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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Stalled car in 1980 brought two D.C. ‘Cruisers’ to Berlin

(Oct. 15, 2015) Spurred on by last week’s Fall Cruisers event in Berlin, resident Sharon Shelton recalled the incident that led to her and husband Frank’s desire to move to the small town from the Washington, D.C. suburbs many years ago.
It was several years ago that the couple began to bring their 1974 Chevrolet Nova, “Spirit of America” edition, to Berlin for the cruiser weekend.
In 1980, while vacationing in Ocean City, the car stalled after they filled it up at a gas station on Coastal Highway. They called a tow truck and the driver said he would take the car to Barrett Chevrolet.
“We asked him, ‘Where is Barrett Chevrolet?’” Sharon said. “He said, ‘It’s just over to Berlin.’ We asked, ‘Where is Berlin?’”
The driver told the couple the town was just a few miles west, on Route 50, and to get directions from the dealership when they called.
On the following day, the Shelton’s received a call from Barrett that the car was ready. Frank took a bus from the condominium on 135th Street and then taxied into Berlin.
Sharon recalled being astonished that the total price to repair the car, including the towing charge, was just $78.
“Having had car issues while away from home before, we were expecting something like, ‘How much do we owe you?’ And they would respond with, ‘How much do you have?’” she said.
Then, when Frank pulled out of the Barrett lot, he mistakenly turned right and ended up in downtown Berlin on Main Street.
“He fell in love with the little town,” Sharon said, adding that Frank then drove back to the condominium, picked up Sharon and their three children, and drove the entire family back to Berlin.
“We walked around town window shopping and I fell in love with the little town,” she said. “The people at the dealership were honest and the people we met were very friendly.
“The town was such a refreshing change of pace to our hometown, Washington, D.C., where we worked,” Sharon continued. “We promised each other that one day, Lord willing, we would move to this quaint little place.”
In 2001, the Sheltons made good on their promise, selling their home in Charles County and moving to the River Run Golf Club community.
“Although our mailing address is Berlin, we’re not in downtown Berlin, but close enough so we can enjoy all of the cool events there like the Christmas parade, Peach Festival, fall and spring car shows, high heel races, bathtub races, Easter parade and the fiddler’s convention,” Sharon said. “Our car troubles that day back in 1980 were truly a blessing in disguise.”