I renewed my interest in photography after taking classes over three summers at the Maine Media Workshop. Artists Frank Lavalle, Christine Collins and Jan Rosenbaum encouraged, guided, and prodded. Then last winter I told myself, "Enough learning - time for doing!" Get out there and just shoot.
To focus myself, I pursued a theme: Maine Diners. I considered almost a dozen and settled on three within an hour of our summer home in Wiscasset.
The first one, the A1 Diner in Gardiner, is an authentic gem of the golden days of diners. It's been featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Mike Giberson, son of a previous owner, has co-owned and run the operation for more than 15 years. He arrives at 5am each day.
The menu is traditional diner comfort food, to which contemporary offerings such as a curried chicken wrap, grilled pesto chicken and roast beef/red onion w blue cheese. Patrons start lining up at 7 a.m. most mornings and Mike has a killer Sunday brunch.
The diner was built by the Worcester Lunch Car Co. of Worcester, Massachusetts, of the major diner manufactuers of the era and retains its original character. The A1 opened for business in 1948 and has not been renovated, modernized, or 'improved'.