by Dan Smith
Some time back I wrote a column mentioning quite a few local landmarks that have gone the way of the fedora.
As it turned out that type of nostalgia struck a cord with a lot of my readers. Several wrote to tell me how much they enjoyed it and more wrote to let me know about places I had left out. I will now try and turn back the clock once more.
Does anyone remember Lester's Diner? It was the home of the big coffee cup and sat just west of Buck's Gun Rack on Volusia Avenue (International Speedway Boulevard). Right down the street was a great hot dog drive-in, but I have forgotten the name.
Back in the 1970s, State Road A1A in Ormond Beach did not go straight through. When driving from the north, you had to make a right on Granada Boulevard and then a quick left to go around the big Coquina Hotel that extended a full block west from the dunes. Back then A1A was only two lanes.
Down near Seabreeze Boulevard and A1A was the Club Mocambo where the old folks danced the night away. There, crusty codgers in their 30s and 40s enjoyed the sounds of Little Eva and the Espionage.
Further south in Daytona Beach Shores you could boogey to the sounds of the Better Way at Traders Lounge in the Aku Tiki Inn. The lounge is still there, but the Better Way has moved on.
On Main Street, the anchor was Big Daddy Rat's T-shirt shop. That was run by Karl Smith, who also did the great chopper show each Bike Week.
Not all of the landmarks were buildings. One was Tiny Fischetto, who was almost as large as a building. Tiny was a fixture on Main Street and the chopper show. He passed away in 2002.
In Port Orange there was another Big Daddy, but that was a liquor store just east of the bridge.
Pantry Pride grocery stores were all over the area. I remember buying 10 cans of corn for a buck at the one in Granada Plaza in Ormond Beach. It didn't take much to feed yourself in those days. There was an IGA grocer on Bay Street in downtown Daytona Beach.
Out west of New Smyrna Beach on State Road 44 was a solitary little gas station that sat between Samsula and Deland. Once I stopped there for a cold drink and saw a station wagon pull in. While the lone attendant was filling the car with gas, the kids were inside filling their pockets with candy that they never paid for.
South of Oak Hill at the turn off to the Space Center was a Stuckey's kind of restaurant, but I have forgotten the name.
On the corner of U.S. 1 and Canal Street in New Smyrna Beach there was a big lumberyard. There was also Dunn's Lumber in Daytona Beach at Segrave Street and Magnolia Avenue.
Pic & Save was a cut-rate pharmacy and department store that was all around the area. Holly Hill had one at Sixth Street and Ridgewood Avenue, Daytona Beach had one at Beville and Nova roads, and Daytona Beach Shores had one on A1A. In Daytona Beach, there was a Holiday House restaurant on Broadway (International Speedway) just before B & B Fisheries and A1A.
Deland had a great drive-in movie on South Woodland Boulevard and on North Woodland Boulevard was a big orange processing plant. Scotty's Building Supply was all over the place and Deland's was on Spring Garden Road. Port Orange had one about a half mile north of Dunlawton on U.S. 1.
New Smyrna Beach had footballer Larry Csonka's Sports Bar on U.S. 1 and, in Deland, NFL hall of famer Dick Butkus had a nice restaurant on North Woodland. He also had a fern farm there.
The Pump House was fine dining in Daytona Beach on the corner of Magnolia and U.S. 1. South Daytona had a fine drive-in movie theater on the highway. I believe it sat where city hall now stands. Heck, that's enough of that. All this remembering has given me a headache.
For a little more nostalgia, try Rockefeler Revisited at The Casements in Ormond Beach. From 6 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 27 re-enactors will portray historical characters in their annual Halloween pageant. For more information, call (386) 676-3216.
Dan Smith is on the board of directors for the Ormond Beach Historical Society, The Motor Racing Heritage Association and is the author of a fishing book.