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American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!

Pete

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About Pete

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  1. Pat, I'm so glad you like the AG site. If you would like to send in pictures of the matchbook and ice cream can or ??, that would be great. Did they actually sell it by the container? I wasn't aware they made ice cream until this past year. Interesting that the normally quiet Al would get excited about IU basketball. A true Hoosier. I remember him as totally silent. Just curious, how far did you and your brother drive from? And did you play Asteroids about where the jukebox used to be? And how did you know they would be open since they kept irregular hours toward the last decade or two. I was thinking, if my friends are still talking about Al's, then there must be others, especially those who recall the glory days, which I certainly don't (too young). And if people are fond of Al Green's, think of all the other driveins there must be, and groups like this are evidence of the nostalgia for great drive-ins. Hey, if anyone wants to exchange links, I'd be happy to post a link to my links page. Just let me know. Nice group, I hope to stop back and visit once in a while. Pete
  2. Pat, I'm so glad you like the AG site. If you would like to send in pictures of the matchbook and ice cream can or ??, that would be great. Did they actually sell it by the container? I wasn't aware they made ice cream until this past year. Interesting that the normally quiet Al would get excited about IU basketball. A true Hoosier. I remember him as totally silent. Just curious, how far did you and your brother drive from? And did you play Asteroids about where the jukebox used to be? And how did you know they would be open since they kept irregular hours toward the last decade or two. I was thinking, if my friends are still talking about Al's, then there must be others, especially those who recall the glory days, which I certainly don't (too young). And if people are fond of Al Green's, think of all the other driveins there must be, and groups like this are evidence of the nostalgia for great drive-ins. Hey, if anyone wants to exchange links, I'd be happy to post a link to my links page. Just let me know. Nice group, I hope to stop back and visit once in a while. Pete
  3. Greetings, all. I have an announcement to make. The completely revised Al Green's website is now up at a new location: http://www.algreensdrivein.com Al Green’s was a popular Eastside hangout until it dwindled in the late 60s, continued on in a moribund state for another 30 years, then died in the early 90s. On one level it’s the story of a WWII soldier returning home to start a very successful family business. On another level it’s about a place where teenagers from all over the city came of age. Then as the celebratory mood of the 50s ended, the 60s brought a more complex and sometimes desperate mood, diminishing the importance of drive-ins. Then the 70s delivered body blows to the drive-in industry as interstate highways diverted traffic from state highways and gasoline prices tripled, etc. Al Green’s was in many ways a perfect mirror for these national trends. Its success is also the mirror image of the poor quality of urban and suburban planning in Marion County. I discuss that in the analysis since today I work as a CAD specialist for architects and planners. New information about the basement tunnels has also been uncovered. You have to see this bizarre architecture. It was there all along, apparently without anyone knowing about it. Also, learn the story of the manager Belle Green, who was said to have lived in the dingy basement right up until the place was demolished in 1994. The salvage man believed she did despite the extreme dilapidation of the premises. I myself do not think the basement was habitable. Also, listen to an extremely rare audio of Belle taking orders from customers or check out some rare photos, all in the Photo Album. I invite you all to stop by and learn more about this legendary Hoosier restaurant. And if you should have any personal stories to share, please post them to the message board. Thanks! Best as always, Pete Tocco Columbia, MD
  4. Excellent description of Al Green's! I lived about a mile from it starting in 1959. I went there for the first time around 1971 as a senior in high school. It was pretty shabby by then, almost deserted. They must have stashed a lot of money away from the good years to allow them to continue like they did, with a low volume of business. Several of my friends are very fond of Al's to this day. One of them was able to take some video before the demolition in the late 90s. I do 3D modelling so I built a model from this video. You can see it, along with my attempt at describing the phenomenon of its success, at: http://www.plainview3d.com/AlGreens/Intro.html I hope you enjoy it. Comments are very welcome. Peter Tocco
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