By Julie Ann Madden
Hummer’s Roadhouse patrons are inviting all to celebrate the fifth annual “Matt Bohr Day” with them this weekend.
It’ll be a two-day event with plenty of fun — all in honor of one of Hummer’s Roadhouse’s lucky gamblers.
“A buddy and I went into Hummer’s Roadhouse to play Pull-Tabs five years ago,” explained Matt Bohr of Akron, who grew up in Westfield.
A Pull-Tab is a gambling ticket that is sold as a means to play a Pull-Tab game. The object of the ticket is to open the perforated windows on the back of the ticket and match the symbols inside the ticket to the winning combinations on the front of the ticket. The winning Pull-Tab ticket is turned in for a monetary prize, according to the online source Wikipedia.
A few others were also playing the game under the guidance of then-owner Bill Hummel but none were having any luck.
“Earlier my friend and I pooled our money,” said Bohr, who got a $25 winning off a 50-cent Pull-Tab that afternoon.
A while later, he won $50 off a $1 Pull-Tab, said Bill.
And just before supper time when Bohr and his friend were leaving the bar, Bohr won the $100 Grand Prize off a $1 Pull-Tab.
“It’s your day,” said Bill, who also happens to be the town’s mayor.
“You heard the mayor — it’s Matt Bohr Day,” said one of Bohr’s high school friends, Dave Olson of Akron.
Now, Bill and Dave claim it was also Matt’s birthday but Matt says it wasn’t but the lucky day was in the month of March.
Also on March 12 of that year, Matt married Beth in Las Vegas — his luckiest day yet he told The Akron Hometowner.
“If anybody deserves (such as honor), it’s Matt — he’s an ex-Marine,” said Bill. “A really nice man.”
“Matt’s a good friend,” said Dave, “and he’s a good sport about it.”
Bill and Dave composed a cheer that goes like this:
“Happy Matt Bohr Day To You,
Happy Matt Bohr Day,
I love Matt,
You love Matt,
Happy Matt Bohr Day.”
Once the cheer is sung, the patrons toast Matt, hollering, “To the Bohr.”
Since Matt’s birthday didn’t always fall on a weekend, the day of the annual Las Vegas NASCAR race became Matt Bohr Day in Westfield. That’s this Sunday.
The second year, his friends created “Matt Bohr Day” shirts which look just like the uniform shirts Matt wears to work at Masaba Inc. in Vermillion, S.D. — except instead of saying “Masaba,” they say Hummer’s Roadhouse on one front side. On the back side, it says “To the Bohr.”
Each shirt has the name “Matthew” on the front so everybody is “Matthew” for the day, said Dave.
The third year, they talked Jefferson Raceway Park driver Zach Ankrum of Sioux City to bring his race car to Hummer’s Roadhouse. That first year, it came without a motor but Matt Bohr Day participants enjoyed having their photograph taken with it. Ankrum Racing is sponsored by Hummer’s Roadhouse, and Ankrum is the grandson of Dee and Earl Hilliker of Akron.
This was also the year the celebration became a two-day event….if they were going to have a Matt Bohr Day, they had to have a Matt Bohr Eve Day.
People have stopped by Hummer’s Roadhouse, unknowingly joining the celebration. Then later have called Hummer’s Roadhouse, asking for Matt and sang him the cheer, spreading the fun to such towns as Vermillion, S.D., and Remsen, said Dave.
On this Saturday, Matt Bohr Eve Day will begin at 5 p.m. and Matt Bohr Day will begin at 1 p.m. this Sunday.
People have already been calling Hummer’s Roadhouse to confirm the date of Matt Bohr Day, said Bill.
So, this year they are expanding the celebration by adding a Matt Bohr Day queen pageant — although on Sunday, Matt had no idea what his friends were planning for this year’s Matt Bohr Day.
“There are no rules yet for the pageant,” said Dave. “We’ll just see who comes to compete.”
At 1 p.m., Sunday, Matt Bohr Day participants are going to hold a “kazoo parade” up and down Union Street (which is Westfield’s main street). The kazoo musical instruments are made of toilet paper rolls with waxed paper over an end, secured with a rubber band.
The queen will get a wheel barrow ride, compliments of Matt Bohr’s pushing skills as part of the parade.
“It’s about as red-neck as it gets,” said Dave. “It’ll be quite the spectacle.”
Matt Bohr Day will continue through the NASCAR race, which begins at 2:30 p.m.
“It’s just a bunch of silliness,” said Matt.
“It’s a community-fun thing,” said Bill. “If you don’t drink beer, drink Hummer’s Roadhouse’s 1919 keg root beer.”
“Matt Bohr Day” bar specials include $2 beer and a large combo pizza, 10 wings and an order of bread sticks for $24.99.
For more information, call Hummer’s Roadhouse at 568-3557.