Archive for October, 2009

The Alamo Motel in Ocean City Maryland has a great old neon sign, and the place looks like it used to be a charmer.

The Alamo Ocean City MD

(I have not stayed there myself, but you might want to read the online reviews about this place if you are thinking of staying there. Just sayin!)

The Alamo Motel Sign
12614 Ocean Gateway
Ocean City, MD 21842-9540
(410) 213-1884


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I am happy to report that the Clayton Theatre in Dagsboro DE looks better than ever! The only single screen movie theater in the state of Delaware, it also has a glorious vintage neon sign which is beautiful to behold when lit up. Here’s what I wrote about it back in 2003, in my very first Bystander column, “How To Go To The Movies In Delaware Without Once Setting Foot In A Multiplex”:

Clayton Theatre Dagsboro DE

Joanne Howe knew that she and her husband Ed were destined to own the Clayton Theatre in Dagsboro Delaware. Not only did the movie theater share its name with Joanne’s recently deceased father, but upon entering the lobby they were met with the sight of a vintage poster for the movie “The Sands of Iwo Jima”- where her aforementioned dad fought.They purchased the moviehouse in 2001 and have been continuing the legacy of Sussex county’s only single-screen theatre ever since.

Built in 1948, the Clayton is well maintained and has never had to suffer neglect through an extended closing. The theatre boasts a new paint job and carpets, and while the 315 seats are vintage (though not original to the theatre) they are surprisingly comfortable.

The most striking aspect of the theatre is the towering neon marquee out front. When illuminated-for the first time in 15 years, thanks to the Howes- it acts like a beacon, luring folks from near and far like moths to the screen. Family-friendly, the features are first run and tend to show for a couple of weeks.

The prices are wallet friendly too and can you believe it, snacks are in the civilized $1-3 range. Remember folks, this is typically where theatre owners make money to keep operating, so arrive hungry to help ‘em out.

Clayton Theatre
900 Main St
Dagsboro, DE 19939
(302) 732-3744

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I am thrilled to report that two of the places I wrote back in the day about for my Bystander Unchained column are still going strong! First up we have the vintage costume jewelry and accessories mecca, The Millsboro Bazaar in Millsboro Delaware.

Millsboro Bazaar Millsboro DE

I was in luck today when owner Dave Mayer was behind the counter and I was able to catch up with him to see if anything had changed since the last time I wrote about his emporium of vintage housewares, vintage clothing and vintage jewelry. Now celebrating his 20th year in this location, business is just swell, which was heartening to hear, with this economic climate.

Here’s what I wrote about the Millsboro Bazaar back in June of 2003:

The jewel in the crown of the Millsboro DE Main Street antiques selection is the Millsboro Bazaar, especially if your favorite jewel is a big glittery rhinestone. Owned and operated for over 14 years by sole proprietor Dave Mayer, the Bazaar is home to what could easily be the largest selection of costume jewelry on the East Coast. Dave confides in us that he probably has as much in storage as he does on display- which is mind boggling as you begin to examine case after case of baubles, brooches and bright shiny bangles.

Vintage Costume Jewelry Millsboro Bazaar Delaware

If you like to adorn your abode as well as your bod this is the place to go for mid-century (20th, of course) dish’n’glassware, furniture, lamps and ephemera. Don’t forget to check out the bargain basement and as-is room too! Everything in the place is neat and attractively arranged, making it easy to furnish your retro beachside bungalow in one visit.

Speaking of your mod bod, head up to the second level and you will find vintage clothing at every turn. The ceiling almost totally obscured by colorful hats, there are rooms filled with clothes for guys and gals. Whether you are Twiggy skinny or broad where a broad should be broad, there is bound to be something here from the era when your body type was in vogue. Find something to flatter your figure!

There always seems to be a sale of sorts going on at the Bazaar, so it is easy to coordinate an ensemble from hat to shoe without emptying out your vintage purse. Also you can rest assured that you will not see someone wearing togs like yours when you are out and about- can’t guarantee that at the mall.

Millsboro Bazaar
238 W Main St
Millsboro, DE 19966
(302) 934-7413

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The Milford Diner has a kickin’ diner sign!

Milford Diner Delaware( I just wish they didn’t cover over the diner!)

Milford Diner Sign
1042 N Walnut St
Milford, DE 19963-1222
(302) 422-6111

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Abandoned Luncheonette 2009 3

Driving down Route 113 in Ellendale Delaware I caught a glimpse of stainless steel and red behind the foliage. I turned the car around immediately and honestly didn’t see the Keep Out sign as I pulled in the driveway for a closer look – I only see it now from across the highway as I type this on my phone from the parking area of the Ellendale Tract of the Redden State forest. (I  mention that as that was actually what I was looking at right before I spied the diner, and it’s just across the street, if you’re in the area and looking for a landmark.)
I am thinking this might be a diner that used to be English’s Chicken, if only because I was just wondering whatever happened to that diner and I think it was around here. You never know what you’re gonna find on a retro road trip!!! Sent from my iPhone

UPDATE! Our pals at Roadside have the insider skinny about this diner, it’s for sale. Read about it on their website:

Roadside / Diner For Sale: English’s Diner

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Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of content this week,  I’ve actually been busy reviewing slides of my dad’s that I got scanned. It’s quite a trip back into a time before I was born, when my dad was a handsome young buck in the Navy. In these he’s just about the same age as the young execs in my fave TV show Mad Men, so I have dubbed this collection of slides “Dad Men” :-)

I came across a few slides that I thought might be of interest to to Retro Roadmap Readers, and I was wondering if any of you might know where they were taken? I can ask dad next time I see him but I don’t think he’ll know them by my description over the phone.

These were taken some time in the late 50’s early 60’s- pre 1963, the year my folks were married. Probably in the MA, NH, RI area from the looks of the surrounding photos. Any ideas, sleuths?

dad-men-thrifty-ranch-market-accident-retro-roadmap(That’s my dad in green with the jaunty hat!)

dad-men-belmont-motel-accident-retro-roadmap(it’s funny b/c the scan place said this one above was Bad Media, but I think it’s a total keeper!)


OK all you Joe Hardys and Nancy Drews, let’s see if we can find out something about these!

I’m heading down to Rehoboth Beach DE for the weekend and have a number of old “haunts” to visit for Retro Roadmap— just in time for Halloween!

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I  want to thank pal and creator of the Retro Roadpurse Connie Peet for the tip on Longacre’s Dairy and their old fashioned  ice cream dairy bar on Route 100 in Barto PA! What a great destination (open year ’round) for ice cream and treats.

Roadside Sign

Stilll owned and operated by the Longacre family, the original dairy was built in 1942 and within that same decade they began to make their delicious ice cream.  The dairy bar is an extension of the dairy building itself, and has a small counter and some booths and tables as well as a retail area. On one of our last sunny warm fall days that implored me to “go out and play!” it was the promise of ice cream that pointed me in the direciton of Longacre’s.

Longacre's Ice Cream

As I grasped on the wacky shaped handle and pulled the door open I could see that I was not the only one with ice cream on my mind , as the place was packed with families and old folks out for a Sunday (sundae?) drive. I got in the line that wrapped into the little retail area where their home made ice cream is sold, as well as Pennsylvania Dutch type cookies, bread and ….

Longacre's Ice Cream

Bestill my heart, they sell milk in glass milk bottles! Now when is the last time you saw milk available in glass bottles? Swoon!

Longacre's Glass Milk Bottle

I made my way up to the front of the line and got my standard coffee ice cream with chocolate jimmies. The flavor was delicate but the ice cream itself was cold and creamy and hit the spot. The ice cream is made on site, with milk from the dairy- you can’t get more fresh than that! They have a pretty large selection of flavors, which is impressive for such a small place.

Longacre's Ice Cream BarI love the Flavors typeface, glass block and counter stools

I failed pretty miserably trying to snap photos and eat a melting ice cream cone at the same time, so I’ll leave you with this one above. Here’s a link to some better shots than mine, straight from the Longacre’s Dairy Website. There you will see the small eating area with a few booths and tables, for not only does Longacre’s serve ice cream but breakfast and sandwiches too! I’m glad they do that, since it gives me many more reasons to head up thataway.

Hooray for the fact that they’re open year ’round, it’s good to have a cheery destination when the weather is turning cold and the days are getting short.

Longacre’s Modern Dairy
1445 Route 100
Barto, PA
(610) 845-7551

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