Every once in a while I want to go back to the old days. The old days of Clovis that some of you might recall. If you were around in the early 1940s and were hungry, and you didn’t catch a bite to eat with Louie, then you had a choice of about 18 other eating places on or just off Main.
When the cold north wind blew down Main one could always duck into the Coney Island Café owned by Louis Augustinos, a few doors north of the old Mesa Theatre in the 200 block of Main you could get the best bowl of chili you’d ever want to eat, and only cost 25 cents.
But to go back further to 1925 you could drop in the “Ogg and Boss Cafe” at 218 Main, in 1940 at 203 W. Grand, and as far as I can determine, the last location was at the corner of 5th and Main, where, incidently, Bill’s Jumbo is today, or was.
Bill (William M.) Ogg came here in 1910. His partner, Mrs. E.
Boss came to Clovis shortly afterwards, via Tulsa, Amarillo, and Melrose, from New Jersey where she was born.
She had five daughters, but they were all grown and living elsewhere and as far as I can tell she came here without a husband. Bill Ogg was single too, I’m told, and they somehow worked out a mutually agreeable arrangement about running the café, but they weren’t romantically associated with each other, in case your might have been thinking along them lines.
Then tragedy struck the partnership. On Friday, August 1, 1924, Mrs. Boss received a small cut on her hand. Within two weeks she was dead due to blood poisoning, or so the newspapers reported. But even to this day there are questions about her death – well, there used to be.
But the Ogg & Boss Café was popular and most of the businessmen ate there.
I can’t tell you what happened to Bill Ogg. Sometime around WWII he moved away, retired or died. Some say he went back to Missouri and probably died there.
Those other cafes I recall were the Antler’s Café, 105 W. Grand; Blue Ribbon Cafe, 110 W. 6th; Busy Bee Café, 200 Main; John’s Café, 108 W. Grand; Liberty Café, 120 W. Grand (you stepped down into that one); Mother’s Café, 112 W. Second; Old Dutch Mill, 100 Main; Shorty’s Café, 117 E. 2nd; Snazzy Pig Drive In, 621 Main (later round the corner east of Main and 1st Street; Owl Café, 617 Main; X-Post Office Café, 108 S. Main; Snow White Café, 420 Main; State Café, 504 Main, and the Yellow Cab Café at 306 Main.
And not a greasy spoon in any of them! I almost forgot Pete’s Canteen at 520 Main. There are no more movie houses downtown, no more soda fountains, no more newsstands, and sad to say, no more Bill Oggs around. How unfortunate we don’t have characters like that today. Or do we? Here in 2009 I think we still have some funny characters in Curry County! Some of them eat over at Muffley Funeral Home club.
Don McAlavy is Curry County’s historian. He can be contacted at: email@example.com