Only in York County

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Miscellaneous memories about hot dogs

If there’s one topic I can’t get enough of, it’s hot dogs. Specifically, nicely grilled ones, and even more specifically, the ones you used to be able to get from the lovely ladies at the local Sears! (You can read previous Sears hot dog memories here.)

Today, I have more memories to share about my favorite stick meat.

Reader Dottie Kraut of Dallastown writes, “I read your column every Sunday. I enjoy it very much. I remember a lot of the things you write about.” She noted that one late 2014 column “was about hot dogs at Sears at the York County Shopping Center… My aunt Dot Leber worked in the hot dog stand at Sears. Whenever I get a chance to go shopping at Sears I would get a hot dog and also see my aunt.”

Then, reader Don Hartman noted, “My wife was also one of the Sears hot dog ladies.” Her name is Althea Hartman, and she recalled, “I worked part-time at the hot dog stand in Sears for ten years, along with Ruth Hunt and Dot Leber, both great people to work with. For me working there was a ‘fun’ job. I enjoyed the interactions with the customers and the Sears people were great to work for. I had a son that played football for York Vo-Tech at the time and they were very nice in scheduling my work times around his game times in the fall. Also, when it was time for one of us ‘hot dog ladies’ to take lunch or a break other Sears sales people would fill in for us at the stand. I remember that on holidays the waiting line at the stand usually wound around through the store ending up near the entrance doors. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the brand of hot dogs that they sold, but to this day I love hot dogs with kraut and cheese, which was a Sears specialty. I have many nice memories of those days gone by.”

I do know from other readers that those dogs I loved so well were the Medford brand.

And, finally, off on a hot dog tangent, I have one more memory to share today from Loretta Wagaman of Red Lion, who actually wrote in response to a previous column on local small-town gas stations around York County.

Loretta writes, “Regarding gas stations in our area. It takes me back to the mid-1950s; my parents, Hilda and Ted Ruth, together, built Ted’s Sunoco, which was located in Longstown. It was on Route 24 behind the then Sam Seitz’s Grocery Store. Stan’s Service Center is there now. I recall the story, Dad had the vision for the gas station. He went to a bank in Wrightsville to get a loan to purchase the land and the banker refused him and said, ‘You won’t make enough money there to buy a hot dog.’ Dad was persistent and moved forward and got the loan from a bank in York. In 1961 my husband, John Wagaman, purchased Ted’s Sunoco and operated it until 1976. These were the good ole’ days. Gas was cheap and we even got our windshield cleaned.”

Loretta, that was a good time indeed – and I’m glad to hear your family could have all the hot dogs you wanted! 😉