Then she was excited over the Toddle House which served tiny hamburgers
for 5 cents. Then there was Martha Washington Ice Cream shop where you
could get the best frozen custard and Reeves on G Street with a lunch
counter and soda fountain. kmelke
I made a copy of all of the memories and sent them to my cousin who was raised in the District. In '47 she was married and moved to Annandale, VA. She was so delighted but had to throw in a few you had missed. Her prime one was the candy store--Velati's--my aunt, her mother used to send my mother a two pound box every Christmas after wee moved West in 1934.
Then she was excited over the Toddle House which served tiny hamburgers for 5 cents. Then there was Martha Washington Ice Cream shop where you could get the best frozen custard and Reeves on G Street with a lunch counter and soda fountain.
Arthur Godfrey - how many remember his radio show? I woke up every morning
to it. He often mentioned my home town, Colonial Beach, where he loved to
eat hardshell crabs. Kate Smith got her start there - in a riverside dance
hall - when she was a very young teenager. It was a wonderful place for a
kid - swimming in the Potomac all summer (the water was clear as crystal
then). Many of my best friends were Washingtonians whose families had
places at the Beach, and I couldn't wait to grow up so I could go to
Washington and live there.
My mother was born and raised in D.C. She had worked for the Treasury Department - her job was to inspect paper currency as it came off the press. I thought that was the neatest job - looking at thousands and millions of dollars every day!
My dream came true when I was 18. I threatened my father with running away from college if he wouldn't let me go. Finally, he gave me his blessing and $100 when I promised to continue my education at GW night school. I worked as a secretary with the Civil Aeronautics Board - my very first assignment was to type a letter to Eddie Rickenbacker (then president of Eastern Airlines), my very favorite World War II hero. I thought I was in heaven for sure. The most wonderful people worked for the CAB, a relatively tiny govenment agency - we were one big family, luckily for this greenhorn, small-town girl.
At first, I lived in a basement room on Dupont Circle. I had to wash my dishes in the bathtub. But, again, I was lucky and found some great roommates. At one time, there were five of us in a big apartment a block west of 18th and Columbia Road. We had all heard the big rumor about the shortage of single men in D.C., but we just laughed at it. Men seemed to migrate to our apartment - that might have been because we furnished rather unique entertainment. We had a black cat and a white Leghorn chicken who would put on a great show for our boy friends. The chicken flew up on the cat's back and rode all around the apartment. Some nights, we thought we would never get to the dance or show because the fellows had so much fun with our pets. Of course, our apartment had a no-pet rule, but I don't think there was a single tenant without at least one pet. We frequently gathered outside in a small park next to the building on a Sunday afternoon and let them play together - chicken, cats, dogs, monkeys, whatever.
One of our favorite places was the Shoreham, just a walk across the bridge from our apartment. We all loved the state society dances and the Paul Joneses - a great way to meet guys. Of course, I always felt like I had plenty of chaperones because I frequently met others in the Paul Joneses who knew my father - he was very active in the American Legion and I was amazed at how many people in D.C. knew him or knew about him. And many of them were aware of his high standards for his only daughter!
There was also a club in the Shoreham (I can't remember the name) where Sandy Williams and his band played. The music and atmosphere were both great. Many of my boy friends were fantastic dancers (an important criterion for a date in those days), and we often put on a show. Sometimes, Sandy would clear the floor just for us. One night after a state society dance, my date and I popped in for a last dance and headed straight for the dance floor. The rule was that a party had to be seated at a table before they could dance. The bouncers came after us and tried to hustle us out. Sandy intervened and cleared the floor so we could put on our show. Another time, he recognized a Hollywood starlet (the blonde-bombshell type - I don't remember her name) on one side of the bandstand and introduced her. She rose to take a bow. While the blonde was still standing to applause, he turned toward my date and me seated at the other side of the bandstand and announced in a loud voice over the wild applause, "And over here we have Terry!" Then he invited us to the floor to put on a show. More wild applause! If looks could kill, I would have been real dead at that very moment. What marvelous fun we used to have and what terrific Washington memories!
More memories! Remember when Arthur Godfrey, who was on the local WRC
radio station, was reading an ad for 'Zlotnick the Furrier'? He said that
a beautiful fur coat could be had "for (number) potatoes". He had
substituted the word "potatoes" for "dollars". The next day in the paper,
we read that indeed, a man had brought in the correct amount of potatoes
and insisted that he be given the coat. He won, and Godfrey was in a heap
of trouble for a while. As for Kate Smith - when we moved to Raleigh, a
close friend in the neighborhood was the neice of Kate Smith. Kate was in
her last years and living with her sister close by.
Oh my, do I ever have memories. My sister's and I are 12th generation Marylander's but we lived in DC for a couple of years or so in the early 50's. I finally broke the chain and now live in Florida. However, we were neighbors to another memory writer, (JUNEWM) we also lived on Georgia Avenue, street cars right out front! I also went to West Elementary and McFarland Jr. High School. My older sisters went to Roosevelt High, the oldest graduating from there before we moved back to Maryland. Aside from that wonderful, huge old house that we lived in, and shared with other families.....one to each floor.....I remember those Woodies windows at Christmas time quite well. As a matter of fact, my Grandmother was an employee, and retired, from Woodies! She worked in the employees cafeteria and would once in a while take us grandkids to shop at Woodies and have lunch in the employees cafeteria (which was huge). What a treat that was. I still have a gold chain neckless that I bought in 1956 from Woodies, for $16.00 less Grandma's 10% discount.
When I was a teenager, my girlfriend and I, initially wearing high heels, walked all the way to the top of the Washington Monument. We were the only people walking. I don't think they allow that anymore. We wanted to take the elevator down, but they said it was full. So we walked down too. Much easier and faster than the trip up, I must say. And those highheels came off and it was stocking feet for most of the walk up! Another girlfriend and I "picked up" a couple of sailors on the Monument lawn where people sat to rest, take in some sun, and in out case, "primp" with the use of our built-in pocket book mirrors -- but hey, that's another story. Oh the fear of that sort of thing these days!
Does anyone remember the beautiful Low's Theaters? Especially the Capitol and the Palace? Weren't they grand? Nothing like that for movie goer's today! When I was a kid they had live stage shows in those theaters. We went to see Jane Powell when I was about six or so. I remember dressing up in (matching with my two sisters) fur trimmed coats, hats and white fur muffs to go to that show. Our parents allowed us to walk down the isle to see Jane Powell up close. She winked at us. What a thrill. She was quite young, probably not yet twenty herself, and so beautiful. Later, after moving to Mt. Rainier, just a block from Eastern Avenue, my girlfriends and I would skip school and hop the streetcar right up the street at the Rhode Island Avenue Depot (end of the line!) and take it downtown to those theaters where they then showed movies. We'd always have a grilled cheese sandwich, french fries, a coke and a chocolate sunday - all for $1.00 at Niesners huge lunch counter.....Murphy's was a little too expensive for us. We also went shopping downtown via streetcars. Dressed up in highheels and dresses (sometimes even wore those little white gloves!) to go shopping! Oh my, the more I write, the more memories creep in. I could go on and on and on and on. Thanks!
Thank you for a nostalgic pleasure. There's hardly a memory I read that I can't share.
I came to the Washington area (Bethesda, first) in 1930. Moved to Harvard Street NW where I recall the Savoy and Tivoli theatres. Last month there was a biography of Marriott on the History Channel that brought back events and scenes that I had forgotten.
I can still see the original Marriott counter in the old Arcade Market on 14th St where he got his start. Later I worked in Hot Shoppes while attending college.
Next on Quebec Place, near York theater, I attended Park View elementary. After a move to Rockville we returned to DC at 18th and Wyoming Ave. Seventh grade was in Powell Jr High, eighth and ninth at Paul after we moved to Quackenbos St. Then Roosevelt High and American U.
My younger wife can remember almost as far back as I. She lived on Rhode Island Ave and later Meridian Pl NW. She attended Central HS. I recall the Senators in a World Series and later my favorite player, Buddy Myer. Also the infamous 73-0 Redskin defeat.
Where to start... and when to stop???? I was born at the old Sibley Hospital way back when... lived nearby DC in early years; moved to VA for a while and then back to DC at age 15. Walked a lot from Georgia Ave & Crittenden Street neighborhood to 16th Street to hang with friends; frequented the Kalarama Road Skating Rink, and the movie theaters near 14th & Park Roads, NW. Loved going downtown on the streetcar; meeting friends/family on the balcony at Woodies. Dressed up...high heels and all. And always, always loved going down to see the winter window displays at Woodies.
Graduated from Roosevelt HS and went to work at the Wonder Bakery in 1953 as a secretary for $1.25 an hour!!!! Stayed with them for 5 years. (Was making $2.18 when I left there!) About the time I went to work, we moved to Mt. Rainier, but I was a DC gal by then. Hung out with friends downtown a lot; the Capitol Theater, the Blue Mirror Grill; the German restaurant on 11th St (I think)--can't remember the name. Also went through a phase of hanging out around Columbia Road, NW...I remember some German "beer joints" we used to sit in and play word games and laugh by the hour...A bunch of us frequented the Friday night dances at the Burlington Hotel; always "met" someone who was going to throw a party on Saturday night and we'd all go there. Sometimes we'd go to some dance place in upper NW..."Woody's" I think it was. And sometimes we'd go to some dance place over in SE ...near the Marine Barracks, I think it was called Guys. Got lost every time we drove in that part of town. I was the one with the car, so I learned my way around DC by "getting lost" a lot...and finding my way out again.
Well, I could go on and on and on....Fun memories!!!! AND I STILL LOVE TO GO TO DOWNTOWN DC!!!! The museums are great; the shows are great; the restaurants are great!
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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