CHEESE DELUXE: A MEMOIR, is a collection of mostly true tales of a group of baby boomers in a time of transition. They are high school seniors, full of their own good fortune, bright prospects and parents money, unaware of a world waitingMoreCHEESE DELUXE: A MEMOIR, is a collection of mostly true tales of a group of baby boomers in a time of transition. They are high school seniors, full of their own good fortune, bright prospects and parents money, unaware of a world waiting impatiently to gobble them up. But they are beginning to get some inkling of that world as they make tentative forays into it and then come rushing back to the shelter of home.
That home is the Samoa Drive In, a classic teen hangout, and purveyor of the Cheese Deluxe, one of the worlds best burgers. The time is 1965, and the place is an upper middle class suburb of Seattle called Mercer Island, known for fancy houses on the lake, one of the best public school systems in America, and an almost entirely white citizenry composed of attorneys, doctors, accountants, middle management, and the ubiquitous Boeing engineers of the Northwest 1960s.
Coincidentally, Mercer Island High is where President Obamas mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, graduated in 1960. The island is in many ways an idyllic place to grow up, the kind of community where one of the gangs in high school is made up of members of the drama club. Moreover, the class of 65 is the last drug-free class in America-at least on the West Coast-as well as the last class where the boys dont feel the increasingly ominous presence of a war in Southeast Asia awaiting them if they opt out, drop out or flunk out of college.
Cheese Deluxe author Greg Palmer was a member of the Mercer Island Class of 65, who worked evenings, weekends, and all summer after graduation as the Samoas main cook. Over many a Cheese Deluxe he and his fellow Samoans enjoyed the vicarious escapades of their colleagues.
Sometimes as a participant, sometimes as an observer and sometimes as a confessor, Palmer tells fourteen stories- some romances, some comedies and one or two tragedies.