Said Nancy Saul: "Ernie Edwards was a man who knew how to bloom where he was planted. Not everyone would have considered Broadwell (pop. under 100), Illinois, an exciting career, but Ernie made the most of it. He was a purveyor not only of food, but in a style of P.T. Barnum, also the high jester of roadside humor and tall tales."
I'd say she pretty-well summed up Ernie right there. That famous "Pighip Sandwich," which, alas, I never had the opportunity to eat. We didn't get into Route 66 until 2002, long after Ernie and Fran had closed the restaurant. We came close once on a Route 66 Association of Illinois Motor Tour, but got to his place too late. The earlier folks got one apiece, though.
According to Edwards, what made it so good was that it was "made only from the left ham of the pig" which "was always the most tender because pigs scratch themselves with their right hind legs."
That famous sandwich got its name when a local farmer came in and asked "for a piece of that pig hip." Ernie liked the name and that became the name of his restaurant.
Friend Lulu says she always had a fool-proof way of knowing when Ernie was getting ready to launch into a tall tale. Ask her what it was.
Efforts are underway to fix his restaurant sign which is now down. Artifacts from the Pig Hip restaurant will eventually be on display after The Mill restaurant in Lincoln is opened.
Gone, But Never to Be Forgotten. --RoadDog