Spaceburger event draws a nostalgic crowd

Deborra Brannon
Volunteers are in good spirits at last Saturday's “Spaceburger” fundraising event in Weed's Charlie Byrd Park. Net proceeds will be earmarked for improvements to the park's children's play area.

Several generations of Spaceburger-lovers attended last weekend’s fundraising event at Charlie Byrd Park in Weed.

Nan and Lave Mazzier served the hot sandwiches at the Weed bowling alley from the time they bought the facility in 1968 until they sold it in 1992, establishing something of a local tradition.

On Saturday Nan led a team of volunteers who cooked hundreds of Spaceburgers on specially designed equipment for people who came to experience the flavor once again and talk about the old days.

The hot meat sandwiches ­– toasted, pressed, and sealed into a round shape reminiscent of the flying saucers portrayed in early science fiction – brought smiles to many faces.

Weed business owner Darren Harris remembers eating them “every day” at the bowling alley when he was young. “My mom came down from Yreka today just to have some,” he said.

His daughter Marissa was also on hand to enjoy one for the first time.

Mount Shasta Police Chief Parish Cross remembers going with his mother to her Tuesday evening bowling league just so he could have a Spaceburger.

“I sure didn’t go to watch the bowling,” Cross said. “Then all through college at COS we ate them, and we introduced new students and visitors to them too. In fact I took my wife for a Spaceburger on one of our first dates.”

His children Quincie and Roman were with him in the park Saturday for their first Spaceburger.

“It’s really good,” Quincie reported after a few bites.

When the Mazziers bought the bowling alley in 1968, there was only one hand-operated press onsite to make the hot sandwiches, and soon they bought another press, Lave said.

“We developed three or four different recipes for cooking the ground meat we put in the burgers. This one we’re serving today is our regular recipe. Another one was our taco Spaceburger. We spiced that meat differently and used tortillas instead of bread in the press,” he explained.

Lave also said just about anything can be used in the presser. “Ham and cheese is my favorite.”

Net proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the Weed Rec and Park District, earmarked for improvements at the Charlie Byrd Park children’s play area.

“We’re glad to support the Lincoln Heights community,” Lave said. “Many of the residents were great customers of ours for years at the bowling alley.”