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Dwight Garrels

Dwight Garrels

Engineering project mgr. | Benham Breweries | Class of 1981

Here's a memory not many alums can claim: "Getting pizza served from Harry Chapin at the original Garcia's on Wright Street."

"Not sure if people under 30 know who he was — a popular folk type singer in the '70s," says Dwight Garrels, a forever fan. "At the time, he was giving a concert at now Foellinger Auditorium on a cold Thursday night. I was going to the concert but stopped at Garcia's and guess who served me my pizza? Harry Chapin.

"He was a great with charities and supported the old danceathons on campus. Unfortunately, he was killed in a car accident in the prime of his career."

“A happier story: Actual metal pales of beer with Budweiser and Miller logos sold at bars like the old Thunderbird and Cochrane's. I still remember riding my bike back to the dorms with buckets — empty ones — dangling off the handlebars.  

And thent there's ...

“The Illini Inn. I'm sure many alums mention the Mug Club. You actually had your own physical mug hanging from the ceiling. I still have my membership card somewhere. Forty years later, my daughter got her membership.

“The Rose Bowl off campus, family-owned and with live bands playing country music. It became more popular with college students when the movie 'Urban Cowboy' came out. A good place with a large oval bar.

Panama Reds on Green Street: It had live bands of different genres but a band from the Quincy area drew a bid crowd. The 'Pork and the Havana Ducks' had such classy hits as 'Puking in the Parking Lot.'

Red Lion, home of 10-cent beer happy hours. You could get 10 beers for  a buck in the '70s. I actually had a summer job there, where I'd go in at 5 a.m., clean it and set it up for that night. It was disgusting at times.

South Farms: Same location as now but it seemed much closer then, as campus basically ended there. You always knew the wind was coming from the south. I lived in Forbes Hall by IMPE with no A/C and woke many mornings to the ‘aroma.'"