For those not familiar with Mister Ed, he owns and operates an ‘Elephant Museum and candy Emporium’ that sits along Route 30 just outside Orrtanna, PA! He’s a gentle man and is a spry fellow at the age of 75 who’s spent the last year rebuilding a piece of heaven from a literal hell! You see, on July 6th of last year, Mister Ed’s whole business and collection of over 10,000 elephants burnt to the ground! What happened following the fire was nothing short of incredible!
I had been a regular customer of Mister Ed’s to get nostalgic candy and fresh roasted peanuts since first moving to the area in the late 70’s. If I didn’t take the trip weekly, it had a significant impact on my mental well being! I love the drive there and have always been fascinated with the cultural importance of such roadside attractions on America’s historic ‘highways’! Most people today don’t appreciate the significance of Route 30 let alone the importance of places like Mister Ed’s, I am happy to count myself among those who do!
Following the fire, hundreds of people just showed up to help…my wife and I were among them! Together with his family and other friends, we hand cleaned thousands of elephants from the collection. GreatQ4U! contributed Pulled Pork and Slaw to feed the volunteers and I personally couldn’t wait for the day when the store re-opened. I was overwhelmed by the sense of ‘community’ in those that came to help clean or who just stopped by to tell stories about how Mister Ed’s was as important to them as it was to me!
This past Sunday, I ran into Mister Ed and he reminded me that, at the age of 75, he had to literally start all over again…and he did! God bless HIM for doing so, because I get grumpy without my weekly pilgrimage to get my sugar fix! In addition to THAT…it says something about the man, the community and the power of giving back!
If you ever get near Orrtanna, Pennsylvania…stop by and see Mister Ed! Spend a few minutes or a couple of hours. Look at all the Elephants in the Museum and listen to their stories…see if you can still smell the smoke and ash from which the new store rose up! You can meander the grounds and take your picture next to many BIG elephants and even have a picnic…Ed encourages it! It’s a Kid’s Candy Store that’s truly fun for ALL ages and it’s an inspiration! If you can’t make the store, you can find him on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/home.php%23!/#!/pages/Mister-Eds-Elephant-Museum/374960323556
Remember…one key to preservation is commerce, he’d LOVE to sell you some cool candy, fudge or peanuts and you’ll LOVE to taste a true piece of Americana!