of its founder and the noble efforts of the young men staging the sit-in in order to preserve their rights as a citizen.
No burger is worth that. And theirs doesn’t hold a candle to good ol’ Split-T’s. God, I miss them. They had no problem with longhairs either.
P.S. The only great charbroiled burger in town that I’ve found since EZ Burger closed is at Central Market (Lover’s) on pretty weekends when they cook outdoors.