BILLS BARBEQUE...

tarrantula

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May 8, 2003
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....closed Sunday. The location at the corner on Libby and Broad was a late night haunt for members of my frat in the early '60's. Three of them lived in a house directly behind the restaurant on Libby Ave. I remember going over there one Sunday afternoon to visit the occupants and finding them a bit hung over and lounging in the living room where a pyramid of more than 60 empty beer cans(a tribute to a fine Saturday night party) stretched toward the ceiling. While I was there, the minister from one of the local churches dropped by to invite the boys to attend services. He didn't stay long.

For years, I would drop by Bills when I got to Richmond to relive memories of great times as an undergrad. The three guys who lived behind the restaurant were definitely "colorful". Bobby Dinges was an original if there ever was one. A big, heavy teddy bear (think John Candy with blond curly hair) he was (and, I hope still is although I haven't seen him since the late "60's) the funniest person I have ever known. Like LKN and myself, he was a "Winchester boy" and the only one of six of us in my freshman class who had a car. He was a master of the "dramatic entrance" ...he'd burst into our dorm room in a sort of rhymic cadence, similar to that later used by Jackie Gleason on his television show, walk over to LKN's desk to stare at her picture, then express some lewd wish regarding LKN's very pretty girlfriend of the time. He'd then turn to me and announce in grand fashion his latest plan for accumulating immense wealth after graduation. ie, one day it was "Frank, I've got it figured out, I know how I'm gonna make my first million, I'm gonna be a Hospital Administrator!" LKN then announced, "Dinges, you're gonna need a hospital administrator if you don't get out of here and let us study!" Bobby was most famous for coming into Doc Lavender's 9:30 French class at 10:00 and knocking books off desks as he tried to navigate his immense girth to his seat in the middle of the back row. Doc was livid and sreamed, "Mr. Dinges! How dare you come into my classroom this late. Do you know that it takes me three cups of coffee every morning to come over here and face this disrespectful class!"(some of the guys in the class would occaisionally throw those exploding paper wads at the blackboard when his back was turned, Doc had been on two ships that were torpedoed in WW2). Unfazed, Dinges replied, "I know how you feel, Doc, I was on my fourth cup when I decided to come over."

The other two guys in that house were Roy Baker Priest, son of Ivy Baker Priest the Secretary of the Treasury and brother to Kathy Baker Priest who was the pretty girl in bibs who announced the next act on Hee Haw for many seasons. Another sister was on "The Munsters". Priest's mother was married to a Hollywood producer. Somehow, Roy swiped a page of tear away forms that were used to make ID cards for Treasury Agents from his mother's headquarters and made very nice phony IDs for some of the frat guys. Roy's favorite way to end the evening after a date was to take off his trousers after coming in from a date at two in the morning and walking over to Bills in dress shirt, tie, weegans with garter socks and boxer shorts and sit at the counter for his late night snack before turning in. Roy transferred to Southern Cal his junior year to be closer to his family and was killed in a canoeing accident the summer after his senior year. Clayton Nobles, the third roommate, was a dead ringer for the then undiscovered John Baluchi in the face(dark hair with heavy eyebrows), but was trimly built. Clayton was the best dancer in the frat, a master of the beach style shag dancing. When I last talked to him he was in real estate at Virginia Beach

So, a lot of good memories from undergrad days have lost their shrine. I don't know where Bobby Dinges is today, I'd like to think that he is running some big city hospital.
This post was edited on 9/17 8:41 AM by tarrantula
 

urfan1

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Jan 9, 2003
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I've been expecting Bill's to shut down for awhile, still a sad day. BTW it's a small world after all, I remember Pat Preist, a/k/a Marilyn Munster. Didn't know of the UR connection. Also I googled Cathy Baker Preist to put a face with the name and she apparently lives in Orange, VA married to a real estate attorney there.
 

WebSpinner

Spider's Club
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May 7, 2003
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another icon bites the dust. my funniest memory is being at the frat on a homecoming friday night doing the float party for the parade the next day when a bro walked in with a waitress from Bills who would make a train take a side rail. to this day he has not lived that down, mainly from me but others as well. remember all the hang outs of the day, tempo room, phils, bills, andys, clover room, tantilla, sahara, wig-wam, lee art, RAC (richmond auto court), many others. RIP BILLS
 

spider fan

Spider's Club
Dec 4, 2003
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Sad day because Bill's had by far the best homemade fresh squeezed limeades and pies...........................
 

LKNSPIDER

Assistant Coach
May 7, 2005
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T......thanks for recanting some great stories. As I recall those days, I can retell at least two Tarrantula stories for every B. Dinges story. I was so poor that I couldn't go to Bill's B.Q., but you and Dinges kept me entertained, kept me from studying and kept me awake past my normal bedtime. One of my fav T. stories is the way you would pick on "Edna" our maid every day. (Believe it or not....we had maid service.) You would always ask Edna what time she went to bed and she would always reply 10 or 11PM and then......... you would of course say...... "what time did you get up and go home!" Edna would raise her voice in mild anger with..."Just hush your mouth!!".

The most famous Tarrantula tale today has to be your unexpected appearance on Barraack "E" 2nd floor fire escape topless and bottomless with no alternative left other than down a US gov't wooden ladder on the side of the Barracks.

sorry, I forgot this thread was about Bill's BQ.
 

WebSpinner

Spider's Club
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May 7, 2003
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what we need is for someone to do a BARRACKS book. there are so many stories about those green mansions and most of them are hilarious. bound to be some pix of the holes in the walls, latrines
flush.r191677.gif
, women, could be rather a long volume. it needs to be done, most of us who resided there are getting old and someone who never experienced it cannot write it.
 

tarrantula

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May 8, 2003
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Yeah, LKN. I forgot about the last experience. To make matters worse , it was mid afternoon on Parents Day and families were arriving in front of the barracks. I had just completed a successful run of cards in a poker game with some of the football players and I was a bit too enthusiastic in my post game comments. they seized me, stripped me and flung me out on the balcony, securing the door behind me. I had to go down the ladder and run along the side of the barracks beating on windows until I found someone who would open a window and let me in. Great lesson from the experience: "people who weigh 150 should not gloat in the faces of people who weigh 230!" Maybe the university should put that in the handbook they give to incoming freshmen.

Edna was a jewel and kept me out of trouble more than once. We used to have "bean fights" with the KA's and Phi Gams who lived down the hall. I can still recall her whacking me out of sound slumber with her broom and shouting: "Where all them beans come from..this ain't no pea patch!" You and I both worked hard, balancing after class jobs with studying. But, there was always time for fun too.
 

CarolinaSpider

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Nov 27, 2006
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Stopping at Bills on Broad after picking my Dad up at work on Friday was a treat. They use to have a great steak sandwich, topped off with coconut cream pie. For my Mom's 90th birthday, Bills BQ was requested and a whole chocolate cream pie. That would be my last meal there. Now I have to admit NC has a lot better BQ, but not the pies! 82 years of good service to the River City.
 

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