Mar 12, 2009

A Personal Memoir

I'm not sure memoir is a good title, rather than facts and records, I have hazy recollections. Assuming my memory will not improve at this stage of the game, let me put to print that which I can still recall. In about 1958 my father built Flaggs Drive-In. McDonalds had opened on Lehigh Street, and pretty much proved that people were willing to sit in their cars and eat fast food at bargain prices. For my father, who was in the meat business, this seemed a natural. As a rehearsal he rented space at the Allentown Fair for a food stand, and learned you cannot sell hotdogs near Yocco's. He purchased some land across from a corn field on Hamilton Blvd. and built the fast food stand. In addition to hamburgers, he decided to sell fried chicken. The chicken was cooked in a high pressure fryer called a broaster, which looked somewhat like the Russian satellite Sputnik. The stand did alright, but the business was not to my father's liking, seems he didn't have the personality to smile at the customers. He sold the business several years later to a family which enlarged and enclosed the walk up window. Subsequent owners further enlarged the location several times. The corn field later turned into a Water Park, and you know Flaggs as Ice Cream World.

I'm grateful to a kind reader who sent me this picture of Flaggs


Bernie O'Hare said...

Cool story. Your dad apparently is nothing like you. He should take our diplomacy course at LCCC.

michael molovinsky said...

that smiling picture of me taken by the Morning Call took hours. i only smiled after the photographer finally asked, "what the hell's wrong with you?"

Anonymous said...

MM, great story! Another Allentown store I remember from when I was a kid - Wolf's Market on Lehigh Street, right near where the 1st McDonald's went in. Do you remember it?

Maybe you can go to work for the state and take the customer diplomacy course that the LCB stores are getting? I'd pay real $$ to get a camera in some of those sessions.

The Banker

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

I enjoyed this story.