A new book about popular 1970s LP records features a couple of my photos

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Mike Morsch has written a new book that was published this past Spring by Biblio Publishing out of Columbus, Ohio. The book is entitled “The Vinyl Dialogues” and features a whole slew of stories behind some memorable LP record albums from the 1970s as told by the artists who recorded them. Artists like Doug Clifford, the drummer for Creedence Clearwater Revival (and now of Creedence Clearwater Revisted) talking about the band’s “Cosmo’s Factory” album, or Dino Danelli of The Rascals (formerly Young Rascals) talking about the very last album the band produced… “Search and Nearness” and even Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong (Cheech & Chong) talking about their album “Los Cochinos” which featured the hit song “Basketball Jones”, among many others. But the part of the book that especially interested me was the chapter on Daryl Hall & John Oates “Abandoned Luncheonette” album from 1973. Mike ended up using 2 of my circa 1982 photos as well as a scan of the postcard of the Rosedale Diner, the diner that became the Abandoned Luncheonette!

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Mike Morsch at an author’s event held at Burlington By The Book
on a recent trip to Burlington, Iowa (photo courtesy of Mike Morsch)

An experienced journalist, for over 36 years – humor columnist and writer, currently residing in Montgomeryville, PA, Mike Morsch is also the author of the book, “Dancing in My Underwear: The Soundtrack of My Life”. He was the executive editor of Montgomery Newspapers (2003-2013) where his award-winning humor column “Outta Leftfield” has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, the Suburban Newspapers of America and the Philadelphia Press Association. I first heard of Mike Morsch back in February of 2013  thru a piece he wrote about the 40th Anniversary of the release of Daryl Hall & John Oates LP record album “Abandoned Luncheonette”. He actually told the story of the creation of the album as well as Hall & Oates association with the former Rosedale Diner that was depicted on the album cover. The link to that article is here… http://montgomerynews.com/articles/2013/02/13/entertainment/doc511a77017c794300082354.txt?viewmode=fullstory.  I found out in researching for that piece, Mike found my blog post from August 2010 (co-written with Matt Simmons) that told about the album cover from the Rosedale Diner’s point of reference, find it here at… https://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/2010/08/14/the-story-of-the-the-abandoned-luncheonette-aka-the-rosedale-diner/.

When I contacted Mike back then about his piece he said that our blog post was very useful in helping him track down dates so that he had an idea when he went to the local newspaper in Pottstown to research its archives”. He went on to sayIt was a thorough piece and that we had done a lot of good legwork on it” (mostly Matt IMHO).  I subsequently wrote about his piece here at Diner Hotline… https://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/finally-the-abandoned-luncheonette-from-hall-oates-point-of-view/. Morsch also wrote a companion piece that appeared in a prominent music magazine around the same time. He sent me this message with a link…Larry: Here is the second H&O story, which was just put online by American Songwriter magazine: http://www.americansongwriter.com/2013/02/hall-oates/ “. These 2 articles basically became the catalyst for Mike writing his book, The Vinyl Dialogues!

What lead Mike in this direction was his love of popular music. Like a lot of us, he grew up listening to music, originally through exposure to his parent’s record collection and/or radio listening preferences. Usually by the time you are into your early “teens” you develop your own likes and preferences apart from your parents and more in tune with what your generation is currently listening to, and Mike was no exception to this. As he goes on to say in his introduction… “When I was a kid growing up in Central Illinois, my folks had a record collection that consisted of popular music from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s. I played those vinyl albums – Elvis, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Association and many more – so much so I wore them out. By the time the 1970s rolled around and I was in high school, I was more into eight-track tapes, cassettes, big bushy sideburns and bell-bottomed pants”. (“Seventies suave” indeed.) He goes on to say that he “still did not have his own record collection!”

35 years later he decided to change all that when for Christmas of 2012, his wife bought him a turntable, thus facilitating the beginning in earnest of a vinyl record buying spree that continues unabated to the present! He approached this as a personal odyssey to listen to some of his favorite artist’s early work via their purest form of analog recording on vinyl records. Living in the greater Philadelphia area, Morsch had quite a few record stores to choose from to help feed his hunger for vintage LP’s. He goes on to explain that the first album he coveted was the Atlantic Records 1973 release of Daryl Hall & John Oates “Abandoned Luncheonette”! He found a pristine example early on in his search and this ultimately lead to the writing of his new book. He had so much fun writing this book that he is already lining up interviews for a second volume of The Vinyl Dialogues! The story continues…

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The Postcard image (from my collection) of the Rosedale Diner appears on
Page 105 of Mike Morsch’s “The Vinyl Dialogues”

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My 1982 exterior photo of the Abandoned Luncheonette appears on
Page 110 of Mike Morsch’s “The Vinyl Dialogues”

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My 1982 interior photo of the Abandoned Luncheonette appears on
Page 112 of Mike Morsch’s “The Vinyl Dialogues”

I highly recommend this book if your interests include 1970s popular music and how or why some of this came to fruition. It certainly is an enjoyable read! I am always happy to see my photos get published in something other than this blog or my own books, as the acknowledgement is a validation of my passion for doing  a small part in helping to document the American Roadside with my photographs.

Check out Mike’s Facebook page for the book… https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Vinyl-Dialogues/300977096732836 as well as the book’s website… http://www.vinyldialogues.com/ and even the blog… http://vinyldialogues.com/VinylDialoguesBlog/

 

 

 

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World Premiere of Haven Brothers movie… a great time was had by all!

Haven-Brothers movie logo

 

In catching up on my blog posts, I am finally getting around to mentioning about attending the World Premiere of a documentary movie that was held on June 7, 2014 at the historic Columbus Theater in Providence, RI.  The documentary was filmed by Jeff Toste and tells the story of “The Oldest Operating Diner on Wheels” – Haven Brothers Diner of Providence! I had known about the making of this movie as I had been contacted by Jeff  to be interviewed  approximately 2 years or so ago. In fact I did have 2 small appearances within the film and I have to say I was pleased with how I came across! Jeff did an extremely great job in putting together hundreds of interviews to create this highly informative and entertaining film! I was honored to have a small part in it, thanks Jeff! The next 2 photos were shot the day that Jeff interviewed me back in the spring of 2012. The diner had just pulled in to start the daily shift from 5:00 PM til the early morning.

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Haven Brothers Diner, Providence, RI. Circa 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Haven Brothers Diner, Providence, RI. Circa 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

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The sign showing the reserved spot the diner has next door to City Hall in
Providence. Circa 2012 photo by Larry Cultrera

Denise and I drove down to Providence on June 7th and had lunch at the newly restored West Side Diner not too far from the Columbus Theater. When we got to the theater in the early evening we saw old friends Paula Walsh (and her husband Ed) as well as her partner in crime, Denise Bass. I also finally met Chris Martin who is a Facebook friend and long-time acquaintance. He was also one of the people interviewed in the movie. The next few shots show Haven Brothers Diner parked right out in front of the the Theater on the evening of the Premiere!

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Haven Brothers Diner outside of the Columbus Theater, Providence, RI.
Before the World Premiere of the movie, June 7, 2014 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Haven Brothers Diner outside of the Columbus Theater, Providence, RI.
Before the World Premiere of the movie, June 7, 2014 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Haven Brothers Diner outside of the Columbus Theater, Providence, RI.
After the World Premiere of the movie, June 7, 2014 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Haven Brothers Diner outside of the Columbus Theater, Providence, RI.
After the World Premiere of the movie, June 7, 2014 photo by Larry Cultrera

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Haven Brothers Diner outside of the Columbus Theater, Providence, RI.
After the World Premiere of the movie, June 7, 2014 photo by Larry Cultrera

Jeff Toste makes his directorial debut with this movie which is described as a “Feature length documentary” featuring an all Rhode Island music sampler soundtrack…

Haven Brothers: Legacy of the American Diner tells the story of Haven Bros. Diner, the oldest operating diner on wheels. The original “fast food,” the original food truck, this late night lunch cart has diligently served patrons for over 120 years. Located in the birthplace of the American diner, Providence, RI, the documentary centers around the fact that Haven Bros. was almost lost to the modernizing of Providence. The diner was moved from its reserved parking spot next to Providence City Hall, and this was considered blasphemy to its loyal followers.

In the words of lifelong Providence resident and founder of artists’ collaborative AS220, Umberto Crenca, “It’s not just the physical reality of it being here, but the conceptual reality of it being not here. What would be missed?”

Lovers, haters, historians, public officials, college students, and many colorful characters share the history and heartburn of the oldest diner
on wheels. (courtesy http://havenbrothersmovie.com/ ). The Haven Brothers Movie has been recently selected to take part in the Rhode Island International Film Fest and in fact it has won an award! See this link… http://www.providencejournal.com/features/entertainment/movies-tv/20140812-r.i.-international-film-fest-awards-prizes.ece

I highly recommend if you have a chance to see this movie, do it!

Exhibit on Silk City Diners

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My friend Michael Gabriele, Author of The History of Diners in New Jersey (The History Press, 2013) in conjunction with The Lambert Castle Museum is presenting an exhibit on Paterson’s Silk City Diner manufacturing business. It will open on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 and run through October 5, 2014 at the Lambert Castle Museum, 3 Valley Road, Paterson, NJ. There will be a reception on September 21st  which will double as a reunion of sorts for the extended Cooper family who started the Paterson Vehicle Company (manufacturers of the Silk City Diner). I must say that personally, Silk City Diners are quite possibly my favorite as far as the Jersey Diner builders are concerned!

The museum is open from noon to 4 p.m. Attached is a link to the Lambert Castle website and the digital flyer for the exhibit.

http://www.lambertcastle.org/

Central Diner moved from long-time home in Millbury, Massachusetts

I got word the other day from my friend Barry Henley (My Brother’s Place, Webster, Mass.) that the Central Diner was moved from its only operating location in Millbury, Massachusetts this week. The diner is a 1930 vintage Worcester Lunch Car (No. 763) which was built to replace a 1910 vintage Worcester Lunch Car on the same location for the Gillert family. They operated the 1930 diner into the 1980s before retiring and selling the property and business. There were a few operators after the Gillerts and the property that the diner sat on at some point ended up being owned by Millbury National Bank which actually blocked the diner’s inclusion to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places back around the year 2000. It was one of two diners on the multiple property submission by the Massachusetts Historical Commission to refuse the listing, the Edgemere Diner in Shrewsbury was the other one.

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Central Diner in Millbury, Mass. Photo by Larry Cultrera

The Central Diner closed earlier this year after being owned and operated by Chris and Amanda White for at least 10 years. Though capable, the White’s were not the friendliest operators I have come across. It was like night and day between them and the previous owners, Richard and Brigid Gore who were very friendly and personable. I wrote about the diner closing here… https://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/central-diner-closes-future-in-doubt/. There was recent talk that the diner was in danger of being destroyed unless someone came forward to buy and move it from the property. I know there have been possible interested buyers, but none who wanted to make the commitment. So when Barry contacted me thru Facebook, he sent along a link to a news piece about the diner being purchased and moved by Dave Pritchard of Salisbury, Mass. Dave owns Aran Trading, LTD., a company that deals in leasing and selling trucks, trailers and storage systems. Aran Trading is located just behind the former Chubby’s Diner right (Pritchard owns that one also) off I-95 at the Mass./New Hampshire line. Dave has become a sort of diner savior in the last 15 years and at various times has had the Englewood Diner, Fasano’s/Olympian Diner, the Monarch Diner and Miss Newport Diner stored at his yard. He sold the Miss Newport to Auto Dealer Kevin Meehan (Imperial Cars in the little town of Mendon, Mass.) who relocated and set the diner up as the Miss Mendon Diner. The Englewood was sold to New Balance Shoes who moved the diner adjacent to their corporate headquarters in Brighton, Mass. and restored it, using it for corporate functions as the Red Line Diner. The former Monarch Diner of Dover, NH and North Berwick, Maine was sold more recently to Roger Elkus who reopened the diner earlier this year at a new location in Portsmouth as Roger’s Redliner Diner. The last diner on the premises to my knowledge was Fasano’s/Olympian, a 1963 vintage Fodero colonial model that operated in South Braintree, Mass. until the late 1990s.

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Fasano’s/Olympian Diner and the former Monarch Diner at Aran Trading, LTD.
Photo by Larry Cultrera

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The Miss Newport Diner and Englewood Diner at Aran Trading, LTD.
Photo by Larry Cultrera

I took a quick ride up to Salisbury on the morning of August 1st to get some photos and hopefully meet Dave Pritchard (finally, after all these years). I was lucky to find him at the office as he is a busy guy and is not always there! I had a pleasant time chatting with him talking about “diners”. He mentioned something that surprised me but not totally, not only did he have the Central Diner and Fasanao’s/Olympian Diner in the yard, but he also was storing Worcester Lunch Car No. 666, formerly half of the Midway Diner (Shrewsbury). Doug Johnson had this diner for years in his yard in Andover prior to selling the property recently. Doug sent this message after seeing this post… Hi Larry, Actually the Worcester #666 Diner is being stored at Dave Pritchard’s place (in Salisbury) and is for sale $10K. If anyone is interested, please contact me at doug@sunami.com Thanks.

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The Central Diner at Aran Trading, LTD.

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The Central Diner at Aran Trading, LTD.

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Dave Pritchard posing with the Central Diner at Aran Trading, LTD.

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Worcester Lunch Car No. 666, part of the former Midway Diner last operated
on U.S. Rte. 20 in Shrewsbury, Mass. at Aran Trading, LTD

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Worcester Lunch Car No. 666, part of the former Midway Diner last operated
on U.S. Rte. 20 in Shrewsbury, Mass. at Aran Trading, LTD

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Midway Diner, U.S. Rte. 20 Shrewsbury, Mass.Number 636 is the diner on the
left, 4 windows on either side of that door on the left hand side. No. 666 is the diner
closest to me (the photographer) with 3 windows on either side of the door on the right hand
side. Early 1980s photo by Larry Cultrera

I mentioned to Dave Pritchard that I noticed he also had the property a couple of blocks east on Main Street from Aran Trading that has the disguised former Dudley’s Diner on it. He confirmed that it was true and the diner was still inside the building. Below is a screen shot from Google Street View showing the building as it is today. Most people would never know there was a very rare early Sterling Diner buried within this building.

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Google Street View of the former Dudley’s Diner just down Main Street from
Aran Trading, LTD. Dave Pritchard owns this property as well.

The following to photos were from the early 1980s showing the diner before it got covered up.

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Dudley’s Diner the way it looked in June of 1982. Photo by Larry Cultrera

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Dudley’s Diner the way it looked in June of 1982. Photo by Larry Cultrera

The photo below is an exterior view of the same diner when it was brand-new at it’s original location in Ipswich. The diner was moved after a short time and ended up in Salem, Mass., then Claremont, NH before coming to Salisbury Where it was operated by Jimmy Evans who later went on to owning and operating Ann’s Diner also in Salisbury.

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Exterior view of the Strand Diner at it’s original location in Ipswich, Mass.
This became Dudley’s Diner many years later.

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Interior view of the Strand Diner at it’s original location in Ipswich, Mass.
This became Dudley’s Diner many years later.

On another note, the diner I have referred to as Fasano’s/Olympian was bought brand-new by the Fasano Family and operated from 1963 until June of  1998 in South Braintree, Mass. The Fasano’s sold the diner in 1976 and by 1981 Paul Margetis became the owner who operated it as the Olympian Diner until 1998 when he was forced off the property for a new Osco Drug store. Margetis wanted to move the diner to another location nearby but that idea was eventually shot down by the town of Braintree. Ironically Ralph Fasano, the grandson of the original owner stepped in and bought the diner and moved it into storage with the hopes of finding a new location for it. That too never worked out and Dave Pritchard bought the diner. Dave informed me that he has in fact recently sold the diner and it will be moved to Leominster, Mass. in the near future although it is not clear if the new owner will put it into service.