Rolando Pujol’s “Where’s the Beef? Savoring Relics of America’s Fast-Food Chains”
Recorded April, 2021
APRIL 28, 2021: Join retrologist.com’s Rolando Pujol as he shares his lifelong love of big buckets, big arches, big hats, a little red-haired girl in pigtails and other relics of America’s fast-food roadside.
Pujol’s love of roadside Americana began as a kid on the back seat of a 1978 Ford Fairmont station wagon. It was from there that he started surveying the highways and byways of America, and the same signs that captivated him as a kid — big buckets, big arches, big hats, and a little red-haired girl in pigtails, to name but a few – continue to fascinate him. He shares his photos and essays on his Instagram page, where he has around 30,000 followers, and on his website, retrologist.com.
Rolando has spent years taking ambitious road trips with whatever time he gets off from his busy job in television news to document vintage roadside treasures, and chain fast-food restaurants particularly fascinate him. There is something that is so uniquely American about them, and they speak so powerfully to their moment in history. They are such an important part of popular culture that’s easy to take for granted or dismiss. But if his audience’s reactions to his posts about “retro renovated” Pizza Huts, the return of the old Burger King logo, and the sweet pleasures of a 1950s Dairy Queen are any indication, vintage fast-food places are beloved as nostalgic elixirs in a tumultuous time.
In his presentation, Rolando shared photos he’s taken documenting the evolution of fast-food chains, insights into their history, and stories from his road trips in search of these places.