Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by dh66, Dec 2, 2013.
The one that is sad for me is the
amusement park from my youth.
Growing up in central NJ, a prominent family owned Raritan Oil - a large local oil company which had lot of branded local gas stations and whose trucks you saw everywhere on the roads and filling businesses and homes' oil tanks. The family was well known, wealthy and involved in the community. But even in my time, as the second generation was aging and the third coming up, you could see it all slipping - there was a scandal about kickbacks to some middlemen (I don't remember the details, but one of them spent a short time in jail) and a few of the kids got into trouble (tossed out of college / drugs).
I moved to NYC in the late '80s, when the company was still quite successful even with the above noted issues, and hadn't thought about it for years. Then, something stirred my memory and I Googled the company and this image came up ⇩. For perspective, I remember when they built that new "main office" and, at the time, it was shiny, new and impressive as behind it was a huge gas station, oil depot and truck parking lot where their fleet of trucks would park for the night. In my not-at-all-wealthy area, this was a big, profitable businesses that stood out. For many years, my dad or mom would drive up and I'd run in with our payment - a few paces inside the glass door was a step up to where a woman behind a bank-teller-like glass window took payments and handed out a receipt.
From the internet, it appears the company declined in the '90s and was sold to a larger one. Seeing this image really depressed me. I don't know what caused the decline - maybe they brought it on themselves - but it still made me sad to see a once very successful business, family (and building) come to this.
Bist du Berliner?
I know the feeling. Half of the businesses I've worked for in my life no longer exist.
But the one that bothers me the most is the one my dad worked for while I was growing up--Pan-Pacific Fisheries, a tuna cannery on Terminal Island that was at one time considered to be the most modern, state-of-the-art facility in the industry, and later became the only "full-service" cannery in the continental U.S.. Opened in 1946, they ceased operations in 1995 for a number of reasons. Because of the facility's history, conservation groups in California won't allow it's demolition so it's become something of a "white elephant", now occupied by transients and/or homeless people looking for shelter. I spent a lot of time there in my younger days and have fond memories of the place, so it saddens me to see it sitting there unused, unwanted, and covered in graffiti.
Nein, aber das Foto erinnert mich an meine Jugend.
Wir hatten einen ähnlichen Vergnügungspark.
I remember very similar setups in my area -- there was a whole row of coal yards, oil depots, gasoline bulk plants, and fuel-oil jobbers along the Belfast, Maine waterfront when I was growing up. Texaco, Shell, Cities Service, and Amoco all had offices down there, and it was always kind of exciting to go there with my grandmother and see all the big tanks on cement pedestals and such. Every trace of that is gone now -- that entire area has been fully and completely gentrified, with manicured sidewalks and parks, and twee boaty stuff. But I liked it better the way I first knew it, a working place where working people worked.
That place sounds like it was fantastic and much bigger version of Raritan Oil. I loved the scale of Raritan Oil - the gas station behind the "executive offices" was for trucks so everything was large sized, plus there was a truck repair and maintenance facility with all its great sounds and sights (sparks flying, heavy metal being banged around, guys yelling stuff to each other, etc.) and then a field-sized parking lot of all uniform trucks (with them parked grouped by the few different sizes).
When I left the area in the '80s, the story was a classic generational one. The first generation - three brothers, all in their seventies by then, had started with one gas station and would still "walk" the stations, talk with the mechanics, grab the other end of heavy item being moved, etc. The second generation stayed mainly in the executive offices (and, as noted, one got into some trouble with kickbacks / books' juggling and spent some time in jail) and the third generation didn't want any part of "that dirty business," but gladly lived off the money it provided.
My guess, if the septuagenarian first generation was still in charge, the business might still be there (or would have been sold from a position of strength) and, maybe, all those workers doing work would still be there. You want a sustainable job, make sure your managers and the management of the company are smart - not everyone can run a business.
Is that the North Milwaukee or South Milwaukee they used in the Crime Story intro?
The Building The Police Are Standing In Front Of At The End Of The Opening And Closing Credits / Superdawg; 6363 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago
In May of 1948, Superdawg® was established at the corner of Milwaukee, Devon and Nagle in Chicago. Superdawg® continues to be family owned and operated in the same location today.
In 1999, Superdawg® underwent a makeover while retaining the original building and spirit. The classic '40's drive-in was updated with the addition of neon-studded canopies across the parking lot, a crisp new speaker system and a cozy, indoor dining room. The original rooftop figures were refurbished so that they can continue to serve as a Chicago landmark for years to come.
"In May of 2009 ground was broken for a second location 11 miles north on Milwaukee Avenue in Wheeling, IL. Every effort was taken to recreate the look and feel of the Milwaukee and Devon location. The blue tower, the canopies on the parking lot along with the ordering speakers, the neon and diamonds along the building and canopies, the tile inside and most importantly, the trademark Maurie and Flaurie figures on the roof all were painstakingly incorporated into the plans. Much of the equipment was custom built as well. Over the next six months, anticipation grew for a new Superdawg to open. In January, 2010, Maurie, Flaurie and the rest of the family were proud to say, "HIYA!!...From the bottom of our pure beef hearts, Thanks for stopping”!
Since 1948, Maurie, Flaurie, their children and grandchildren have scrupulously adhered to one goal: "always to serve you in a manner that will make you return
and bring your friends, and new generations, with you.”
by Heather Cherone.
Maurie Berman, Founder of Superdawg, - Norwood Park ...
Thanks, Jake...it appears the Wheeling location wasn't around for Crime Story in 1986.
Putting the original Superdawg on my "must see" list, when I finally go back to ChiTown.
No doubt we all have our own favorites from our neck of the woods.
This place is not much to look at, but the hotdogs were delicious.
I posted this on local forum and everyone has fond memories of this hole in the wall spot!
The place is gone now.
Someday I would love to go to Fading Fast territory....besides the pizza, I’m sure they have
delicious hotdogs like I remembered. I’m optimistic!
Roadside near Birmingham, Alabama, 1936.
Those anthropomorphized hot dogs are disturbing.
.... I know what you mean.
I miss them too!
I'm not a big hotdog guy, but if you do get here, my suggestions are
This classic - it serves up a decent dog and is an incredible time-warp to visit:
This is a local favorite - and another classic (80+ year old) - that defines NYC fast eating and the general hustle and bustle of the city (and serves up a decent dog). Also, the inside is so jammed it's hilarious (and very NYC) both the workers and customer have no room to move:
This next one - Shake Shack - only opened in '04, but this is the original location (now it's expanded to a chain and public company with all the baggage that brings - but the original location is still great) and, IMHO, serves up a really good dog:
River Hill Cafe Ala. 1936
Gary's Thick Shakes, Jacksonville, Fla. (John Margolies/Library of Congress)
Been there, many times...and the shakes were good.
The wife grew up on the northside of Jax, not far from Gary's, and this was where her dad would take the kids for ice cream, on the rare occasions they "went out" for a treat.
Alas, it's an empty and deserted building, now.
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⇧ Nice story about your wife. We had a Dairy Queen - of a similar vintage to Gary's - not that far from where I grew up and my Mom would occasionally take me there for ice-cream as a treat. To this day, I get a little jolt of happiness just seeing places like that. Shame that someone isn't trying to revive Gary's - if that building sat in that condition in NYC, a Millennial / Hipster would be restoring it as we speak getting it ready to be reopened.
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