Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Gardening edition

Slowly but surely, I’ve tackled our home gardens. I’ve got enough tomatoes growing (from the seeds of last year’s) that I half-think I’ll be opening a roadside stand if they all produce!

What’s inside

1. Following up on Dottie’s Diner
2. Memories of Mitchell Brothers Orchestra
3. Details on Hallam upholstery shop

1. We talked recently about Dottie’s Diner, and some readers were seeking memories of that former eatery.

Mike Frey shared, “There was a Dottie’s Diner on the corner of Clarke Avenue and Penn Street, and as I recall you had to go down steps to enter the diner.”

Karen Miller added, “This is in answer to Lee Shry who I also must tell you I am sure I know. I went to school with him. Dottie’s Diner was located on the corner of West Market and Penn Streets. If my source is correct it was in front of the Penn St. Market. And Lee was correct about the race car with the Dottie’s Diner sponsorship. My husband (Paul Miller) raced against Johnny Mackison Sr. who at the time (1956) drove the Dottie’s Diner #65. Hope this helps.”

C.E. “Red” Aldinger added more details to the location and said, “Dottie’s Diner location was at 31 N. Penn St., York. The diner was located in the basement of this property. You entered from outside stairs on the corner of W. Clarke Ave. The race car with this name on it was Car #65. It was a ’32 Ford coupe with a flathead Ford engine. It raced in the 1955, 1956, 1957 era at Williams Grove Speedway and other local tracks. It was driven by Johnny Mackison Sr.”

Earl Hake Jr. confirmed that info and added that Mackison was from the Delta area.

And from Fred Messerly of Red Lion, I heard, “I know quite a bit about Dottie’s. It was located on North Penn St… It was in the basement right on the corner of the alley. It was open 24 hours and was owned by Dottie and Bud Hummer. It had about 15 stools and a couple of pinball machines. The customers were always an interesting lot. Many 3 to 11 workers stopped there for a meal before going home at night. If Bud Hummer was there he tried to sell everyone a T-bone steak. I guess it was the most expensive item on the menu. I was a close friend of Bud and Dottie’s son Charlie. He is still alive and in his 70s. I was a Thompson Business School student and spent many hours at the diner. Food was good and cheap. Before I knew them, the Hummers had a stock car driven by a local driver, Johnny Mackinson. They raced at many local tracks. Charlie and Bud also operated the ESSO gas station in E. York across from the Stoneybrook Drive-In Theater. All the Hummers were interesting people and Dottie was a very hard worker. Bud counted the money and watched the pinball machines. After the diner closed, Bud and Dottie operated a bar on South George St. about the location of the McDonald’s today.”

Thanks to all for these memories!

2. Have any readers danced to the Mitchell Brothers Orchestra at Harry Keller’s park in Dallastown, PA in the 1950s?
– June R. Grove

I have some memories from the Dallastown area in general and the park specifically coming up in future weeks, but I’d love to hear more specifically about the orchestra and other musical performances for June, so please do comment with your memories!

3. Does anyone remember an upholstery shop in Hallam that was there for many years? I believe it was in the middle of town.
– Scott S.

Thoughts for Scott? I hope we can help!

Got any questions? Ask Joan using the form at right. I’ll attempt to answer them in a future “Ask Joan” column on this blog. I get a large volume, but I will feature three each week and answer as many as possible!

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