As I don't know where I'm going to go with this, I'll start by thanking buffetbuster
for starting this thread.
Because it is a 'college town' my hometown of New Wilmington remains stable and prosperous. Nearby New Castle has lost more than half its population. Those who remain are well illustrated by your picture of the waitress and the other diners at LOTD
. Once a thriving industrial powerhouse its largest employer is now a healthcare conglomerate specializing in 'services for Seniors'; thus goes "My Little Town
The last time I visited was February, 2010 to attend to a family matter. On that sad occasion two things cheered me up: meeting Joe Greene on the flight up from DFW and the prospect of dinner at "The V
To my horror, The Villanova Inn
had closed. Why? This joint had it all
: a well-lit dining room for families two steps up from a darker bar with plenty of comfortable booths. Their menu had steaks, chops, and all the red-sauce Italian classics. They also did the best "bar food" I have ever tasted: wonderful pizza and a 'Pittsburgh-style plate-covering
' fish sandwich. I had had magnificent wings there before they came to be called "Buffalo"; they were 'hot drummies'. Yet, they had closed. The truth hit me: their clients were either dead or, like me, gone. The silver-haired widows that remain together with their $8/hour attendants were not part of the V's
"key demo". Disheartened, we drove the 20 miles up 18 to Sharon and enjoyed ourselves at the original Quaker Steak & Lube: Three by the River
The next day I walked into G&M Coney and walked right back out. It had transmogrified from a homey beer bar that served great hot dogs into a brightly-lit fast food vibe. As did not match my mood we drove 20 miles east out 224 to The Inner Circle
in Boardman, OH. For the remainder of the trip we gave up on New Castle and dined happily at several of these places
owned by a kid a few years behind me in high school.
Now that my mother has passed is there any reason for me to visit anymore? Yes! That country is absolutely beautiful: rich, rolling hill farmland underlain by the Marcellus Shale. You can buy a palace in a great 'hood for $150K. It's a shopper's paradise, tax-free at the Grove City Outlets
. Golf courses are very
plentiful, uncrowded, and cheap. New Castle CC was designed by Tillinghast; Youngstown's municipal course is 36 holes designed by the greatest of them all: Donald Ross, Himself. And, of course, the most pleasant and welcoming big city on Earth is only a short drive away!