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Don Boyd | all galleries >> Memories of Old Hialeah, Old Miami and Old South Florida Photo Galleries - largest non-Facebook collection on the internet >> Memories of Old HIALEAH, Florida - Historical Photo Galleries and Commentaries - click on image to view and read > 1950s - the Penn Motel on Okeechobee Road in Hialeah, Florida
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1950s - the Penn Motel on Okeechobee Road in Hialeah, Florida
1950's Courtesy of Daniel Worth

1950s - the Penn Motel on Okeechobee Road in Hialeah, Florida

Okeechobee Road, Hialeah, Florida


Thank you to Daniel Worth for contributing this image. The Penn Motel was east of Red Road, near the large water plant.


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Gerry 17-Aug-2011 22:20
Don,

I used to be the “pool boy” at the Penn Motel on Okeechobee Road in 1958. We had moved to Hialeah from Massachusetts and we lived at 808 W. 1st Ave. It was just across the street from the Penn Motel Annex. That’s where I met Sam. I was ten years old at the time.

Sam was a good man. He had a three-wheel motorized baggage cart (liberated from EAL?) he used to tote things around on the grounds of the annex. He let me drive it all over the grounds—a real kick. Lima Oakes was the manager of the annex at that time and she was a very old friend of my folks.

Yeah, Sam put me to work. He taught me how to lay sod (the baggage cart carried a pretty good load) and keep a pool clean and balanced. He also taught me how to shoot (a pellet gun). Without getting sappy, I have to say that Sam made a difference in my life. He was like a father and brother rolled into one.

Don’t think I ever saw Sam without a cigar. And he smiled a lot. This was a man who enjoyed life.

The picture is spot on. Those chairs with the plastic webbing (Sam taught me how to replace the webbing, he did like the dollar) would leave your skin with a corrugated pattern.

Many thanks for this great site.
Gerry 17-Aug-2011 21:57
Don,

I used to be the “pool boy” at the Penn Motel on Okeechobee Road in 1958. We had moved to Hialeah from Massachusetts and we lived at 808 W. 1st Ave. It was just across the street from the Penn Motel Annex. That’s where I met Sam. I was ten years old at the time.

Sam was a good man. He had a three-wheel motorized baggage cart (liberated from EAL?) he used to tote things around on the grounds of the annex. He let me drive it all over the grounds—a real kick. Lima Oakes was the manager of the annex at that time and she was a very old friend of my folks.

Yeah, Sam put me to work. He taught me how to lay sod (the baggage cart carried a pretty good load) and keep a pool clean and balanced. He also taught me how to shoot (a pellet gun). Without getting sappy, I have to say that Sam made a difference in my life. He was like a father and brother rolled into one.

Don’t think I ever saw Sam without a cigar. And he smiled a lot. This was a man who enjoyed life.

The picture is spot on. Those chairs with the plastic webbing (Sam taught me how to replace the webbing, he did like the dollar) would leave your skin with a corrugated pattern.

Many thanks for this great site.
Guest 12-Aug-2011 17:21
Sandy,

I have not been on here awhile-I appreciate your follow up. I have a picture of Danny Mamula in front of the hotel. He would come to Florida to hang out with Sam for weeks at a time. Unfortunately, not long after the picture was taken, Danny was killed in a car accident in our home town of Butler, PA.

Tony
Guest 12-Aug-2011 04:45
Toni missed your earlier reply back to me about Sam Mamula, I also knew his brother Danny
On facebook, Sandra Lane Tilton Barnett
Email at ricktamer@earthlink.net
D Jacobs 02-Aug-2011 15:56
I'm sorry it was early 1970's I was 13 or 14 my mistake years are catching up with me as well!!!
D Jacobs 02-Aug-2011 15:50
I have fond memories of the Penn Motel my Grand parents Tom & Dora Johnson managed it back in the early 1980's I spent most of the time in the pool.My grand parents have past now , my grandpa and I used to sit in side parking lot at night watching the planes heading for Miami airport they were so close they looked like cars.He used to say there goes my red caddy with white convertible top.Years later he owned his dream car..Thanks for the great memories!!!
Guest 10-Oct-2010 17:45
HI,

Sam was like a grandfather to my sisters and myself. My dads name is Ernest (Ernie) and my mom is Maria. They ran the motel for Sam. I have lots of good memories of Sam.

Tina
Guest 28-Jul-2010 04:05
Tony,

My parents opened Hialeah Furniture store in 1948. We rented from Henry Milander for several years before we finally bought old man Freeman's property. That location was 25 E Okeechobee Road. You uncle Sam's motel was just a couple blocks west on Okeechobee Road.
Sam bought some furniture and over the years we became friends. By the late 60's and well into the 70's he'd come in every morning for a cup o joe and some banter. It was him, Louie "the arab" Elias, Ralph Quintana, and a few more of the usual Hialeah race track suspects.
I remember Sam had a guy named Earnie running his motel back then but Sam was always finding something to do over there to keep himself busy or maybe to keep an eye on Earnie. He also had an apartment in Miami Springs on South Poinciana Drive. I think I remember he had a niece come down from PA to that Miami Springs address to help him just before he died but I may be wrong on that.
I knew Sam had been a state trooper in PA and had a big job with EAL, but he was pretty tight lipped about his OSS days. Hell, all those "greatest generation" guys didn't brag and rarely reminisced.
As an aside, my mom and dad use to go to Cuba almost every month back in the 50's. They'd gamble, booze it up and dad would always come back with several hundred cigars for himself and his poker and gin game buddies. The last time my parents were there, Castro had just taken Havana and was strolling thru the Montmartre Hotel while my parents were having breakfast. He came to their table and said in broken english, "So, how do you like things now?" My dad replied "it's too early to tell" and Castro walked away pissed. lol
Anyway, yes, we're ALL still in Florida. Mom and dad are married 67 years now. They're both 90 and live in Hallandale, aka God's waiting room. My bride and I are mere newlyweds with just 33 years together.

Richie
tony 21-Jun-2010 21:08
Richie,

I sincerely appreciate your insight and thoughts on Uncle Sam. You were right on about Uncle Sam and the ladies-he had girlfriends around the globe including a long term girlfriend in Montreal where he spent alot of time. He was definitely tight with a buck-once when he came home to his hometown (Butler, Pennsylvania-Pennsylvania being where the "Penn Motel" name originated from) he borrowed my grandfather's jackets and other clothes because he did not want to buy anything while up north. He definitely could have afforded it however and you are right when you say he was financially comfortable-he had many successful business ventures inlcuding when he had my grandfather (who was an Army Air Corps Officer in WW 2) come to Atlanta so they could begin buying and selling army surplus goods. Based on what I have learned through reading and through the pictures I have, it is apparent Sam was in the OSS (precursor to the CIA) during the war and after the war with the CIA while employed by various companies including as Director of Worldwide Security for Eastern Airlines. I have pictures of him stepping off of a plane on a tarmac in Cuba with a picture of Fidel Castro in the background and 20 guys around him with various kinds of weapons-this had to be when Fidel first took power. I also have various pictures of him (without a military uniform on) on various boats, planes and in various countries during WW 2. Are you still in Florida? Sam was a State Trooper in Pennsylvania prior to WW 2-the next four years my dad would get postcards and stamps from Sam from various countries but Sam was never officially in the military. How did you and your father get to know Sam?
Don Boyd12-Mar-2010 00:44
Richie, welcome and thank you for posting. Please make yourself at home here and post anything you want about the good old days. People love reading the posts and I love having memories of "our times" preserved for the future.

Don
Richard 11-Mar-2010 23:11
Hi Tony,
I knew your great uncle Sam pretty well. He was a proud Serb, a good friend of my dad's and mine and he spent many a morning at our furniture store (Hialeah Furniture) drinking coffee and pouring over the daily racing form with the rest of us handicappers. I remember that he loved the Olympics and even went to the summer games once. He also loved to watch diving competitions at the Swimming hall of fame in Ft. Lauderdale.

If memory serves he was a state trooper in PA. Then he took a job down here in Miami as head of security for EAL. He loved the ladies and always seemed to find one to keep company with. He was a terrible driver and no one wanted to go anywhere with him if he was behind the wheel. It seems that as he grew older his vision grew weaker until some months before his death he went completely blind. He wasn't a braggart and didn't talked much about money but I knew he was "comfortable financially " and recall him mentioning he had quite a bit of stock in Marriott. Not to suggest he was generous though, in fact he was pretty tight with a buck.
He was both as strong and as stubborn as a mule. He enjoyed manual labor, especially working outside. All in all he was a good, honest guy.

Hey Don Boyd,
As a Hialeah boy I can't begin to thank you for all the wonderful memorabilia this website provides. I have many more memories to add, friends and family to share this link with and I look forward to further reading and contributing. Thanks for doing this!

Richard (Richie) Gordon
Tony 15-Jul-2009 03:17
Sandy,

Sam Mamula was my great uncle and I have been doing research on his life-an interesting life. He had many interests and careers and was fluent in many languages. I could not believe the picture because it was taken from the same vantage point of one I found after he died. If possible, email me. I am eager to learn of your time with Uncle Sam and thoughts.
Sandy Lane Barnett 21-Jan-2009 19:28
I spent some time living at the Penn Motel when I was around 10 yrs old. I learned to drive on the side lot to the motel. My mother dated the owner of the Penn motel at that time, Sam Mamula. I also had alot of friends around there. Twins, Janie and Judy Lee, Bobby Croft, Eddie Delarm Jr. His father and mother owed the bait shop and Bus station on Okeechobee Rd. I also would go fishing across the Rd. once I fell in an realized I wasn't going drown in the canal. I just knew the monster of the canal would get me. I beleive now they were talking about Manatee's. Sam also owned apartments on I think, East 11th St in Hialeah.