I know I have probably mentioned that I grew up in Hope, NJ a million times on this blog and I am proud of that fact. For those who don't know, Hope was one of the filming locations used in the original Friday The 13th movie in 1980. I loved growing up there. One of the locations used for filming was Hartung's General Store also know as Skip's.
In the film the general store was the place where Annie goes to ask directions to Camp Crystal Lake. Everyone looks at her like she is crazy, because that's what locals do and she goes on her way to be killed by Jason's mom. The inside of the store looked pretty much the same from what I remember and changed little over the years.
Skip Hartung was the owner of the general store and was a very nice guy. I remember him always being there helping my Dad get his Pick-6 lottery tickets and newspapers with a smile. In my early years I would go there to get Ninja Turtles comics, Garbage Pail Kids cards, Gatorade and Bubble Tape! But as we got older it became a place to grab drinks, get D batteries for our boom boxes and flirt with the girls behind the counter and that's where the trouble started...
It was around 1998 and I was 17, there was a girl I went to high school with and I would visit her while she worked at the general store as often as possible. I would get some food and sometimes a shake and would just sit there and chat. One of these times, me being a stupid teenager, I scratched my name into the old wooden counter top in the store!
So, of course the next time I went to visit this girl, I was told I was not allowed into the store by Skip's request. I totally understand why. It was a stupid thing to do and I realize that now, but at the time I thought it was dumb. I persistently pleaded my case and said that I was set up by someone who must have it in for me and eventually I was allowed back into the store. That was the kind of guy Skip was, forgiving and friendly until the day he passed away in 2012.
The current owners of Hartung's General Store have turned it into an antique store, but if you look at the windows you can still see some of the old signage from when it was an awesome piece of horror movie history and an amazing part of my life.