Retro Repost: 10 Sitcom Characters That Just Disappeared

Monday, February 28, 2022

Have you ever followed a TV show for a few seasons and found yourself wondering, "Whatever happened to that guy?" Did cast members seem like they just disappeared into thin air?  Well, I've put together a list of some of the top 10 Disappearing Sitcom Characters that may just answer your questions!

This article about "Disappearing Sitcom Characters" appeared on The Retro Network late last year.  I felt it was well-received over there, and I quickly posted it here too.  Unfortunately, when I posted it here, my timing was off, and it was quickly swept out of the way by my month-long Halloween content.

I felt it should have had more "time to shine," so to speak, so I've been waiting for the right opportunity to make a Retro RePost featuring it.  Since I was busy with work and my little one's big birthday celebration this week, I felt now was the right time.  

Please CLICK HERE TO READ about the "10 Sitcom Characters That Just Disappeared!" 

Thanks for checking it out, whether you've read it already or not!

10 Television Hangouts I'd Love To Visit

Monday, February 21, 2022

I grew up in what I considered to be a small town.  Or, at least it seemed like it to me back then.  I felt like I knew everyone, and most everyone knew me and my family, who had been residents in town for decades.  

In all honesty, it was more likely that I lived in a bubble like all kids do.  The world revolves around us at that age.  I will admit, however, the area has since been built up, and the number of houses has nearly doubled, but my world was admittedly much smaller than I thought back then.  

I played sports throughout my time in school and had friends in all different groups and cliques.  We never all hung out together, and it was rare that the groups would ever cross.  The lunchroom was pretty segregated by "social status" in those days.  It probably still is.  

Even outside of school, there were very few places where any particular group would cross paths with another.  Besides "the mall," where all we did was walk around to kill time, there was never really a place where everyone gathered.  We never had a place where we could say "meet you later, at..." or "see you tonight, at..."  

That's where television comes in.  

Classic sitcoms, the comfort food of television, always had great places for everyone to hang out.  All different groups of people would meet and mingle at these hotspots.  Of course, the show's main characters would become regulars who befriended the owners and staff and were often given special treatment.  Since I never had one of these places to hang out in, I was always envious of the local watering holes that television characters would drop in to hang with friends. 

With that thought in mind, I figured it would be fun to look back at ten of everyone's favorite television hangouts (in no particular order) from YesterYear!

Restaurants of YesterYear - Howard Johnson's Restaurant and Motor Lodge

Monday, February 14, 2022

Like many Americans, travel is in my genetic makeup.  It's in our blood.  Americans come from pioneers who pushed boundaries into the wild west, explored new horizons, and experienced new things.  

I love all traveling: road trips, train travel, cruise ships, and of course, airplanes. 

I firmly believe there is something truly American about an old fashion road trip.  Europe might be known for "backpacking" trips across the continent, but we set out in cars here in America to see the country.  Eating at mom and pop diners or spending the night in a roadside motel is a right of passage... or it should be, in my opinion, anyway.

Growing up, the best parts of our vacation, for me, were often the plane ride and the hotel!  One day, after getting back from Florida, my Mom was talking to another mother while we waited for the school bus.  She mentioned all I cared about were the plane, hotel, and rental car!  She jokingly said that she shouldn't have taken us to Disney and instead saved a lot of money just booking a room at the hotel down the road.  That comment always stuck with me, and while she was only joking, there was some truth to it!   I DID like the hotel better!

Don't get me wrong, I loved our trips to Disney World (still do!), but sometimes what I genuinely enjoy most is the hotel stay.  

I can remember every trip and each hotel we stayed in growing up.  As a kid, I collected the free paraphernalia from the room, and until around college, I had a giant bin of soaps, shampoo bottles, pens, and notepads from hotels around the country.  

I remember well one such trip occurred when we all headed up to the Boston area for a cousin's wedding.  After the wedding was over, we drove into the city proper to spend a day or two sightseeing.  Boston is a great walking city, and you can see much of the city in only a day.  We had a memorable time on the hop-on/hop-off trolly, but true to fashion, what I remember most about was the hotel.

We stayed at a Howard Johnson's.  

After a bit of research, I've come to find out we stayed at the somewhat famous "Boston Park Plaza 57 - Howard Johnson's." This was the trip that not only did I learn that most high-rise buildings superstitiously skip the "13th floor," but my family gained a story we sometimes retell when we're all together.  We walked down the street to a Bennigan's for dinner on our first night.  The waiter barely got out "Hi, I'm Mark, and I'll be your waiter..." before he dumped a tray full of drinks on my poor brother's lap.  We stayed a night or two at the hotel, and I remember that it wasn't anything special.  It was a little old and dated but clean.  Before heading home at the end of our trip, we ate lunch at the Howard Johnson's restaurant in the lobby.  I remember that it was busy, and the way I picture it in my head now reminds me of a diner with tablecloths.  I also remember a large wooden lattice arch as you entered the room for some reason.  Funny what the things that stick out in your mind end up being.

My only other experience with Howard Johnson's was driving home after completing two months of training at my first airline.  I had very little sleep the night before my big final flight simulator test, and after a long day, I left Cincinnati for Long Island just as the sun was setting.  I had hoped to drive through the night and get to my apartment by sun up, but somewhere after leaving West Virginia, I could hardly keep my eyes open any longer.  I pulled off the highway at the first billboard I saw.  It was a Howard Johnson's, and I thought, "That's a recognizable brand.  How bad could it be?"

I checked in and was immediately skeeved out by the room.  So much so that I put the bath towels on the bed before laying down.  I should have left, but it was one in the morning.  I was dead tired, and I had already paid for the night and was too broke to lose the money.  The place offered some type of breakfast, but I wasn't going to stick around after staying in that room for only a few hours.  I woke up early and hit up a gas station for snacks before making a bee-line for New York.  

While I'm filing this under my "Restaurant of YesterYear" series, this story could just as easily fit into the coming Motels of YesterYear collection too.  It'll eventually end up there.

Warning, this is a long one.  I do think it's a fun story, and hopefully, like me, you learn some cool things about this company from the past.  Or, perhaps even more in line with the purpose of this site, you sit back and go, "Huh, I haven't thought about that in years!"

Dive back in time with me, won't you, as we take a deep look at the history of Howard Johnson's. 

Retro Scans: 1995 Street Sharks Trading Cards

Monday, February 7, 2022

I like to get at least one item posted here per week, but unfortunately, I'm short on spare time these days.  The next big piece I've been working WEEKS on is a very long article... but it feels good to go back to the style of some of the early articles here at YesterYear.  

You'll find it similar in vein to my Lunchbox Snacks series as I take a deep dive on a restaurant AND motel franchise from days gone by.  Unfortunately, I had hoped to have it complete by today but just couldn't finish in time.  So, please enjoy this Retro Scan that features a great set of trading cards from the 1990s animated hit cartoon "Street Sharks!"   

The Street Sharks is an animated superhero series about half-men/half-shark crime fighters airing from 1994 to 1997 in syndication.  Like many series targeting children during that period, the cartoon was created to promote a line of action figure toys made by Mattel.

In 1996, the cartoon was paired with another line of toys, the Dino Vengers, and the show was retitled "Dino Vengers Featuring Street Sharks."