A Bellingham Foodie Blog Restaurant Reviews Bellingham Washington 98225

June 16, 2009

Last Meals in Padded Cells

Filed under: Bellingham local,local,Pacific Northwest,restaurants — Tags: , , — Bellinghamster @ 1:31 am

The Whatcom Museum was Bellingham City Hall long ago. The rooms and halls we walk filled with artifacts, objects and art were once the space of politics and ordinances. Downstairs from the public rooms are now offices, but once were the Police Station with jail cells. The ornate central staircase has a twin underneath it – walk down it and imagine the sarge sitting high behind the elevated desk looking down on the criminal brought in for booking. The jail cell bars are still on the walls. The walls are as thick as a chocolate layer cake. And there is a padded cell. The original padding is still on the inside of the door. I touched it and I felt afraid for who had been in it.

It made me wonder about last meals.

Some people would choose a favorite meal. I would choose something I couldn’t have anymore – Howard Johnson’s strawberry ice cream.

When I was growing up our family drove many miles. My folks LOVED driving to new places and this was also the way we spent our vacations. If you are familiar with the long road trip as part of your childhood vacations, then you also remember the rest stops and for me  all of them were Howard Johnson restaurant/inns (eastern seaboard). In fact, part of the highlight of going on vacation was eating out and I LOVED eating at Howard Johnson’s. I am not a picky eater, then or now, and always cleared my plate(s). And I always chose the same dessert:  Howard Johnson’s strawberry ice cream.

Paul H. Beckner created the formula for the strawberry ice cream almost 100 years ago while working for Louis Sherry.  Louis Sherry ice cream was being served at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York when Howard Johnson sampled it. Mr. Johnson wanted Mr. Becker to work for him. And he did. Time has passed and Howard Johnson’s has been bought and sold a few times. There are 3 franchises left: 2 in NY and 1 in Maine. It was a great childhood memory and strawberry ice cream is still my favorite!

x-country road trip anyone?

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