Thursday, November 10, 2011

Writer's Workshop - The Roaring Twenties

In the mid-1970's, I lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan. My brother and I were in elementary school. And one of our favorite restaurants was The Roaring Twenties Pizza Parlor!

The Roaring Twenties Pizza Parlor was not just a restaurant, it was a musical experience. You walked down a long hall with 1920's photos hanging on the wall. You ordered your pizza at the counter and chose your seats in a booth surrounding the big, open room or at one of the long tables down the middle.

Then you waited.

The lights would dim. A hush would spread through the large crowd.

And up from below, would rise The Mighty Wurlitzer organ playing the theme from Rocky!

It was so exciting! That organ would rise up and the organist would be going to town, banging out those notes loud and strong. Deep pipes vibrating the room and high pipes reaching piercing notes.

People clapped and cheered, the pizza would arrive, and we'd all settle in for an evening of sing-a-long.

My favorite song to sing was:

Daisy, Daisy,
Give me your answer do!
I'm half crazy,
All for the love of you!
It won't be a stylish marriage.
I can't afford a carriage.
But you'll look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle built for two.

The Roaring Twenties Pizza Parlor is long gone now. The 1928 Wurlitzer organ, after many moves and renovations, has found its home at the Grand Rapids Public Museum where patrons can still hear its mighty music.

Mama’s Losin’ It


  1. What a great memory! There are one of those organs at the Heights Theater in the cities, I read a bit ago that they were showing Gone with the Wind there as a fundraiser, organ music and all. Best part? The owners have a Dairy Queen next door, and you can bring your treats to the movie!

  2. Watching Gone with the Wind with organ music, and Dairy Queen, sounds amazing!