Back Home Again in Indiana
I forget where I saw the 8 Minute Memoir, but it seemed like a good writing exercise so I figured I’d jump on board. I’m already incredibly behind and have no idea when/if I’ll finish it. Such suspense!
I don’t remember when or where exactly we saw it, but I can pretty much guarantee it was on the way to or from Ft. Wayne, and it was definitely when I was in high school: the fabled Hacienda stomach billboard. This thing has become the stuff of legends in my family.
It was a billboard for Hacienda (THE Mexican restaurant in Warsaw), and all I remember about it is it had a stomach on it – a cartoonish version of the organ inside us all, not something straight out of an anatomy book. And at that moment, our favorite dish to order at Hacienda became the stomach. We didn’t actually order it of course. But any time Hacienda was mentioned, someone (typically my dad since he was the one who started it) would ask if you were going to get the stomach. And this question lives on today some ::insert number I’m in denial over:: years later.
That billboard was really just the beginning of my family’s love affair with Hacienda’s ad campaign. There was some radio commercial talking about using Twinkie cream to caulk a bathroom and another with a conquistador, wearer of sweater vests. I don’t remember the details of either of those spots, but I do remember quoting them early and often much to my mom’s chagrin.
Some families have fond memories of ski trips or volunteering at the food pantry; my family has fond memories of the stomach at Hacienda. No one should be surprised.