Pagoda placemat

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The Pagoda was one of Tulsa's oldest chop suey houses. (They had a great sign -- anyone have a photo of it? And anyone know where the restaurant was located between 1930 and the construction of the Bellaire Shopping Center at Skelly Drive and Peoria?) (UPDATE: Here's the Pagoda sign; thanks to Richard Hedgecock for locating it on the web, and Mike Ransom for posting it, as part of a collection of Tulsa motel and restaurant postcards.) It was a favorite place for my sister and her high school boyfriend. I ate there a couple of times myself, but my palate had already been spoiled by the more authentic (and spicier) Chinese fare I enjoyed in Boston. My recollection is that all the Pagoda waitresses were little old white ladies in muu-muus.

At a coffee house recently, I spotted a Pagoda placemat, folded up and sticking out of a book on the shelf. Here it is. Click on it for a larger image.

Any memories of the Pagoda, or other Oriental restaurants from Tulsa's past?

UPDATE: In the comments, Bobby transcribes the text of the placemat, which he finds appropriate to election season: Confucius speaks of honor and public officials.


Bobby Author Profile Page said:

I remember the Pagoda! It was kind of a landmark on I-44 and even though I never dined there, I used it as a waymark for giving directions right along with the Camelot across the street!

I find the following quip about Confucius to be interesting. Sometimes even placemats can be educational. Things haven't changed much since Confucius's time and modern day time here in Tulsa.... maybe we need to get some Confucius disciples to help in "cleaning up" gross abuses of governmental power right here in Tulsa! What do you think?

Confucius (Master K'ung)

Descendant of the elder brother of an emporer, and son of a District Commandant, Confucius (551-478 B.C.) knew in his early years, after the death of his father, the meaning of poverty. At the age of nineteen he was married, and at twenty-two following two government appointments - first as keeper of stores and then as superintendent of parks and herds - he established a school for young men who sincerely sought instruction in the principles of social and governmental ethics. Sincerity was the absolute essential; but he was insistent also upon ability, and although in the course of his lifetime he worked upon approximately three thousand disciples, there were only seventy to eighty of these whom he considered as scholars of exceptional ability.

History tells how valiantly and effectively some of his pupils or disciples did credit to the master in "cleaning up" gross abuses of governmental power.

иии"What must an official do to merit his name?" asked a disciple.

иии"He who shows a sense of honor in his private conduct, and he who does not disgrace his prince's commission when abroad, may be called a true official," replied the Master.

иии"May I ask who would rank next?"

иии"He who is praised for his filial piety by his kinsmen, and for his deference to elders by his fellow villagers."

иии"May I ask who would rank next?"

иии"He who keeps his word and sticks to his course. A priggish little fellow, to be sure, yet perhaps he might come next."

иии"What would you say of present-day government officials?"

иии"Ugh!" exclaimed the Master. "Those rice-bags! They don't count at all."

Pretty appropriate stuff if you ask me!

jm said:

all I remember is that one of those little old white haired ladies was also my elementary school music teacher at Eliot!

Dustin said:

Yep I remember that her and her husband owned the Pagoda. She was my music teacher at Eliot as well.

Richard Hedgecock said:

Michael -

Link to the Pagoda sign:

I was like you. Chop suey? Egg foo yung? Their food was very bland.

Thanks, Richard! And that's a neat collection of Tulsa motel and restaurant postcards. I'm guessing that the "mransom" who established that collection is Mike Ransom of the wonderful Tulsa TV Memories website.

Steve Berg said:

I also had that music teacher at Eliot. Her name was Virginia Torres. She and the speech teacher John S. Kennedy were both fantastic teachers and would put on some fairly elaborate musicals and plays (with the kids as talent). In fact, a couple of the plays that I remember were original works by Mr. Kennedy. One was a humorous western and another had a Dickens-style theme with beggars and a mean overlord. We had no idea of course, but Mr. Kennedy was instilling us with the basics of storytelling (antagonist, protagonist, motivation, etc.) in a fun way. Good times.

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