Memories of Ted’s chief bring a smile to my face

I was saddened to hear of the recent passing of Spiro T. Liaros. Just thinking about him brings back many happy memories. When I was a teenager, my buddy Elmer and I would make Ted’s hot dog stand our first and last stops on our way to Crystal Beach. I drove a 1935 Dodge coupe with my girlfriend at my side, and Elmer and his girlfriend sat in the rumble seat. I think the girls most likely went out with us because they knew they would be treated to a Ted’s hot dog.

Later on in life, I worked at Sahlen’s Meats as a driver salesman. I occasionally worked in the cooler putting up orders. The largest orders for hot dogs always came from Ted’s. On Fridays, it was my job to deliver them to Ted’s stand at the Peace Bridge. Because his orders were so large, his wieners were shipped in barrels containing 200 pounds. When Memorial Day or the Fourth of July fell on a weekend, his order would be for 10 barrels, which meant a ton of wieners were delivered. When I unloaded the barrels, Spiro was always there to help me. He always treated me to a free hot dog and drink. What a great guy. The whole family was that way. On a Monday morning immediately following those holidays, I often got a phone call from Spiro saying, “Bill, bring me 50 pounds of wieners quick so I’ll have something to sell before the regular order gets here.”

I have two brothers; one lives in Cleveland and the other in Atlanta. Each time they visit me, it is a must that they take their families to Ted’s for a charcoal-grilled hot dog with its famous special sauce. They look forward not only to eating a hot dog, but to the smell of the charcoal while they are cooking. Western New York is known for beef on weck, chicken wings, but most of all, Ted’s hot dogs.

William N. Harms