American's began their love affair with pizza after WWII when allied troops occupying Italy discovered the pizzeria and brought their appreciation back home. It was in 1958 that Pizza Hut was born, not too far from Tulsa, in Wichita Kansas. In 1960 entrepreneurs Ramon King joined with Doug Jones and Tom Wilson to build and open the first of several Shotgun Sam's Pizza Parlor locations here. 18th and Sheridan was the location of the first one:
I know there was one on 51st between Yale and Harvard. And this one mentioned in the ad: 2600 Range Line. Were there more?
(Remember- I'm Shotgun Sam, the Pizza Man and my horse's name is Alice)
My mother was a huge fan of Lea's Pizza. Even though we lived "all the way out" at 51st and Sheridan, she would drive to the Lea's on Peoria and 43rd and bring it home.
By the time Lea's closed, we had a Kens' pizza nearby where Rib Crib is now located.
Although Shotgun Sam's didn't become a franchise licensor, it did produce the next best thing: someone who became hugely successful in the pizza/restaurant franchising business: Ken Selby. Ken worked at Shotgun Sam's before going out on his own. What started out as The Pizza Parlor in 1961 soon became Ken's Pizza, and later Mazzio's. There are around 200 of them, half of which are franchised.
In the 1970's store-bought pizza mixes were popular. Besides Chef Boyardee's brand our favorite was Appian Way. We would gather with friends, make a wonderful Appian way pizza and watch Mazeppa some Saturday nights. Good times.
Another well-loved pizza place was My Pi.
It was the first place I ever had deep dish pizza and I LOVED theirs. I also loved their great Bose sound system in there. In 1977 the Tulsa world ran an article on My Pi which included recipes for their garlic bread and green salad. My Mom must have read this because it was how she always made garlic bread at home, using Pepperidge Farm bread.
MY PI'S GARLIC BREAD
1 loaf French bread (such as Pepperidge Farm brand in the bread aisle; not frozen)
1/4 pound butter, softened
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
10 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
1. Whip butter with whisk until light and creamy. Blend in minced garlic and grated cheese.
2. Cut bread diagonally into thick slices. Do not cut through, leaving slices attached to crust. Fill space between slices with butter and cheese mixture. Wrap in foil and heat through, 10 to 15 minutes in a 500-degree oven.
Romaine, iceberg and red-leaf lettuce
1/2 hard-boiled egg
3 or 4 thin slices red onion
1 anchovy, chopped
1. Tear lettuce leaves in bite-size pieces, and combine.
2. Grate egg.
3. Place anchovy and onion slices over top of lettuce, and sprinkle with croutons and egg. Serve with Italian dressing.