Hall of Fame

What do a paperboy, a pinup girl tattoo and a marathon runner have in common? Nothing. Besides our Hall of Fame.

We’ve had 7,645 people try for the Hall since 2001. But only 170 have been inducted. Read the unbelievable stories that got them in.

2001 Inductees

Debbie Gardner
Hof_vote

(13 Cravers Agree)

Debbie Gardner

Loveland, OH



When I was honored as the 2000 Crave Time Cook-Off Recipe Winner in October, I knew I was living the best year of my life. Driving home from my award ceremony on a local TV show, I made a decision. I was going to share my joy and have a White Castle Christmas! Instead of just dreaming of a White… CASTLE Christmas, I took several steps to make it happen.

Step 1: Create 100 Christmas ornaments out of the blue White Castle hamburger boxes. My husband spent a month cutting and laminating my recipe to the bottom and back of the boxes. I then made Santa out of round ornaments covered with felt, fur, curly hair and bells. Besides hanging them all over our Christmas trees and doorways, White Castle Santas were given away, with Castle gift certificates, of course.

Step 2: Put up outdoor decorations. We had two Christmas parties, one birthday and one retirement party during the holidays. These required finding our house. But it was easy for most. It was the one with a 50-foot White Castle logo stretched across the entire house in blue twinkle lights and a 16-foot “CRAVE” in lights across the fence.

Step 3: Use White Castle bags as gift wrap for smaller gifts and cut up Slider® boxes, using all four sides as gift tags.

Step 4: Give away my winning White Castle recipe to all that drive by the house! We painted an old real estate sign to read “Free Recipes” and taped burger boxes all over the sign. More than 200 Spicy White Castle dip recipes were picked up throughout the holidays.

Step 5: Turn a White Castle T-shirt into a holiday dress fit for a White Castle queen! I sewed shiny blue sequins around the neck and safety-pinned a blue feather boa wrap around the hem. A black turtleneck and tights complemented the gown beautifully. “White Castle Blue” high heels topped off my very special look.

Step 6: Feed Santa’s Crave! Give him White Castle hamburgers and pack some for Rudolph!

Step 7: Have fun. White Castle is not just a restaurant. It’s more. It’s an experience. Fun is the kind of emotion a little hamburger in a box has created in my family, especially this Christmas.


Ami Kane
Hof_vote

(10 Cravers Agree)

Ami Kane

Avon, IN



It all started in 1932, when my grandfather, Charles, took up a paper route at the tender age of 14. Most of the meager salary he received (as this was the heart of the Depression) went toward buying a dozen of the juicy Sliders®. Now, you might suppose that he would pace himself, savoring the wonderful burgers and enjoying one or two at a time for several days. But, of course, he couldn’t wait. He devoured them all in one sitting. He loved White Castle so much that it became a drain on his paperboy finances.

This undying love for a hamburger chain seemed to have spanned generations and soon enough, Charles introduced his son Scott, my father, to these glorious little fast-food miracles. They frequented White Castle together. On one occasion when my dad was also about 14, they went on a routine trip to the local branch. After hearing for years how many burgers his father had eaten, my father, in a single act of bravery when asked how many burgers he wanted, promptly ordered a dozen for himself. Unwilling to deny my dad such a wonderful meal, my grandfather ordered the dozen for him and watched his son eat all 12 of the sandwiches. A few hours later, my dad wasn’t so glad he had made the brave decision and it was then he learned a valuable lesson: You can get too much of a good thing.

My dad grew up and started a family of his own. I can remember even as a small child anticipating the occasions when we would go to the drive-thru. My brother and I would be handed the warm, steaming, white and blue paper bags, the perfect heater on a cold winter day. It was one of the most inviting and delicious smells I can recall and even to this day, as I am 16 now, I make as many trips to my favorite fast-food chain as possible. I can recall one instance, during my freshman year of high school and my first year of marching band. It was my first State Finals Competition and my parents came to cheer me on. After the competition and placing third in the state, I was told I could pick anywhere I wanted to eat. Where did I go? You guessed it! That magical palace, White Castle. And even as I type this, there are 27 burgers in our freezer, waiting for a food crisis, like a nuclear holocaust, or just until we get really hungry, which could be any minute now!

So to all those people who say that love is between two people, I ask, “Man, have you guys ever tried one of these? It’s the only way you could understand.” Oh and one more thing… guess what’s for dinner tonight!


Gera-Lind Kolarik
Hof_vote

(147 Cravers Agree)

Gera-Lind Kolarik

Chicago, IL



I used to be in TV news. As the assignment editor and field producer for Chicago’s ABC7 News, I often found myself teaming up with a cameraman and heading out to cover breaking news stories. One hot summer day in 1984, there was a major prison riot downstate, so the cameraman and I quickly boarded SKYCAM, our trusty helicopter, and began our trek to southern Illinois.

We were in the air for about five minutes when hunger struck. With three live broadcasts drawing closer, we knew that landing for food would require two things we didn’t have – extra time and an empty field far away from any restaurants.

Then we flew over Berwyn, Illinois, and saw my hometown White Castle at the corner of Harlem and Ogden. Amazingly, I remembered there was an empty field just two blocks away. “Land in that forest preserve field,” I ordered the pilot.

I then ran two blocks and ordered 25 White Castles, some shakes and onion rings. I dashed back to the helicopter and we were off again. We ate as we hovered over the riot scene, beaming the live shots back to Chicago. Even a working TV news team has time to feed a White Castle craving!


Gerard Benson
Hof_vote

(10 Cravers Agree)

Gerard Benson

New Hope, MN



When I was eight years old, my parents decided I had a talent for the violin. I soon became very reluctant to go to my lessons, instead wanting to stay around the neighborhood and play with friends. My older brother hated the idea of having to accompany me to the lessons because of my age. He, too, had other priorities. It would be an understatement to say that after several months of this weekly routine, the two of us began resisting.

My mother finally proposed a deal. She offered to give us each a nickel to buy an ice cream cone on our return trip from the violin lesson. It sounded like a good idea, but an ice cream cone was certainly not worth the two hours of playing with our friends that we had to forgo. Our response was a resounding, “No!”

But she reached into her idea bank and instead proposed that on our return trip, we stop at White Castle for one hamburger each. We jumped at her revised proposal.

We became Saturday regulars. The waitress would see us coming and have our two White Castles with extra mustard waiting for us when we opened the door. This continued for many years, even without my brother, on into high school. Two then became my regular order – with extra mustard, of course.

Years later I entered college. Though years had passed and I had moved, a White Castle waitress would see me coming on my way from classes to work and she’d always have my Sliders® ready. By now, my regular order was comprised of four burgers, always with extra mustard. This went on for six years – the routine never changed – and I never lost my taste and appreciation for Sliders.

I am now seventy. I have made it through violin lessons, undergraduate college and graduate school and have led a good and prosperous life. I even play the violin for my own enjoyment now! All this because of White Castle.


Colleen Kish
Hof_vote

(10 Cravers Agree)

Colleen Kish

Warren, MI



Dan Mack, proud sibling of Colleen Kish wrote:

In the summer of 1991, I was stationed in Holy Loch, Scotland, fixing submarines for the U.S. Navy. My sister Colleen came to visit me and brought along a little something special.

Colleen had put 25 frozen cheeseburgers in a small cooler, which she had then put inside her suitcase. She then smuggled them to me, escorting the Sliders® from Detroit to Glasgow. I don’t know if I ever asked her what she said when customs asked if she had anything to declare. Some things you just don’t want to know, like how to explain cheeseburgers in your luggage if they are found.

I had some cheeseburgers the day she arrived. Being a good sister, she was kind enough not to eat any, knowing what a treat they were for me. The next day, I took some of the remaining Sliders to the ship where some lucky co-workers and I polished them off. The smell of those steam-grilled burgers wafted throughout our ship. Many people stopped by our shop and commented that it smelled like a White Castle. A few select people got a delicious cheeseburger, but most got only the scent and an assurance that any cheeseburgers were just their imagination. Now it can be told: Yes, there were White Castles on the USS Simon Lake and they were better than you remembered them!

For the above, I feel Colleen Kish should receive the highest award a civilian can get from White Castle – entrance into the Craver’s Hall of Fame.


Debbie Martin
Hof_vote

(199 Cravers Agree)

Debbie Martin

Indianapolis, Indiana



In 1966, I met a man named Lloyd. He worked the late shift, so when we went out, the only place that was always open was White Castle. We loved White Castles almost as much as we loved each other. We dated like this for quite a while, but we broke up. I also worked at the time and made $1.65 an hour. On almost all my paydays, I would take my mom and six younger brothers and sisters out to eat, always to White Castle. It made me miss him so much.

One payday, about nine months after Lloyd and I had broken up, I was standing in line at White Castle when my little twin brothers told me that I should look behind us. When I turned around and saw Lloyd smiling at me, I knew I still loved him. I gave my family their food and I went and sat with him. We ate White Castles and talked about our future.

This year we will celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. Lloyd’s family told me after we were married that he had said he just had to go back to his White Castle-eating girl. And after all these years, two daughters and a granddaughter, we still love each other and we still love White Castle. When we’re out running errands, we still get the Crave. Lloyd always looks at me and says, “Do you want to stop and get a sack of White Castles to take home?” I just look at him and smile.


Michelle Purcell
Hof_vote

(31 Cravers Agree)

Michelle Purcell

Mt. Pulaski, IL



My name is Michelle Purcell and I am a Craver. Actually, my friends are surprised that I have not officially incorporated anything White Castle into my legal name.

My kitchen walls are a stencil motif of the White Castle building profile. Previously, just the border at the top had the motif. But when White Castle changed their wallpaper, I had no choice but to change mine too.

My right ankle bears a White Castle-pattern tattoo. My license plate displays “wtcstl 1,” with a matching White Castle license plate holder, of course. My kitchen cabinets are filled with White Castle memorabilia. I even bought a Chicago jigsaw puzzle, which displays the city’s landmarks. Somehow there were no White Castles on it. But don’t worry, I fixed that.

I actually live in a small town in southern Illinois. My closest Craver fix would be quite a drive to St. Louis or Chicago. Even though I’m far from a White Castle, I still can’t deny my Craver Ways.


John Shelly
Hof_vote

(11 Cravers Agree)

John Shelly

Miami, FL



I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1962, I went to work with TWA at the airport. My job was to load the baggage, cargo and in-flight meals onto the aircraft. Many of us worked the night shift while we were going to flight school during the day. Our lunch was often White Castle. As we had about 75 people working the late shift, we placed huge orders for several hundred burgers. The local

White Castle thought it was a prank the first few times until we actually showed up to pay; then they believed us.

Over the years, many co-workers were transferred to different parts of the country. Most of my co-workers were now in cities that didn’t have a White Castle. But the airline maintained a phone system that allowed instant communication throughout their entire system. So during our shift in St. Louis, we would take orders from all over the TWA system and then load the White Castles onto the next flight that was headed their way.

As word of our little delivery system spread, one of our agents out west decided to throw a White Castle party and ordered 500 burgers. We put them on a plane and a helpful flight attendant kept them in the oven and heated them up just before arrival.

We definitely heard from the management staff on that one, as that particular flight had no meal service, but the passengers could smell the burgers heating up in the oven. We were lucky our Slider® system survived after that!


David Silvian
Hof_vote

(16 Cravers Agree)

David Silvian

Bogart, GA



I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, went through college there and left at the age of 21, some 42 years ago. As a young man, I visited the White Castle near my home at least twice a week, never realizing that I had developed the Crave for those burgers.

Now that I don’t live anywhere near a White Castle, I have driven from my home in Georgia to Nashville, Tennessee – a 5-hour drive – at least once a month just to have lunch at White Castle. I’ve looked over my old calendars and during the past 10 years, I have made 290 trips just for a White Castle!


William, Christina & Joshua Thomason
Hof_vote

(26 Cravers Agree)

William, Christina & Joshua Thomason

Dearborn, MI



One snowy Christmas Eve, about 10 o’clock at night, we were on our way home for the evening. “Oh no! We don’t have any cookies for Santa,” I said to my husband. Our 3-year-old son started to cry. “He won’t come now,” he said. We looked around for a party store. Nothing was open. Then we saw White Castle. It was open! We stopped and bought two burgers. “Santa will like our house best,” our son said. We set the burgers on the cookie plate with a beer.

We’ve done that every year since. Our son is 5 1/2 now and if you ask him what Santa likes best, he’ll say, “Two White Castle burgers and a beer!”


What's Your Story?

Tell us what makes you legendary before July 31, 2015 and earn a free gift.

Submit Your Story