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Tip leads to daughter of old drive-in’s owners

Katie Broucke Barrow, now 78, who grew up in Cloud Lake and lives just north of Palm Beach International Airport, saw our recent note asking for more details on “Terry’s,” the drive-in and bar in Glen Ridge, just south of the airport.

“A 1949 hurricane went directly over PBIA and the bar was demolished,” Katie recalled. “My father helped rebuild it.”

Katie recalled that the family who ran the bar was named Quackenbush.

That led us to a 1997 obituary for Georgia “Mom” Quackenbush, who died at 91. She and her late husband James, the write-up said, owned Terry’s Drive In Bar and “were known for their homemade chili and Sunday sing-a-longs with Mel Tillis.”

That led us to Georgia’s daughter, Anita Quackenbush Gierok, now 75, of The Acreage.

The “itty bitty” Terry’s operated from around 1948 to around 1970 at 1552 Southern Blvd., Gierok recalled last month.

And because it was in the tiny municipality of Glen Ridge, she said, it was the only bar in Palm Beach County allowed to open Sunday mornings.

When the place opened at 10 a.m, “it was packed. They’d be three deep,” she said,

Many were from the nearby Palm Beach Air Force Base, now PBIA. It had operated as Morrison Field during World War II and had been reactivated as Palm Beach Air Force Base.

The fly boys, Gierok recalled, were nearly all gentlemen, although she recalled a pretty good fight one night after the bar closed.

And, Gierok said, more than one serviceman met a future wife in South Florida; “I married one of them,” she said.

Gierok’s step-grandmother, the widowed Cora Quackenbush, had come down from Pennsylvania in the 1930s, and in the late 1940s had sold Gierok’s parents the property where they built the bar, named for Anita’s mother’s maiden name. The family lived in a home next door.

“Southern Boulevard was two lanes,” Gierok said. As in one each way.

At the bar, “there were six stools and a kitchen,” Gierok said. The place could sell only beer, not hard liquor. And, she said, “We had hot dogs. ‘Home of the foot-long hot dog. And chili.” And pickled eggs and pickled pigs’ feet.

Although it would violate many a health and labor law today, Gierok, then only 10, cooked the burgers and dogs, she recalled.

The bar had a jukebox that played country-western music, but allowed no dancing.

The great 1949 hurricane blew away an addition the family had built, and tore off the roof, but the bar didn’t budge, Anita said. A package store was added in 1953. Anita’s father died around 1966, and her mom sold the property in 1981. It’s now home to the Peterson Bernard law firm.

Terry’s Drive In owner Georgia “Mom” Quackenbush and daughter Anita – now Anita Gierok – outside the drive-in soon after a 1950 hurricane. (Photos courtesy Anita Gierok)

Terry’s Drive In owner Georgia “Mom” Quackenbush inside the original drive in, 1949.

The package store that was added to the front of the Quackenbush residence in 1953.

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Posted in Eliot Kleinberg July 11, 2013 at 10:53 am.

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This week in history: New passenger terminal opens at Palm Beach International Airport

Thousands of people attended the Oct. 23, 1988, dedication of the David McCampbell Terminal at Palm Beach International Airport, named for the World War II naval flying ace and Medal of Honor recipient who retired to Palm Beach County and died here in 1996. The new state of the art terminal doubled the number of gates that had been at the airport since the previous expansion, in 1966, and introduced the shopping mall atmosphere that looks “like you’re down on Worth Avenue.”

Palm Beach International Airport in 1966 (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)

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Posted in Flashback blog and Our history in photos October 22, 2012 at 7:40 am.

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This week in history: Lantana Airport opens

The first plane landed on the newly paved runway at the Lantana Airport on Aug. 20, 1941. The airport, now known as Palm Beach County Park Airport, was expanded to accommodate civilian air traffic when nearby Morrison Field, now Palm Beach International Airport, was turned over to the military during World War II.

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Posted in Flashback blog August 20, 2012 at 6:00 am.

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World War II flight to West Palm Beach crashed in Arkansas

We’ve often mentioned that – knock on wood – there’s never been a fatal commercial air crash at Palm Beach International Airport.

Two military crashes in 1956 left eight dead. The first commercial flight ever, in 1936, crashed en route to Newark, N.J., but remarkably, no one died. And a 1980 gambling junket to the Bahamas dropped into the ocean, killing 34.

Recently, Post staff researcher Michelle Quigley came across the tale of a flight headed for here that never arrived.

According to a November 2011 story by reporter Noel E. Oman in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, authorities in Grand County, Ark., about 40 miles south of Little Rock, are trying to restore a monument and create a 1-acre park in time for next year’s 70th anniversary of the March 12, 1943 crash that killed nine.

Local civic groups raised about $2,500 to erect a marker at the crash site and artifacts are displayed at a museum.

The plane had left Salina, Kan., headed for PBIA, then Morrison Field, where planes heading to the China-Burma-India theater made their last American stop.

It was to leave Salina at 1 p.m. and fly the 1,500 or so miles to Morrison, landing at 9:35 p.m. The crew was to fly not by sight but by instrument readings.

It got only about 560 miles before it fell from the Arkansas sky amid low clouds, rain and early darkness of a winter afternoon.

According to Oman’s article, a military investigation cited pilot error, but critics of the finding said the newly manufactured, four-engined Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress “was a lemon and shouldn’t have been flying.”

The plane had a wingspan of 103 feet and four 1,200-horsepower engines, with an arsenal of 11 .50-caliber machine guns and up to four tons of bombs.

Folks who researched the flight said the plane had about 25 hours of flight time and was plagued with so many maintenance problems it was “condemned” the day before the crash. And crew members had complained about its lack of airworthiness and told Army officials about “serious vibrations.” Also, the plane had lost part of its wing before the crash.

Web page: www.arkansasties.com/Grant/PlaneCrash.htm

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Posted in Eliot Kleinberg March 15, 2012 at 1:29 pm.

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This week in history: First Palm Beach County airport approved

On Sept. 20, 1929, the first airport in the Palm Beach area was officially recognized when the federal government approved a beacon and landing marker for Lightbown Municipal Airport. The airport, named for Palm Beach Mayor Cooper Lightbown, was established by the Greater Palm Beach Airport Association and the Junior Chamber of Commerce on a 440-acre tract on Belvedere Road. In 1936 the airport we now know as Palm Beach International began commercial service and was renamed Morrison Field.

This photo of a Ford tri-motor passenger plane was taken in 1929. From Post Time reader James P. Sikes who submitted the photo: The plane was the “747 of its day. Note the huge wingspan. The event was a plane ride over West Palm Beach for the employees of the West Palm Beach Water Co., shown standing with the plane along with company trucks prior to take-off in West Palm Beach. My father is the man in the middle back row, wearing the bow tie. His name, James Sikes.”

Coincidentally, Charles Lindbergh flew over West Palm Beach on his way to Miami the day before Lightbown Municipal Airport got its federal certification,

The Palm Beach Post story says “Col. and Mrs. Lindbergh passed over West Palm Beach at 12:52 Thursday afternoon, flying very high, and somewhat west of the city. His plane was moving at a rapid rate of speed.”

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Posted in Flashback blog September 19, 2011 at 6:00 am.


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