This blog has been a long time coming. I kick myself every time I think back to 1986 (that was the year I got hired at Frank's Pizza and Subs in Havre de Grace, MD) and have no video or even a diary. Sure, video cameras were like a million dollars then and ate batteries like Mr. Coffee drank...well coffee, (more on him later), but some actual footage would have been invaluable as proof.
I don't have a specific agenda for this blog. Much of it will be nostalgic for those who may be inclined to read it for enjoyment, after all I plan to get as many of my former co-workers to read this and hopefully contribute.
Let me start by saying that Frank's Pizza was an authentic pizza and sub shop located right across the street from Harford Memorial Hospital. Today it is a medical clinic. Rumors are that stirrups are set up right about the place where I used to cook cheesesteaks on the grille. Somehow that makes me smile even as I write this. But more than anything, it was the place where I had some of the best times of my life or to be more precise, those times usually started or ended with the wonderful cast of characters who made up my youth and became the standard of every friend I have had since. Not everyone I hope to write about in the blog worked at Frank's, but friendships, chance encounters and even some short-lived romances made it a hangout of sorts.
Lynn and Marge were managing partners and I think paid some homage to the actual Frank. Frank DeLorenzo was a quasi-mafia wannabe who bathed in Hi Karate cologne, sported a gold "King of Pizza" chain with matching white chest hair and actually managed to do jail time for cocaine trafficking. I will have to let Wayne get specifics (hopefully I can get him to blog as he is one hell of a storyteller), but I only saw the guy (Frank) twice and the last time it was just after the FBI had run all of his illegal Italians out the back door when they busted his other store in Aberdeen.
There were two specific times, clock-wise, if you closed at Frank's: Movie Time and Soup Store Time. Movie Time was Marge Kline's take on how a movie lasted two hours, so we started cleaning up two hours prior to closing. Soup Store Time was when either Lynn or Marge would take orders for the liquor store for those of us under 21. As a 16-18 year old, this was a pretty big perk. I always wondered what One-Stop Liquors or Post Road thought about those two ladies, then again I have never known a liquor store clerk to lose too much sleep wondering about the personal lifestyles of their bread-n-butter. It's amazing that I never drank, not even beer appealed to me, but as it turned out it was my role to drive everyone else. It's been a lifelong role and one thing that I am pretty good at doing.
I am rambling. It's precisely why I have procrastinated in writing this blog, I just don't know where to start...or stop. So maybe it's my cue to stop, re-read, maybe edit and finally post it. There is much to tell, hopefully some people to catch up with and some things that I hope will make you who read this smile or at least equate to something in your own past. I will close with this, Stephen King wrote in the novella, The Body, "I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, did you?" Yeah Steve, I did....I hope I still do. I don't see them much (we might exchange Christmas cards or occasional emails), but it doesn't mean that I don't think about them and hope they are doing well. All that is left to say is, let the stories commence.