Diner Hotline Weblog – an even dozen years and counting….

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I am sure a fair portion of people who read this blog are aware that Diner Hotline had started out as the first ever regular column that appeared in two of the publications made available to the members of the Society for Commercial Archeology (SCA). It first showed up in 1989 in the original News Journal which was a newsletter for the organization. Later on in 1991, the publication was split into a newsletter called the SCA News and a magazine called the SCA Journal. I was given a choice as to where I wanted Diner Hotline to appear and chose the Journal. The column ran until September of 2007. Shortly thereafter, I was influenced by my good friend Brian Butko to think about morphing the Hotline into a blog.

So on October 31, 2007 the Diner Hotline Weblog made it’s debut with a short post. Over the years I have kept true to my mission of posting about “Diners, Drive-ins and other Roadside Stuff”, making it a little more diversified than the original Diner Hotline column.

https://dinerhotline.wordpress.com/about/

Although the frequency of posts has diminished greatly over the last 6 years or more, I am committed to keeping this alive with the occasional post as the spirit moves me. I am currently expanding the digital library of photos I have shot over the last 39 years. I have completed the 35mm slide scanning and currently am working on the 3 plus years of 35mm prints I had shot prior to switching to slide film. The scanning and cleaning of the prints has proved to be hugely time-consuming but I am very pleased with the results thus far.

I hope that people will continue to check in here from time to time and like what I have to say. Also, I do have some Facebook pages that I post photos, etc to, including “Diner Hotline”, “Got Diners”, “Classic Diners of Massachusetts”, New Hampshire Diners, Classic Granite State Eateries” and of course my personal Facebook page “Larry Cultrera”….

Diner Hotline weblog – 8 years old today!!!

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October 31, 2015 is of course Halloween, but also the date marks the 8th anniversary of the creation of this blog! As some of my readers know, Diner Hotline started as the first regular column to ever appear in the publications of the Society for Commercial Archeology (SCA). It was suggested to me by Mike Jackson (then president of the SCA) in the Fall of 1988 during a phone conversation that I could possibly write a piece to appear in the SCA News Journal. The News Journal was the organization’s only regular publication at the time that was a combination newsletter/magazine.

When he suggested to me about writing a column, I first thought… I am not a writer, but then again I read a lot and could probably relate personal tales associated with diners and happen to have had some good info and sources at my disposal to possibly attempt something like this. I also thought that it was an opportunity to be one of the few “non-academic voices” (basically the average everyday roadside enthusiast) contributing to the publication. I even recall saying to Mike… I already have a name for the column, “Diner Hotline”, which had been a sort of inside joke between myself, David Hebb , Dick Gutman and John Baeder. I had been known to call any and all of these guys on the phone when I had some juicy tid-bits of news and other information about a diner. As soon as they answered the phone, I would preface by saying “DINER HOTLINE, DINER HOTLINE” and then impart the info!

Thus, Diner Hotline became a reality and the first short piece appeared in the Spring 1989 edition (Volume 10, Number 1) of the SCA News Journal continuing through to when the publication separated into two different entities, the SCA News (a newsletter) and the SCA Journal (a full fledged magazine) The News was published more frequently while the Journal was twice a year. I opted for Diner Hotline to continue in the Journal (only two deadlines a year). My Hotline contributions went though a whole host of Journal editors over the years and continued until  the Fall 2007 edition of the SCA Journal when I retired the column.

Shortly after I retired the column (almost immediately actually) my good friend Brian Butko mentioned to me in passing that I should start a blog! So I asked him some questions about how to go about doing this and by the last day of October of 2007, the blog was born!

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So I want to mention that coming up really soon, I will be reviewing the new book about my pal John Baeder (John Baeder’s Road Well Taken). Written by Jay Williams, it is an extremely heavy book (figuratively as well as literally). It is filled with many of his paintings (diner and non-diner) and delves into John’s psyche and how all the influences in his life lead him to become one of the internationally renowned artists of our time.

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Also, I have another Author event coming up on Friday evening, November 6th at Gibson’s Bookstore (Concord’s indie bookstore since 1898) in downtown Concord, NH. Starting at 5:30pm with a small slide presentation followed by a book signing for my New Hampshire Diners: Classic Granite State Eateries. Gibson’s Bookstore is located at 45 South Main St, Concord, NH 03301

http://www.gibsonsbookstore.com/event/nh-diners

Notes from the Hotline, 12-5-2009

The paintings of Gordon Inyard


Gordon’s painting of the Pineland Diner at a former location
somewhere on U.S. Rte. 1 in Maine. It is currently located in 
the town of Ellsworth, ME and operating as Maidee’s International
Cafe. It is now enclosed within another building.


Gordon’s painting of the Yankee Diner, Charlton, Mass.

I first wrote about Gordon Inyard in the “hard-copy” version of Diner Hotline back in the Spring-Summer, 1995 issue of the SCA Journal. It was in the “Diner as an Artform” piece in which I featured the work of Mary Michael Shelley, David Noyd as well as Gordon.


Gordon’s painting of the sign that belongs to a diner formerly known
as the Blue Crystal Diner, a Mountain View Diner located in
Long Island City, NY

I knew of Gordon and his work possibly through Randy Garbin (I cannot actually remember). I believe we had had some conversations by telephone as well as some correspondence. In 1992, my wife Denise and I had spent the Memorial Day weekend on Long Island, NY and had actually arranged to meet Gordon when he was showing some of his paintings at a gallery in Greenport.


Gordon’s painting of Leo’s Diner formerly of Rochester, NH

Gordon’s paintings are strongly remeniscent of John Baeder’s style, very photorealistic. We have remained in contact sparodically over the years and I thought it was time again to get his name out there for all my newer readers since I’ve brought Diner Hotline to the internet. Gordon has a website that people can check out at…. http://gordoninyard.com/


Gordon’s painting of the Arrow Motel sign

Coffee Mug Logos I have designed

Not long ago I posted photos of my coffee mug collection. I mentioned that a few of the mugs in the collection had logos that I designed. I am proud of these and my philosophy is that when I design a diner coffee mug, I do the design fairly accurate using a photo for the basis of the line-art. I then email the artwork to Westford China of Nashua, NH who create the coffee mugs for the particular customer.

Rosebud Diner

The first mug logo I designed was for the Rosebud Diner in Somerville, Mass. It was  printed on one side for a right-handed person with the logo facing away. This artwork was created directly from a photograph.

Central Diner

The second mug logo was for the Central Diner of Millbury, Mass. This was also printed on one side although it was for a left-handed person with the logo facing away. This also was created directly from a photo.

Tumble Inn Restaurant

Jack & Jo Ann Neary asked me to design a logo for their coffee mug back around 2002. Being that the Tumble Inn (located in Saugus, Mass.) is a store-front type diner, Jo Ann wanted a logo representing the interior. I shot some interior shots one day and created line-art from one of those shots. They also wanted printing on two sides.

Tumble Inn Diner

A year ago Bob Penta, the current owner of the Tumble Inn changed the name from “Restaurant” to “Diner”. When he found out I did the original logo he asked me to update it to reflect the changes.

Lunch Box Diner

When I designed the Lunch Box Diner coffee mug logo for Scott and Kristen Drago I tried to convert a photo to line-art but had a difficult time with it. I then resorted to my Adobe Illustrator skills and actually created the line-art by drawing over the photo, using it as a template. This worked very well and has become my preferred method for the creation of line-art.

Tim’s Diner

I recently designed a logo for Tim’s Diner in Leominster, Mass. It has not been actually ordered and printed yet but should be within a short time. I told Tim his logo that he has for his t-shirts would work well but he said he wanted the diner to look the way it used to before it was hit by an automobile and got a brick facade under the windows. he knew I had a couple of photos from the early 1980’s and wanted me to use one of those for the creation of the line-art. I enjoyed doing this one as it is one of my most favorite diners. As I tell Tim almost everytime I go there, I wished I lived closer as I would be there all the time!