A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 26, 2010
Home of the Oatmeal Festival (Bertram slogan)

Bertram is a small city in Burnet County, about 45 miles northwest of Austin. It’s slogan is “Home of the Oatmeal Festival,” although the festival actually takes place in nearby Oatmeal, a town even smaller than Bertram.

The Oatmeal Festival began in 1978 as a different food variation of Texas’ many chili cookoffs. “Home of the Oatmeal Festival” has been cited in print since at least 1991.

Wikipedia: Bertram, Texas
Bertram is a city in Burnet County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,122 at the 2000 census.
Bertram hosts an annual “Oatmeal Festival” during the Labor Day weekend. Named after the remains of the nearby community of Oatmeal, it includes a number of activities that draw attendees from all over central Texas.

Oatmeal Festival began in 1978 as a spoof of the many chili cook-offs in the state of Texas. Oatmeal was chosen as the theme for the festival because of the nearby town of Oatmeal. Ken Odiorne, who had lived in the Oatmeal community (in an area he knew as Ignert Ridge), dreamed it all up and with a little prodding from some good folks got it all going. He wrote to all the major producers of oatmeal and asked them for assistance. Only National Oats, the makers of 3 Minutes Oats, responded. In honor of this, all Oatmeal Festival events start at :03 or :33 past the hour.

Chili cooks eat hot peppers. Oatmeal cooks ate boiled okra. Chili cooks had beauty queens. Oatmeal cooks had Ms. Bag, who is over 55, Groaty Oat, who is beyond description, and Miss Cookie and Miss Muffin, who are 4 to 8 years old. Watermelon raisers spit seeds. Oatmeal cooks kicked cow chips.

The folks who put together the official map of the State of Texas had also decided to leave Oatmeal off the map because there was not an intersection of main highways there. Since the inception of the festival, however, Oatmeal is back on the map. A lot of folks come home to the country every Labor Day Weekend, even if it is hot and dry.

Over the years the money raised has built an open-air pavilion in Bertram and a community center at Oatmeal. Scholarships are given to local high school graduates every year. Financial assistance has been given to many local events including the Easter Egg Hunt, Santa’s Workshop, and Burnet County Livestock Show.

Wikipedia: List of city nicknames in Texas
Bertram - Home of the Oatmeal Festival

Yahoo! Shopping
Bertram: Home Of The Oatmeal Festival Mug

Google Books
Texas Flea Markets
By Ann Ruff
Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing Company
Pg. 59:
Bertram’s main claim to fame is that it is the home of the Oatmeal Festival held every Labor Day weekend. Oatmeal, Texas, is actually down the road a few miles, but there’s even less in Oatmeal than there is in Bertram.

Google Books
Hill Country
By Richard Zelade
Houston, TX: Gulf Pub.
Pg. 398:
Today Bertram is best known as home of the Oatmeal Festival.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, September 26, 2010 • Permalink