When I was about 7 years old my father’s job took us to Waco, Texas. The year was 1955. King Kong still screened in some of the movie theatres, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were a staple of most kids under 10, Eisenhower was President, the Saturday morning kiddie matinee at the 25th Street Theatre was the usual highlight of the weekend, and the best fried chicken in the world was being served 6 days a week in two local restaurants, Youngblood’s Fried Chicken and Leslie’s Chicken Shack.
Both places had outlets in other Texas cities, and when we lived in San Antonio in the late 50s, we often frequently the Youngblood’s down there (the owner kept a huge ball of string up on the shelf behind the counter, maybe four or five feet in diameter). But the places I liked best were in Waco.
And Youngblood’s was my favorite, at least in the beginning. By the late 1950s, it was a toss-up, with a slight edge to the Chicken Shack.
Both of these places closed their doors years ago, overrun by freeways and changes in lifestyles, but for anyone that ever ate their food the memory lives on. Here are some photographs of both places for those that remember.
YOUNGBLOOD’S FRIED CHICKEN
LESLIE’S CHICKEN SHACK