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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Wish I Could Go There Just One More Time

It's the BIG news in Baltimore today.

Gino's, home of the Gino Giant, is coming back to town.

I gotta admit, I have never heard of Gino's before. But there are a LOT of my Facebook friends and listeners who grew up in the 60's & 70's and Gino's was part of their childhood. It was sweet to hear them remember hanging out with friends, polishing off a Gino's Giant (similar to McDonald's Big Mac, only better, so I hear), and enjoying simpler times. With Gino's coming back, many are getting their shot at remembering their childhood.

We heard from a lot of folks remembering Hamburger Junction at Harford and Joppa Roads. Supposedly, a little train would run along the counter and the meal and the train cars would deliver your meal. Farrell's Ice Cream in Golden Ring Mall was another favorite. Many people told the tale of the "Pig's Trough" sundae, which was really 6 scoops of ice cream plus everything on top. If you polished it off, you got a medal and bells and whistles and people oinked at you. That probably wouldn't fly in today's PC world - ha!

I wish I could go back and visit:

  • Flickers in Chatham Mall on Rt 40 in Ellicott City. My brothers and I had a blast playing the games, racking up the tickets, and turning them in for fun, cheap prizes. I still have a Flickers token somewhere in my loose change.
  • McConnells in Denton. We always stopped there for lunch on our way to the beach and it had these two HUGE slides. I LOVED that place. It was the only time in my life when my mom had to bargain with me during meal time - "take two bites of a cheeseburger for two trips down the slide." You know it was a special place if little Erin Ashley happily didn't want to eat her meal.
  • Hollywood Bakery in Arbutus. Marshmallow donuts. I've never, ever found another place that makes marshmallow donuts. It was a donut covered in powdered sugar and filled with a marshmallow creme concoction. It was heaven. We'd get them on the weekend, often times before or after church. Happy, happy memories.
  • Father's Gay Nineties in Catonsville. It closed long before I was around. Father's was a restaurant place known for their ice cream sundaes that my mom and dad used to go to when they were dating and first married. It was the place where my dad learned to NEVER touch my mother's sundae. He thought it would be cute to swipe some of her whipped cream and put it on her face. My mother didn't think so. Thirty-five years of marriage later and he's never, ever done that again. And he still feels a little nervous at the mention of Father's.
  • The Enchanted Forest on Rt 40 in Ellicott City. The place was pure magic and was like stepping into a fairy tale. I'd LOVE to go back there. I know Clark's Elioak Farm in Columbia has restored many of the pieces. We took our goddaughter there last spring and she loved it. It's just not the same, but all good things must come to an end some time, right? 

 How about you? Your turn to reminisce. What's the local landmark you wish you could go back and visit just one more time?



  1. I'm a Maryland transplant but I can recall places like this in my hometown. I think it's a part of Americana we're losing to big chains and the fast paced lives we lead. Back home it was the Tasty Freeze and cruising from there down to the drive-in and back. Oh the hours we spend driving in a loop, checking out guys and noshing on fries. Could you imagine doing that today with gas at nearly 4 bucks and the calories posted on everything? Takes all the fun out of it!

  2. Yes! It think that's why places like Sonic still have good old fashioned appeal, even if they are a chain.



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