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“Blast from the Past:” tastee freez footlongs - Jet Burgers are back

October 23, 2013
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

"People try them, they close their eyes and say: "I remember sitting in my car and eating them"- only now they're sitting in Bumblebees," Karen Musgrave said last week. You may remember them from the 1950s or into the 1980s.

In any case, 40 years may have past since the first Toledo tastee freeze owners served them - but Karen and her husband Don, co-owners of the downtown pizza restaurant and bar next door, have brought back the original recipe tastee freeze Footlong Chili Dogs and Jet Burgers.

The recipes came from Karen's long-time friend and classmate, Linda Leek, daughter of Robert and Margie Ray, who opened the tastee freeze on what was then "new" U.S. Highway 30 in Toledo in 1955.

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Linda Ray Leek (right) hands over the secret recipes to her mother’s tastee freez footlong chili sauce and Jet Burgers to Karen Musgrave, co-owner of Bumblebees in downtown Toledo.
Chronicle/John Speer

Margie started the craze for the footlongs by developing her own chilli sauce and Linda's dad came up with the Jet Burger idea, Linda said. "He wanted something they could serve fast for travelers and mom came up with them."

They added sandwiches to the ice cream menu at the tastee freeze in 1958 or '59 she said. The Rays operated the business until retiring in 1973.

A lot of people have asked me for them (the recipes) over the years, Karen first did eight ot 10 years ago," Linda said. "After my mom passed away (in 2010) I got to thinking I'm not that young any more, myself. I (decided) my friend since childhood should have them."

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Linda said she had kept the recipes "in her head all these years."

Karen said their recent 45th South Tama or Tama-Toledo High School class reunion(See Editor's Note at end of this story) - thought of as a "Blast From the Past" - really set the handing over of the recipes in motion.

Now the recipes recorded on index cards rest "under lock and key" in the hands of Karen.

Thery serve both sandwiches in Bumblebees from 4-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday. You can order them for take-out too- 641-484-8411.

The popularity of the old tastee freez in Toledo has not been lost on the social network scene. Chris Hayward Drummer, a tastee freez employee, offers up a popular Facebook page -

(Editor's Note: Since I was also in the Class of 1968, I always like to bring up the name of our high school had been changed from Tama-Toledo High School to South Tama High in our senior year. Yet our diplomas read "Tama-Toledo High School." i contend the school board was too cheap to buy new diplomas and used what was sitting on the shelf.)



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