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Boston Braves and Diners – Thinking of My Dad

Posted on: January 11, 2011


We joke in my family that you could do anything with my dad, as long as it was something he wanted to do :-) So we girls went to many a field trial, old book store and decoy shop.

There were some times however where our interests intersected, and this picture of a diner is one of those examples:
Hayes Bickford's Diner Warren Spahn Boston BravesAnother thing my dad was known for was being very loyal and set in his ways. So when The Boston Braves left Boston in 1953, my dad remained a Braves fan for the rest of his life -even though the Red Sox were now the hometown team.

But what does that have to do with this photo of a Hayes Bickford’s Diner on Commonwealth Ave in Boston?

Knowing I was interested in diners, my dad got this photo ( a reprint from BU Photo Services) to share with me. I remember him telling me that at one point this diner was owned by Warren Spahn of The Boston Braves.

Diners and The Boston Braves – finally we had something we could talk about!

Hayes Bickford's Diner Warren Spahn Boston Braves Close up

My research at Boston-Braves.com confirms what dad said:

“With the slogan, β€œThe Best In Baseball — The Best In Food,” the restaurant?s debut was set for Opening Day 1953 to welcome hungry Braves Field patrons. Unfortunately, both
Spahn and potential pre- and post game hungry customers were in Milwaukee that April. The restaurant, on the opposite side of Commonwealth Avenue near Babcock Street, is long gone. It transitioned into a Hayes Bickford diner and, ultimately, to a muf?er shop.”

Now I will leave it up to the diner folks (Larry, I’m looking your way ;-)) to fill in the blanks about this diner’s make and model and history. To me the history is with the photo, and the subject, and my dad.

This photo made it’s way from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania sandwiched between two of dad’s records – the Mills Brothers and The Ink Spots. Here’s to you, dad – and thanks for caring for us, all the time, even when we didn’t have a lot to talk about:

  • http://www.roadsidewonders.net wendyvee

    Awwww, what a sweet momento. I can always hear the love in your voice when you talk about Mr. Lennon :)

    I had to giggle at the end. That song reminds me of Fred from Sanford & Sons (I don’t remember if it was 1 or more episodes during which Red Fox sang snatches of that song). I wasn’t allowed to be up to watch S&S … but I could hear every word because the radiator in my bedroom was right above the living room television and the sound floated up through the holes in the floor for the radiator.

  • http://www.RetroRoadmap.com Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap.com

    WVee- Glad that it put a smile on your face whatever the reason! Actually my dad and I had a little joke between us about the Ink Spots (which were a band HIS dad was a fan of as well) – back in the 80’s a Ink Spots tribute act came to a venue out near Framingham/Worcester MA and somehow I got some free tickets because I worked at my college radio station out thataway. I took my folks to the show and we noticed that every time the lead singer went to hit one of those trademark high notes he’d raise his right hand to the sky and shake it around a bit (Kinda like Fred Sanford ;-)) So ever since then any time we’d here an Ink Spots song one of us in the family would inevitably raise our hand that way too, and have a laugh with dad. What a good memory to have.

  • Pam

    Not sure I can listen to the song right now – you know why – but feel the sentiment so strongly.

    • http://www.RetroRoadmap.com Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap.com

      I know, exactly.

  • http://dinerhotline.wordpress.com Larry Cultrera

    Warren Spahn’s Diner is a large Mountain View Diner with factory-built kitchen/restrooms and entryway vestibule. He was friendly with the owners of the Circle Diner of Watertown and practiced operating a diner there prior to his being delivered. The Circle Diner eventually moved to Brighton to become the Pig N’ Whistle Diner (now closed). I have seen this photo online (Boston University archives).

    • http://www.RetroRoadmap.com Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap.com

      Larry, I knew I could count on you to fill in the official details – thanks so much for this, and for coming tomy dad’s wake as well. That was very nice of you.

  • http://retroroadmap.com Mod Betty

    Mary M writes:

    In the early 1950’s we lived in back of the Diner on Commonwealth Ave. Actually you can see our house in the background.
    Often times on Sundays we would stop in for breakfast. I was a youngster then and remember walking my dog by and
    smelling the coffee.
    My favorite sandwich was crabmeat salad on white bread, a coke and chocolate ice cream for dessert.

    Often times after coming back from intown Boston, we would stop for lunch. What a luxury to have a place to eat so close.

    I remember the Boston Braves playing in Braves field only for a short time before they moved to Milwaukee.

    Great memories.