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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ_Walters View Post
    Great stuff songbird, thanks for sharing.

    Most of my memories come from circa 1980s:

    - The old haunted house at the Pier Rides. I can't remember the name of it now, "Haunted Manor" or something like that. It was a fantastic, walk-through haunted house. Great interior design work, and very scary. At one point, they had a guy who would chase you out at the end with a chainsaw! They don't make haunted house attractions like this anymore. I think it closed in the lates 80s, or early 90s.

    - Bozo the Clown at the Pier Rides. He sat in a cage and you tried to dump him in the water by hitting a target with baseballs. Nothing special about this, but it was Bozo himself who was, how shall I say it, "unique". This guy would taunt you with all kinds of derogatory insults! "Your girlfriend is so ugly....." - That kind of stuff. Not exactly family friendly stuff, but for a teenager, it was hilarious! Bozo got the boot sometime around the late 80s, early 90s.

    - Freak Street! AKA S. Division street. The street that leads into Trimpers Amusement Park. Back in the 80s this street was known as "Freak Street", because it was the main hangout spot for "Metal Heads" and "Punks". On any given night, you would see dozens on them just, well, hanging out! Again, this O.C. tradition ended sometime in the late 80s, early 90s. Loitering is not allowed there anymore.

    - Elvis, AKA "Norman". Elvis was a well know O.C. institution for over 30 years! All day, every day he would cruise up and down the boards in his polyester shirt and pants, and cowbay hat, while carrying an old 8 track cassette recorder (which always played Elvis tunes), while humming along with a kazoo. My Dad knew him from the 60s. I know him from the lates 70s and 80s. I have not seen him in years. He may have passed away, but I am not sure.

    - Lombardi's Pizza on the boardwalk. Best damn pizza in O.C.. They closed the boardwalk shop several years ago, unfortunately. They still have one in North O.C.

    - The Day the Moose Fought Back. Well, not really, but one night in 1988, some drunk patron at the Purple Moose Saloon ripped the moose head off the wall and threw it through the front window! Must of scared the hell out of people walking passed it on the boards.

    - The George Washington Hotel is on fire! I remember it well. I was at the Atlantic Hotel (The best hotel in OC I might add. We always stay there) when we heard all of these sirens. The hotel suffered major damage and never re-opened. It was one of the oldest hotels in OC.

    - The Wild Mouse ride at Trimpers. Extremely fun Wild Mouse ride that was operated by a very scary looking man. He had literally 2 or 3 teeth in his mouth and he was always covered in grease! This ride closed sometime in the late 80s.

    - Laughing Sal from the early 30s! I really miss her! Ok, just kidding.


    Anyway, that's all I have right now. Ocean City is still my favorite place to go for vacation. I have converted my wife (she loves it now), and my kids really love it. I've come full circle: Fun times as a kid, fun times as teenager/young adult, and now, fun times as a parent.

    Man, writing all this down really has me hungry for some Fischers caramel popcorn, some Pollock Johnnie's sausage, some Dolle's candy, and some Dayton's fried chicken!
    JJ Walters.. Incidentally "Freak Street" was actually South First Street with the entrance to Trimpers. The Wild Mouse, as the story went, would either skip or jump the track occasionally. No idea if that's true and you would think that that would be enough to avoid it, but that's what kind of made it cool.

    Also Boardwalk Loitering law, you just can't loiter on private property. The "Freaks" just found something else to do. More productive hopefully

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by ML View Post
    My Dad grew up in OC - he used to DJ the music for the high school dances at the Pier Ballroom in the 50s.

    Before we moved back to town for good and after my Dad sold his house downtown, we used to stay at the Harrington Arms at 29th Street (now the Rodeway Inn). We always arrived before check-in but the Harringtons would store our luggage in the office and we'd go to lunch at the Sandpiper Restaurant at Coastal & 33rd Street. Always thought it was funny that the restaurant was called the Sandpiper, but it had a chicken on the roof! Of course there was also next to nothing between the Carousel & 33rd Street.

    The Back of the Rack had Castle in the Sand's 25 cent beers beat - with their Nickel Nights. God what a free for all those could be, but soooo much fun. That was the first place I ever saw Great Train Robbery play back in the early 80s. Of course what was the Rack is now Fortress Ocean City (the police department).

    Songbird - One of the long time Docs in Dr. Townsend's offce at 10th St Med was Dr. Mann - who was my doctor until I moved to DE.

    Morbid Manor was out on the pier - burned down years ago. The Haunted House on the boardwalk is Trimper's and has been around since 1964.

    I miss the English Diner - the true locals hangout and the city council's unofficial meeting spot. When Harry Kelly died - but before it was common knowledge, I was hearing things on my scanner, but couldn't really believe what I was hearing. A friend and I went to the Diner for lunch and one look at Bruce's face when we went in - we knew it was true - and the council was in the back corner trying to figure out what to do!

    Back in the day - Buxy's Salty Dog Saloon was the Bayside Pub

    What is now Coins was Pappy's, a gift shop (the 2 corner stores) and an indian bead jewelry store (which was taken over by Pappy's and then closed again - to become the Shirt Gallery - and eventually the Shirt Gallery took over the gift shop) When Doc Friedman retired - they all became part of Coins.

    Ocean Deli - the original site at 28th Street Holiday Plaza

    What is now the Pit & Pub Barbecue Restaurant at 28th Street - began life as a Tastee Freez - and then was Angelo's (at it's best) and then Angelo turned it into a Mexican Restaurant (Fred Musiani likely did back flips in his grave)

    Bailey's Pharmacy at 8th Street - gone but not forgotten!

    The Hideaway in the old Stowaway Motel and now the Pirate's Den & Yankee Clipper - RIP as it's being rebuilt into god knows what
    ML.. the 28th Street restaurant incidentally wasn't a Taste Freeze, although very similar, it was called "Big T Burger. Then Angelo's and so on.

  3. #53
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    Talbot Street Cafe had some delicious spicy chili that they only offered in the off season

  4. #54
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    Hey, the building is still there. It's now a Days Inn and probably with the same pool

  5. #55
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    Hey, Generals Kitchen is still very much in business although moved to another location in town. Devito's is also where it was across from the theatre. There was a gas station, an Exxon, that was actually just inside the Delaware line that's no longer there. But I think you're describing what is now Brits Market at 142nd Street on the north side of Phillip's Seafood Restaurant.

  6. #56
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    When I was a teen in the 70's, that basement business if you will next to the Breakers was a bar call the "Surf N Suds" I believe. Only went in there once.. it was painfully humid with a strong odor of stale beer. Now part of it is a sunglass business and the other part is walled off.

  7. #57
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    I don't know if Norman still routinely walks the boardwalk, but he'll show up at the entertainment tent during Springfest and Sunfest in a full Elvis Vegas era suit.. white bell bottoms with all the Rinestones. He's a sight!

  8. #58
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    Hey, the white hotel was probably the Westward Ho between 22nd and 23rd Street. It was demolished probably 20 years ago and rebuilt as a multi level apartment complex in the same block but further towards the bay. The Misty Harbor is gone as well but the Legion is still there.

  9. #59
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    You're probably thinking of the Food Rite market on Somerset Street which was one block further south. That was demolished probably around 2000.

  10. #60
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    There was also a market on Dorchester Street and Baltimore Ave next to the Indian Emporium. I think it was called Bernies and has been gone for many moons. The emporium moved across the street and where Bernies was is now of all things an Italian Restaurant

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