Jolly Cholly’s Drive-In Circa 1950’s North Attleboro Hot Spot

Now matter how you slice it, it was a good time

jolly-chollys-when--large-msg-1124289924-2“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times……” Actually, it was the best of times!! Jolly Cholly’s pizza hang-out spot was on route one in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.

You could get a great slice of pizza for 25 cents, hang out with your friends, and cruise for chicks and/or hot guys.  They had a large parking lot, with room for probably 200 cars. There used to be an amusement park, but it was long gone when I was a teen. You could hang out in the parking lot until they closed – they never chased you away. If you parked close to the building, they had waitresses on roller skates that would take your order, set a tray in your window, and bring you back some scrumptious food. They had a large variety of pizza, French fries, pizza, pizza and drinks. Not much tipping went on with the adolescent trollers, just lots of crude remarks, flirting, teen dates etc. Everybody went there to “get some action”, but for most of us, it was like dancing with a hologram mime, slow and “no”.

 Strange Sights: I saw some strange things at Jolly Cholly’s, most of which involved my friends. I remember Kevin, drunk as a skunk, urinating in every sink. One of my good friends got beat up one night, another drank a fake beer filled with urine, and there were a lot of fights. You got a lot of “Can I borrow $2…. I’m good for it….. I always pay you back.” They never did – that was just part of the culture of Jolly Cholly’s . It as a place to hang out, everybody went there on Friday and Saturday night.

Leaving Town: I left town in 1961 and came back years later but it was gone. The building had been knocked down, stone and scrap metal every where. I picked up an old copper toilet bowl float and a couple of door handles. It was sad and just another footprint in the sands of time. Jolly Cholly’s was an institution, a North Attleboro icon, the holy grail of Massachusetts Pizza and the storehouse of thousands of memories. It brought back of an old poem by Shelley:

I met a traveller from an antique land

Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.

And on the pedestal these words appear —

“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.’

Sidebar #1: Every town had a Jolly Cholly type of place. Much like the outdoor theaters (drive-ins), they are mostly gone, like Ozymandias’ statue. But if you look closely at the remaining stone wall, you can see some Banksy type graffiti signed by…….Sal, Lenny, Skeff, Mo, SuzyQ, Carr, Ei, Mac, Croto the shark, and the Spider.

Sidebar #2: The “good old days” come around every 20 years. The “do you remember” questions get tougher and tougher. The only thing you can really count on in life is …..

Good night Jolly Cholly. Wipe that grin off your face.

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