Durke’s Burger and the Tarzan Yell


KOGT’s website announced yesterday:

“What’s going on at the “old Cody’s” near the corner of 16th and I-10? Yes the building is being torn down and land is being cleared.  TxDOT has been in the process of connecting the service road from 16th Street to Bob Hall Rd on both the north and south side of I-10.”

I understand calling it “old Cody’s” but for those of us who voted in the 1972 presidential election it was (and will always be), “Durke’s Burger.” They had great flame broiled burgers, onion rings, chicken and fish dinners, chocolate malts, and best of all, ice cream. Mr. Durke was a really nice guy (he lived close to my cousin in Lowe Addition) and put up with a lot from teenagers who would gather there after church on Sunday night (note: my view of the importance of the Sabbath is higher now than it was then).

The most memorable event that ever happened in that building in the mind of this humble observer was the time when we (the youth group) went from table to table collecting an offering to try to get our youth minister to hop up on a table, beat his chest, and holler like Tarzan. If I remember correctly, about a dollar and half was collected, and lo, and behold, Bro. ___________ did just that. Needless to say, that did not sit well with the powers that be where we went to church (and I still feel a little guilty about egging him on to do that, even after all these years). Needless, to say when I travel to Orange, and pass up that empty lot on 16th street, I will stop and listen, to see if the echo of that Tarzan yell still can be heard in the breeze rustling through the tallow trees.


1 Comment

  1. Larry Durke said,

    November 11, 2016 at 12:34 PM

    I spent quite a lot of my high school years in that building. It was a great place to work! My Dad was a great guy, and really enjoyed meeting all the customers. He would finish a shift at Dupont, shower and come down to Durke’s burger. He would roam around the dining room with the coffee pot, offering refills and talking. Most of the time we had to chase him down (the coffee would get cold while he was talking). Lots of memories.

    Larry Durke

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