MEMORIES PAGE 13
was born at the old
in 1940. My Dad was born there in 1912. We lived on
36th St. NE
and went to
. Does anyone remember “Pop” the police officer that covered our
neighborhood and helped us cross
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
. Does anyone remember going for picnics at
? 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
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: http://www.morningsonmaplestreet.com/personal6.html.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
chanced upon your website searching for my old Anacostia High School,
Class of '64.
knowing whether your memories' section is still alive or not, I take this
effort to share my few DC memories.
youthful exposure to DC lasted quite a vew years -- some of it lived from
Fairfax, some from Falls Church, some from Friendship, MD.
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.
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.
that so much sadder simple walk to the lying in state under the Rotunda so
few years later.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.]
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.
with so many of us in later years, so many memories.
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
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
pictures are of Harrigan's Restaurant, please send me your website again,
I can't find it in my favorites.
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.
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
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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