To go where no one had gone before.
Peggy, my oldest sister was our cuisine and eating out scout. Once she was in junior high and high school and earning her own money, she discovered foods we “Red Dirt Okies never heard of. Spaghetti, sub sandwiches, chicken fried rice, burgers and fries, and most of all pizza. Prior to her discoveries all we Okies knew of was fried chicken and mashed potatoes. A food tradition brought from the old country of Oklahoma to our new digs in California.
But after her insistence to sample pizza, we caved in and went to the only pizzeria in the territory. It was 1956 and about five miles from our little home in L A we visited a place called DeLuca’s. It was just one large dining room with long tables and plain chairs and certainly filled with people eating the rectangular pizza pie served on a mettle baking sheet. Absolutely not like the pizza we eat today. It was a flat bread crust with a red sauce and mounds of various cheeses and sprinkled with onion, tomato, and mushrooms. I must admit, it was very good. No thick bready crust or extreme meats like Pizza Hut or Papa John’s when they had showed up later.
But as we revisited the place several times since that first day, success began to manifest itself quickly with the pizza pie business in the main parlor. Red velvet and gold flocking adorned the walls. Large Oil paintings of the owners and their children hung in ornate frames around the walls. Portraits with solemn smug faces projecting a “Godfather” look. Soon, came a very large expensive looking dangling crystal chandelier hung from the center ceiling. They obviously were doing okay with the pizza business. But wait, out back parked under a car port looking overhang was a new Rolls-Royce. Not bad for a Ma-Pa pizza eatery. Thanks Peg for the recommendation. Never mind this could have been a front for something else. Tony Soprano would have loved this place.