Showing posts from April, 2017

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

The classic television sitcom Cheers tells us that "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name." And when I was in my late teens and earlier twenties, there was a place like that where I spent a lot of my time. Only it wasn't a bar, it was a pool hall.

The Rack Room was located on Route 1 in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. It was located behind a Denny's with which it shared a parking lot. It was a pool hall (and a parking lot for that matter) in which I spent a lot of my free time.

I'd been introduced to the place when I was 16. I'd been working part-time at a grocery store and one of my friends/co-workers from there was a regular. I hadn't spent much time in pool halls up until that point, and truth be told I still can't shoot a very good game. I spent just as much time in the Rack Room's arcade playing the latest Mortal Kombat game as I did shooting pool But it wasn't as much about the pool as it was about having a place to hang out…

I-95 Marketplace Remembered

One of the staples of my youth was the I-95 Marketplace, an indoor fleamarket which was located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. It was only open Friday through Sunday (adding Thursdays and eventually the other weekdays during the holidays), and the interior was a large, open space comprised of small shops separated by poles and canvas. You could find all sorts of products there, from clothing, electronics, toys, furniture, books -- pretty much anything.

I would typically go there Friday evenings after school. I'd walk through the woods behind my house, cross two sections of creek, walk under two sections of I-95 itself (the northbound and the southbound), before finally emerging from the woods and arriving at the back of the marketplace building. I have many vivid memories of making the trek in dark, rainy weather, often arriving with wet (or drenched!) sneakers and cuffs, sometimes muddy, but always ready to head inside and spend my allowance on comic books or music or whatever else …