I just finished working with one of the top photography studios in NYC to reproduce the photos that Nancy Blackwell was kind enough to lend us. Wouldn't you know it...there's a newspaper article from December 20, 1984 about a truck that ran into the front of the hotel and guess who's quoted? Yup, Ben Coombs.
He's quoted a couple of times--also as surviving the incident--but it does reference him as a resident of The National Hotel. OK, fact checking this whole story, we've got one item checked-off based on hard evidence from the Delaware Valley News article.
In fact, the day of the accident was the bartender's (Edward Prushinski, according to the newspaper) first day...and last day...he quit and never came back! Can you blame him?!
Here's some additional info on Ben's ashes: Apparently, the ashes were kept below eye-level. Often times the glass from the cabinet below the bar would break--get this: from the inside out--and it would be promptly replaced, only to continue to remain broken.
According to Nancy Blackwell, she reached a point where she just "left it broken."
I think we'll keep Ben's ashes "above" the cabinet and make sure he is visible to one and all--and one and all to him too. No more broken glass!
Do you think we're doing the right thing? Let us know, please.