i was born at the old Providence Hospital in Southeast DC in 1940.  My Dad was born there in 1912.  We lived on 36th St. NE and went to Benning Elementary School .  Does anyone remember “Pop” the police officer that covered our neighborhood and helped us cross Benning Road on the way to school?  Does anyone remember Sylvia Deevy’s Amateur Show on Sundays?  How about the SE Apple Blossom Festival, Stevenson’s Bakery, the Little Tavern on Pennsylvania Avenue near the Highland Theater.  Went to Sousa Junior High and Anacostia High School .  Does anyone remember going for picnics at Fort Washington ?  Taking the trolley to the Penn Theater?  Going to the movies on Saturday for hours (the main feature, cartoons, serials, previews of coming attractions)?  Thanks for a terrific website


Beverly Merrilees


Does anyone remember the all-night radio show on WTOP called Jim Meyers & Company? It ran from 1960 to 1963. Jim was a popular DC jazz pianist who performed with his wife, Ruby Lee, a wonderful singer. The show included lots of album cuts from classic jazz records as well as Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and many others. Jim and Ruby often performed songs live in the studio. It was relaxing, laid back, perfect late-night music and conversation.
I wrote an article on my website a while ago about the show, and readers can see it at the following link: You can even hear some short clips from the show, which were provided to me by the Meyers family. Jim passed away about five years ago, and Ruby passed away this year.
If anyone else out there has recordings from Jim Meyers & Company shows, I would love to hear from you.
Joe Manning
Florence, Mass

A friend sent your site to me because she knew I had been writing about my own memories, the best of which were spent in Georgetown from 1947 to 1954 and beyond. 
 I remember being among a bunch of adolescents sneaking into the outdoor pool at Georgetown U and swimming in our underwear. One of the miscreants being caught by "Hawkshaw" and had to go to the guard shack in his underwear to get his clothes back. I don't remember if "Hawkshaw" was his name or his title. 
I remember Hyde school and the morning prayer where we substituted "deliver us from evil" to "deliver us from  Ebel"  our 5th and 6th grade teacher, Mrs., Ebel.  She was what education should be today.  
I remember the old Georgetown boys club on "M" Street which was turned into a gas station after the new club was built up off of Wisconsin Ave. . Football practice drills on the hills of Rock Creek.  Saturday morning football on the ellipse.  One morning Harry Truman watched us play on his morning constitutional.  
In April the herring came up the Potomac and we would snag them with treble hooks in Rock Creek at Montrose Park, or net them under Key Bridge at a spillway.  One Spring, we caught so many, a friend and I sold them door to door by the bucket.  
Riding your bike on the cobblestone streets was a challenge in itself, but avoiding the street car tracks to keep from getting thrown off the bike was a more difficult challenge.
I remember being a patrol boy at the corner of Potomac Street at "O" NW looking at a plaque with a stone dedicated to Colonel Ninian Beall, with no idea of who he was.  Only to run across his name decades later in a genealogy search. And discover that he at one time owned a great deal of Washington, before there was a Washington,DC.
Discovering that the Stoddard School, Hyde School, and Corcoran School were all named for previous landowners in the area. 
I remember carrying grocery orders for the neighborhood ladies from the Safeway on M Street for quarters and dimes in tips.  You could tell when Hoffmeir's rendering plant was in operation through the smell that permeated the air. the plant was the butt of many jokes.
I remember swimming to the old stone piers of old Aqueduct Bridge. from "Jacks Boathouse" under Key bridge  and diving from the old stone piers into the Potomac, not realizing it was an open sewer. Thank the Lord it was mostly up river from DC. Canoe trips from "Jacks" to Roosevelt Island and "Three sisters Islands" were a regular past time in the summer, and when we didn't have the money for a canoe, we'd swim over to the Islands. When not at the river in the summer we were at swimming meets at the Georgetown Playground pool, where they had regional and city wide swimming competition.  Or playing softball against other playgrounds, such as; Stoddard, Palisades, Hearst, Chevy Chase, and others. 
I remember helping a friend with the mules that pulled the "Canal Clipper" on the C and O canal.  We'd ride the backs of the mules and hitch and un-hitch the team to go from one side of the canal to the other under the tunnel under the canal off of Canal Rd.
Two nights a week during the school year, Gordon Jr. High opened the gyms in the evenings.  A lot more went on then basketball.  During the day Gordon was ruled with an iron fist by J. Dallas Shirley and his able assistant Mrs. "Hawkeye", or "Eagle-eye" Walker, who acquired her name by her gaze spread around the cafeteria seeking miscreants and other wrong doers. Sneaking out of school to go to Korn's market across the street would earn you a trip to the "office"
 Mr. Shirley eventually was inducted into the "Basketball Hall of Fame", and I was to later find that outside of the school building he was a great guy. 
Friday's and Saturday evenings were confined to house parties at a girls house (guys just didn't seem to throw parties)
or at the Calvert Theater on Wisconsin Ave, or the "Avenue" as sit was known. The week end days were great times to explore the museums, only a bicycle ride away. Or the Custis-Lee mansion in Arlington.  What a great era.  what a wonderful city. It was smaller then, but closer, even though divided.  I remember it kindly
John D "Jack" Barrett
Ocean City, MD



I recently discovered your D.C. memories page and thought I'd contribute.  Please feel free to edit these as you see fit:

I spent my early years (1953-1960) growing up in Langley Park, in an apartment complex off Merrimack Drive.  It was within walking distance of the old Langley theater, a Grand Union supermarket, and a drug store (Woolworth's?) where they made the best cherry Cokes at the soda fountain.  There was also a Hot Shoppe on the corner of New Hampshire Ave and University Blvd. where we'd often eat lunch.  I still say they made the best chocolate milkshakes around - really thick!  I also loved their chicken noodle soup - hearty and with unique ring-shaped noodles.  Dad worked at the Naval Ordnance Lab in White Oak and sometimes he'd take us out to the Hot Shoppe after work and we'd eat in the car (drive-in).  They had little intercoms you could use to give your order, which the car hop would then bring out to you.  Saturday night we'd generally go to Giffords in Silver Spring where I would usually get a cone of their great mountain blackberry ice cream.

In the late 50's there was a fast food hamburger place built across the street from us on University Blvd.  We called it the "Big M" because it had M-shaped "arches".  I don't know if it was connected with McDonalds or not, but it was that kind of place.

I attended kindergarten and first grade at New Hampshire Estates elementary, which was close enough to walk to.  Around 1960, however, we moved to Wheaton where I attended Arcola elementary.  I can still remember how we were all instructed to bring canned food to school during the Cuban Missile crisis in '62.  I can also remember the day we had a "drill" to see if everyone could walk home within 30 minutes (i.e., before the bombs started falling!)  I lived several miles away and normally rode the bus to school, but Dad took me to Arcola the Saturday before the drill and we walked home together to make sure I knew the best and safest route.  The day of the drill my mother was really nervous until I made it home by myself, with 3 minutes to spare!

Other miscellaneous memories include: 

Going to the Cider Barrel in Gaithersburg on a fall weekend for fresh cider.  You really thought you were out in the country back then!  They always gave you a paper cup with a sample before you made your purchase.

Driving down Route 5 and 301 through Waldorf and LaPlata to see my relatives in Virginia, and passing all the slot machine joints with their colorful signs.  I was always fascinated by the WigWam (it looked neat) and the old 301 Restaurant (with its neon sign in the shape of a lobster!)

Going to Mrs. K's Toll House for dinner on special occasions.  I especially liked Christmas, when they hung ornaments from the ceiling with colored ribbons.  As you entered the dining room and went down the stairs these were all at eye level, so you thought you were walking into a forest of ornaments and ribbons. 

The stone restaurant at Four Corners, across from the Methodist church.  We only ate there once or twice, but it was a unique landmark.  I used to think it looked like a castle.

The old Olney Inn in Olney, with their great crab imperial (as you can tell, I like to eat, so some of my clearest and dearest memories are of D.C. area restaurants).

Driving all the way out to Urbana, Maryland, to eat at the Peter Pan Inn - great country ham and those wonderful corn fritters!  There were also a couple of neat antique shops there my folks liked to visit.

Taking school field trips to the Golden Rule Dairy (off New Hampshire between White Oak and Langley Park) and the WSSC Patuxent water treatment plant.

Going to see Ringling Bros. circus at the old DC armory. 

The old DC Transit street cars and busses.  I still have a couple of the old metal tokens and paper bus transfers, which I used as "play money."  My mother made a point of taking me on the street car the last day they ran, so I'd remember it.

Watching the 3-Stooges every night on WTTG - channel 5.  I remember being really upset when they preempted them to cover the 1960 presidential conventions!

Going to Giant supermarket and getting yellow TV stamps, then helping stick them into the stamp books.  Also appearing on Pic Temple's TV show and getting a coupon for a free 1/2 gal. of Giant ice cream.

The Wheaton News Stand in Wheaton - the best selection of comic books in town (not to mention that mysterious adults only section).

Going to a big hobby shop in downtown D.C. (Corrs? Or something like that) at Christmas time, which had a great Lionel train layout.  While there we'd also go check out the window displays at Woodies, etc.  I loved the downtown Woodies - especially the old elevators with their glass outer doors.  I'd stand by the elevators and watch the cars wizz past while mom did her shopping.  As I recall there was also a tunnel under the street which led from the main store to an annex building.

I remember when Prince George's Plaza was the first "mall" in the area and we'd sometimes drive there to do Christmas shopping.  It seems to me they had one of the first Toys-R-Us stores there.  Then Wheaton Plaza opened and we did most of our shopping there.  At the time it was an open air plaza - no roof over the sidewalks.  We'd eat Sunday dinner after church at the Hot Shoppe cafeteria (great roast beef), then visit the nearby People's drugstore.  Some Friday nights we'd have dinner at the Sirloin Inn, which had the best London Broil around.  There was also a Brentano's books store and a Barachini chocolate store, in addition to Woodies and Montgomery Wards.

Well, enough for now.  Thanks for posting everyone's memories!

Regards, Eugene H. Beach, Jr.
Highland, Michigan

August 2006


I chanced upon your website searching for my old Anacostia High School, Class of '64.


Not knowing whether your memories' section is still alive or not, I take this effort to share my few DC memories.


My youthful exposure to DC lasted quite a vew years -- some of it lived from Fairfax, some from Falls Church, some from Friendship, MD.  


But there were my grade 8.5 through grade13.6 years lived entirely within the confines of DC's political geography.  Most of that time was in our home two blocks from the east steps of the Capitol building.  I think my father bought this rather distressed rowhouse for some early Sixties' $15K.  We learn later that this same property is now $2 million.  Oh well.  Just the same, it was a skinny little stretched-out long trailer.  In brick.


I recall hearing the Marine Band playing on the Capitol steps while we sat in our tiny back yard.  And that memorable day when our whole family simply walked over to witness President Kennedy's inauguration in the cold snow.


And that so much sadder simple walk to the lying in state under the Rotunda so few years later.


There was some Protestant Church nearby [close to the LOC] where suddenly-President Johnson was visiting that Sunday morning and we were outside the church waiting to catch a glimpse of him when others with radios in the crowd told us of the murder of the Lee Harvey Oswald fellow and my father grabbed us all and took us pronto back to the house.  Those days were a bit confusing for a lot of us.


My brother and I volunteered to detail our neighbor's car to get it ready for him to go to the White House for some of the funeral ceremonies.  He was some US Representative.  Maybe Iowa.  I forget.


There was a Catholic church directly in front of our house on D St. and I remember my grandmother sitting at the front window looking at the nuns walking into the church and mumbling something about the Pope and now this Kennedy fellow coming to the White House.  I always thought her comments quite odd as she was, alone, so alone, the ONLY Democrat ever in our family!


Around the corner from our home were several favorite family haunts and private 'Bro and Me' sanctuaries we visited clandestinely coming back from school on the streetcar.


Family approved sites were primarily the Sampan Cafe on Pennsylvania Ave. not too far from 12th St as I recall.  A pleasant ritual for the family.  And still the only Chinese restaurant I've ever frequented that served French bread with the meal.  Of course, dessert was ice cream as only a Chinese restaurant can serve ice cream -- crunchy with re-frozen blobs of melted ice in it.  The place was sill in business forty years later when my Bro (in some quite strange moment of nostalgia) went back there with his wife.


Bro and I had Angelos on Pa. Ave. at 2nd, SE which served atrocious greasy hamburgers and even more disgusting greasy French fries.  This pastime enjoyment we kept from our parents, of course.  We would decline to eat at our school cafeterias and save up for the treat at Angelos.


For us there was the Trover Shop just down the street.  A book store kinda place.  Where I recall my first (and I truly believe my only) descent into the criminal world when I shoplifted a nudist magazine.  It was probably difficult for a tenth grader to purchase a nudist magazine at that time, no doubt. [In all fairness to me, I add.]


Around the corner was the Charles DuBois grocery store.  I always loved the name of the place.  I believe now that he and his family were Pieds Noirs from Algeria.  They were very nice to us and I learned to love to eat plums from their fruit bins.  Another careful savings from our lunch money at school.


I quit now.


As with so many of us in later years, so many memories.


Jim, from Florida

Hello Debi,
I found your site when I "googled" frozen custard.  I was born in baltimore in 1943, but my dad used to work in dc, so we had many friends and relatives in the dc area.
I remember when we drove to dc on the old wash-balto hwy (I think it was us #1) we would stop at a frozen custard stand that was covered with broken pieces of glass or mirrors.  I thought it was the most magical place ever, at the age of 5 or 6!  I think it was in the shape of an igloo (I may be wrong).
Does any of this ring a bell with you.  Thanks for your site and your answer.
Robert Mingee
Willifor, Ar.

Boy this sure brings back memories.  I was born at Georgetown Hospital in 1950.  I remember when the temporary government buildings were located on the mall as well as the old medical museum.  I also have a vague recollection of streetcars before they dug up the rails in downtown Washington, DC.  I remember watching the Milt Grant TV Dance Show on TV.  Does anyone remember him?   The best ice cream was Reindeer Frozen Custard (lemon was my favorite) in Northwest and Bob's Frozen Custard in South East Washington.  Bob even had a screened entrance door!  I remember Woodies downtown when they had a person work the elevators with the iron gates, and the store played soothing background music while you shopped. I remember when we went down near Dupont Circle to see President Kennedy's funeral procession and I remember Marshall Halls amusement park as well as Glen Echo. I remember riding DC transit to get to school and our school tickets were purchased at the car barn. I remember the Good Humor ice cream man and Mr. Softee.   I remember when Washington, DC was great and crime was minimal at best.  Wish it could be that way again.

HELLO: I got all nostalgic today and started a search for John Burroughs School in Washington, D.C. I found this site and your email, and am happy to have the opportunity to tell a little about my "1954 school integration" experiences. For two years, I was one of the little Black kids who walked several blocks each day to go to the Lucy Slowe School in Washington, D.C., because we were not allowed to attend the the John Burroughs School which was about a block or 2 from my house. In 1954, when I was in the 4th grade, this situation changed, and we attended the neighborhood school for the first time. My experiences in the first teacher's classroom (I will not mention her name, since the experiences were not pleasant) still stand out in my memory. The amazing thing about today's search was finding the name of Mr. Webb, who I now remember as one of my best teachers and who was my 2nd Burrough's teacher - either 5th or 6th grade - maybe both. I remember these two teachers, both White, who had such different impacts on me. Although my experience with the first Burroughs teacher was not pleasant, she was NOT my first White teacher. I attended a Lutheran Church/MS in D.C., called Mount Olivet, and had the joys of music and spiritual kindness, reminiscent of my grandmother, and family, from Sunday School Teacher Clara Scheibel, the pastor's wife. So, even though my experiences my first year at Burroughs were not pleasant, I never held it against the whole group (smiles). What stands out as the worse experience my first year at Burroughs was when this teacher put all the "Negro" kids in a lower reading group without testing. Since I was a champion reader (I used to read encyclopedias at home and comic books and other children's books as a past-time, although I was NOT a nerd. I played hard in the neighborhood, and also remember like the others on the site I found how free we kids were to walk, run, skate and bicycle all over our neighborhood without fear.) I knew I deserved to be in the top reading group, but all I could get was the middle group. You know, I remember this so vividly it is almost unbelievable. Well, by passing her spelling test with a 100, I eventually got back in the top reading group. But, this I remember, at Christmas, she was teaching us the song "White Christmas", and I led the "Negro" kids in the version I wrote, like this.. "I'm dreaming of a black teacher, just like the ones we used to know". (This is the TRUTH. Even back then, I thought I was so funny. In fact, my Mother made me memorize the poem "Little Joe Tunney" who thought he was so funny, to try to correct my joking ways. PS, I am a female.) I am certain that this teacher was glad to be rid of me, just as I was glad to be gone from her. Well, that next year, I had Mr. Webb, who I remember as a fantastic teacher, and my love of learning and new adventures was put to the test in his classroom.
Another positive about Burroughs was being introduced to the cello, which I still play today. I remember this husband and wife coming to the school with these instruments, one of which was a cello. I was so excited about this new instrument that my Mother says I ran home and excitedly told her about the instrument you could sit down and play because it was so big! Music was always a big part of our family, and they had me playing the violin at home, which I did not like and never practiced. So, this cello was welcomed. In fact, Mother says that my Father cried when I played a song on the cello he liked, and he immediately went out and purchased a cello so that I no longer rented one from the husband and wife. I also began playing in my first orchestra at Burroughs, and was the only cellist - something I was kind of proud of, too. Well, after 6th grade, our family moved to Baltimore, and I eventually went to an African American "finishing school/boarding school" down South. I even attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music for a while. My last 3 years of high school were spent in Indiana, where my Mother's family is from. (I have one heck of an integration story from 10th grade!) Today, I am the manager of our community symphony and principal cellist, and I play in an AACM musical group which tours internationally. I do not make a living as a musician, I am a real estate broker and run a community cultural arts program for the children and teens in my community, and am a university educator. I still love doing many things, like back in the early grades. I haven't changed much - just age and I would say weight, but I was always kind of solid. I love all the things I do, and I especially love knowledge and learning, and bringing good things in this life to others whenever I find out about something, I want others to love it, too! Thanks for this opportunity to share some memories. NM (

The two pictures are of Harrigan's Restaurant, please send me your website again, I can't find it in my favorites.
Pat (Harrigan) Sczuka


I've enjoyed this collection DC memories each time I read then and decided to contribute my own. I was born in 1951 at Doctor's Hospital on Eye Street. My parents were also born in DC. My father in 1922 at Walter Reed and my mother in 1927 at Garfield. My brother was born in 1947 at "old" Providence and my sister in 1962 at "new" Providence. As an elementary school aged child I lived in Takoma Park and attended Carol Highlands Elem. I loved Giffords on Georgia Ave in Silver Spring which was a regular weekend stop after lunch at the Little Tavern where I always ordered Rock Creek Fruit Punch and the Hostess House carry out attached to the Hot Shoppes. We got gas for our car at the "filling station" on the corner of New Hampshire Ave and Ethan Allen (East West Highway I think), an Esso station. The same man always tended to us and wore a contraption attached to his belt from which he dispensed our change. He dressed in an Esso "uniform" and we knew him by name, and he, us. We attended church at Grace Methodist on New Hampshire Ave. My brother and I and our neighborhood friends played endlessly in the woods along Sligo Creek - looking for "mica" in the water, "cray fish" (as opposed to "craw" fish), picking black raspberries, swinging on a rope swing, walking on foot paths we were sure were originally created by Indians. We had a neighbor who was a DC Transit bus driver and another who was a baker at Posen's (might be misspelled - it was a Jewish grocery store and bakery) on Georgia Ave and then later on University Blvd in Langley Park. I remember the milk man (Golden Rule Dairy and later Thompson's) and the knife sharpening truck, as well as a truck with a small amusement park type ride on the back. Our Good Humor man, who appeared like magic the same time each day all summer, had his name painted on the front of his truck, "Pete Joe" and he always wore a crisp white uniform with a hat - rang the bell by hand with a string that reached inside the truck. I remember when a new flavor of popsicle was introduced, raspberry, a light aqua color. I also remember having the concept that all roads to DC originated in VA. When new neighbors moved a few doors down from Pittsburgh, PA I remember asking them if they traveled through VA to arrive in our area. My whole world was our neighborhood and "the district" where we went for shopping, doctor appointments (Dr. Katherine Knop at the Yater Clinic on Mass Ave). My grandmother lived on N. Capitol St near the intersections of New Hampshire Ave and Blair Road. I remember the clear distinction between Maryland and the "district line" where the DC Transit buses always deposited their passengers for transfer to the MD buses. I recall VA having their own buses which were red and black and learning those buses actually traveled under the Pentagon, to my great amazement. We spent summer outings at Glen Echo. I never rode on the roller coaster which my parents still call the "coaster dip." I remember hearing stories about people reaching up to touch the sign before the first "hill" and falling out. My grandmother told a story of a man once reaching to catch his hat and falling to his death. So I stuck with the pink roller coaster designed for younger kids. To this day I can conjure up the fragrance of pop corn, cotton candy (which I was never allowed to have, "bad" for my teeth), and chlorine from the "crystal pool." We were never allowed to swim in the pool because of the polio scare. Sundays during the summer meant frequent trips to Beverley, Triton, and Chesapeake Beaches. I preferred Beverly because of the "bath house" and remember my mother wearing her locker key attached to an elastic band on her ankle or wrist. The adults and older kids would always swim out to "floats." After being stung by a sea nettle (my grandfather had to remove it with his pen knife) I stayed out of the water and decided I preferred Chesapeake Beach and their pool. I also remember going to the fire works in PG County locations - Magruder Park, Greenbelt Lake - and ice skating on a pond near University Blvd toward College Park.

 My parents' memories stretch back to even earlier years as well as the ones I remember my grandmothers telling me as a child. My father remembers chasing after the ice man to collect horse manure for his mother's vegetable garden. During WWII she called it a "victory garden." Their memories are so precious they could offer their services as tour guides. I remember baseball games at Griffith Stadium and the aroma of baking bread in the nearby Wonder bakery. When I was very young my thinking was of a concrete nature and I thought the Senators were the actual Senators from the Capitol. I remember watching an opening day game and the President throwing out the first ball and I thought he gave the "senators" the day off and let them have a nice game of afternoon baseball.

I was on the Pic Temple show when I was in the first grade. My father sat in the "peanut gallery" with other parents and I sat next to a boy dressed like Davey Crockett. My husband was also on the show and dressed as Davey - so I like to think there's a small chance that was our first meeting. Christmas parades in Silver Spring by Hecht's (that's where my parents taught me to keep moving to stay warm), Easter Monday egg rolls on the White House lawn, the old Watergate concert barge and marble seating, Woodie's windows at Christmas and their lunch room upstairs with dessert carts (and elevator operators wearing Navy blue dresses with white collars who announced the items for sale on each floor before they swung open the cage like inner door of the elevator), Velati's caramel candy, Toddle House chocolate pies, frozen custard near Walter Reed and also in Silver Spring, my great grandparent's home in Arlington on Columbia Pike with a small orchard in the back yard which seemed like farm to me, hiking the tow path with my brother's Boy Scout troop and learning about a "gold mine" near Great Falls, taking a drive around the newly constructed beltway, sleigh riding on Sligo Golf Course.......and on and on. What wonderful memories to share.

 Fondly, Patricia

In response to Ilene Martin. The theater down from the Place was the Lowe's Capital. To the lady that remembers the man with no legs and the monkey. When he past on they found out that he owned two apartment buildings and was not hurting for money at all. D.C. was a great place to grow up in and I really miss it. have a great day..

.Ron Lacy

I was raised in Chinatown. The New Year's Parade was something my sisters and brothers and I looked forward to because we would line up to carry one of the flags in the parade. What a thrill when one of us were chosen. I have had the honor and so have my brothers. There were ten of us, twelve altogether, but some left home before some were born, so running the streets of DC was great. We also had a chinese grocer on the corner of Sixth and H streets.  When little kids get some money, a quarter or such, they usually go get a candy bar or some such, but my siblings and I would go and get that amount worth of chinese roast pork. We also used to love the Metropolitan, the Palace and the Capitol theatres, all on F street. But our favorite was the Central on ninth street because for thirty cents you got a double-feature. The other movies cost a quarter for first-run movies. This is a great site! Thanks for the Memories.


Diann - Jefferson Junior High 59' to 62'.
P.S. I had the worst nickname in the world thanks to a Bill Haley song; TreeTop, from Skinny Minnie.

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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