Larry Eastwood and Darryl Drum bid adieu

When Larry Eastwood bought Vic’s Café in 1973, little did he know the Pioneer Day Bean Feed was part of the deal. Quoting from a story I wrote in 2013 to mark Larry’s 70th birthday, Larry said, “Vic did it before me and I still have the original recipe.”

Terry Black owned the local tire shop and was a Lions member. Larry recalled, “He came wandering across the street four days after I opened to tell me about a recipe for the Pioneer Day beans. I found it and gave it to him. He handed it right back to me and said, ‘You’re in charge now!’ If it wasn’t for me and Darryl Drum, my right-hand man, it wouldn’t have happened for all these years. We’ve had a good time out there.”

After 44 years for Larry and 32 for Darryl, it’s time for their well-deserved departure from the Pioneer Day tradition. This year was the last time that Larry and Darryl started before dawn, fired up the burners, and helped the crew hoist almost 2,400 pounds of fixin’s into the 100-gallon bean pots. The next milestone will be in three years when Lion Duane Picanco marks 50 years!

Next year, Scout Leader David Kudija will coordinate the effort with our local Boy Scout Troop 60. Larry agreed to return one more time…making it 45!