The 31st and final stop on the National Hot Dog Month 2012 Tour was at the place where it all started for me and hot dogs: Casey’s Diner in Natick, MA. This year’s grand finale lacked the fanfare of the 2011 tour: there were no reporters or fans- just the regulars at the most iconic establishment in the USA.
Aaron Socrat stopped by, he was the “guest dogger” at Sullivan’s in South Boston on July 3rd. Aaron is a former member of the Natick Historical Society and he provided some insight into the process of Casey’s Diner being placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We hung around and yucked it up with Pat Casey, heir apparent to the empire. He told us his daughter has started working at the diner, so the 5th generation of the Casey family now has a foothold in the business. When I asked Pat “the Question,” I felt like someone had just shot Santa Claus. He said he “sometimes” puts ketchup on a hot dog!
We usually arrive to a location early so we can get formalities out of the way before the lunch crowd shows up. One of the benefits of this is Drew Bennett can get some good interior pictures. There are many more on the Hot Dog Stories Facebook Page.
Another guest showed up too. Larry Cultrera from the Diner Hotline blog came down to give some perspective from a diner history standpoint. Larry wrote the book Classic Diners of Massachusetts (The History Press) and has collaborated with Richard Gutman who wrote American Diner Then and Now. Gutman tried to find out what number Worcester Lunch Car Casey’s is but was unable to find any indication. He’s the same guy who helped identify Tex Barry’s in Attleboro. Larry is very knowledgeable when it comes to diners, his encyclopedic insights will be a nice addition to the Casey’s documentary. Larry said Casey’s is one of the finest representations of a Worcester Lunch Car diner in existence anywhere.
We shot a TON of footage today. It will probably take a few days just to sort through it! The final video for National Hot Dog Month will be short, I want to save the “good stuff” for the bigger project.
There was nothing left to do but CHOW DOWN!
Enjoy the video:
HAPPY NATIONAL HOT DOG MONTH!!!!