The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

PJHS snack bar lunches good times


Helena Rodriguez

When I was going to Portales Junior High School in the early 1980s, we had three options for lunch: Eat in the cafeteria, bring your own lunch or eat in the snack bar. When I ate in the snack bar, I was in food heaven.

The snack bar was in a room in the old Home Economics building, by Mrs. Richter’s art room. This was before the old two-story junior high was knocked down. The snack bar was decorated with simple long metal tables and folding chairs. Nothing fancy. And nothing on the menu was more

than a dollar. But oh, the smells, they were priceless, and the memories.

I rarely ate in the snack bar. You had to have pocket change (by today’s standards), and back then, that was a little more than pocket change today. But when I did, the memorable famous chili dogs, red fruity punch and signature dookie bars were the best. If you ever ate in that old snack bar, then you know exactly what I mean.

Something made me think of those yummy dookie bars recently and when I posted it on the Old Portales Memories Facebook page to see who remembered the snack bar like me, I had no less than 79 likes and about 25 comments.

Luanne Cox Landess said she loved the French fries and Robin Nations likewise loved the chili dogs and dookie bars.

Robert Gilbert wrote, “They started up the snack bar when I was in eighth grade; two orders of fries, two cartons of chocolate milk, a Woody’s fried pie and enough ketchup to choke a horse. Good times.”

Others remembered the Dreamsicles, corndogs, taquitos and Funyuns.

According to Randy Small, the cashiers were Charlene Bouldin and Mrs. Terry.

Mona Hill Robert wrote,” I pretty much ate at the snack bar every day from seventh grade through ninth grade, usually a hot dog and chocolate milk ... it was so good. I never ate the dookie bars, but my mother made them all the time ... she didn't put peanut butter in hers until her later years.

I’m not sure what was in those dookie bars, but they were definitely chocolatey and a bit crunchy, with some type of oats. If anyone has the recipe, please share.

I’m sure if someone tried to make chili dogs and dookie bars like those of the old PJHS snack bar, they just wouldn’t taste the same. They were treasured gourmets of grease for us tender tummies called the Generation Xers.

Helena Rodriguez is a Portales native. Contact her at:

[email protected]


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