The Times They Are A-Changin'
The gritty, anachronistic charm of Booche’s in Columbia, Missouri is exemplified in its attention to little details: The ancient, intact score-keeping wires above the pool tables, the pint sized bathroom with no sink for hand-washing, in the transcendent little burgers they churn out hourly, whose quality and haste mock anything labeled “fast food” in the area, and in the availability of the hopelessly regionalized Backer’s chips, as accompaniment to the burgers. The chips’ simple, old world packaging anticipates the product within: A thin, no nonsense chip. Not extraordinary in taste, their mere existence is worth noting; Bill Backer has kept with his family business for the better part of 70 years. Where 30 years ago Missouri hosted 25 potato chip companies, today Backer’s is its sole representative. The sad reality of such tenacity means selling your chips to other companies that re-brand them as their own. While such deception is just another reason to despise the Wal-marts of the world, the availability at all of the historic Backer’s chips is one reason to rejoice at what we still have, as we slip and fall into (knock, knock, knock on wood) the Obama years.