HOT DIGGITY DOG
An 18-year-old Enterprise youth is starting his freshman year at George Fox University in Newberg this week.
Kyler Pace, a 4.0 grade-point average 2001 co-valedictorian of Enterprise High School, won some scholarships, but will have to work part-time in the colleges maintenance department to earn expense money.
The bulk of Paces education, though, will be financed through his labors the past nine years in a family business on Main Street.
Neither Pace nor his parents own a building or real estate, but have some rolling stock that is towed to town and set up from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday during the summer.
Dogs Deluxe is the name of the business which most of the time can be found in Paces driveway connected to a blue 1980 Oldsmobile station wagon filled with coolers, cups and supplies.
During weekday lunch hours all through the summer and special weekend events, Pace serves up one mean dog.
Pace tows the hot dog stand to Steve Testermans Texaco service station at River Street and Highway 82.
Pace, who will pursue an electrical engineering degree in college, said the site is excellent and he is grateful that Testerman lets him use it. He hopes to resume his stand again next summer, selling hot dogs, chili dogs, sausage dogs and chili sausage dogs.
Sausage dogs are the favorite of Jim Pace, Kylers father. Kyler prefers the regular hot dogs, which he says are his best sellers.
But even what Pace simply calls regular are no ordinary dogs.
They are super-duper dogs, says the father about the delectable delights smothered in mustard, catsup, onions, relish, cheese and sauerkraut.
Look how big they are, one boy called back to his family waiting in the car for him to bring the order.
Ill have two, said one customer, but he changed his mind as soon as he saw Pace building his deluxe dog.
Pace said he appreciates the support he gets from local people, his regular customers.
You cant believe the people that like them, Jim Pace said. People cant wait til spring comes around.
Dogs Deluxe opens the first week of May, but in March people start asking Jim when the stand will be opening.
Dogs Deluxe painted on the side of the canopied wagon, and word-of-mouth are Kyler Paces main forms of advertising.
He says, though, that he should put up a sign, Thank you for sending me and my sisters to college.
Family works together
Nine years ago, Pace started in the business as an apprentice to his older sisters, Mandy, now 24, and Christina, 22. Both live in the Salem area, where Mandy is a fourth-grade teacher and Christina is teaching kindergarten.
The first couple months are really busy, Pace says, but then there are slow times. His English teacher, Jennifer Frentress, came up with the remedy. She brought him books to study.
Whether busy or slow, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work.
Ive learned a lot, Pace said.
He discovered that he had to maintain a state food handlers license, which costs the same as for someone working year-round in a restaurant.
Its their business, Jim Pace said of his children. Its been real good for the kids.
Over the years the three sibling-partners placed the food orders and wrote the checks. A supplier delivers, but the Paces had to drive to the Lewiston Costco to procure that special ingredient for the sausage dog.
It takes two hours every morning to prepare and set up the stand, and another two hours at night to clean it and put it away.
There has always been plenty of work to keep Pace and his sisters busy.
Now that the sisters have moved on, his grandmother, Dorothy Pace, shows up almost every day to help with the set-up, particularly erecting the canopy that is at least a two-person operation.
One day of the week that she doesnt show up is Tuesday ladies day at the golf course. Granddad Jack Pace is the pinch-hitter those days.
The sisters havent forgotten about their brother manning the hot dog stand. Mandy and her husband gave him a plastic automatic hot dog tip box for a graduation present. The automatic feature is that it opens immediately when it is touched.
Kyler is quick to point out that people dont automatically tip, but he does get a few dollars that way.
Sister Christine showed up unexpectedly over the Fourth of July to assist at the Lostine Flea Market. The only cut she took was a free lunch.
Their parents have now graduated into a new phase of life, having moved on to become empty-nesters.
I dont like it, Jim said Monday after he and his wife, Leslie, returned after accompanying Kyler to college and stopping by to visit their daughters.
Kyler has hopes for his business next summer. He has worked weekend events including Josephs Bronze, Blues and Brews Festival.
Next summer, Pace hopes the Joseph Chamber of Commerce allows him to be a vendor for Chief Joseph Days weekend.
Its been around a long time, Pace says about the lunch vendor business in downtown Enterprise. People still erroneously make checks out to the Paces predecessor Dandy Dogs or the Handy Wagon.
Pace has learned to take it all in stride.
Whose Doug? one customer asked, thinking he was told to make a check payable to Dougs Deluxe. The stories go on.
Its become part of us, Leslie Pace said of Dogs Deluxe. But the medical clinic office manager thinks she will be able to pass the hot dog wagon along some day to someone else, possibly to other young people hoping to earn money for college.
But what about the 1980 Olds attached to the wagon in the driveway?
It goes with it, she said.