If you would like to hire me for a writing project, clue me in on any research leads for my current book on lost Western Pennsylvania amusement parks, or simply say hello, please contact me via the form below. Let’s talk local history!

You can also order signed copies of my books straight from me! Each order will receive a special Idlewild-themed bookmark designed by former park artist Rosemary Overly (thanks Rosemary!). Please use the PayPal link below or contact me if you need to arrange payment by check or another option such as Zelle or if you would like multiple copies. Thank you for the support! Happy History!

Idlewild: History and Memories of Pennsylvania’s Oldest Amusement Park
$21.99 plus $3.45 media mail shipping and tax

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Ligonier Valley Vignettes: Tales from the Laurel Highlands
$19.99 plus $2.89 media mail shipping and tax

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10 thoughts on “Contact”

  1. How much research have you done on Pennsylvania Drive-Ins, both operating and closed? I have been doing some research of my own as I’ve been thinking about doing a book on them. My maternal grandfather and an uncle both worked as projectionists at the Cumberland Drive-In (still operating) when I was growing up. There were a number of drive-ins in the area where I grew up (Shippensburg, PA).

    1. Hi Eddie – thanks for your message. I’ve done a good bit of research on drive-ins for my article and exhibit – there are some nice books and articles on the general history of the drive-in plus some really knowledgeable drive-in theater enthusiasts out there. I really enjoyed visiting some of the drive-ins around me and talking to the owners and patrons – you get the best stories that way. It’s hard to do that when they’re so spread out anymore, though. That’s awesome the Cumberland Drive-In is still operating – I be your grandfather and uncle have great stories. We just lost the Hi-Way Drive-in in Latrobe this year – terribly sad. Pittsburgh used to be the drive-in capital. How is your research going? Do you get to visit many drive-ins during the summer?

  2. It’s been going slow as I still work full time as I’ve just started delving (nervously I might add) into the free lance arena. Anyway, I haven’t been to a drive-in in a while, but I still enjoy driving by them. especially the Cumberland Drive-In when I go to visit my family. Right now, I’ve been going to local historical societies to see what I can find. Although I’ve found some good information on the internet, I still enjoy doing research the old fashioned way–going through articles and photographs. Right now, I’m just brainstorming other research avenues and taking advantage of doing research in this area while I’m still living here.

    I still keep in touch with my uncle’s family (my uncle passed away a year and half ago/ my grandfather passed away years ago). I asked one of my cousins if they have photos of her dad at work–she found one so far, which was exciting! I hope she finds more. I know they still keep in touch with the owners of the Cumberland, so I’m sure I’ll be able to talk to them at some time. It still does a great business during the summer. The drive-in has a unique and wonderful part in my family’s history.

    It’s a shame that the Hi-Way closed. I was saddened when many of the ones in the Cumberland Valley area (I grew up in Shippensburg) started closing–the Sunset, Silver Springs, the one outside of Waynesboro, the one at the State Line (near the PA/Maryland border).

    I find it interesting that although drive-ins seem to have lost their “luster,” I still see many local communities holding “Movies Under the Stars” events during the summer, i.e. drive-ins without the cars. Maybe the idea of watching movies in a car has lost interest, but apparently the idea of watching movies at night outside is still alive and well.

  3. Eddie – I can definitely relate to the trials and tribulations of trying to work freelance while holding a full-time job! I haven’t been able to get many drive-ins over these past two summers, but I hope to get to more next summer. There are still a few within reasonable driving distance of me that I haven’t been to yet.

    I feel like a lot of drive-in theater history is hidden in family photo albums and attics – personal places like that. It’s just a matter of talking to the right person at the right time. That’s really great that you have a personal connection to a local drive-in! Hopefully you can find some other gems.

    I am really sad the Hi-Way Drive-In closed, especially because I spent a good amount of time learning about it and I met the owner who was so incredibly nice and helpful. I almost had to pull off the road the first time I drove past and saw that the screen was gone.

    I do notice a lot of people at the drive-ins prefer to watch outside of their cars, either in chairs or on a blanket. That’s interesting. And I have heard of a recent “guerrilla drive-in” movement where people just take portable projectors and show movies on the sides of buildings. Hopefully the drive-in theater movement will continue, even if it has to adapt somewhat.

  4. The Dennis Wilson article was great! Just wondering…have you ever seen Two Lane Blacktop? 1971 movie starring Dennis Wilson & James Taylor. Very cool film.

  5. Hello Jennifer
    I assume by the background I have glanced at iFscebook that you are interested in picnic grounds in addition to amusement parks. If so please get back to me at your conveenience. My Aunt and Uncle had a swimming “hole” or pond named Rager’s Grove just off of the Cramer Pike. It was quite popular in the early 60’s. They offered swimming, picnic tables several pavilions, horseshoes, swings and a small store. I can send more info if you are interested.

    C Foster
    757 373 8101

    1. Thank you very much, Charles! I will be in touch. I probably won’t go as in-depth with the picnic grounds as I do with amusement parks, but I think it’s important to also mention these other recreational places in the book somehow.

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