Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Green River and A Cherry Phosphate

My (Chuck) cousin Raina has a knack for finding interesting, unusual, and/or off-beat things to do or places to see.

The most recent example of this occurred after we had completed an errand on 7th Street in Phoenix. Raina had noticed this sign near where we had parked, stated she would be right back, and quickly headed into the store.

The blue and orange sign reminded me of the old Rexall Drug Store signs, so when Raina returned and urged us to follow her into the drug store, I thought this may store may have a few old Rexall products on display.

Entering the door should have been an indication that MacAlpine's may not be your typical old Rexall Drug Store.

Once inside, I realized that the key words on the sign were "Soda Fountain," but more on that in just a bit. A quick walk past the soda fountain area took us to an arched entrance to another room.

A few steps took us back about five decades. Along with these purses, there was a wide selection of hats and a few pairs of gloves.

These purses took us back to the late 60's-early 70's. Kate felt the pull to the past and gave considerable thought to buying the blue purse in front.

Walking around the displays of old clothes, we could almost hear "If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair," sung by Scott McKenzie.

The "time machine" experience was solidified by the appearance of one particular item in this display. The lava lamp served as the center of attention at social gatherings. I thought for sure I heard someone say, "Far out, man" as we stood staring at the unplugged lamp.

A song playing on the 1952 Seabird 100 juke box brought us back to the present and Raina's reason for urging us to see the soda fountain.

We passed these booths, which reminded Kate of Allen’s Tea Room in her hometown of Clinton, Iowa in the 60’s.

Rumor has it that it was in MacAlpine's that Wayne Newton and his brother Jerry were horsing around and caught the ear of Lew King, who asked Wayne to sing on the "Lew King Ranger Talent Show" on Channel 12 in Phoenix.

Jackie Gleason saw the performance and invited Newton to join his traveling ensemble. The rest, as they say, . . . .

The three of us took seats at the counter and took a moment to take a short mental journey back five decades.

MacAlpine's was established in 1928, and the soda fountain still has the original counter.

In addition to hamburgers and cheeseburgers, the restaurant serves such non-traditional soda fountain items as a Black bean vegetarian burger and homemade seafood chowder on Fridays along with French onion, black bean, and cream of Mushroom on other days. The restaurant seats up to 45 people

But it was the rows of syrups that caught our eye. They make all the old drinks, including Egg creams and Phosphates with 34 flavors to choose from.

We took a step back to our soda fountain days, when Lily served us a Green River (Chuck) and a Cherry Phosphate (Kate). Raina passed on the fountain offerings, but she had succeeded in finding another fun destination.

As Green Tongue and Red Tongue left with Raina, three clocks read 10:55, 9:55, and 7:03--the hours and minutes were indicated, but the year represented by each was unknown.

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