Artist paints historic Nockey’s Drive Inn
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Local artist Bonnie Karraker has just completed another historical painting in her series of historical places in Abilene.
Featured in her painting is Nockey’s Drive Inn.
Located on 14th Street where Pick Dry Cleaners is today, the drive-through was one of the first restaurants to offer car service.
This drive in was very modern and ahead of its time,” Karraker said.
Karraker’s husband, Sonny, said he and Bonnie would go on dates to Nockey’s before they got married.
Nockey’s was mainly a hangout for high school kids after games, on weekends, etc. It was the first place in Abilene that one could drive up and place an order. Patrons could park and eat in the car or truck or get the order and sit at a picnic table under the canopy.
Marty Holt, great-niece of owner Lyle “Nockey” and Marian Mulanax, said she wasn’t crazy about rhubarb but she loved his rhubarb pie and had some every time she went there.
Ken Mulanax, a son, came up with a photograph for Karraker to work from.
Unfortunately, a lot of historical info was destroyed a few years ago in a flooded basement incident so exact dates are not available.
“I believe it opened in the mid fifties and was sold in 1968,” Ken Mulanax said.
“When it opened, I believe that a burger sold for .20 and I think pie was the same,” he said. “We grew our own rhubarb for the pies. We had over 70 plants in our garden.
“We also ground our own beef for the burgers,” he added. “In the first several years we peeled and sliced all the potatoes for the fries. The pies were all scratch made from the crust to the filling. Dad also made his own salad dressing for salads. We didn’t buy many frozen items because dad liked to make most everything he could from scratch.”
Karraker has painted about 15 historical locations in Abilene.