Re­mem­ber Tony Kon­tos?

Record Observer - - Opinion -

I don’t re­call ever us­ing po­etry in the col­umn, but this is too good to pass up. It comes from my friend, Chuck Pow­ers, the re­tired li­brary ad­min­is­tra­tor, who tells me he found it in some old pa­pers he was go­ing through the other day.

Now I am afraid only the se­nior read­ers of this col­umn will re­mem­ber the New York Restau­rant and its owner Tony Kon­tos. It was on Com­merce at the right side where the Com­merce Street Cream­ery is to­day, and let me tell you, it was the down­town so­cial cen­ter. Tony car­ried it on for a half-cen­tury back in the early part of the 1900s. I be­lieve he died in 1976.

This poem was writ­ten by Caro­line Hoyt and I am not fa­mil­iar with her name, but the Hoyt name is fa­mil­iar. Any­way, let her take up most of this week’s visit:

“A Day at the New York Restau­rant”

Some­where be­tween the hours of eight and nine The Restau­rant doors swing open The cof­fee is ready and tastes just fine

The busi­ness day in Cen­tre­ville has be­gun.

The Prices come in; Mayor El and Bob The Bills; Cross and Freestate. Fish­ing and boat­ing are top­ics of the day ...

“How many did you catch? What did you use for bait?” Kate Everett comes in for cof­fee. Bob Brown wants a beer. This lady is sell­ing fresh veg­eta­bles. Nice to see all the folks here. Where’s Bertha to­day? The ques­tion is posed.

I guess you might say “She’s in­dis­posed.”

Ju­lia’s out in the kitchen; Thelma’s work­ing to­day. The lit­tle Greek will be down soon To see if ev­ery­thing’s okay. Very soon it is time for lunch. They all be­gin to con­gre­gate. Doc­tors, lawyers, drug­gists, nurses

Some come early, some come late. Judges, clerks, and sales­men, too. It looks like a list of Cen­tre­ville’s Who’s Who.

Kader, Lat­shaw, Chanaud, Wood and Con­nor

Downs, An­thony, Yates, Elmer T. and Hack­ett Turner.

Whether its soft crabs or steak or corned beef and iced tea ... The or­ders are filled to per­fec­tion The or­ders are filled to a T. After lunch, life qui­ets down The help gets a chance to eat Then the run game be­gins once

But it still puz­zles me that the two coins which must have been en­closed in hun­dreds, maybe thou­sands, of beg­ging let­ters could not have been put to bet­ter use by these peo­ple.

••• THE OLD WYE MILL The lat­est is­sue of Shore Home and Gar­den, pub­lished by my old friend Ralph Hostetter, had a lengthy fea­ture on the old Wye Mill with a num­ber of pic­tures.

Now over the years, I have writ­ten quite a bit about the old mill and how it still grinds flour for cus­tomers the first and third Satur­days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. But the story’s author called it the old­est con­tin­u­ously op­er­at­ing grist mill in Mary­land. I do not re­call say­ing it was the old­est in the na­tion. Then again, my mem­ory is hazy at this age.

But pick up a copy of the free mag­a­zine and read all about our grist mill that gives Wye Mills its name.

••• AN HIS­TORIC NOTE I al­ways look at the THIS DAY IN HIS­TORY, a small fea­ture in the Sun each day. The Sun­day is­sue said that on that day in his­tory in 1931 (May 1), the Em­pire State Build­ing was ded­i­cated in New York City.

It re­minded me that John J. Raskob was re­spon­si­ble for build­ing that his­toric struc­ture, and he once owned Pi­o­neer Point Farms, out­side Cen­tre­ville. I never got the chance to meet Mr. Raskob but did at­tend Boy Scout Camp Rod­ney one sum­mer with one of his sons, Ben. Mr. Raskob was very kind to Cen­tre­ville, he built Our Mother of Sor­rows Catholic Church. Raskob was at one time chief ex­ec­u­tive at Gen­eral Mo­tors and chair­man of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee. The Raskobs had 13 chil­dren.

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