Willie’s Got The Munchies

In my story, Pee Wee and Dizzy, I told you how me and my little brothers used to clean doves for Pee Wee Reese and Dizzy Dean when we were kids. They came over to hunt just about every year back then. I also mentioned I cooked dinner for Willie Nelson a couple of times, and this is the story about that little tidbit of my past.

We had just moved back to the Austin area, me having done some research and deciding the town was about to boom. It was 1989, and I was about a year early, but things did take off, and I stayed pretty busy for quite a few years, building commercial and government building around central Texas. But the first few months in central Texas weren’t so good. They weren’t bad, and looking back, we had a pretty good time, but we weren’t exactly living as we were accustomed to.

We bought us a little travel trailer and found a place to park it out by Lake Travis, right at the entrance to Pace Bend Park. There was a little combination store and restaurant there, and Pam got a job waitressing in the restaurant. I wasn’t looking for work yet; just taking it easy and doing some fishing.

One afternoon, Pam came in and asked me if I wanted a job at the restaurant.

“Doing what?” I asked.

“The cook quit. Susie (the owner) needs a cook.”

I’d never cooked in a restaurant—other than Pizza at Shakey’s—but I’m pretty handy in the kitchen, and knowing the menu at the Y-Store (that’s what the place was called back then) was fairly simple, I said I’d give it a shot.

I cooked lunch and dinner—the place was never too busy—and pretty soon I was really enjoying it. It didn’t pay much, but it got us by and I still had plenty of time to enjoy the lake. Eventually, I had to move on and get a real job, but it was kind of cool for awhile.

I’d only been there about two weeks, when Susie answered the phone one evening about seven o’clock. She was on the phone for several minutes, and when she hung up, she came rushing into the kitchen, all wide-eyed like we were being robbed or something. I’d been cleaning the place up and shutting things down, getting ready to close up. It was a weeknight, and we didn’t do much business during the week after the small dinner rush.

“Fire everything back up!” Susie said.

“What’s up?” I asked, as I turned on the grill and fryer.

“That was Willie!” she said. “Him and his boys have got the munchies.”

She didn’t have to tell me Willie who; I knew Willie Nelson lived just down the road a few miles. And when she said he and his crew had the munchies that confirmed my guess as to who she might be talking about. Y’all are aware, I’m sure, that Willie likes his weed.

Turns out they surely did have some munchies. I asked Susie what they’d ordered, and she said, “One of everything on the menu!” Now I know I said the menu was a simple one, but it wasn’t that simple! That was the dangdest thing I ever pulled off in a kitchen! Me and Susie worked like crazy for about forty minutes, and when one of Willie’s lackeys showed up, we helped him load it all into the back of a Suburban. The bill came to three-hundred-and-some-odd dollars—more than Susie usually took in for a week.

That happened one other time while I was there. Willie must’ve liked my cookin’!

1 Comment »

  1. Sherry said

    I know he liked your cookin’ . . . ’cause I sure do!

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