Thursday, April 12, 2018

Anti-Establishment


[From a menu for Lums, a restaurant chain of the past. As seen at the Museum of the San Fernando Valley.]

My guess is that this menu dates from the 1970s, early enough for the idea of being anti-Establishment to seem timely, late enough for it to have become the stuff of a mild joke. How long has it been since I enjoyed an old-fashioned milkshake? Less than twenty-four hours. But it’s a rare thing. We are here to eat ice cream only occasionally.

The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, a small all-volunteer museum housed in an office suite, was a wonderful part of our trip to Los Angeles. Hats off to docent Jackie, who told us great stories of her life and of life in the Valley.

[The Oxford English Dictionary dates the Establishment to 1923, with the term taking on clear meaning in 1955: “By the ‘Establishment’ I do not mean only the centres of official power — though they are certainly part of it — but rather the whole matrix of official and social relations within which power is exercised.” Anti-Establishment dates to 1958.]

comments: 7

Pete said...

There used to be a Lum’s In Urbana, on University Avenue near Carle Hospital.

Daughter Number Three said...

I remember a Lums vaguely... really vaguely. Must have closed by the early 70s or I would remember it better.

Michael Leddy said...

I’m wondering how I never heard of the name before. Maybe they weren’t big in NY/NJ. Their menu looked like corny fun, something like Howard Johnson’s.

Stefan Hagemann said...

There was a Lum's in Decatur too. It's now evidently called Gabby's. But I'd never heard of another one, Michael, and it never occurred to me that it was a chain. Huh.

Michael Leddy said...

“Huh” is right. When I saw the menu, in a small display of menus from Valley restaurants, I assumed Lums was a one-of-a-kind Valley place, like Beeps. Nope.

Daughter Number Three said...

No idea where the one I knew of was located. It may have been in Vestal, N.Y. but I also could be completely fabricating that. But I didn't go that many places when I was young so somewhere in the vicinity of either Binghamton or Oneonta. I don't think I ever went there, just saw the building and signage.

Michael Leddy said...

I just discovered the Wikipedia article. (There the restaurant is spelled Lum’s. The menu I saw said Lums.) Four hundred locations at their height of their success.