Reminiscing about antiques and ice cream
Recently, I had the honor of being nominated for, and receiving, the United Way of Adams County’s ‘With Heart in Hand’ Adult Volunteer Award. I’m not one to pat myself on the back or brag to others about something like this, so my reason for writing about it is one of nostalgia.
I didn’t celebrate. I didn’t go out to dinner before or after. In fact, my dinner after consisted of fast food from Rutters. But, when I was younger, elementary school to be exact, I did get to celebrate. After a school orchestra concert, or Eisenhower Elementary Fine Arts night, my grandpa would always take me for ice cream. We’d go to Serendipity, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor located at the Gettysburg Hotel.
Sadly, Serendipity was lost, along with other shops in the 1983 hotel fire.
I don’t know whether I was being celebrated, or if grandpa just wanted an excuse to satisfy his sweet tooth that would be justifiable to my grandmother. Either way, sitting there during the awards ceremony conjured up some cherished childhood memories. Grandpa and Serendipity are both gone, but always just a thought away in my mind.
May 20th is the 56th Annual GARMA sponsored Outdoor Antique Show. Yet, another memory comes to mind. ‘Boom box’ radios were quite the thing in the early 1980’s. People would hoist these monstrous music machines onto their shoulders and walk around blaring music that was usually not appreciated by all that were in earshot.
For my 10th birthday I received a smaller version of the boom box. I thought I was something and couldn’t wait to show off my present. My cousin and I walked around town on antique show Saturday, my mini boom box on my shoulder, blaring a Cindy Lauper tape. I remember seeing so many vendors while I was weaving in and out of the crowds of people on the sidewalks making my way to Hartzell’s Luncheonette so I could buy some candy.
I think back at the number of vendors then, and how they’ve diminished over the years. I’ve wanted so much to revitalize the antique show to its grandeur of old, and I really feel that as the caretaker of the show, I’ve failed to do so.
Times have changed since 1983. Vendors have passed, the perception of what qualifies as an antique has changed, streetscapes have changed, and competing shows have popped up over the years. Now, in 2023, that 1983 boom box would qualify as an antique, as do I.
Let’s not forget to make memories. Whether it’s getting together with family for ice cream after a special event or navigating the streets of town through an antique show in search of a Jolly Rancher Fire Stix. Take time to look around and treasure what you have and what is here because it won’t be here forever.
Jennie Dillon is the President of GARMA and proud lifetime Gettysburgian.