Tony Packo’s remembers Burt Reynolds, who began bun-signing tradition

Tony Packo’s remembers Burt Reynolds, who began bun-signing tradition

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Legendary actor, Burt Reynolds died Thursday at the age of 82.

But did you know he has a unique connection to the Glass City?

Thousands of buns signed by celebrities, line the walls of Tony Packo's restaurant and it was Burt Reynolds who signed the first one and started the tradition.

It was 1972, a big year for Burt Reynolds, starring in his breakthrough role in Deliverance.

Tony Packo said he remembers it like it was yesterday.

"We worked out an arrangement with the Stranahan production company that we would feed the cast after the last show on a Saturday night. So the first performance happened to be with Burt Reynolds. So he came in and everybody was going crazy because he was probably in his late 30s and I was 25 at the time and the cool thing was, was somebody suggested 'why doesn't he sign something?' and somebody said, 'sign a bun,'" recalled Packo.

That original bun didn't hold up, but Reynolds returned to sign a couple more longer-lasting foam buns. But he signed more than that, including a copy of his Cosmopolitan centerfold that turned the actor into a sex symbol.

There's also a series of photos of Tony's sister Nancy, getting a kiss from the famous actor.

But it was that first bun that changed the experience of dining at Tony Packo's.

"It's fascinating just coming here and reading the buns," said restaurant guest, Larry Leguire.

"If you would actually walk around the restaurant and read the names, it's amazing how many people were here," added  Dan Norman, another restaurant guest.