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Sneezer's Big Boy: 1960

Sneezer's Big Boy: 1960

1960. Green Bay, Wisconsin. "Packers coach Vince Lombardi at lunch counter." Sneezer's No. 2 -- could anything sound more appetizing? Photo by Frank Bauman for the Look magazine assignment "The Packers Pay the Price." View full size.


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Not hominy

A couple of people questioned what was in the dessert bowl in front of Mr. Lombardi, whether it was marshmallows or hominy and if hominy was on the menu sign above the football. Well, it's neither of those and the dessert bowl is actually a cereal bowl. Dinnerware was much smaller decades ago than it is now. Our bowls, plates and cups have grown by leaps and bounds beginning, I think, in the 1980's. People ate much less back then.

Mr. Lombardi is eating Kellogg's Sugar Pops cereal. You can see the single serving boxes of cereal under the Kellogg's sign. They do look like hominy especially after soaking up some milk.

Hominy is not a food that is customary in Wisconsin. I have never seen it on a restaurant menu ever. Also, what appears to be the beginning of "Ho..." on the menu sign above the football is actually "Ham and Cheese." It is covered up by a picture of a ham and Swiss cheese sandwich. Also, it's under the section of the menu titled "Grilled or Broiled Sandwiches", which further eliminates the possibility of it being hominy.

Another Sneezer's mystery

When the Big Boy chain came to Wisconsin they were forced to call the hamburgers B-Boy. Yes you could sell both Coke and Pepsi as most of the soda was bottles then. Norman and Geneva Jahnke closed Sneezers and retired in the early 70's. The building has been a number of businesses since. The photo was in the second Sneezers the first one was 1342 South Broadway Sneezers was a Mom and Pop business.

Miniature Marshmallows?

... or hominy? Looking at the sign above the football, I could believe that I'm seeing the HO of hominy showing. Maybe this was too far North to have Hominy for breakfast. Don't get me wrong, I never liked the stuff, but it was around in the 1960's in Oklahoma where I grew up. Just a thought.

Standing in his shoes

Imagine my surprise to look at this photo and realize I'm wearing the same exact (as far as I can tell) socks today. Mine are brown.

Dixie Cups!

Note that the water is served in Dixie brand cups with the classic 1960s design!


Restaurants (mostly in Ohio) have a Big Boy sandwich as well, and is still in business. Any relation?

Buttermilk Drinkers

I love Buttermilk. What's not to like, Peter. It sure is hard to find these days in Diners, though.

The coach

once observed, “If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score.” The story goes that Tom Landry wanted to postpone the NFL Championship game (The Ice Bowl) in Green Bay December 31, 1967, because of the brutal Wisconsin winter weather (negative 15 degrees [not a wind chill, mind you] on the frozen field). Lombardi was having nothing to do with that. Naturally Vince won, in the last 20 seconds or so of game time. The man probably never knew how many lives he touched. There’s good reason the super bowl trophy is named after him.

Rather notable diner in GB

It was a regular ritual for Lombardi to stop at Sneezer's on his way to work in the mornings. It's mentioned several times in the book W.C. Heinz wrote with the coach, "Run To Daylight!" Sneezer's was a few blocks north of Highland (now Lombardi) Ave. and about a mile east of Lambeau Field, so Lombardi would drive from his home south of Green Bay, cross the Fox River near downtown, then drive down Ashland Ave. with the stop at Sneezer's. Heinz/Lombardi noted that "the name charms Tim Cohane," then the sports editor of Look (from whence this pic came) and the PR guy at Fordham, Lombardi's alma mater and a friend of the coach.

Yankee Fan

I guess the coach was so much a Jahnke fan that he gave them an autographed football to display.

Fresh, Healthful Buttermilk

Not something you'd likely see in a diner today. If anyone still drinks buttermilk, it's news to me.

On A Shingle

Those Kellogg's individual servings were a staple in Army mess halls. They made some of the breakfasts more acceptable. Had the cooks been able to get inside those packages they would have added chipped beef.

Daddy-O Rock the Socks!

I LOVE Coach's socks! He was a cool cat!

Not only cheese

on the No.1 but melted KRAFT cheese.

Another Sneezer's mystery

The 1960 Vince Lombardi picture has a Pepsi-Cola sign saying "Please Pay Cashier."

The 1966 Sneezer's Snack Shop Mustang picture featuring the formidable Mrs. Sneezer shows outdoor Coca-Cola signs in the background.

Perhaps the restaurant served both Coke and Pepsi then (a rarity today). Or maybe they switched from Pepsi to Coke sometime between '60 and '66, since there's no reference to Big Boy in '66 either.

Sneezer's Snack Shop!

An exterior shot too cool not to share:

Geneva Jahnke (1910-1986), wife of Norman "Sneezer" Jahnke (1912-1983). She won this 1966 Mustang in the Icelandic Fish Co. contest at the Wisconsin Restaurant Convention.

The phrase under the Kellogg's display

This saying is an old family favorite:

"The hurrier I go, The behinder I get"

I'd love to know

Whatever happened to Sneezer's? Besides the unappetizing name, does it still exist, either as a single location or group of restaurants? How about it, Green Bayers in the know?

With a tantalizing name like that, we're all lucky we survived the '60s. At least the prices were reasonable.

Dessert of champions

Could those be miniature marshmallows in the dessert dish in front of him? Pistachio Delight, perhaps (or Pistachio Ambrosia, or Watergate Salad as it came to be known): pistachio pudding, crushed pineapple, chopped walnuts or pecans, cool whip, and mini marshmallows.

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