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Dave Reese

Hub Cap Cafe

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I was lucky to know about this a few weeks ago from the meeting I attended with the museum board and and architects when we learned about this opportunity. America On Wheels museum in Allentown has needed a "diner" in the vicinity since we opened, and since not have appeared, it was decided to develop the second floor of the old A&B meet packing company office building that serves as our office on the ground floor. The plan was for a small counter and a few booths so we could serve hot dogs, sodas, and a few basics on some weekends. Then Alan Gross of our board found a soda fountain which changed the architects' plans much for the better. See what is coming to America On Wheels: http://gcdailyworld.com/story/1643389.html

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Dave,

 

What a great addition! Now, will you guys be serving "The Accident?" Kind of fits an auto theme.

 

(PS. :) ..for those who didn't read the whole article, that was a special drink kids apparently rode miles to get at the old fountain.)

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Dave,

We will need to try to acquire the recipe for the "Accident". It could be a big part of the fountain again in the future. I figure my years at Carvel may help me volunteer at the fountain too.

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Dave,

We will need to try to acquire the recipe for the "Accident". It could be a big part of the fountain again in the future. I figure my years at Carvel may help me volunteer at the fountain too.

 

Dave,

 

If you need a consultant on soda fountain operation, you have your man! B) Just kidding, but I was employed in all of the 1950's stereotypical jobs for teenage boys. I was a newspaper boy, a gas jockey, and a soda jerk....not all at the same time! The soda fountain was in the Park Avenue Pharmacy in San Jose, just down the street from Lincoln High School, so I got to serve lots of sodas and ice cream.

 

Maybe one day when I get to Pennsylvania you guys will let me get behind the counter and take her for a spin! Post some pictures when she is reassembled of the behind-the-counter gear. Did you get the soda spouts with the pull handles, stainless steel bins with pumps for the syrups, and an ice cream tub with a sliding stainless lid? Is there a green shake mixer for the back shelf? You need to line up coke glasses back there. After 50 years my memory fades, but it would be a kick to see what I still recognize.

 

I do have one road related story in association with the soda fountain. I had a 51 Chev and I parked it on Park Ave where I could keep an occasional eye on it when I worked at night. One evening I noted a black Buick cursing back and forth past the car, but it had left by the time we closed. It was a Friday night so I picked up a buddy and we headed toward downtown San Jose to "cruise the main" (1st Street, in that case). We were about half way there when the Buick pulled up behind us and up pops a red light on the spot light (you don't see spot lights anymore on cars, but they were fairly common in the 50's).

 

In a minute we were surrounded by cops, and our friends passing by in the same direction were leaning out the car windows shouting things like " I saw them do it," and "Take 'em to jail!". It was all great fun for a couple of teens who were pretty sure we hadn't done the crime, until my buddy was asked what his father did.

 

His dad happened to be in Australia at the time setting up and demonstrating a commercial pear peeling machine made in San Jose by FMC. Bob said his dad was an "Australian Pear Peeler," and the detective popped cuffs on him! :o We stopped being "smart Alecs".

 

Of course it was a case of mistaken identity. A 51 Chev had been spotted at a service station break in, and after the police searched the car we were sent on our way. That evening as we did the loop down 1st Street, and back up 2nd time and again we got lots of jibes. :rolleyes:

 

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Great Main Street cruise story Dave...

 

As for the fountain, here are the photos that were found on-line to set up this acquisition. It looks like most of the pumps and even the 1950's dishes are still there, as well as the hot fudge pump. The guys who picked up the soda fountain are expected back in town Tuesday some time, and I will be at the museum much of that day, so I may be able to see a bit of what has been acquired. I know the refrigeration units need to be restored, but we even got the stainless hood over the grill.

 

I worked through college at a Carvel Ice Cream store, and then managed another one for a year after graduation, so I can do the sundaes and such, so I don't think sodas will be much more difficult. I will try to post interim photos as things progress...

Edited by Dave Reese

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Great Main Street cruise story Dave...

 

As for the fountain, here are the photos that were found on-line to set up this acquisition. It looks like most of the pumps and even the 1950's dishes are still there, as well as the hot fudge pump. The guys who picked up the soda fountain are expected back in town Tuesday some time, and I will be at the museum much of that day, so I may be able to see a bit of what has been acquired. I know the refrigeration units need to be restored, but we even got the stainless hood over the grill.

 

I worked through college at a Carvel Ice Cream store, and then managed another one for a year after graduation, so I can do the sundaes and such, so I don't think sodas will be much more difficult. I will try to post interim photos as things progress...

 

Gees Dave, that first shot is just like I remember. And I had forgotten the straw holder! As I recall the bins on the left front were used for Strawberry, Pineapple, and other thick toppings for sundaes. I don't see a dipper to dip them out however. Obviously the pumps with the white ceramic heads were the syrup dispensers for sodas. One pump for regular customers, and two for cute girls and a few buddies. (You will get the hang of it, pretty girls or not!)

 

And the tubs at the right were used for ice cream, with stainless lift lids, not the sliding type my memory recalled. The sink is absolutely the same, but I don't recall the pump and bins to the far left.

 

The stands with handles were for soda and water. I'm thinking the black tip was water, but that is more intuition than memory. But I can still feel pulling those to make a soda.

 

I see some milk shake and sundae glasses on display, but the back board (behind where the soda jerk stood) is not familiar. I'm guessing maybe they made sandwiches there. Our shake mixer, canned soup display, and little cereal boxes where there. I think there was just a board there for making sandwiches.

 

We didn't have a big sandwich business, but we were allowed to make one for ourselves if we worked the lunch or dinner shift. The only choices I recall were egg salad, tuna, or ham. I recall the boss chewing me out for taking too generous a slice of ham for my sandwich. Hey, I was 16 and a hungry kid!

 

That is the most complete soda fountain I have seen. You guys scored a real piece of history. It sure gave me a little rush! Thanks!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!!

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That really does look cool. I'll gladly do what I can to help you two Daves out. Of course, all of my experience is on the other side of the counter.

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We opened the HubCap Cafe last night at the museum's 3rd Annual Gala. What a night. Although the fountain is not mechanically functioning, it looks great, and the equipment should soon be 100% functional, except for the grill which will not be used in the foreseeable future. Last night the caterer was serving floats and shakes as part of the event.

 

So much is going on this month in the museum with British Cars in the changing gallery, the local Toys for Tots Train show has model train layouts throughout the museum, and in the lobby is the Taxi that was driven by Ernie in "It's a Wonderful Life".

 

Photos of the museum and the construction of the HupCap Cafe through last night's ribbon cutting can be seen in two of my sets on Flickr: fall and end of year.

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We opened the HubCap Cafe last night at the museum's 3rd Annual Gala. What a night. Although the fountain is not mechanically functioning, it looks great, and the equipment should soon be 100% functional, except for the grill which will not be used in the foreseeable future. Last night the caterer was serving floats and shakes as part of the event.

 

So much is going on this month in the museum with British Cars in the changing gallery, the local Toys for Tots Train show has model train layouts throughout the museum, and in the lobby is the Taxi that was driven by Ernie in "It's a Wonderful Life".

 

Photos of the museum and the construction of the HupCap Cafe through last night's ribbon cutting can be seen in two of my sets on Flickr: fall and end of year.

 

Dave,

 

It looks like a gala affair! And the Museum and Hub Cap cafe are a must visit!!

 

What can be said other than Splendid, terrific, job well done!

 

BTW, is that your high school or college block letter jacket?

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Dave,

 

It looks like a gala affair! And the Museum and Hub Cap cafe are a must visit!!

 

What can be said other than Splendid, terrific, job well done!

 

BTW, is that your high school or college block letter jacket?

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

It was a super night Dave. The jacket is my son's HS jacket, as my letter sweater no longer made it all the way around my waistline.

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The museum just keeps getting better. I know I need to get there but every time it nears the top of the list something squeezes ahead of it. Don't give up on me, Dave. I'll be there someday.

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We opened the HubCap Cafe last night at the museum's 3rd Annual Gala. What a night. Although the fountain is not mechanically functioning, it looks great, and the equipment should soon be 100% functional, except for the grill which will not be used in the foreseeable future. Last night the caterer was serving floats and shakes as part of the event.

 

So much is going on this month in the museum with British Cars in the changing gallery, the local Toys for Tots Train show has model train layouts throughout the museum, and in the lobby is the Taxi that was driven by Ernie in "It's a Wonderful Life".

 

Photos of the museum and the construction of the HupCap Cafe through last night's ribbon cutting can be seen in two of my sets on Flickr: fall and end of year.

 

Wonderful news, Dave! CONGRATULATIONS on the opening.

 

I sure hope to get there someday...sooner, rather than later. Looks awesome!!!!

 

:)

 

 

 

Cort | 37.m.IL.pigValve.pacemaker | 5 Monte Carlos + 1 Caprice Classic |* Chicagoland Meets, 2011?

MCs.CC + CHD.models.HO.legos.RadioShows + RoadTrips.us66 = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

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