Only in York County

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Working at Joe, the Motorists’ Friend was a ‘family thing’

Commenter Donna Marsh tied together a couple of themes from recent weeks – memories of work, and also memories of businesses that tie in to family memories!

In a recent comment, she writes, “My father was manager of the Joe, the Motorists’ Friend store in the York County Shopping Center the first 15 years it was open. I remember the Lionel train displays. Joe, the Motorists’ Friend was a family thing for our family. My mother worked there and I met my husband when we both worked there. Hollander’s was bought by Joe, the Motorists’ Friend, but I can’t remember when. If you are wondering, the company was owned by a man named Joe who lived in Harrisburg.”

I definitely was wondering, and as I’d mentioned before, I particularly love hearing stories about how these memories of businesses and stores intersect with everyone’s personal memories. That is a big part of what makes doing this blog so fun for me!

(And thanks for the extra info on Hollander’s, too, Donna!)

Lionel train photo by flickr user Jim Capaldi

Jim Stauch Jr. wrote in also, about Joe’s. He says, “Boy, ‘Joe, The Motorists’ Friend’ brings back some great memories. I worked at the York County Shopping Center store over the holiday season while I was in high school for many seasons in the early 60’s. What a great time and a great family of folks to work with. I would work in the Lionel train display and sporting good sections with my father. The train display was the best. Everyone came there to buy there Lionel Trains or to have then repaired or just watch them run around the display. There was always the sounds of the trains and race cars My dad could fix most anything that was wrong with the trains. Joe’s sold all the toys a young person would want. Trains, bikes, skates ,hockey sticks while the grown-ups bought their tires, batteries, oil, everything for the car. I still remember wrapping purchases in brown paper and string. What a wonderful time.”

Meanwhile, a “different” Mike, not my brother-in-law, also wrote about Joe’s; he says, “Growing up in Harrisburg I have vague childhood memories of Joe the Motorists’ Friend. I remember it was in the uptown shopping center. I believe the Santa Show was on what used to be WTPA 27 and usually on around supper time 4-6 pm. Stores like that were amazing. Auto parts and a large toy section in the same place. I think there is still a pin in the family from Santa.”

Mike, if that’s the case and you ever happen to have a photo, I’m sure I can speak for many readers; we’d LOVE to see one!

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