Thursday, May 19, 2011

Harley's Sandwich Shop

"Harley's Nightshift" oil on canvas (14"x 18") 2011

Who cannot remember, at least one time, eating a Harley Burger very late at night? They cost 69 cents and were just what some of the underage drinkers needed to help sober-up after sharing too many six-packs of bargain beer or Bali Hai wine. In addition to families, Harley’s also served the night shift worker. My friend Al worked until midnight and like clockwork at 12:30 a.m. he rolled his salmon colored Corvette onto the Harley’s parking lot on Rt. 40 W in Catonsville, MD. In fact his timing was so dependable that the ladies at the counter had his favorite pizza waiting for him every week night. Harley’s was brought to you by Baltimorean Harley Brinsfield who in my memory had the best local radio show featuring jazz. Harley’s record collection was fabulous and his dedicated listeners tuned in regularly. His show included adds of course for his sandwich shops - located all over Baltimore.
At the close of each show Harley played "
Sailing Down the Chesapeake." Toot Toot!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Roadside Lures

"Lunch, Dinners, Cabins" oil on canvas (30" x 20") 2004

More often than not, the earliest roadside stops were family owned. I imagine these three women in my painting might have been sisters or sisters-in-law. In my mind they spent most of their days and nights together maintaining their overnight cabins and dining room for weary travelers. The lady in the middle of this trio probably was in charge of making the dinners and lunches. She certainly takes pride in her uniform with the matching cap - tilted at a jaunty angle. I like to think that the long, thin redhead was a manager type, eyeing guests and asking them to sign the register. She might be the bossy one. The blond on the end helped with the cleaning and was good-natured about keeping the business humming along. She had a habit of photographing their guests from time to time. She kept these photos with descriptions in a private album hidden in her room.