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Mail call: Memories of teen hangouts from my pen pal Yvonne

Did you have a pen pal as a kid? I had some; my favorite was “Sabrina” in Sardinia, Italy, but I had them from all over the place.

Something neat that I’ve realized recently? Having this blog has brought me, more or less, some pen pals of a different sort!

Today’s mail comes from reader Yvonne Leiphart of West Manchester Township. I’ve talked about Yvonne before, and her letters always make my day. So when I received one in which she, too, made the “pen pal” connection… well, that was cool!

In Yvonne’s most recent letter, she writes: “I think I finally figured out why I can’t remember what i had for lunch two days ago. My brain is too full of useless information from when I was young that there isn’t room for anything new. Even writing this letter takes me back to my teenage years when I had pen pals from around the world. Guess that was the internet of my day. And speaking of teenagers, I know you had ‘Melvin’s’ as a teenage hangout in your column. But I wonder if you know there were others that I haven’t seen in your column … Does anyone remember ‘The Town Talk’ from the ’40s? It was located at the intersection of Salem Ave., W. Princess and Hartley sts. (Salem Square).”

She continues, “There was the ‘Cherry Top’ on S. Queen St. and the ‘Orange Top’ on Lincoln Highway West and a short way beyond that on the Lincoln Highway was the ‘White Swan,’ which had an outdoor barbecue pit in the parking lot. I remember during the ‘polio epidemic’ of the ’40s that was the only place teens could go because it was a drive-in and you didn’t have to get out of your car. (That is if you knew someone who had a car. My uncle would load us up and go.)”

Then, Yvonne writes, “Also I thought of another downtown store that i missed. ‘The Golden Rule’ department store on E. Market St.”

Yvonne ended her letter with perhaps the only statement I can disagree with: “Guess I shouldn’t write any more letters.” NO WAY! To all of my regular writes, your pen pal Joan and all our readers say, “Keep writing!” We love hearing your memories.

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