The Duration Burger

Adventures of growing up in the ‘70s in Central City

By Brian Gibbins

Another night out for the Gibbins family while living on the outskirts of Central City. We bundled up for the winter weather and left the Buck House on our way to town. Dad decided to drive through Nevadaville as that way was more direct. The old Jeep might have started blowing warm air by the time we passed the Stone House. My dad knew the guy that lived there, he was apparently the mayor by virtue of being the only year round resident. Although I visited the hardware store he owned several times, I was more interested in his outhouse with the moon shape cut into the door.

Which reminds me of the time I watched Paper Moon at the Belvidere Theatre… maybe I’ll recount the time Tatum O’Neil said “shit box Ford” in another story.

Anyway, we arrived at our destination and parked in the dirt parking lot just down the street. Then we climbed down from the Jeep, got Charlie settled in his baby carrier and traipsed the short distance uphill through the frozen snow to the stone entrance. We were greeted with warmth, music and cigarette smoke as we walked through the door. After all, it was the late 70’s.

Dad greeted each of the locals he knew on the way to our table. We removed our wet jackets and hung them on the back of the wooden chairs and mom arranged our family of five for a meal.

The establishment was located in yet another historic building and called The Duration. Why? I think it was because if you ordered their signature hamburger, you would be there for the duration. Seriously! It was a one pound hamburger with toppings on a giant bun!

I seem to remember that there was some deal if you ate the entire hamburger. I was only 11 years old or so and I could not have finished “the Duration Burger.” But I think dad gave it a shot.

After I finished my smaller burger and my picky sister finished whatever she ordered, it was time for dessert. Our eyes widened in amazement when the chocolate chip cookie was served. Another house special, a cookie the same size as that giant hamburger. Our family shared only one; with my sister, Jennifer, and I vying to get the most bites.

“The Duration,” with its stone walls and welcome atmosphere is one more of my favorite memories of living in Central.

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