Family History
Official John Rigas Website
John Rigas, January 30, 2007

(Mom) Ya Ya

Several months ago, I wrote a short piece about how the Texas Hot in Wellsville, New York
was started.  The story naturally centered to a large extent on my father, James Rigas,
who founded the restaurant and operated it with George Raptis for many decades.  I now
would like to tell you a little about my mother, Eleni Brazas Rigas, a woman who though
not involved formally in the business or with a career outside the home, has a history that
is no less interesting or meaningful.   While her story in one sense is unique to herself, it
is at the same time representative of the experiences encountered by countless immigrant
women who have sought a better life in America.  
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John Rigas, August 7, 2006

(Dad) Texas Hot Origins

Now in its eighty-fifth year of operation, the Texas Hot Restaurant has long been a local
institution in Wellsville, New York.  Over the years, innumerable people have remarked to
me that a trip to Wellsville is incomplete without a stop at the Texas Hot and a few of those
hot dogs.

Although most people in these parts have been to the Texas Hot many times, few people
know the story of how the restaurant got started.  It is a story like so many others in our
nation’s history—that of young, hard-working immigrants striving to capture a tiny part of
the American dream.  
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John Rigas, August 4, 2006

Jack-Knives and High-Tops

One of my clearest memories from the first four grades of school was the high-top shoes I
and the other boys wore every day.  Laced all the way to the knees, they complemented
the knickobocker pants (“knickers”) we also wore, which extended from the waist to the
knees.  Always tucked in a pocket on the outside of our high-tops was a small jack-knife,
with which we whittled wood, opened packages, and most of all played “mumbly-pegs” and
other games on our way to and from school and during recess.  These activities were part
of our daily ritual, and we would have been lost without our trusted jack-knives.  They
filled the role that “game-boys” do for many children today.  They were our toys, not
weapons.  
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