Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Abandoned Luncheonette

     In 1973 Daryl Hall and John Oates released the album Abandoned Luncheonette that became a top seller. I was in the eleventh grade and remember walking through one of the stores at the Coventry Mall when I spotted the cover of the album. The hand colored artwork gave it a unique charm. I checked it out but had to put it back on the rack as I didn't have the money with me to make a purchase.
     I figured one day I'd get back to buy one not only because I like the music but because of the local connection with the Rosedale Diner and former North Coventry resident Daryl Hall. But, I never did and before you know it years had gone by. I listened to music on the radio all the time, but didn't always buy an album.
The Abandoned Luncheonette in Kenilworth
     One afternoon, while driving down Route 724 in Kenilworth I looked over at the old diner that I passed almost daily while out shooting pictures for The Mercury. The luncheonette was really starting to get rundown and overgrown with brush so I took the extra time, pulled off the road and walked over to get a better look.
     I wanted to take some photos as a keepsake. So I snapped a bunch of pictures in black and white for history sake. I figured it wouldn't be long until the diner would be hauled away as bits and pieces of wood and metal were being pulled off by fans who wanted a souvenir to remember the famous musicians.
     While looking around from the road, the owner spotted me and came over to see what I was doing. He had problems in the past with people entering the rickety structure. I assured him that all I wanted was to grab a couple of photos to keep in my archives. The photo hadn't been published in The Mercury until this year when we did a feature piece on the band and the album. I dug through a bunch of my old 11x14 inch prints and found it in the bottom of a box. I dusted it off and recopied it for publication.
     It's hard to believe that this will be the fortieth anniversary of the albums debut and I can say I'm still a fan of the duet. Even though I no longer have a turntable,  I'm going to hunt down an old copy of the album just to add to the other ones that I don't play. I should have bought the one I picked up all those years ago.

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