LETTERS  PCR #410      (January 28--February 3, 2008)

  • Reader recalls Red Baron Airlines (And Will Moriaty's reply)
  • Reader recalls old restuatant (And Will Moriaty's reply)
  • More on Red Baron Airlines (And Will Moriaty's reply)
  • Reader on Haunted Review (And Will Moriaty's reply)

    Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.


    Hi Will,
    How about Red Baron Airlines with the Tallahassee Gainesville PBI routes.

    Edvin Malagic

    Will Moriaty responds:
    Dear Mr. Malagic
    Thank you for reading our on-line publication and thanks for the time table image! I admit guilt in never having heard of a Florida commuter airline named Red Baron. In addition to our letter column readers, I am passing along to Florida and Georgia commuter airline guru David Henderson and to devout fan of the Royal Guardsmen (a Florida band that did a song in the 1960's titled "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" back in the 1960') ED Tucker, the link you attached for their information and entertainment.

    Thanks again!
    William Moriaty
    La Floridiana


    To Will Moriaty:
    I happened to stumble across your page on forgotten restaurants in Tampa when I was searching for Falges. (Likely 2003's "Hungering for Memories", La Floridiana #149 -- Nolan)

    May I add another one to your list: Frisch's Big Boy at the corner of South Dale Mabry and Estrella. I believe that it was owned by Al Pach. There is now a bank where the restaurant used to be. In fact, there were several Frisch's in the area: one on N Florida Ave past Busch Blvd that is now called the Pine Grove Family Restaurant; one on Gulf to Bay in Clearwater just west of Clearwater High School; and one on Pasadena Ave on the way to St. Petersburg Beach. They all featured that great double-decker hamburger called the Big Boy that I always believed was the secret inspiration for the Big Mac. There are still many Frisch's left in the midwest as well as many other Big Boy restaurants in other parts of the country including Orlando, but none in the Tampa Bay area. The oldest remaining Big Boy is Bob's Big Boy Restaurant in Burbank, CA.

    Henry Moore
    Lifelong resident of South Tampa
    Plant High '58

    Will Moriaty responds:
    Dear Mr. Moore:
    Thank you for reading our on-line publication!

    As I am also very interested in mid-century modern architecture, and Frisch's was a vanguard of Googie or Populuxe derivations of that style, maybe you can verify the following for me. In a previous issue, I featured a photograph of the Four Coins Restaurant on 34th Street North in St. Petersburg. Several people commented to me that they recall it as originally being a Frisch's. Do you also recall that as being the case? The design of the building is strikingly similar to the current day Pine Grove Family Restaurant on Busch Boulevard in Tampa.

    Lastly, do you recall going to Plant High School with my half brother Patton Pender who went there between 1956 and 1958?

    William Moriaty
    La Floridiana

    (From Henry Moore)
    Mr. Moriaty,
    Thanks for your reply.

    Yes, the Four Coins was a Frisch's. I had forgotten about the 34th St location. The N Florida Ave, Clearwater and Pasadena locations were of the same design as that one. The S Dale Mabry building was a different design. The Clearwater building is still there, but I am not sure about the Pasadena building. I cannot see it on Google satellite; I can see the others.

    Also, I do remember Pat Pender from high school. Been a long time ago.

    Henry Moore

    Thanks for the response Henry!

    I believe that there is an extant Frisch's building on Pasadena Avenue as my mid-century modern fan and friend Susan Hughes spotted a similar designed building on the west side of the road last week. Does that sound like the proper side of the road as you recall?

    Also, it's great to hear that someone in Tampa remembers my half-brother. He ended up going from Plant High School to the Citadel in Charleston, S.C., then to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Co. He then flew Phantom F-4's over in 'Nam in the mid-to-late 1960's and piloted Boeing 727's for National Airlines before his death to Melanoma Cancer at age 33 in 1973 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

    William Moriaty,
    La Floridiana


    Dear PCR Readers:
    David Henderson author of "Sunshine Skies: Historic Commuter Airlines of Florida and Georgia" shares the fate of Red Baron Airlines with the readership in his missive below.

    Will Moriaty

    Hello Will!
    Good to hear from you. Hope all is well in Florida. That timetable looks like a very rare find! Thanks for forwarding that. Red Baron is briefly mentioned in Sunshine Skies. They changed their name to Florida Commuter Airlines and quickly went out of business after a DC-3 crashed in the Bahamas.

    Thought of you the other day. I found an old video of the Atlanta airport demolition and uploaded it to YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPfQ9KGbws4

    Also stumbled upon this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEW8AvvlaAk

    Take care and stay in touch!

    David Henderson

    (From Edvin Malagic)
    Thank you very much for the info. I was now able to see that Florida Commuter Airlines and Red Baron Airlines had the same address and the same routes that they flew had the same flight numbers. Also, the plane that crashed used to belong to Air Sunshine, tying that all together. You can see this from the attachments.


    Mr. Moriaty:
    While surfing the internet, I ran across your review of my book, "Haunt Hunter's Guide to Florida" (Pineapple Press). I would like to take this opportunity, although belatedly, to thank you for the review. Somehow, I missed reading it before this. I'm very grateful. I have recently gotten a N.Y. agent for my historical novels. May I include your name on a list of potential reviewers?

    Joyce Moore

    Will Moriaty responds:
    Dear Ms. Moore:
    I would be most honored to be recognized as a major fan and supporter of the "Haunt Hunter's Guide to Florida", and you are most welcome to link people to the review, but at this point in time personal commitments prevent me from taking on any additional responsibilities.

    Nevertheless, thanks so much for such a great book! My wife and I both ended up staying at the Cabbage Key Inn and Marerro's Guest Mansion (formerly Colours) and inevitably had some pretty strange things happen at both of them!

    Keep up the great work. Of all the Florida ghost books, yours is hands down the best!

    William Moriaty
    La Floridiana

    To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

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