Thursday, January 21, 2010

Royal Dunloggin Farms at Bel-Loc Diner

Some days I am in awe of my good fortune. Last week I met my friend Nancy for breakfast at the Bel-Loc Diner in Parkville, MD. Since I love all things dairy in Maryland - imagine how elated I was to find this vintage milk machine sitting there behind their counter AND still in use! Talk about time travel. The diner opened in 1964 in an era when Royal Dunloggin was still in business and before it became part of the Royal Farm Store family. Well the experience sat so well with me that I had to share it here with some of my Royal Dunloggin paintings and stories, too.
The cows for the Royal Dunloggin Dairy used to graze in Howard County, MD. Sometime in the early 1960s a housing development sprung up on the land. It is not hard to find because it is still called Dunloggin today. However before the moo cows roamed the farm it was a forest that was cleared for lumber and when the owner was finished with that business he said he was “dunloggin’” and the land became a farm. Some of the early Royal Dunloggin Farms pint-size milk bottles are embossed with images of tree logs. This logo gives credibility to the story as it was told to me. The particular herd of dairy cows that gave their milk everyday for Royal Dunloggin was a very unusual, well-bred group. Our family had Royal Dunloggin delivered several days a week. And our milkman Mr. Ross was kind enough to get my cat out of the tree once, too.
The painting of the truck is really a tribute to Mr. Ross who so patiently tried to please my mother’s particular rules about how milk was to be handled. Another part of his route was to deliver milk to St. Mark’s parochial school in Catonsville. Everyone loved to see and hear him pull up in his Divco truck and bring in the white and chocolate milk for the students.
I collect Maryland dairy milk bottles and use them for inspiration while painting my milk trucks. This painting of the bottle here is from my collection. Instead of putting milk inside I mostly use the tiny Styrofoam pellets to simulate the white milk that I still drink every day from the current wax-paperboard containers. The clear plastic bottles are just not the same and honestly it affects the flavor of the milk.

oil on canvas and painted from my memory of Mr Ross our milkman

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