Fifties Families went for sandwiches
that Elmirans shared when we went away to college or military service
was the difficulty in explaining to new acquaintances all the strange
names that we gave to places in and around Chemung County. How many
of us have how many stories about the times we mentioned Horseheads
or Big Flats in a conversation and were met with rounds of
guffaws and snorts of hilarity.
One name that I could never get comfortable
with myself was Bulkhead. Who ever came up with that? It
sounds too much like Bullhead to suit me. And bullheads are
just plain ugly. Couldn't it have been Five Corners? Or how
about South Fork or Broadway Crossing?
Bulkhead was where The Dixie was and
in spite of the unappetizing sound (at least to me) of the name
we gave that intersection, the Dixie Barbeque was one of my favorite
places to eat. It wasn't just a hangout for kids, and it wasn't
just a drive-in. It was just a really good place to get a sandwich
and I was even known to go there with my parents for a meal, which,
contrary to what folks today might see on Leave It To Beaver
reruns, was something that even Fifties kids avoided, if possible.
Located about 100 yards from the restaurant
was Dixie Bowling - and you really couldn't mention one without
the other. If someone told you they'd meet you at The Dixie, you'd
ask Barbeque? and they'd say No! The bowling alley!
or vice-versa. It was like bacon and eggs or cream and sugar.
Since The Dixies have been in business
for so long (my mom remembers trips to the restaurant when she was
in her twenties) it would seem to me that it's obvious a new name
should be given to that important intersection of Broadway and Pennsylvania
Avenue. The name Bulkhead certainly must have long ago outlived
its charm. I vote for calling it Dixie Corners or Dixie
Point. Now those are names not to be laughed at by friends OR
Dixie Bowling Today
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