A Remembrance of Warren Argo

An article on Morningtown Pizza when they first opened in 1969.

I first met Warren Argo around 1964 when we both were part of the Fresno Folk Music Club. In 1968, while hitchhiking from Berkeley to San Diego (to visit my friend, Jerry Houck), I stopped at Warren’s place in Topanga Canyon to see what he was up to. I had just been freed from a 2-year hitch in the Navy (where I happened to have had a second job as a pizza cook). Warren asked me what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I said I had this idea of starting a pizza parlor. He asked where; I said I didn’t know. He asked how was I going to pay for it; I said I didn’t know.

The next morning, Warren drove me out to the freeway to continue my trip to San Diego. On the way, he said he had to stop at a bank. I stayed in the car. When he returned he handed me a cashier’s check for $2500. He said that might help get me started with the pizza parlor. There was no talk of repayment, “spend it wisely,” etc. Just the check.

I don’t ever recall having a more heart-opening experience. That single act of kindness and generosity changed my outlook on life right then and there.

Morningtown Pizza and Subs was located in a converted garage at 4110 Roosevelt Way NE.

Later that year I found myself in Seattle and had just rented a 2-car garage on Roosevelt Way with plans of making it into a pizza parlor. During the holidays, I went back to Fresno and ran into Warren at the New Year’s party at Sweet’s Mill. I told him about the place in Seattle and invited him to come help build it.

He and Linda Laing showed up in Seattle about 3 weeks later. He came to the “shop” the next day with a van full of tools and asked, “What’s your most pressing job?” I said a new front door needed to be built. He worked for 5 or 6 days on that door. I couldn’t believe how sturdy and well-built that door was. I remember saying, “that door will last longer than you.” And apparently that door is still there.

I appreciated the old-time music that was always around Morningtown (that was the name of the pizza place). But my personal connection with Warren was usually through science. He told lots of stories about Richard Feynman (I believe Warren took some classes from Feynman), and eventually I got to be a big Feynman fan myself.

Warren had a persona similar to Feynman’s. They both delighted in explaining things and in the process of explaining. And they both liked to help others. Warren certainly helped me in many ways over the years. It’s wonderful to see so many postings on Facebook from people who knew him.

– Tom Ninkovich H/T>

Morningtown Pizza & Subs 1969 Vintage Men’s T-Shirt

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