Thursday, May 14, 2015

Blast From The Past - Home Town Collages

I have a great affection for old-school diners and they have shown up in my art for many years.  In a recent conversation about diners one has known, I recalled the neighborhood diner where I grew up in Philadelphia.  It was a classic dining car place and I mostly remember hanging out with my teen-aged friends and ordering Cokes and French Fries and hot chocolate in the winter.  Occasionally my family had dinner there.  I also remember having to go on a 'cigarette run' for my mother and buy her Chesterfields from the cigarette machine in the lobby. Apparently one could do that in the 60's.

So I googled 'Wayne Junction Diner' and found a whole Facebook page with photos of the old place, sadly as a ruin.  But the images captured my eye.  When I extracted the menu from one of the images, it wasn't until the collage was finished that I noticed one of the items listed was a 'Taylor Pork Roll Sandwich.'  I never had it there but always loved it.  I always thought of TPR as a Philadelphia regional food, but google told me it originated in New Jersey.

Wayne Junction Diner

So with Memory Lane on a roll, I remembered that near our house there was an industrial water tower on a factory that was shaped and painted like a giant Vicks Vapo Rub jar.  A noticeable thing indeed.  It still exists in rust and patina and is used as a cell phone tower.  

Vicks Tower

Following the groove, I decided to listen to my favorite DJ of my youth, Jerry Blavat. His tag name was 'The Geater With The Heater.'  Back in the day, as they say - early to mid sixties for me, - he had a great radio show that played what were oldies then and current hits.  Music in the doo wop, Motown mode and more.  He also hosted dances.  Our crowd went on Sunday afternoons to the Wagners Ballroom. Friday nights he was at a place called Chez Vou.  These dances were a high point of my teen years and were known for the famous Philly line dances.  He is still going strong, on the radio and hosting oldies in clubs and dances at the Jersey Shore and so on.  You can check him out here streaming online  at Philadelphia's .WXPN.

Geater With The Heater

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Thanks for sharing!