Friday, October 2, 2009

The Marvel Age Of Bologna

In the late '80s/early '90s when I used to commute bi-weekly to Philadelphia, PA to work as a mobile street vendor in and around 'Center City', the nickname probably influencing the writer of the DC's Silver-Age Barry Allen "The Flash" for the name though I really can't say for sure, other than the (fictional) fact that it is located in Missouri (originally Ohio in Showcase # 4, September-October 1956), right near 'Keystone City'- just as the real 'Center City' happens to be coincidentally- not -near a fantasy 'Keystone City' but rather in the actual 'Keystone State', Pennsylvania.
Anyway...I noticed in the course of my working day then that one of those small boxy refrigerated provision 'truckettes' would be going around town making deliveries with the logo or legend 'STANLEY MARVEL' emblazoned on the side, and I'd always laugh and point this out to my girlfriend and workmates whenever it would pass us while we were in congested Center City traffic, or while working on the street, and once actually outside Fat Jack's Comic Crypt on Sansom Street where I customarily went after work to get my new comic fix and also look for lower priced, better quality, Silver Age books- waaaay better than anything ever found in the NY-NJ Metro area rip-off shops.
Then around '92 Philly started to get this attitude that the vendors have to be more controlled, as a lot of NY peddlers, vendors, hucksters, and outright con men were influxing into the area since the early to mid '80s and the word was out that it was 'easy pickin's', so it was inevitable.
Found unexplored territory shortly afterwards and fortuitously for me it was still not far from Center City: as soon as disembarking from the R7 SEPTA at 30th Street Station all I had to do was walk towards 'University Hill'- all the cities I used to work in on the NE Corridor had a 'University Hill', or it's equivalent, Newark with Rutgers and UMD, Baltimore with University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins, Philly with Drexel, University of Pennsylvania, etc., I'm certain that there are better examples; alternated with the old Center City spots, and Newark, NJ, whenever possible, bi-weekly, and also went to new spots in weekly established outdoor rural 'flea markets' such as Columbus NJ, on Rt. 206, Cherry Hill, right across the Delaware River in NJ near the racetrack, and Philly Racetrack in BenSALEM, PA.
So after I started to taper off my visits to Philly due to a change in work plans, seldom went there after '96, and so that was that...or was it?
In late '96 discovered Bucks County
It was run by the same folks who ran the Columbus Rt. 206, and the locale I liked better than Cherry Hill even- they had a much larger selection of both old and new stuff for sale, and better yet was accessible after a fashion via mass transit when I didn't go there with a friend and their vehicle- 'a ride'.
Getting there was reletively sinple- you took the Newark to Trenton NJ Transit train from Penn Station (either NYC or Newark) and switch over at Trenton to the R7 to Philadelphia, except instead of taking it to that destination going to Eddington Station and taking a $15.-$20. cab ride, or get off at the Croydon Station where you can go up the crumbling sandstone steps past warehouses and walk at your own risk up Street Road/Route 132 on the overpass bridge above Interstate 95 until walking at a confortable pace you get to Philly Racetrack parking lot and the Philly Market.
But not before seeing a whole lot of STANLEY MARVEL trucks as you see, and as I found out soon afterwards, that Stanley Marvel is right near Adams Street, on Ford Road just behind (or in front of) 'Meating' Road off of Bensalem Road and not at all far from the King David Memorial Park, the largest Jewish cemetery in that region.

Q: Was the corporate cold-cut entity known as 'Stanley Marvel' actually founded in 1915, if so was Stanley Lieber aware of this and rename himself professionally 'Stan Lee' so if introduced he would be , "Stan Lee, Marvel...", or completely unawares and therefore a coincidence, or was the original Stanley Marvel and his descendants Stanley Marvel II and Stanley Marvel III even aware of the likewise monikered comic book writer and publisher, and would he offer him a real good deal on catering events and so forth; and was it really founded in 1915, or the two confusing entries indicating 1975 and 1986- what's up?

Cold cuts and cemeteries- good Halloween eatin' to me...and sounds more like EC Comics than Marvel to boot- size 11 1/2.

No comments:

Post a Comment