Memories of the Avalong Dairy Bar, and a Hanover follow-up
Today, I have a great memory of the former Avalong Dairy Bar to share, as well as a short follow-up on some recent questions about former Hanover-area businesses. I hope you’ll enjoy!
George Figdore wrote to me some time ago about his experiences at Avalong’s. “I went to work at the family-owned Avalong Dairy Bar on July 13, 1953, as a dishwasher,” he began. “I was fourteen at the time and I believe I was the second or third non-family member hired. I think Bill Kralowitz was hired ahead of me. It was a family of families that worked there. Clyde and Joann Long were the managers, both quite young, in their mid 20s?”
He continued, “It turned out that a lot of their part-time help were students from North York High School, which shortly became Central High School. Our Supervising Principal was Mr. Ruby, who lived a short distance away on Mt. Zion Road just south of the dairy bar. Mr. Ruby and his wife often ate there in the evenings since he probably had a lot of meetings to attend during the week. Mr. Ruby had an agreement with Clyde and Joann that if the students had events or practices after school or evenings that they were allowed to take off and other student help would take their place. This all worked out very well. I am sure there were private conversations between Clyde and Joann about potential student applicants. As the restaurant became busier there was an unlimited pool of students to call upon.”
George added, “Like all young people, we all had chances to advance our skill levels. After a short time I moved out of the wash room to the ice cream/dairy counter to dip ice cream cones and sell milk and packaged ice cream. At this time the new Caterpillar plant was being built and we had a large influx of management people stopping in. We all had our first experiences of meeting people who spoke differently than us ‘York Dutchies.’ Bags were ‘tutes.'”
Interestingly about “tutes,” which I pronounce kind of like the first part of “tootsie,” I’ve had several conversations with my friend Barb Krebs about this phrase. She’s the one who first introduced me to it!
Anyway, George continued, “From the ice cream bar I went to the grill area to work with Bill making hamburgs, fries, salad sandwiches, BBQ and milkshakes. Working behind a hot grill and a french fryer could be dangerous work, especially at clean-up time. One evening when I wasn’t working one of the part-time guys from Central had the unfortunate experience of having the hot fryer slip and spill hot oil down his legs and into his shoes. He was badly burned. I can’t remember his name.”
On a happier note, George added, “The curb service guys all had the luck of meeting girls from other school districts which in a few instances resulted in marriages, for Ronnie White and Vance Eppley. They are still happily married after all this time. Another historic weather event happened on March 13, 1958. We had a huge snow storm that night and into the next morning. I remember very well the trip home from the old Harrisburg Airport. My dad picked me up at the airport about 11 PM and off to York we went. Coming east on then Arsenal Road the snow was rolling up over the hood of Dad’s Pontiac. This was my welcome home after 6 months training at Fort Knox. I had called Clyde from the airport in Columbus, Ohio and asked him to put out the keys so I could report to work at 8 AM on the 14th. I walked from Sherman Street east on Whiteford Road to the dairy bar. The electric was off so up to the manor house I went (now the Christmas Tree Hill Store) and got Clyde and Joann out of bed so we could move all the refrigerated product up to the barn where the freezing plant was. This was the barn … recently torn down.”
George concluded, “I also worked at Ernie McCall’s North Pole on the corner of Sherman Street and Whiteford Road. Believe it or not but there is still a remnant of Mr. McCall’s home still visible in the ground close to where 11th Avenue cuts off from Sherman Street. I was about 12 at that time. My duties included picking up the trash from the parking area, peeling potatoes and slicing them into five-gallon milk cans filled with water. I also sliced all the cheese, salami, bologna, tomatoes, hot dogs, pulled stems from chili peppers and ground them for the subs. I learned how to clean soft ice cream machines and to fill them with mix from Crowley’s. I am not sure of this, but Russell Hoffman who lived up the street from me, also worked there. On another note, child labor laws were not what they are today, some of these tasks are forbidden today. I think you can tell I have some very fond memories of those days.”
George, I can tell you do, and I’m so grateful to you for sharing!
Finally today, I want to follow up briefly on a column a couple weeks ago about downtown Hanover memories. Reader Jim Adams had wanted to know the location of the former Shirk’s Hardware. I’d noted that The Frame Shop (now at 22 Carlisle St.) had shared a location with Shirk’s, but was not clear on whether it was the Carlisle Street location or not. Jim had also wanted to know what preceded The Sandy Woods at 40 Broadway.
As it turns out, reader Jill Rohrbaugh commented almost immediately with more info that tackled both mysteries; she writes, “Shirks Hardware was located at 40 Broadway. In the late 1970s-80s, it was owned by Andy and his brother Bob Weinbrenner; in the late 1980s, their wives started the business The Frame Shop at the rear of the first floor. My architecture business was on the 2nd floor from 1976-1996.”
Jill continued, “Shirk’s closed and Sandy Woods moved to the building in the mid-1990s. The Frame Shop was sold, also moved out around that time, and had several locations until their move to 22 Carlisle Street.”
Also, Tony Clousher noted the same and added that Bubb’s Bootery was on Baltimore Street, though he didn’t remember the address. “It would have been what I believe is now Weaver’s Screen Printing,” Tony wrote, adding that he grew up working at his father’s cigar store, Newcomer’s, at 36 Broadway.
Thanks to everyone for this great Hanover info!