One of my fondest memories, and only one other person that I read mentioned it, was to go through the "fords" on Rock Creek Parkway in the car! Why driving through inch deep water was exciting, I don’t know – but it was! And always worrying just a tiny bit as my father checked the car brakes afterwards, as the signs urged. I remember the Beltway being built in 1962 and sitting inside huge concrete tubes (?) and singing with my girl friend, with great echo effects (this was near Forest Grove Elementary School).
I had four older brothers so I "remember" a lot of stuff they did – I wish I could go back and eat those Hot Shoppes Mighty Mo’s but I wouldn’t touch them then because I was too finicky to eat ketchup and mustard. And I watched my brothers dance on the Milt Grant show, but I was too young for that myself.
Does anyone remember that at the Hechts in Silver Spring you could walk from the department store into the five and dime next door? Was it a McCrorys? And the Silver Theater was just down the block. Saw "The Wizard of Oz" there, I believe in 1956.
I remember going to Arlington Cemetery at Thanksgiving 1963 to see President Kennedy’s grave site with the Eternal Flame.
I remember how special it was to shop downtown, around F Street, with my mother, to go to the National Theater (saw Camelot there, among other plays), and I saw the Beatles movie "Help" downtown, but I don’t remember the name of the movie theater,. How I hated the screaming girls in the audience! And my big brother, bless his heart, drove me and a friend to see Peter Paul and Mary at Constitution Hall. Later, I even attended a few protests against the Vietnam War down on the Mall. Now I love coming out on the Mall after taking the Metro and being able to visit the Smithsonian museums.
These are mostly suburban memories, but my father worked downtown, and later I did too, for three years. I left just as the Metro was starting near Woodies, so I actually got to ride it before I moved.
My favorite memory of all is of the Acorn House in Silver Spring, near East West Highway. My mother would take the family car in for service and we would have to wait, so we would go sit in the Acorn House. Maybe later we would go get ice cream at the Polar Bear place!
Carol Minor Wilson
Does anyone know or remember Judith Tanioka, a friend from Gordon JHS?
I attended Gordon JHS and would like to know if there are student records or picture or yearbook (1953, 1954?) somewhere that I can get hold of or if you know anyone who attended the school around that time.
Before Gordon JHS, I attended Calvert School, but there seems to be no listing of such a school in the DC area.
Thank you for your help.
I have been reading all the entries from the many folks who sent in their memories and so many of them are familiar to me also. Seems like everyone who ever lived in D.C. went to Glen Echo at one time or another.
The one activity/event that I haven't seen mentioned (and it was a S.W. legend) is the old Southwest Merchants Football Team. Now, there was a great team! Won all of their games.....and no wonder why. The word was put out that should the team not win, then the fans would beat-up the referees. (and, it actually happened a time or two.) What great memories!!!
I may have some more later on.
Hi Debi Here are some of my memories, in no particular order.
I was born in DC in 1938 and grew up in South West in brick row houses with the old gas jets still in the walls. They didn't work any longer. I remember the blackouts and air raid drills in WW II. I remember the horse troughs on many of the corners; they looked like old iron bathtubs. They were needed because ice for ice boxes (remember them?) was delivered by horse drawn wagon. In the summer, farmers from Maryland would come in by horse drawn wagons to sell corn and watermelons. Remember the farmer thumping the melon to show it was ripe and cutting the little triangular plug out so you could see and taste it?
I remember that the tourists only came in the summer. The rest of the year, the pace was slow and uncrowded. You could go to the Smithsonian and practically have the place to yourself. There were lots of working exhibits like factory models that worked when you pushed a button. The Smithsonian was the Castle and the Arts and Industries (A & I) Building. The Air and Space Museum was a Quonset hut behind the Castle. There were some old WW I tanks and artillery pieces outside between the Castle and the A & I Building that kids could climb on. Later on, there were some missles lined up along the side of the A & I Building (I think).
I remember the old streetcars that had trolleys at both ends so they never had to turn around. When they reached the end of the line, the conductor got out and put up the trolley on what had been the front. Then, he took his control handle to the other end, took the trolley down on that end and went back the other way. The backs of the seats flipped so you could always ride facing forward. When the new streetcars came along, big circles had to be added to the ends of the lines so they could turn around because they only went in one direction.
Much later, I remember listening to Harden and Weaver on WMAL radio. Jackson often talked about his converted tugboat - his hole in the water into which he poured money.
I went to Saint Dominic's in the first grade, Then we moved to a Veteran's housing project in Riverdale. The streetcar line ran past our house so it was easy to get to downtown. That line ran all the way to College Park. We used to get our hair cut at a barber shop next to the streetcar line in College Park. We could hop the streetcar near the house and get off at the barber shop.
I went to Gonzaga and we still lived in Riverdale in my first year. I spent a lot of time riding the streetcars to town. We could buy books of ten tickets (2 a day for 5 days) for 30 cents. The tickets cost 3 cents each and we could ride anywhere in the streetcar system on one ticket. Many of my school friends lived in Virginia so I would ride the streetcar with them to the end of the line in Rosslyn and we would hang out at the Hot Shoppe there after school. Then, I would get back on the streetcar and ride back in to town to go home on South West In those days, Rosslyn was dominated by the end of the line circle just at the end of Key Bridge. In fact, it was frequently known as Rosslyn Circle. There were liquor stores on the DC side of the bridge and pawn shops on the Virginia side.
I remember that there was a long undeveloped stretch between Mount Rainier and Hyattsville where the streetcars drivers would frequently open them up and go pretty fast. If you sat in the back seat, you bounced around a lot and it was a wild ride. It sometimes seemed as though the wheels bounced off the tracks, but I guess they really didn't.
When we where living in Riverdale, I went to school first in Mount Rainier and then in Hyattsville. This was made possible by the streetcars which I could ride, by myself, every school day. We never had a car in those days because we could get pretty much everywhere we wanted to go on the streetcars. It was a great system. I remember hearing that one of the resaons for giving upthe streetcars was that the routes were too inflexible and couldn't easily be changed as population patterns changed. Of course, the streetcars went everywhere in the city and surrounding suburbs, especially the Maryland suburbs, so there was no real need to change them. Now, there is the Metro with lines built underground. Talk about inflexible lines!
I'm sure that I will remember many more as I read other's entries. It is a great idea and thanks for having these pages of memories
My family and I lived in the DC area from 1959 thru 1964. We lived on Georgia Avenue and my children were born at Walter Reed.. I am trying to recall a town on Chesapeake Bay where we enjoyed Stuffed Shrimp and played the one armed bandits. Also near the water was an amusement area and park. I remember the Roma restaurant on Connecticut Avenue across the street from a Chinese restaurant. The Roma was the only place that was open after a movie in DC. Hofberg's on Georgia Ave.,, the Watergate and the military bands that played in the summer. The snow storm the night before Kennedy's inauguration and the 4 hour ride from Alexandria to the Armory. I remember walking around the reflecting pool with both children and President Kennedy and his secret service agents were near us and I asked my two-and-a-half year old daughter if she knew who that man was and she said "YES, it's G-d. If anyone can recall the area on the Bay, please let me know Thanks for the memories. Audrey Schulman firstname.lastname@example.org
Love the site. I remember driving to work at the Pentagon, and listening to "Murphy in the Morning" on WMOD and then on WEEL. He used to raise hell at local politicians, vepco and vdot. He was one of the funniest people I have ever heard on the radio. He made working at the Pentagon tolerable. I got to meet him at the opening of a motorcycle shop at Tysons Corner (before it was a shopping mecca) and he turned out to be really nice guy. What ever happened to Murphy in the Morning? I also remember the headache of them building Route 66 from 495 to Manassas. Could they have found any dumber contractors?
hi, Debi, I found myself directed back to your site again, and it always triggers more memories of DC. I'm a native, I was born at Georgetown University Hospital in '56. And I grew up in Silver Spring. DC and Silver Spring have a lot of shared memories, though, being next-door-neighbors. My grandfather worked at a DGS (District Grocery Store,) on Brookville Road(and my uncle drove a DC Transit bus, back when they were green. He operated the trolleys before that. Remember the trolley wires and tracks downtown? I see that a number of people are wondering about the Polar Bear ice cream stand in Silver Spring. I hope someone finds a photo. We always went downtown to shop. Especially to see the window displays at Woodies around Christmas. ( Just like in the opening sequence of the Jean Sheppard movie, A Christmas Story.) entertainment: I know someone who used to be a regular dancer on the Milt Grant Show. I was on the Pick Temple Show as a little kid. ( Heidi, Pardner! I used to get birthday cards from Pick and his collie, Lady.) My sister and neighbors were on WTTG for a couple of seconds in the 60s. They got to go on Cap'n Tugg when they had a carnival for Muscular Distrophy. local music: In the 1970s, I used to live up the street from Nils Lofgren in Garrett Park. This was post-Grin, but before the E Street Band. I used to talk to him when I got off working the graveyard shift at the Silver Spring Post Office. He gave me the lowdown on why the Rolling Stones didn't have him replace Mick Taylor. I bumped into Root Boy Slim in Takoma Park around the same time period. He was hanging out at Joe's Record Paradise. ( Joe Blair of the Blair family fame.) Remember when WHFS first hit the airwaves? The main thing that was different and alternative was that the disc jockeys whispered and actually played stuff you never heard of before. Sort of a reaction to the loud motormouth DJs, boss jocks, like Barry Richards of WPGC. "The big Bar'...Barry Richards, saying until next time...Bye...cycle!! " remember WEAM or WGTB ( Georgetown Broadcasting ) Just some quick memories-- food and restaurants: The Flagship in SW ( best rum buns on the planet ) the Yenching Palace on Connecticut Avenue ( now kaput.) Reeve's down on F Street ( best strawberry pies you could get. and the decor was the same for about forty years. Where else could you get an egg and olive sandwich these days? ) Swing's Tea Blimpie's in Georgetown in the 70s Scholl's Cafeteria ( their restaurants were always an experience.) Whitlow's ( cool green and black Vitrilite© panels on the outside walls.)
We used to go into Wheaton to a little hole in the wall deli in the early sixties that made great subs called, "Jerry's Subs." I wonder if it ever caught on? (Editor's note: What a great place that was...oh and yeah I think it caught on - lol) Wiley's Ice Cream Creations in Langley Park ( they had pastel colored, malted, whip cream on top of their sundaes.) Gifford's, of course Hot Shoppes drive-ins ( orange freeze and a Buckboard. You didn't have to get a Mighty Mo. I want a hot fudge ice cream cake, just thinking about that place...) Topps Drive-In, where I believe they used to serve you on roller skates local stores: Lansburgh's Julius Garfinkel's Jelleff's Woodward & Lothrop ( Woodies )
I grew up in S.E. DC 3 blocks from Capitol Hill. We used to play on the Capitol grounds, the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress. Alternates included the botanical gardens and The Smithsonian, especially the Smithsonian on a "hookey" day from school. Not much chance of doing that now with all of the security concerns. What a different world it was then !! Attended the Brent and Dent grammar schools, moving on to Hine Jr High later after a hiatus to Rhode Island and California as a Navy "brat"
Attended movies at the Penn and Avenue Grand theaters, first run for the Penn and double feature horror shows at the AG. Penn had the first AC in the local movies, what a treat on an August hot humid summer day. A good summer opportunity too was Fairlawn pool down by the Anacostia River across from the Navy Yard. For a full days excursion caught the open air street car (trolley) on Pennsylvania Ave for that great ride out to Glen Echo. Remember that Cabin John was the end of the line then. Later rode the trolley from Seat Pleasant through Bennings to downtown DC. As with the Glen Echo ride it was necessary to change from overhead connection to "3rd rail" when entering the core area of DC.
DC fifth police precinct hosted a club for kids that included ping-pong and billiard tables that were well patronized by many of the kids in the local area. The Marine Barracks on 8 street, always a treat to watch the ceremonial activities there. Subsequently became a Korean era Marine for four years. Ate lots of Little Tavern hamburgers, when even a kid could afford them at a nickel each. Their slogan was "Buy 'em by the bag" Tasted my first shrimp at Howard Johnson's up at Hillside on Penn Ave. Sherrills bakery on Penn Ave a favorite for just baked doughnuts (aahh the heavenly aroma) when in the vicinity !! We had A & P and Sanitary groceries back then. Sanitary later became Safeway Stores.
Remember construction of temporary wartime bridges across the Potomac and anti-aircraft emplacements to defend DC. Also processing of draftees at Providence hospital In S.E. Washington across street from Folger park. Also remember a spectacular fire at St Peters church that almost destroyed the building.
The reading room at the LOC was frequented since my grandfather was on staff there. Impressed by the "stacks" throughout the building realizing little then what a tremendous resource this was for Congress and the President.
And those are just a few of my DC memories
My name is Rchard King, and I also grew up in DC.. Wouldn't it be nice to have all the Western hHgh kids of the 1960s-1965 all in one memory page or two. i graduated in 1962. If there is anybody out there who would like to email me and talk over old times my e mail is email@example.com.
Have a great rest of the year.
I spent from 1960-1965 growing up around Chillum Road (Queenstown Apartments?) and then on Lancer Road in W. Hyattsville. There was a little shopping center near the apartments and when my dad got paid we would go there and to the 7-11 to buy Beatle cards and anything Beatle’s.
The one treat I remember was going to the Hot Shoppes and getting the Teen Twist sandwich. The cafeteria at my elementary schools, Thomas Stone and Ager Road would even serve them. I wish I could get that recipe. I also remember the place that served bar-b-q that was at that little shopping plaza but for some reason I thought it was called “Little Pigs of America”. I was only 7 or 8 years old so I could be wrong. They had a juke box and that was the first time I heard Twist and Shout by the Beatles.
I was only there for a short time but have oh so many memories. I live near Pittsburgh now and return to D.C. often and even went past the old apartments and house. Not too much has changed.
Thank you for your site. I have many memories of Washington dating back almost sixty years. Some are wonderful others aren't so wonderful. Does anyone remember Greenway in the 40s and 50s? I was born in 1945 when my parents were living there, and lived there until 1954. I remember Jolson's Drug Store. It is said that it was owned by Al Jolson's brother. It was in the same shopping center as a bowling alley. My brother knew the son of the owner and used to set pins there. I remember going to a nursery school down by the railroad tracks, and at one point there was a dog, a beagle, that was kept by the parents of various kids in the nursery school. This was done under cover because animals were strictly prohibited in Greenway.
I lived between Anacostia Road and Minnesota Avenue SE. I remember playing kick ball in front of the "Old Man's Hut." and jumping off it. I don't know why they called it that, but they did. I remember the games of hide and seek on summer evenings and July 4 when everyone would go to the big circle and pool their fireworks.
I remember going to Kimball School which was always overcrowded. My mother made Choral Robes for the chorus at Kimball. I remember that she also made a puppet of Pic Temple that she presented to him on the air. It looked just like him and could strum a guitar. I remember matinees at the Highland movie theater. I remember day camp at Fort Dupont Park. I remember also the bakery with wonderful butter cookies that had boxes with a black and white checkerboard pattern.
I remember taking the C8 bus to Barney Circle and then changing there for the trolly into town. I remember that there was a lot of building at that time, and I remember when the White House was renovated and the Truman family lived across the street. Some of the buildings built at that time have since been torn down including one on Pennsylvania Avenue. I also remember Washington as a strictly segregated city. I remember that black people couldn't go to the same movie theaters as white people. I remember when the Washington Daily News had separate catagories for "Apts. furnished white" and "Apts. furnished colored." I remember that Greenway was segregated until way after we left. I remember that in the early fifties the Senator Movie Theater was bought by African American people. My father wanted to take me to see Samson and Delilah, but wouldn't go in when he was told that he would be charged by height.
I remember the hot summers without air conditioning, and sitting out on the lawn near our apartments where the neighbor would gather to talk about all sorts of things, but mostly family and politics. I don't remember any rancor in these discussions just that they were interesting and everybody had an opinion. It was the McCarthy era, and I remember the Army McCarthy hearings on TV and the heightened feelings people had about a period of uncertainty. I remember the bomb drills that seem so silly longing back on them. We left Greenway in 1954 and moved to Riggs Park. We moved partially because the apartment we moved into had an air conditioner, but it was only a window air conditioner, and we slept in the living room on hot nights. I went to Keene School which seemed less welcoming to me than Kimball had. I remember my brother taking me on the bus and trolly when I was four and he was seven. It all seemed natural, but after I had children of my own I couldn't imagine how my parents could possibly have permitted that.
Washington was a wonderful city to grow up in, and one could find plenty of adventures. Once I walked around the city and discovered the Interior department murals, the Freer Gallery, and a tunnel that ran under the street and had paintings on it. It culminated, I think, at the Pan American Union which also had a gallery, and had an atrium with parrots in it. Sorry that my memories are so random. I would be interested if anyone had similar memories of similar places.
In the first edition of Memories, W. H. Byng asks about the train that crashed into Union Station and dropped through the floor to the lower level. I would like to supply the answer. I was in elementary school at Langdon when we heard the continuous whistle of the train a few miles away. The date was January 14, 1953. Factual information can be found on the following web sites. www.steamlocomotive.com/GG1/prr4876-crash.shtml. It is called The Crash of Runaway Train #173. The other website with photographs is www.thejoekorner.com/rrfolklore/fedexp.shtm. It is title The Runaway Federal Express. Finally, information can be found on www.dcnrhs.org/union_station/union_wreck.htm. There is a bar in the current Union Station next to an art print store that has large size pictures of the wreck on the walls.
Hope this will be an answer and of interest.
Attended, Jackson, Elementry School, Gordon Junior High and The Western High School
Buddy Disney class 1948 Western High School
Georgetown Boys Club 1944-1952 or so
I just was talking to my mom (usual Sunday chat) she was 90 on 14 feb and she is not computer saavy (nor am I) we were talking about different sites (she has no clue what this means ) so iItold her I would print out all of the memories you have here . She went to Elliot Jr. high and Eastern HS and still has friends that went with her living in DC.
iIremember Glen Echo as my cousin was a lifeguard there . we spent summers in dc and i recall the street car near my nanas who lived off macarthur blvd near the miss crittendon home for girls ( wow that was a blast from the past ) I remember going to the Safeway or A&P on Macarthur and my nana saying < that girl is in trouble" for the life of me iInever knew what she meant .iIwould say,"what did she do?" of course no answer was given . Wow how times have changed . Anyway iIam going to print your site for my mom and perhaps she will add her two cents and I will foward it to you .
I found your website while looking up something about DC. It was so enjoyable. I was also born and raised in DC. I live in Oklahoma now. Such a big difference. I was born at the Columbia Hospital for Women in Washington D.C. in 1953. I lived in S.E. during most of my younger childhood years. I attended Garfield Elementary in Kindergarten. I attended 1st through 6th grade at Mary H. Plummer Elementary on Texas Ave. and C. St. S.E. I would spend my summers in Bowling Green, VA (Caroline County) until 1963, with my Uncle and Aunt. I attended one year at Sousa Jr. High and then transferred to Gordon Jr. High in 1967 - 1969. I was one of the few inner city black children that got transferred to Gordon due to overcrowdedness in our school district. I remember catching the city bus to school to get to Gordon Jr. High. I would transfer buses across the street from the White House. I too remember the Dogwood Festival at Gordon. I remember the principal's name was Mr. Shirley (I'm not sure if that is how you spelled it) and his wife was the gym teacher. They were both very nice. After graduating from Gordon in 1969, my family had moved to Northwest D.C. and I attended Cardozo High School on 13th and Clifton St. I graduataed from Cardozo in 1972.
Someone asked about the old Central High School. Cardozo use to be Central High. My mother graduated from the old Cardozo High School. I think it was close to Road Island Ave. My dad graduated from Armstrong High School in 1945. I remember so many things everyone talked about. I remember Barney Circle and the Sousa Bridge. I remember Morton's. I also use to catch my bus in front of Morton's.
I remember the People Drug Store., High's Ice Cream, Eddie Leonards and the Mile Long sandwiches. I remember Woody's and Hechts and Kahn's Department store. My dad actually worked at Kahn's in the 1960's. I remember McCrory's and buyiny half -smoked sausage sandwiches. I remember a bus that would come down our street several days a week selling food and candy. We use to call it Charley's bus. We would go on the bus and buy sodas and candy and stuff. Sometimes momma would buy bread and lunch meat from the bus when she couldn't get to the store. I remember so many things about D.C. in the 50s and 60s and early 70s.
Thank you so much.
My name is Nadine.
Do any of you remember Rosedale Playground with its play area and pool? And also the Boys club across from it? And how about the guys meeting at the street corner on warm summer nights just to talk and laugh. There were also the good old street games we city kids would play durng the summer evenings until we were called to go home to go bed. They were great times leaving us with lots of happy childhood memories. That would be in the 30's and early 40's. I am 83.
I was born at Coumbia Hospital and spent my entire childhold in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. I had the priviledge of living in all four sectors of the city during the course of my time there. I thoroughly enjoyed the unique experiences each area offered. I attended Kingsman Elementary, Elliot Junior High, and McKinley Technical High School. After graduatiing high school I went away to college and returned 2 years later. I completed my under graduate studies at the University of Washington, DC and went on to receive graduate diplomas from the National Defense University on the campus of Fort McNair, and also Syracuse University in upstate NY. I have fond memories of summers in Rock Creek Park, fresh seafood on the Wharf, boat rides on the Potomac, Marshall Hall, long walks in Georgetown down by the C&O Canal, museum/monument trips on the Mall, Haines Point, and concerts at Carter Baron and Wolf Trap. I remember the Howard theater, street cars, the building of the subway, the devastation of the riots in 1968 and have been impressed by the rejuvenation of the "U" Street and "H" Street corridors. I will always stop into Ben’s Chili Bowl whenever I am in the area and no matter where I live in this world DC will always be my home. Fondly…
John W. Plummer III
I remember when Hoffbergs Deli was first on Kennedy sSt and then moved to Easten Ave. Also the Hot Shoppe on Gallatin St.. Also the diner on Rock Creek pPkwy across from the Potomac River. I went to Westen High school. My parents had a lady shop on M St in Georgetown
Another DC’ite weighing in. I attended Wheatley Elementary, Brown Jr. High and Eastern High Schools in the District. Way, way, way back when! I am preparing to retire from the military next month and have been researching my interest via the net for a while, that’s how I found your site. It’s a very nice website, I might add.
I was searching the internet to see if I could find pictures of the popular shoes we used to wear back in the mid-60s. They were called Slingshots, but prior to that, we would say 16s, 19s or 20s, because that is how much they cost at the time. Of course, if you were sportin’ 20s and they just happened to be suede, you were the BOMB! To my dismay, I cannot find a photo anywhere, (I wanted to show them to my daughter who is 24). You know, if I could find a picture, I believe, really, I do, I believe, I would get some made. Man, I really like those shoes! I had four or five pairs in leather and three pairs of suede. I wore most of them with either small paned fishnet stockings or silk stocking with a decorative line down the back. My sisters and I shopped on H Street NE. Remember the hosiery shop down there. It was simply fabulous and after getting footwear, we would always go and purchase 45s. Wow! That was so much fun.
Although I have traveled very far during my military career, I have come home to roost. When I my retirement I will have lots of time to blog on my computer and catch up on things I missed while I was away. I leave, but I always come back.
Thank you for listening. Oh, and if you or any of your visitors remember the shoes I mentioned, please let me hear from you. God bless you,
I stumbled onto your website by accident, I was looking up Goldie Hawn stuff and Takoma Pk stuff, I lived down the road from her and our friends live across the street from where her mom lived and knew her. What a surprise to read the memories.
I started to remember things that I thought I forgotten, I am hoping to chat with friends that lived on Holly Avenue between 1960-1970. Let me share a few memories of my own: I was born in Cheverly Hospital, 1957, I was a twin. My parents named us Jack and Jill. We lived in Palmer Park until we moved to Takoma PK in 1960. We lived at 7210 Holly Avenue, I can even remember our phone number: (Juniper) JU8-3972. The schools I attended were, Takoma Elementary and T. PK Junior High (left there after 7th grade, 1970). Mrs.Gyer was my kindergarten teacher. Each year I looked forward to the Strawberry Festival at our elementary school, it had a small carnival on the playground, a white elephant sale and of course vanilla ice cream (the ones that were square and you had to unwrap the white paper from around it) and strawberries piled on top.
My twin brother "Jackie" and his friend Michael McCurdy had a little band and would play for 10 cents each. They were called "The Rising Suns" named after the song "House of Rising Suns". Jackie played the drums. Cute ya !!
I also remember a really cool field trip, it was my 6th grade Science field trip to Camp Bright Star. We stayed there I think a week. With dangerous but fun mountainous hayrides to gravesites and wilderness hikes. It was so much fun, I was surprised my mom let me go for that long of time. I remember we would walk past the elementary school and public library to Takoma PK Firehall and go down in their basement where there was a roller rink and skate. We would walk to the MD/DC line past the railroad station house to Sam's grocery store to turn in empty soda bottles for 5 cents a bottle. Drink orange Crush, Niehi sodas, RC sodas, and cokes. The store was owned by the Gregory family. (Terri Gregory was my sister Karen's friend).
I remember: Trick or Treating and getting a lot of candy, it was safe then ! Walking past "Toad Hall" a hippie house on Maple Ave. On 4th and Butternut St. we would go to the movie theater and I remember watching "IT'S A MAD MAD MAD WORLD", and my favorite: "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians". Walking to Peoples Drug stores both in Silver Spring and MD/DC and buying Prell shampoo for .39 cents. Drive In-Eat places with girls on roller skates taking your order. Vaccination sugar cubes Walking to school, even in the snow and rain sometimes, My older sister had a snowcone stand in our front yard, We would go sled riding on Birch Ave. Riding my bike down Tulip Ave and crashing. LOL Karen and Bobby Shaffer and their family, The McCurdy family, Riding the transit bus to Silver Spring just to buy a Barbie doll, prell shampoo and sodas at Peoples Drug store.
Hot Shoppes, Highs, Greyhound bus stations. Drive-In movies in Hyattsville, speakers hooked to windows, watching Jerry Lewis movies, going to MacDonald's. Every fall watching "The Wizard of Oz" on TV, Playing Batman, and being Catwoman. Walt Disney on Sunday nights. Owning a boat in Woodlawn Beach and going there on weekends then afterwards going to Fuscos restaurant, eating pizza, 10 cent Twinkies and sodas. My parents use to play the nickel pinball machines there. Going to Mike's Bar and Restaurant in Riva MD. for crabs, (and still going there after all these years for crabs, and sandwiches) Going to North Beach, to Ewalds and hearing "tiny bubbles". Who could forget Takoma Park's 4th of July parades down Maple Ave, and the fireworks displays. Dances in the gym in socks at our Junior High School, Black lights and black light paint and painted our basement floor and walls with hand and foot prints. Singing "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay", "These Eyes" and many more fun songs. Bellbottoms and wedge shoes, Midi coats and Mini skirts, bodysuits, were just coming in. VBS= Vacation Bible School, making popcycle stick art. How cool was that? I could go on and on....that was a fun, innocent time in life where kids could play for hours without parents worrying about them, travel was enjoyable and not hectic. Life was simple.
Thanks for the memories.
Jill in WV
Thanks so much "for the memories".... I remember them all (almost)... I need to add the caramels at Giffords... so soft, they almost melted in your mouth. They were displayed in big baskets above the counter in many flavors... Also, has anyone mentioned "Krispy Kreme " donuts? I think it was the first one, and you could go and watch them come off the line and buy them hot... of course , by the time you got them home in a bag, they had all but flattened... therefore, we ate them on the spot !
There were 2 frozen Custards I remember... with shards of mirrors stuck into white concrete ...and Polar bears.... Do any of you "girls" remember that the jewelry store next to People's gave each senior a sterling silver teaspoon of her pattern choice ? Wow, that would never happen today. Keep the memories coming... I feel younger now,
I found your site and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I was born in GWU Hospital in 1953 and grew up in Alexandria. The real stories are from my Mom and Dad -- she from Alexandria and he from Congress Heights. In fact, I'm editing some stories of his about growing up in Congress Heights in the 1920s and 1930s. It's a lot of fun, and there's always more and more to learn. The folks are 83 and 80 and still get around. If I do have a little bit to share, it might be in the form of Alan's in Page 15. A little bit of a biography with local color. I look forward to hearing that you are well and that you are still welcoming new additions to your wonderful site.
Robert Wineland 2260 Cobblehill Place San Mateo, California 94402
I just found the site DC memories and I loved it!! Born and raised in the Stanton Park, Lincoln Park area in the 40's and 50's, the memories brought many smiles. I have two questions, if you could point me in the right direction: the name of a department store on the north side of H St NE in the 4-5-6 700 block in the 50's? Where can I find info on DC birth certificates in the 1900 teens and 20's? Thank you in advance. Oh, yes, a bunch of old fellows from the DC area go on an annual fishing trip to Nags Head each summer (no one fishes anymore) and each morning we play our version of DC trivial pursuit. George Winkel
Hello all. When I tell people that I'm from Washington, invariably some one will say "I have a cousin there. He lives in Arlington, VA." Well, I am a native Washingtonian. I was born at home on Florida Ave NE. Just a block from Truxton Circle. Alas, the fountain there is no more and the circle itself is now gone. I went to St. Aloysius grade school at North Capital and K. When I was in the fifth grade, we moved to Brookland in NE. I stayed at St. Al's anyway. The end of the Brookland street car line was two blocks from our home. There was a stop right at the front door of St. Al's. The car fare, we called them bus tickets were 3 cents.
On Saturdays, we could always borrow someone's transit pass and spend the day exploring the city. Around the seventh grade, I discovered the Capital theater and the wonderful stage shows with a new comedian every week. I would sit through two shows, memorize the comedian's act. When I got home, I would immediately write it down in a notebook before I forgot it. Over the course of time, I could do all sorts of stand up comedy, but not one word of it original. Years later, I was flying to the east from Los Angeles. My seat companion and I struck up a conversation. He was a comedian going to Dallas for a convention show. When he told me his name (Frankie Marlowe), I remembered his act from 1949. He was deeply impressed that anyone remembered him, much less his act word for word. Later on, I ran into another great comedian at the race track. This was Carl Ballantyne a comic magician, better known as Lester Gruber on HcHale's Navy. We became good track buddies. One Father's Day he was there with his daughter, wearing a spiffy suit with a flower in his lapel. I complimented him on it and BINGO it squirted me right in the face. At this time he was well into his 80's.
At that time in Brookland, the center of the world in the daytime was Turkey Thicket. TT meant a lot to us. A visitor could brag all he wanted to about his playground with impunity, but let him say one even minor slur on TT and the fight was on. In the evenings it was the corner of 12th and Quincy in front of Hocking's (later on Collins) drug store. It was not unusual to see at least 40 of us walking up 12th Street to the Newton (again alas no more).
Later on I attended Gonzaga High School, then and now the greatest high school in the world. Just ask any graduate. After a stint in the army (Korea) I went to Catholic U. I was still living in Brookland. I was never a CU enthusiast, but I could walk to school. It was there I met my wife. We are getting close to anniversary #50, so I guess CU was worth it. All in all, DC was a great place to grow up. At that time you were always broke but there hundreds of wonderful things to do that were all free. Even when I was in college street car fare was still 10 cents. You could take a date to the Library of Congress to hear Robert Frost read his poetry and meet him afterwards. Total cost, 40 cents (car fare) and maybe 0 if you could borrow a couple of transit passes. During the summer there was something every night at the Watergate again admission free. If not there you went to the concert at the east front of the again free. Throw in the art galleries and the Smithsonian etc and you had it all.
I am proud to call myself a Native Washingtonian and I am sure that any readers who are also Native Washingonians are equally.
Thanks so much for all the wonderful memories. I was born in D.C. at Sibley hospital, 1948. We lived for the most part in Morningside, Md near Andrews Air Force base. We also lived on Avenue C in D.C. when I was younger and then on Davis Ave (not sure of town). My folks use to take us to the air force shows @AFB; what a treat. I saw President Kennedy arriving one time, that was pretty neat. However, during Christmas, he was going to light the tree, but I had come down with the mumps and couldn't go. I attended Morningside Elementary and Suitland Jr. High. My friend, Julie, and I use to love to go swimming at the Suitland community pool; they would sell great sub-sandwiches for about 10 cents. On Friday nights my Dad would always bring us home a treat; Chinese food in those little white boxes. I remember some of the other places like the Hot Shoppes, dixie pig, white castle, & Eddie Leonard sandwich shops. On the 4th of July, Dad would pack all 5 of us girls, plus my Mom, in the station wagon and we go watch the fireworks. We would lay down a blanket, have a picnic and watch the spectacular fireworks across the Potomac river. That was so much fun. Of when I was younger I actually thought they were shooting the fireworks right out of the monument
. We also got to go to Mayo, Triton and North beach. and of course Ocean City. When I had reached my teen years Friday nights were so much fun. We would take the school bus from my elementary school and ride over to the Bladensburg skating rink. Other times they would take us to meet the Ferry and then ride over to Marshall Hall- we had a blast. On Saturday mornings our folks would drop us off at the Coral Hills theatre or sometimes we would go to the drive inn in Coral Hills. If we were lucky enough my friend, Julie and I got to go horseback riding over in Forestville, or maybe it was Forestville Rd. I really liked our little town of Morningside. We would go sledding down some of the hills. My aunt had given us a sled that had rudders and wheels; it could really fly. I got to go to Glen Echo when I was younger; but I think when I was a little older dad didn't want us going down there too much. Julie and I use to ride the bus from Morningside to down town and then we would catch the streetcar. We would go shopping to all the 5 & 10 stores and dept. stores. Julie would try on every outfit in every dept store while I giggled and made faces in the mirror. Then of course we would go somewhere to eat, and of course stop by the bakery or ice cream shop.
Speaking of ice cream, I certainly do remember the Pick Temple show- they use to advertise Heidi ice cream. I also remember Ranger Hal, Romper Room, the Milt Grant Show, and who remembers WPGC; "big o fat 'ol Dino on 1580"? And speaking of dept stores, I think it was the Hecht company that had all the wonderful Christmas displays that were animated. I just loved those Christmas scenes. The Saturday matinees were always so much fun. We would race to sit in the balcony, most of the theaters back then had em. We went to Coral Hills, Lowes and some other cool theatre down town. My folks had some close friends that lived on NE Newton Street near 17th, and there was a theater either down the street or near by that we use to go to. Oh, and I remember Shock theater on Saturday nights. I would sneak down the stairs at our house to watch it, and then I would crawl in bed with one of my younger sisters cause I was so scared. My folks met and married in D.C. My dad, from Nebraska, a WWII veteran and had been discharged there. My Mom, from S.C. and was working for the Army map service when they met. Talk about two opposites; she wanted cornbread, beans and grits and my dad wanted meat and potatoes. However, they managed to make their marriage work for 50 plus years and 5 kids later, til my Mom passed away in 95. So, I have very fond memories of my childhood growing up in D. C. We moved when I was 14, but growing up there had really made quite an impression on me.
Debi, hi, I've seen so many inquiries about the Polar Bears that I thought I'd send you a link to an identical pair that reside in Nashville that I discovered online. They were purchased by someone in the early forties and they put them in their front yard. Today, they're in a public park. My recollection from when I was a child, was that they were waving, but I see now that they were actually throwing snowballs at passers-by. I'd also recalled an igloo somewhere in Silver Spring, and reading around on the web, I believe the igloo was part of the Polar Bear Frozen Custard stand. here's a link for anyone who'd like to glimpse the bears again: Polar Bear -Doug
Do YOU have any memories of D.C.? If so, please e-mail me and I will add them to this page.
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