Burgers & Toilet Lids

Posted by on October 16, 2017

Because we missed our movie of the week last week, we decided to take in two movies this week.  On Thursday we tried a new theater, Santikos Rialto, which is closer to us and cheaper too.  We saw Blade Runner 2049 and both enjoyed it.  It was a bit hard to follow at times and at 2 hours 44 minutes long perhaps a tad bit too long.  Although, maybe it just felt too long and hard to follow because we were both freezing.  We have to remember to bring something to cover up with next week!

Even though we have our own washer & dryer in the coach (wouldn’t be without ’em!) I still take advantage of the washer & dryers at the Ft. Sam RV Park every time we’re here.  It’s nice to be able to throw our bedding, rugs, etc…the big stuff in and get it taken care of for $1.50 a load – used to be free 🙁 I got that all taken care of on Friday morning and now I don’t need to worry about it for a little bit.

Michael has been doing his favorite thing the past few days…piddling in the basement.  He’s had totes out of the basement – going through them, cleaning things up, sorting things out, disposing of stuff.  He’s just a ‘piddlin’ machine’.

Ready for the next rally!

He also built a stand for our Heartland banner.  Unfortunately, he didn’t get it made in time for our Braunig Lake rally but it is now all set for our next rally….or for any rallies that we might attend and the Chapter Leaders would like to borrow it!

Monday we played ‘tourist’.  The plan was to be at Joe’s Place Hamburgers when the opened at 11:00 am…which we were…but the place was closed up tight.  I asked some guys that were outside next door and they said no one had been there for a couple of weeks.  No clue what’s up with that.

Sadly, it doesn’t sound good for Joe’s

Joe’s has been serving up burgers since 1934 and the cast iron griddle dates back to 1928!! In October 2013, Phyllis, Joe’s cook of 40+ years passed away and customers were in a panic about no longer having their Joe’s fix.  They pestered Phyllis’ niece Susan about keeping the place open so much that by March 2014, Joe’s was back in business and Susan was the new owner.  Too bad…we’ll keep an eye out and see if they open again.

With visions of yummy burgers in our heads I did a search and came up with another burger joint not too far away.  Burger Boy hasn’t been around nearly as long as Joe’s but they do date back to 1985 as Burger Boy and before that it was a Whopper Burger chain that opened in 1965.  So these guys have been doing burgers for a long time too.

This is NOT the front of the building! LOL

The triangle-shaped building is kinda deceiving as we had a hard time finding the front door!  The back door is actually the front door and thankfully we weren’t the only first timers that stood at the ‘front back door’ trying to figure out how to get inside.  LOL!  An employed finally took pity on us and came outside to tell us that the door is around ‘back’.

Whatcha see is whatcha get. This IS the inside of Burger Boy!

Once inside, it was rather shocking to find how small the place was…there are two counters along the sides of the building and there are about 6 stools at each counter.  Then there is a counter to place your order with the friendly paper hat wearing order taker.


We each order the Bates Special (1/4 pound burger, fries and a soda) for $5.99 with cheese being extra.  Being about 11:30 the dining area was full so we sat outside at one of the 3 picnic tables.  We arrived at just the right time as there was no one in line when we arrived but as we placed our order a line grew behind us and after we sat down at our table the other two tables immediately filled up too.

Left to Right: Nick, Mark & Randy

We shared our table with a gentleman and his son-in-law and step son who work in the oilfield business…LOL…small world, eh?  We had some great conversation as we told them about Joe’s and where we were headed after lunch.  They gave us several ideas of places to try for other burgers and bbq in the area too!  Really nice bunch of guys.

We will definitely be back as the burgers were really good – perfect size with just the right amount of toppings and they were HOT when we received them.  Definitely a ‘must do’ in San Antonio.

Me, Barney & Michael while Michael signed ‘his’ lid!

After lunch we headed over to visit with Barney Smith, artist and creator of the Barney Smith Toilet Seat Art Museum.  Barney is 96 years old and has been creating collages on toilet lids for YEARS.  As a master plumber toilet seats were easy to access and since they were used…FREE.

Found a home for my beloved WI plate…

Barney’s inspiration is anything and everything.  He has lids with all 50 state license plates (we donated our old Wisconsin plate and he’ll use it for a ‘back up’…LOL), he has lids for all of his recent birthdays, his anniversaries starting with #60, he has an entire Olympics series, lids for all of the Armed Services, lids dedicated to dentistry, volunteer fire fighters, TV shows, McDonalds…you name it.

Just a few of Barney’s creations…

Another couple (Tony & Irene) arrived at the same time we did (you MUST call ahead and make an appointment the day you plan to visit….but don’t call too early as Barney likes to sleep late!) and we all had such a good time listening to Barney’s stories.  Barney would point out a particular lid from a distance and if we didn’t follow directions quickly enough or couldn’t find what he was referring to we’d get chastised or told ‘If it was a snake it’da bit ya!’

Irene and I got chastised a few times before we got wise and let Michael and Tony take the lead on finding the things Barney was pointing out!  Barney carries a bamboo stick with him to point out certain pieces and at first we were all a bit leary of getting whacked with it but after a while it was easy to tell that Barney was just a sweet old man with a wonderful sense of humor.

At 96, Barney doesn’t get around like he used to and isn’t able to draw or engrave on the lids anymore as he says he shakes too much and it ‘doesn’t look good’…however, this year alone he has completed 84 new works of art…as he currently has created 1324 custom lids.  He numbers them so that he can keep track.

Me & Barney saying ‘toilet seat’ rather than ‘cheese’!

He asks visitors to sign the lids that pertain to their life.  Today we all signed lids…Tony & Irene both signed the lid dedicated to the USMC as they’re both retired.  Michael signed the lid bearing US Army field patches as it had the 2AD patch on it and that’s the combat patch that Michael wore on his uniform from 1991 until his retirement in 2012.  I signed the lid containing the license plate from Wisconsin.

We all hung around in the street waiting until Barney got from the garage to the house to make sure he got their safely. What a man. <3

I’m not sure how much longer Barney will be able to entertain visitors in his museum as he uses a walker to get around and isn’t the surest on his feet.  He’s hoping to sell the museum before he dies so that it’s taken care of in the future.  I sure hope someone takes over as it’s a treasure…although I’m not sure it would be the same without Barney there to point out certain pieces and to relay the stories behind them.

This was BY FAR, my favorite Roadside America find.  If you are in San Antonio…go now….there’s no telling how much longer this man and his treasures will be available.

We had plans to head back to the oil patch on Monday, October 24th but we’ve had some interesting stuff come up that is still in the works and once it’s confirmed and set in stone we’ll be able to share that news with you.

With that ‘stuff’ in mind we decided to skip the oil patch this year (hooray!…oops did I say that out loud!?) So our itinerary has changed somewhat for the next few months.  If we’ll be in your area & you’d like to meet, we’d love to get together…just let us know what works best!

Ft. Sam, San Antonio, TX – 10/9 – 10/24

Cranes Mill COE, Canyon Lake, TX  – 10/24 – 10/31

Canyon Lake Recreation Area, Canyon Lake, TX  – 11/1 – 12/1

Ft. Sam, San Antonio, TX – 12/1 – 1/1

Val’s Kountry Corral, Mission, TX – 1/1 – 3/1




2 Responses to Burgers & Toilet Lids

  1. John Krussow

    Great posting and review of Burger Boy! When you mentioned that your burgers were HOT when you got them it reminded me of the same observation Rana and I had about burgers since arriving in Texas. Each one arrived at our table HOT! First bite very surprisingly burning your tongue.

    Last burger we had was at Bob’s Burgers outside the campground were the rally was held. Great burgers and fries, seems we have some in common for burgers just not hotdogs.

    • Kelly

      Hi John,
      We have a few other places to try in SA and New Braunfels that we’ve got recommendations for…so keep following! LOL

      If you end up near Dilley there’s a wonderful burger place…or take a drive and check out the town of Dilley while you’re waiting for a gate. Anyway…Rosa’s Hamburger Stand is awesome. They have a FB page too…check ’em out!

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