Pee Wee And Dizzy

In my story, We Saw It All, Mom, I talked about my mom working at Mildred’s Café in Buckeye, Arizona when we were kids. Mildred’s was a great little café, and it was the place everybody gathered for breakfast and lunch to shoot the breeze about what was going on in the little dessert farming town.

It was also the place where former baseball stars Pee Wee Reese and Dizzy Dean came for their meals when they were in the Buckeye Valley to hunt dove. In those days, Buckeye was renowned for its dove habitat, and people came from all over the country to hunt there. Pee Wee and Dizzy brought a busload with them every year for several years, and they always came to Mildred’s.

One of the things Mildred would do for Pee Wee and Dizzy was cook their doves for them. They would pay someone to clean the hundreds of birds, and Mildred would cook them. My brothers and I got the job of cleaning the birds a couple of years.

Mom would bring the birds home and we’d sit out in the back yard pulling feathers and “breasting” the birds, getting them ready for Mildred to cook. It was kind of gruesome, but sort of like earthquakes in Palm Springs, in the sense that you got used to it.

We got paid ten cents a bird, and on opening weekend, we’d clean a couple thousand birds for the Pee Wee and Dizzy bunch. My two brothers and I would split two to three hundred dollars for three days work. The only ill effect we experienced was raw thumbs from popping the breast from the birds. Not so hard to do, unless you’re doing it several hundred times, over and over and over.

But hey, how many of you can say you cleaned dove for two hall of fame baseball players?

That reminds me; I cooked dinner for Willie Nelson a couple of times. I’ll tell you about it one of these days.


  1. Sherry said

    How cool!

  2. Don Gray said

    I grew up in Yuma. In ’69 and ’70 we would always stop at Mildred’s to have our pre game meal on our way to Phoenix area schools to play varsity baseball. Great food and nice people. I will always remember (and laugh like crazy) the time our 3rd baseman ( who has passed away) was cutting his steak and it slipped in his plate and shifted towards him and the whole plate turned upset down in his lap. Full plate of steak, green beans, mashed potatoes and brown gravy. When he set the plate back on the table it was empty. I will never forget the look on his face and the howl from the guys.

    • Great story, Don! Mom was no longer working there by that time, but Mildred still owned it and worked there every day. Great lady, and a great restaurant. Thanks for following the blog. I hope you enjoy some of the other stories and stuff.

  3. David Gleason said

    I just wanted to comment on Mildred “s Cafe we were on family trip in 1979 we stopped at milddred”s on a whim. Boy we were all impressed. By the food. We talked about that place for years sorry never had chance to return. I think we talked more about Mildred “s more then what we did rest of trip. And we were seeing relatives in New my uncle managed the babbitt store on the reservation.

    • I have fond memories of Mildred, as well as the cafe. Had many a lunch there when I was in high school and my mom was waitressing there. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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