For the benefit of anyone who might have half a curiosity about the picture I'm currently using for the title graphic, it's the abandoned Paradise Restaurant ... located in south Screven County, Georgia at the intersection of Georgia 17 and U.S. 301. It's one of many, many such empty and decaying relics along what used to be a thriving East coast arterial. And Highway 301, dearfolk, was just as busy and robust as a certain over-commercialized Chicago-to-L.A. corridor we're all familiar with.
Well, here's the above picture (which I took in the Spring of 2006) "in the clear", as we in the radio bidness like to say:
The Paradise is located in a pecan grove (and that's pronounced "PEE-can"), adjacent to a motel which also shares this name. In its prime, both served as an oasis of sorts along 301 between the cities of Sylvania and Statesboro. Evidently, this was the second building to house this eatery. Plenty of old, linen postcards abound on the 'net which show the original structure. I'd been looking in vain for one that showed this building. Lo and behold, I finally found one:
It's postmarked 1962. Okay, so it still had the old sign. Don't you just love that orange and teal color scheme?? And those hanging light fixtures visible through the plate-glass windows.
Yeah, yeah, it's these times when I wish I was 52 instead of 42. To have been able to experience a lot more of real Americana first-hand.
Okay, here's the deal: if Seraphim and I win Powerball, we're gonna buy this place and return it to her beautiful original space-age grandeur. That neon sign out front, by gollydurn, is gonna have every last tube restored, and it will again flash a siren call along US-301's roadside.
All this time, I've been bitching and moaning about the lack of a good artery-constrictin' Friday night fried seafood buffet around here. Well, I'd make one happen.
There might not be as many Florida-bound tourists along this two-lane blacktop, however we'll bring 'em in from Statesboro, Millen, Sylvania, Newington, Springfield, Waynesboro .... if you build it, they will come. I have to know I'm not the only one craving a good Friday night seafood spread.
The Paradise will come back to life. And it will become highly-renowned for its cakes, pastries and other baked goods. I happen to know somebody who tinkers a little with cake-makin' on the side. I share a bed with her.
And, in the event Nettiemac wants to join us, we'll offer The Paradise Tiki Room in the back.
It doesn't hurt to dream. It really doesn't.
"And so, my friends, we'll say goodnight,
for time has claimed his prize,
but tonight can always last,
as long as we keep alive,
the mem'ries of Paradise"
--Dennis DeYoung, Styx
Ciao for niao.
--Talmadge "Recommended by Duncan Hines" Gleck
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