Notes from the Hotline, 7-11-09

I haven’t been inspired to write anything recently on the blog and I apologize. Been waiting for the weather to be more summer-like I guess. So I decided to post about a couple of blogs I have been checking out recently, in fact they are already links on my blog roll.

Rick Sebak’s Blog

Rick Sebak photo courtesy WQED

Most people who are into the American roadside either by documenting with photos, collecting memorabilia or just plain travelling on the old roads (or all of the above) may also be familiar with Rick Sebak’s wonderful documentary type programs he has produced on PBS through the Pittsburgh affiliate WQED.

Programs such as Pennsylvania Diners and Other Roadside Restaurants, An Ice Cream Show, A Hot Dog Program, A Program About Unusual Buildings & Other Roadside Stuff as well as Sandwiches That You Will Like and the more recent A Ride Along The Lincoln Highway are some of my favorites. Rick has a very entertaining blog at

I recently corresponded with Rick through Facebook and found out we have a mutual admiration “thing” going on. He told me he has been aware of me and Diner Hotline for a number of years and I of course told him how much of a fan I was of his documentaries! Anyway you can check out his blog and also if you are interested, there are links to purchase his various shows on DVD as well. For more info on Rick check out… and

Mod Betty’s Retro Raodmap blog

An old acquaintance, Beth Lennon started a blog recently which I highly recommend. I met Beth a number of years ago through Randy Garbin of Roadside Magazine. In fact at that time, Beth and I were both living in my old hometown of Medford, Mass. Well in the intervening years Beth has gotten married and moved down to Phoenixville, PA (actually not too far from where Randy lives in Jenkintown). Beth has some great photos on Flickr which I had seen previously, prior to the start of her blog.

She follows different aspects of the roadside that interest her. In fact as I write this, she is having a retro yard sale, the info for this is posted on her blog as well as details of this weekend’s annual Blob Fest in her hometown of Phoenixville. FYI the 1957 cult movie The Blob was shot in and around Phoenixville and Downingtown, PA with famous scenes at Phoenixville’s  Colonial Theater and the Downingtown Diner in Downingtown.

Check out her blog at