As any 16 year old, I was in love with speed and the girl that didn’t know I existed. Figuring I had no shot at the girl, I worked hard to get enough money together to buy my first muscle car. My friend, Gearhead Cooper and I spent every Friday and Saturday night getting that car ready for “Race Day Sunday” at Onondaga Speedway. We spent every Sunday for two years racing that car. And everyday in between trying to figure out how to make Mary Jo Peterson aware that we were alive.
After high school, Cooper went to the Air Force to be a jet jock and me…well I went to the nearest speedway to follow my “need for speed”. After a few years of not getting the ride I thought I deserved and completely broke, I decided it was time to get a “real job.” Not wanting to stray too far from racing, I started looking around the track. I was looking for an angle; a need that needed to be filled. Then it hit me like a 440 Hemi…FOOD. So, I asked around to see what people wanted. What would they like to get their hands on…the conclusion, WINGS.
So I headed out to find the perfect wing. I started where all the great wings began, Buffalo. While the wings were good, I felt I needed something more to make my wings stand out. I knew I wanted a racing theme but I also wanted the very best tasting wings in the whole country, the kind you would drive miles for.
On my travels, I was thinking about my old friend Gearhead Cooper and the great times we had at Onondaga Speedway. It was about that time that I started to think about what to call my yet famous “wings.” One day after a long drive, I pulled over to a roadside eatery. While pondering my namesake, who should walk in, but good old Gearhead Cooper. After a few beers, we talked about my dilemma and he said in his very straight forward way, “why not just call it Dicks?”
Gearhead Cooper always had the perfect solution for every situation (except for Mary Jo of course) and he came through once again. That’s when Dick’s Wings and Grill was born and we’ve been burning up the track ever since!