Let's sip some pop and check out items in Neighbors' mailbag. Unfortunately, though, the pop won't be from a King's Food Host.

Several recent columns have been about the old Food Hosts in Fargo and Moorhead, and other messages have come in on them.

Scott Williams, Fargo, writes that "My father, Tom Williams, owned Gateway Builders. In 1967 he built the Moorhead Food Host building.

"After the building was built," Scott says, "four semi-trailers were parked in the parking lot. My friend Howard Wold and I emptied the trailers with everything to make up the restaurant's booths, stove, refridges, the works.

"Howard became a famous heart surgeon and headed the cardiac department of Lettermans Hospital in San Francisco.

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"Our family used to love going to the Fargo Food Host."

Scott adds that his father also built the Williams Drive-in on University Drive and 12th Avenue North in Fargo in the early 1960s. That's where hamburgers, fries and pop all cost 10 cents, he says.

A previous column about the Food Host in Fargo included thoughts from some of its employees and patrons who had high praise for its owner and manager, the late Tom Drayton.

That brought a letter from Tom's wife, Priscilla "Polly" Drayton, Fargo, who says she is very appreciative of "the lovely remembrances of former employees and customers" of the cafe.

"It would have pleased Tom very much to know that all of his long hours and hard work to provide quality food, good service and a clean and pleasant eating environment were appreciated," she writes.

"That restaurant," Polly says, "was his first real business adventure after graduating from college and his discharge from the Navy, and he put his whole heart and soul into the business.

"It is heartwarming to know that our former customers and employees have fond memories of their meals at King's Food Host."

They sure do, Polly. And here's one more.

Faye Jones, Loveland, Colo., writes that a column about the Food Host "brought back a lot of memories" for her: "The phones (in the booths), the Frenchee sandwiches, good food. I remember the National T grocery store being there at one time, too."

All this got Faye to thinking of other Fargo restaurants "like the Red Apple, the Pheasant Café, the old Fargo Café, the Dutch Maid. And a little hamburger place on 8th Street."

When Faye saw in The Forum that the Moorhead Dairy Queen opened for the season recently, she thought of an ice cream place near Island Park in Fargo. "I can't remember its name, but it was a good one," she says.

She concludes her email with, "I want to thank you for a trip down memory lane."

Staying connected

Now, here's a note from Jeff Svare, Salt Lake City, who writes that he grew up in Fargo in the 1960s and 1970s. "So," he says, "I read The Forum online for obits every day, and I check the headlines to see if there are other interesting articles as well."

Earl and Bum

Neighbors also heard from Jim Throndset, Fargo, in reference to the death last year of football coach Bum Phillips.

Phillips, who led the Houston Oilers professional football team to two conference championship games in the 1970s, actually was named Oail, but he went by his nickname of Bum.

But Jim says that when Phillips was first hired as the Houston coach, Earl Weaver, on WDAY, Fargo, came up with this quip: "They haven't even played a game yet, and they're already calling him a bum."

Good one, Earl.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com