My Memory Motel is Trotter’s Motel in Moosic, PA. I’m sure I like it for all the wrong reasons…
Number one, it was the right price! No spare money to waste for me!
Number two, it was convenient. The other hotel nearby was hosting a banquet I was going to attend. (A much more expensive hotel, certainly…)
Number three, it had history. The name, Trotter’s, was apparently in honor of a nearby horse race venue which was, I think, long gone even then.
Number four, it was consistent. Not great, but consistently mediocre. Never had a bad night there, but did have one bad morning which I’ll return to soon. The owners changed over the years but it’s tough to rise above mediocre without a boatload of cash to invest in a broken-down motel.
The memories weren’t particularly from the motel or what time I spent there but instead, why I was in the Scranton area. I had day-visited the area a few times before and always gravitated to Steamtown. I do love my trains and spent lots of hours in the beginning wandering around the open rail yards gawking at the motley collection of rusty relics and barely-preserved specimens dumped willy-nilly in the almost completely abandoned yard there. (Do you sense a theme here?)
Steamtown came to be in Scranton as a last-ditch effort to revive the flagging fortunes of what was once a respectable excursion railroad in Vermont with an exceptional collection of old historic locomotives and rail cars which were somewhat randomly collected over decades. There was never enough cash or volunteer manpower to properly administer all their holdings let alone to improve them except for maintaining the working trainset which provided the excursions – the cash cow, so to speak. So much equipment was abandoned in the push to Scranton that they became the denizens of the ghost town they left behind; too frail to move and nobody was interested enough in preservation there. Now just rust and dust.
Fortunately, Scranton was good for Steamtown, and for me.
Back to the Motel...
My last visit there, years ago, was the one I referred to as my "bad morning". It started about as usual. Same old routine with a little twist - when I was ready to leave, I discovered I couldn't open the door to the room to get out! It had jammed up overnight and neither love nor money would let me escape. A quick call to the front desk and some borrowed tools pushed through the open window from outside did the trick. I had that lock disassembled and open fairly quickly amid some good laughs with the clerk along the way about captive audiences. I'd still stay there today though family obligations don't allow me to indulge my wanderlust quite as freely as I once did.
Ahhh! Good memories!