Debi -
Enjoyed the "memories" of everyone who had lived in D.C. for a period of time in their lives.
My life began at Sibley hospital in 1929 and first lived on Third Street, N.E. and then after 1937 lived on Taylor Street, N.E.
I attended school at Bunker Hill and John Burroughs Elementary and later to Taft Jr. High and graduated from McKinley High School in 1947.
Our life in Washington, D.C. was just wonderful and after we were married in 1956 and then bought our first home in Beltsville, Maryland.
We both will never forget our life while living in Washington, D.C. and particularly the bus and streetcar rides.
We enjoyed all of the movie theaters in the downtown areas, as well as, the Newton and Kaywood theaters.
My wife and I are both "Techites" of McKinley High School and have now lived here in Florida since 1995.
Richard Gross


I have some memories to add:

I am a native Washingtonian whose Dad was a career serviceman (Marine
Corps). We left DC in the '50s for various duty stations and returned in
1962. I left again for an Air Force career in 1970 and returned in 2000 to
get married. My fondest memories include:

1. Hymie's Restaurant on Arkansas Avenue and Allison Streets NW. The
BEST cheeseburger for miles and Mr. and Mrs.
Hyman were the nicest proprietors of a business you'd ever want to
meet. It is now an auto parts store...

2. The Tivoli Theater at 14th and Park Road. Saw many a feature there
and was happy to see them announce renovation
of this heretofore beautiful theater. It had been closed since the
riots of 1968.

3. Autumn in DC - no more needs to be said.

4. Rock Creek Park - my second home to be by myself, contemplate, etc.

5. The TV celebs - Bill Gormley for Popeye, Bill Johnson for the Three
Stooges, and of course, Willard "Bozo" Scott

6. My "formative years" at Theodore Roosevelt HS, Class of '69

7. Teenarama Dance Party, WOOK cookers, and WOL Radio

8. Grandparents old house at 2716 O Street NW in Georgetown - I can
still remember all the aromas of that house

9. Listening to the Carter Barron concerts from a distant vantage point
when I didn't have money for a ticket.

10. The "Teen Twist" sandwich from the Hot Shoppes....sesame seed roll,
sliced ham, great sauce. It was GREAT!

Thanks for your site and, as Bob Hope used to sing, "Thanks for the

I am writing a book on Chillum Maryland and I sure could use some help the date are 1940-1973 that I am looking for and I have run into some dead ends.  Would you be willing to help me out?
Thank you for your time,

I was born in Georgetown Hosp (DC) in 1943.  My mom & dad graduated from Central High School in 1940.  I cannot find Central High info.of students on the internet. I have tried because my MOM (Barbara Avelar) now 82 1/2 years young would like to see if "Alice" is contactable.  She talks fairly often about the days and all those places mentioned on this website.  She truly enjoyed many things living downtown D.C. from 1932 to 1947.  She mostly loved being able to just walk across the street or down a ways or just hopping a street car to get something needed.  My father (James/ Jimmie Roy Williamson) died in 1998 (80 yo).  He would often talk about riding his Indian motorcycle around D.C. with his cousin.  I attended Northwester High School in Hyattsville, Md.- graduating 1961-- I remember playing in the band & being in the JFK inaugural parade.  I also attended Glen Echo as a child on the street car ---GREAT FUN.  I remember the first McDonalds in the Hyattsville,Md. area.  I practically lived in Prince Georges Plaza (when it was open air & new).  My parents, Myself and several friends would go downtown D.C. for entertainment almost weekly. During the 1960's we would visit the "Bavarian restaurant" for GREAT  authentic German food, beer and music.  My mom would play the violin (joining in with others for fun) German music fun..... These times are greatly missed  but thank goodness for the memories.          
Barbara Lee Williamson

Mary E. McCuin  and Chuck McCuin


I was born at the old Georgetown Hospital on 35th St. in Georgetown which has been a dormitory for Georgetown University students for many years.  We had free tuition at Holy Trinity Grade School and annually purchased used books.  Our lunch room provided milk, chocolate or white milk but nothing else and we carried a tin metal lunch box to school every day.  All of the classes were taught in the forties by Sisters of Mercy based at Mt. St. Agnes in Baltimore.   My Times Herald Paper route ran through the east side of Wisconsin Avenue all the way over to the park that was used by only black folk.  around 27th Street.  The newspaper was 5 cents and the Daily News was 3 cents.   Georgetown had a trolley that ran down P Street and took passengers as far as Glen Echo.  When the trolley would stop near Teahan's Cafeteria on 36th Street, university students would rush to it and shake it back and forth.   Children would ride their two wheel bikes to school and the trolley tracks were especially dangerous since tires would get caught in the grooves of the tracks and throw children from their bicycles.  Parts of Georgetown were very poor especially near Rock Creek Park.   On Easter Monday every year, large numbers of families would go to Montrose Park and roll Easter eggs regardless of how cold it was.  My father as a boy in the 1920s worked for Eleanor Walsh McLean who owned the Hope Diamond.  As a boy he would fetch tennis balls at their estate on Wisconsin Ave and R Streets for a nickel a piece during matches they would hold for friends.  FDMC

Born in '37 and raised in NW, 3 blocks from the White House. I attended
Grant Elementary on 22nd & G Sts., Gordon Jr. High and Western High on 35th
& R St, as did my siblings.

My family never missed a parade or celebration since we were within walking
distance of Constitution Ave. and the monuments. At about age 3, I
remember when Pres. Roosevelt died and the slow, somber parade. It was a
cold, gray day and people were crying all around me. The black riderless
horse with the boots set backwards in the stirrups is still very vivid in
my mind.

During the war there were searchlights roaming the skies, and blackouts.
My parents were air raid wardens. When the sirens sounded an alert they
would walk up and down the street knocking on neighbors' doors if you could
see the slightest beam of light shining from their windows. They did this
until the 'all clear' was sounded. I have my mother's official air raid
warden card along with food ration stamps.

I remember:
- the annual school patrol parade. A local store ran an ad for parade
uniforms showing a chubby girl, a slender girl and a boy - I was the chubby
kid! I have the original ad. Police Officer Arthur Miskell (sp.?) went
around to the grade schools teaching safety to the students with his
wonderful charcoal drawings.
- the roller skating rink where the Watergate complex is
- the Annual Dogwood Festival at Gordon Jr. High, a big deal if you were
nominated for Queen or Princess
- hanging out after school at Jack and Charlie's with the cool kids or The
Pharmacy with the nerdy kids
- end of school sorority/fraternity beach parties at Ocean City.
- street cars changing from underground to overhead wires on Wisconsin
Ave. below Q St., the rickety bridge on the way to Glen Echo, the Maryland
side of Great Falls, Jack's Boat House on K St. before the Whitehurst
Freeway was built; Georgetown Playground, my home away from home in the
summer, the P St. park, back when being 'gay' meant being happy.
- the department stores with their beautiful Christmas decorations, having
lunch with my mother on the balcony overlooking the main floor of Woodie's,
or in The Tea Room at Hecht's where good manners were a must.
- the Earl, Keith's and Capitol theaters. One had an organist who played
songs projected onto the screen so you could sing along with the bouncing
I hope my memory serves me well. My reminiscing is not in any particular
order, just as they came to mind. I could go on and on with fascinating
stories from my mother (1909-1996), one being as a young girl she was
forbidden to pass a particular house around 18th & K Sts. because,
according to gossip, Pres. Harding kept his mistress there, and that there
was a lovely sandy beach where the Tidal Basin is, and that sheep grazed on
the White House lawn.

Joan Rogers Kidwell

Joan R. Kidwell
Fertility & Family Statistics Branch
Room 2351, Bldg.3

geez, all these Maryland people! Virginians unite! I remember when there was
only a meat locker plant at Tyson's. the old nightingale club on rt. 1 (dad
was a bouncer), further down rt. 1 near Woodbridge, storybook land; Swenson's
ice cream in old town (before anything else was there except the boat
club)--the new circumferential highway--old, old glass-topped gas pumps at
the corner of van dorn and Franconia roads--herb's field (Edison high
school woodsies)--into dc, grandmother's (row) house on Reno road, (embassy
kids as playmates...anybody speak English?)--Kirby Scott dance show after
school on tv (local?)--Willard Scott as bozo and Ronald McDonald--the blue
room at the shoreham (now appearing, the inimitable george kirby)--the
'toilets' on u street: after hours clubs, don rickles, Steve Lawrence (young
air force lieutenant, stationed here and living across the street from the
blue mirror)--the pageant of peace on the mall at Christmas--(season's
greetings from wtop at broadcast house)--the p street beach--the severed leg
with elephantiasis at the medical museum--first summer trips to kitty hawk
in the early sixties (winks was the only store)--Steven Windsor, Cohen's
quality shop, the Scotland house, tip top ties at landmark (for cool
collegiate clothes), Hahn's shoes (for bass weejuns)--reed theatre, Richmond
playhouse--Eddie Leonard sandwich shops--tops sirloiner--the sugar bowl on
mount Vernon avenue--the little carryout on Henry street. that checkerboard
water tower at Potomac yards-- the strip joint on Hume avenue (Steve's
restaurant a couple blocks up rt. 1)--kaus barbeque near the roller rink,
the roller rink--the rope swing under the grandstands at g.w. high--the
shriner circus at g.w. high--santullos grocery--the dunk and dine restaurant
on duke street, herby's ford on duke street--kirchner's florist on duke
street--the world war one tank at the train station--the mammoth commissary
at Cameron station--pohick church--the boulevard to mount Vernon-------


Thanks so much for the memories.. this is just  wonderful..   Remembering the theater on 9th street was the "Gadie" I think.. and of course you avoided that area at all cost.. I remember the Hot Shop's on Road Island Avenue, the Jessie theater, Village theater, and the Sylvan Theater, where for 25 cents you could go to a matinee and see all the heroes like Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, all of the serial movies.. You could not wait to see how the movie would end by going every Saturday just to see where the good guys got the bad guys, and how the theater full of kids would just screams when the good guys came along to save who ever was in trouble.  I remember going with my two sister and I on the streetcar and riding to Glen Echo, going to downtown to Hecht Co, Lansburg,  Woodies and looking at all the windows, and how they were dress.. Especially at Christmas time when all the windows were decorated with animated charters that moved and it was so wonderful.   I remember going to the Palace and Capital theaters for a movie and stage show.. What wonderful memories.. remembering Glen Echo, going on the boat rides off of the 7th street wharf,  and I am not sure but I think there was some kind of boat ride from Glen Echo,  the Frozen Custard on Road Island Avenue.  I went to St. Martin's Grad School, Taft and then  McKinley High School, graduated in 1955.  Oh I could go on and on.  Thanks for making my day by allow me to go thru memory lane..    

Best Regards,

I came across this website quite by accident and was amazed.  I have been away from the D.C. area since late 1969.  A lot of my memories of the names of places from my childhood had turned into a blurr until I started reading this website.  I have shared so many of the same experiences most of you have.  Reading this site brought them back to life for me.  Thank you.
I was born at Doctors Hospital in DC in 1945.  My father was a cab driver for the Diamond Cab Company.  For a while he ran a DGS grocery in northeast DC but went back to cab driving later.   He also had his own sightseeing guide business in DC and I got to go with him when he'd take people on tours of the city.  We had so much fun visiting Mt. Vernon, the monuments, the White House, etc.
My mom and I would always take the bus downtown for window shopping and lunch at least once a month on Saturdays.  Sometimes we would go to one of the theaters too.   I remember Hechts, Woody's , Landsburgs and Garfinkles.  I remember looking in the windows at the womens suits, fancy dresses and hats and thinking how fancy and grown up they were.  I was probably all of 6 or 7 years old at the time.  I remember being led by the hand though the perfume department of department stores and into the elevators where there was an actual person operating it.  I remember the extra gate type door inside the elevator, the operator had to open first before letting us out.  I also remember my first escalator ride.
One of the places we ate was in a department store that had a cafeteria that was on a balcony overlooking the floor downstairs.  I can't remember the name of the store but I remember always getting cup custard for desert every time I went.  My mom also took me to see the Christmas decorations and animated Christmas characters in the store windows during the holidays.
Does anyone remember stopping at the Planters Peanut store downtown.  We would get a small bag of peanuts there.  I also remember the man without legs on the wooden rolling platform, who had the little monkey who begged.  I remember another man whose body was so twisted up and deformed he couldn't raise his head up sitting on the sidewalk too.  It seems surreal now and unfair that someone like him had to do that.
We lived on Lyman Place in northeast D.C. and then moved to Takoma Park, Maryland.  Again, most of the places mentioned on this site are places I've been.  It seems a lot of our lives have paralled each other just from having lived in the same area.  I remember faithfully walking to Rosedale Recreation Center in the summer and swimming in their pool.  I remember two twin brothers who were lifeguards there and taught me how to swim. Their names were Roger and Roderick.  I remember playing in a vacant lot across Bladensburg Road that we called Goodies Lot.  We played cowboys and Indians and hid in the trees.  I remember walking a long ways by myself to a theater (I think on 17th Street, N.E. for the Saturday matinees).  Several people on here have mentioned how safe it was back then to do that.  Amazing huh?  I remember a restaurant further north on Bladensburg Road that our dad would take us for Friday night dinner.  I think it was called something like the S & W Buffeteria.  I always got fried chicken, mashed potatoes and mustard or collard greens.  I remember skating at the Bladensburg Roller Rink with my best friend.
I remember my Flexible Flyer (I think) sled and sledding down the icy steep side street in the winter with the neighbor kids.  I  also remember a fruit vendor driving down the back alley with watermelons in a horse drawn carriage in the summer time.
We moved to Takoma Park, MD when I was entering 6th grade.  I went to Takoma Park Elementary and then we moved again.  I went to J. Enos Ray Elementary School near Langley Park.  Then back to Takoma Jr. High. I spent one year at Montgomery Blair High School in 1961/1962 and moved to PA.
Does anyone remember Pope's Creek in Southern Maryland.  They had the best spiced steamed crabs. Also the wildness of Solomon's Island back then?  I understand it's all a resort type area now.  I went to summer camp at Camp Kaufman on the Chesapeake Bay and never forgot that wonderful summer.  It was near Dare's Beach I believe.
How about the Watchaprague Seafood Restaurant in Silver Spring, MD.  It was just a small place but they had good fried oysters.  I'm trying to think of places no one has mentioned. 
In high school my girlfriends and I would go to the Silver Spring Armory for the dances.  I remember Barry Richards, the DJ and WDON.  I used to take long walks in Sligo Creek Parkway. There were so many pretty places to go there close by my home.  That was my "getaway" place when I wanted to be alone. 
I could go on but most everyone has mentioned places I've been already.  I just want to say thank you to whoever created this website.  It helped me realize my childhood was very special afterall and was being shared by so many people who treasure the same memories.


Just thought you might like to enjoy a memory! Feel Free to show your guests! Thank you for the site. Artist Thomas O. Nichols

I am 63 and right after WWII my Dad took a job with an xray company in DC and we lived in a brand new cape cod on Grant Avenue off of Capital View Park.  I believe it was midway between Silver Spring and Kensington.  I went to 1st and 2nd grade at Woodlawn - then they changed us to going to Kensington (do not remember what the elementary school's name was) and from there because I had a hard time paying attention - was sent to St. John's Catholic School on Georgia Avenue.  Well, they were too stern and I was enrolled at Oakland Terrace where I went to the 6th grade (back then - elem schools were Kindergarten through 6th grade) - then I went to Montgomery Hills Jr. High School which I understand has not existed for at least 30 some years.  In 1956 right after I graduated from the 9th grade - my Dad was transferred to Cincinnati, Ohio; and I have lived in the Midwest since then except for a period of about 8 years when I lived in Phx, AZ and Maryville, TN.
Oh, I can remember walking to school at Oakland Terr - there used to be a big dirt field behind us and it was alway quicker to cut across that dirt field than having to walk down the back path to the ball fields and past the rec center to get to Grant Ave.  I have a lot of good memories growing up there - since our subdivision was brand new, Grant Ave, Loma Lane, and Day street all dead ended into a woodsey park area and the neighborhoods in the summer used to play "forts" in amongst the dead fallen trees.  Back then we did not need all these computer games the kids have nowadays to occupy our time.  I truly do not believe the children of today have nearly the imaginations for entertaining themselves as we did back in the 50's. 
Saturday trips to Sears in DC and the donuts they used to sell; then on the way home, the Hot Shoppe stop - this was a family thing a couple times a month.  I remember Mom going to A & P grocery and having to come home by taxi with the groceries and us 3 kids. 
I had a couple girl friends (lost touch with them after 1957) that I would love to know if they are alive or not - Lorraine McCullough and Linda Whiting (their names in 1956). 
I am going to close this for now because I could write a book of my memories and it is late. 

So many shared memories here....  How about the old wooden B&O RR Trestle outside Silver Spring.   I don't know if its still there but its a wonder I'm here having "played" there often in the late '50s... shades of _Stand by Me_. 

Those that were born and raised in Washington prior to the 1968 riots,  has to remember how beautiful Washington, D.C. was and still is, except for all that traffic now.  I grew up in Mount Pleasant. We walked to the National Zoo, road our bikes to downtown DC using the Parkway, got my first job as a message operator at the Shoreham Hotel.  Great pastries at the Watergate pastry shop.  Sundays, Jack's Boat House, underneath K Street, good people Jack and Lee Baxter, great bar-b-ques, taking the boat down to the Lincoln Center to watch the symphony on the waterfront. How many remember the best place to buy jeans, "Up against the Wall" in Georgetown.  Another great place to buy clothes and where I used worked La'Straga on Wisconsin Avenue.  How many remember the Great snow storm, no traffic and everyone using the streets to walk instead of the sidewalk.  The Big Cycle shop is still in Georgetown, Georgetown Cabinet and Finishing Co. down the street from the Big Cycle Shop, owner Emerson Martin passed away, but always had his door open to great travelers and walkers, who were using the C&O towpath.  One of them Jackie Kennnedy and Caroline. Used to see Ted Kennedy drive from his estate in McClean, Va. to DC in his convertible.  The beautiful estates that graced the area, The Merriweather Post Estate, The Westmoreland Estate, and now the Rockefeller Estate.  With me, Doctor's hospital is long gone, made medical history there, thank you Dr. MacNamara for saving my life and 4 years later, Dr. Charles Hufnagel from Georgetown Hospital.  So many memories and some great times.  One can write a book.

Great site.  Have so many memories of DC it's impossible to remember them all.  Moved to DC from Miami in 1949, however, my parents and I spent considerable time here during the summers between 1934 and 49.  My father and mother had a seasonal business in Palm Beach and always came north for the summer. 
We rented a big house at 21st & P Sts NW and my parents started a business in the Ring Building.  I went to Gordon Jr High and was woefully behind in everything since all my schooling had been in Florida and I was always pulled out of school early to come north or returned to FL. after school had started.  I opted for McKinley rather than Western.  Friends, Harry and Jerry Wong were going there.  I was in that goofy February 53 class of 46 students.  Yes, I was in the Cadets.  I joined the Coast Guard Reserves in July 1952 to avoid the draft.  In July 1952, I got sent to Ellis Island by mistake instead of Boot ?Camp.  I ran the scoreboard at Griffith Stadium in 1952 (I was actually excused from school for this).   A friend of mine, Donald Knight, was running the board and got drafted.  He used to drive to the stadium with Eddie Yost. Going thru the office and seeing  old  man Griffith in these immense card games with the cigar smoke o thick you could hardly see.
A friend of mine used to play the drums and we got invited everywhere.  The Italian/American Club and the after hours clubs in the alleys around St Anthony's.  I also played .softball for the Canadian Embassy Team with Washie(?) Brasher - a bandleader who played at Glen Echo.  He also wrote a book about his experiences with the House un-American Activities Committee.  Other friends were Igor Gamow. Louis Drew, John and Jackie Douglas.  I will try and put together a decent blurb and send it in to you. 

Debi: You have a nice site. It’s fun to occasionally recall all those memories.


I was born at Garfield Hospital (was located at Florida Ave at 10th Street, NW ), and lived near Rudolph Elementary School until 1956.  I Attended Rudolph Elementary, Paul Junior High, and Roosevelt High, then moved to Silver Spring and transferred to Blair.


Your earlier contributor “Nancy” mentioned seeing Jane Powell at the Capitol Theater. I was there as well on a night Jane Powel appeared. Jane had the bluest eyes. However, she didn’t wink at me as she did for Nancy . Lowe’s Palace and Capitol theaters were quite grand movie and stage performance theaters (these were at 1306 and 1328 F Street respectively). I believe they both originally had large pipe organs. The Capitol was probably the more opulent of the two.


Here are a few more, random, recollections of life in the DC area:


·       The shoe-fitting x-ray device (shoe fitting fluoroscope) at Ida’s Department Store ( Georgia Ave and Longfellow Street, NW ). Claimed to ensure proper shoe fit. It also ensured a large dose of x-radiation. (

·       If we needed a physician, everyone in our neighborhood went to old Doc Courtney (Francis Xavier Courtney, MD), at his house, 4th Street and Missouri Ave, NW

·       The bus to Federal Triangle (I think it was the J-6) and the transfer to the Glen Echo trolley

·       Everyone was afraid of Polio and Iron Lungs¾at least I was

·       Listening to Arthur Godfrey and Fibber McGee and Molly on the radio

·       Listening to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on the radio each Christmas eve

·       Captain Midnight ’s magic decoders

·       Coming home from Rudolph Elementary School and watching Kate Smith and Howdy Doody

·       The Evening Star’s Golden Gloves Tournaments at Turner’s Arena and Uline Arena

·       Gillette Cavalcade of Sports Friday night fights on TV

·       CYO boxing at Soldiers Home and coach Paddy Kane

·       On really hot days, a guy would come and block off Ingraham Street and attach a spray to the fire hydrant. We (kids) would squeal as we ran back and forth under the spray

·       The Sealtest milk trucks and drivers who gave the kids ice in summer

·       The little cardboard paper lids on the glass milk bottles

·       A guy named Tony who walked the alleys ringing a bell and offering to sharpen knives and scissors

·       Pegged pants, blue suede shoes, and sweater vests that buttoned at the bottom

·       Custom Fords and Mercs: lowered, dual exhaust (with glasspacks), frenched headlights/taillights, leaded hoods, fender skirts, cats eye taillights, and suicide knob

·       The “pit” at Coolidge High (this was actually an access road off of 3rd Street )

·       Our neighborhood had the original Hofberg’s ( Kennedy Street between 1st and 2nd Streets, NW), and during the late 40s/early 50s we ate probably a ton of their hotdogs and drank their cream sodas. Wylie’s Ice Cream was across the street and bit farther down the block (across from the Giant).

·       People Drug Store soda fountain (1st and Kennedy Street ’s NW), always had yellow cake with chocolate icing in a glass covered stand on the counter. We washed that down with a coke (5 cents).

·       Coal trucks delivering coal for our furnace. We had to transport the coal to the coal bin in the garage in bushel baskets.

·       Saturday afternoons at the Kennedy Theater (the movie house between 3rd and 4th Streets)

·       On summer evenings they draped a big white cloth on the side of Rudolph Elementary School and showed Three Stooges movies

·       My Marty Marion (Rawlings) baseball glove stolen from my bike while I was at Kenner & Membert’s Drug Store soda fountain (That was a significant emotional event and important life lesson¾protect your stuff!)

·       Griffith Stadium and the smell of fresh bread from the Wonder Bread Bakery

·       Two Washington Senators rented a house in our block in the early 50s (Sam Mele and Mickey Harris) and even though they were backup players we kids often hung out in front of their house hoping to talk with them. Their wives would send us on errands to the store for them.

·       Standing during the bus and then streetcar rides to Roosevelt High so I wouldn’t wrinkle my DC Cadet Corps khaki uniform (troops in wrinkled uniforms received gigs/demerits at inspection)

·       Being annoyed that kids in Maryland got off school when it snowed¾and we didn’t!

·       Tours of the FBI Building

·       Horseback riding throughout Rock Creek Park from the Watergate Stables, and later, at the Rock Creek Stables on East West Highway , Silver Spring

·       Summers at the Takoma Pool (next to Coolidge High)

·       Dances at the Silver Spring and Hyattsville Armory’s, and at St Frances de Sales on Rhode Island Ave

·       Beverly Beach

·       Haines Point

·       The Queenstown Drive-In

·       The two Silver Spring Hot Shoppes (one just across the DC line on Georgia avenue , and the other on Colesville Road )

·       Downtown dancing: The Admirals band, the Van Dyke ( Pennsylvania Ave across from GW), the Keg, the Circus, and the Act IV

·       Working evening shift for Capitol Airlines at old Washington National Airport

·       The Main Navy and Munitions Buildings on Constitution Avenue

·       The Shoreham Hotel¾I proposed there in the main concourse outside the Blue Room. Nina made me get down on one knee. I was painfully aware of two old ladies sitting huddled together nearby watching us. It was a Norman Rockwell moment

·       Ocean City , Maryland , sand dunes

·       When Bobby Baker built the Carousel at 118th Street, Ocean City, and many thought he was nuts to build way out there.

·       The thought of Mighty Mos and Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cakes at the Hot Shoppe still makes me smile.


Go Nats!!! Actually, I have been a Yankees fan my whole life, but hey, this e-mail is about DC. Moreover, the National’s are doing really well.


In addition, good luck with your genealogical “brick walls.” Genealogy can be a daunting quest.



After reading all the way to page 9, I feel like a minority being a baby boomer.
   I was born in Washington, DC in 1955. By 1960 I was 5 years old, and was 15 in 1970. My entire childhood is mostly about the 60's, and my entire life in that era was lived in Washington, DC.
    While I did so enjoy reading the memories of those who lived in DC during the 40's and 50's (and some even earlier! Glad you can remember!) I would really love to connect up with someone who remembers DC in the 60's.
   I was 8 years old when Martin Luther King made his famous speech, "I Have a Dream" from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, in 1963. I remember our school sending everyone home when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I remember the race riots following the assassination of King, being afraid to go outside, watching the National Guard carrying rifles with bayonets walking along Pennsylvania Ave, from the window of my home on Capitol Hill in SouthEast.
   My first amusement park visit was not Glen Echo, but Marshal Hall, and we went there on the SS Mt. Vernon, which later became the Wilson Line. Yes, I remember People's Drug Store, High's Ice Cream, and Little Tavern, but I also remember Sunny's Surplus, where I and my brothers spent a great deal of our allowances. We caught sunfish in the Tidal Basin, played at the US Capitol grounds, and spent untold hours on the Mall, which was not a shopping center but a strip from the Capitol to the Monument where most of the Smithsonian museums are.                             
   Trolley, or streetcars as we called them, were already a thing of the passed by the time I was in 3rd grade, but the horse troughs remained throughout the decade along Pennsylvania Ave. And yes, I even remember horse drawn wagons selling watermelon in the summertime, as well as the Good Humor man making rounds in the same neighborhoods.
   I went to St. Peter's School, a Catholic school that had grades 1 to 8, near St. Peter's Church, on the other side of the Ave from the Library of Congress. (You can actually see it from there on some of the post card pictures!)
    I wish to hear from anyone who can relate to being in DC during the heyday of Civil Rights to the Hippy Era, and especially from anyone who has spent time at Wisconsin Ave and M St. at the close of the decade.
Bill Widman
Pittsboro NC

 My husband is James T. (Tommy) Harrison .  He lived in SW with his 3 sisters, Betty Jean, Doris and Elizabeth.  He would like to contact Tom Slattery, they both went to Jefferson, who contributed to your memories – Page 2, 2of7.  

Could you help with this contact information?  Thank you, Judith Grimes Harrison (I am from PG County).


Tommy Harrison

2853 Ridge Road

Waldorf , MD   20603


In response to the "Rabbit" on tv...I believe his name was Oswald.
This response is for Kathie Jones Hudson

Wow, what a great website.
Does anyone remember the Chevy Chase Lake swimming pool on upper Connecticut Ave.  To me it was like having a swimming pool in the middle of a "small city".  Eventually took my children there as well...I believe it was filled-in in the '70's'.
We lived in N.W. D.C.....20th street.  Our house was on a 45 degree angle hill!!!  In the winter, when I was around 5 or 6 we'd sled down the hill where there would always be policeman at the bottom to direct us (or "deflect" us) and keep oncoming traffic away.  Our woolen snowsuits would get sopping wet and cold and, I swear, at the end of the day they would weigh more then we did! Could you imagine that today!
Who remembers on F Street the Capital, Palace, Columbia and Metropolitan movie theatres?  There was also the Pic (Pix?) theatre, but we kids were forbidden to go there...(of course, we went there)!
There was a kid's show with hosts, Hardin and Weaver...I sang a song...scared to death...but they were as nice as they could be.
Does anyone  remember the Lotus Club...across the street, sort of, from the Trans Lux theater.  I had my first drink there...a Pink Lady...I was SO cool!!  Got sick later.
Remember Kresges and Murphy's 5 & 10's..on F. St,  I think there was something like them called "Grants" too, anyone know?
I went to John Quincy Adams, ES, Gordon Jr. HS and Western HS...then moved to New Orleans.  Eventually returned, married and settled in Maryland.
My mother loved Reeves restaurant on F.St., they had fabulous sandwiches with "shredded" lettuce on them instead of "leaves of lettuce".  I "shred" to this day.  It was sort of like a tea room, as well.  Ladies wore hats and gloves and little girls (like me) wore patent leather Mary Jane shoes, white socks and hand smocked dresses, and little boys wore knickers and white shirts and DID NOT swing there legs back and forth under the table! Now it's "grab and growl" at a fast food place.
D.C. will be a part of me forever.

Some of my memories are already on Page 9, but I'd like to add a little more to them.  I remember the segregation not being as bad in D.C. as it was when I left for Miami, Florida in 1949 to meet my then husband where he gotten us an apartment and I had to close up the apt. in D.C.   I waited in the Greyhound Bus station in D.C. and was sitting next to a wonderful older Black lady and we became very friendly!  When we got on the bus, I sat in the back seat with her and was sharing lunches we had brought with us.  When we got to Woodbridge Va, the bus driver stopped and motioned to me and said, in a very gruff manner,"Young lady you will have to come to the front of the bus now, you're in MY part of the country!!  I politely said no, that I liked where I was sitting and enjoying the company of my new friend, and I wouldn't move.  Well, he drove on until the drivers had to change shifts.  He told the oncoming driver that I was sitting in the back and he couldn't make me move.  Well, the new driver tried the same tactics and I stayed put all the way to Miami!!  When I got my first job in Miami in a shoe store, this same little old lady came in one day and asked if she could have a drink of water.  It was really hot.  I said of course and we struck up our friendship again, and I told her to sit down in one of the chairs where you tried on shoes.  The manager told me I couldn't do that, but I did.  I think I was Rosa Parks in reverse, but I didn't understand treatment like that of any person.  D.C. wasn't as bad as the rest of the South.  What a shame!!  Ann Lederman

Does anyone remember old high school baseball?  coolidge 1948-1949 - federal storage, joe branzell, etc.  any memories in that area would be great!


I have just finished reading ALL of the pages in Washington D. C. Memories. My father and I were trying to remember the names of all the movie theaters in D. C. "back in the good old days". We remembered the shows at the Palace, the Capital theater and the RKO Keith, but, we are certain there was another one down a block or two from the Palace. Does anyone know the name of this one?

I was born at the Columbia Hosptal for Women in 1943. I grew up on North Capitol St., N.W. and lived there until we moved to Silver Spring in 1958. I attended Whittier Elementary School, Paul Jr. High and Coolidge High School, but, graduated from Northwood in 1961. I have so many of the same memories as many others who have written before me, but, the best memory of all was the Hot Shoppe on Georgia Ave. at the district line! Every Friday night, I would attend a club meeting (ABG) at someone's house and then walk with a group of girls to the Hot Shoppe. I met up with other girlfriends who were in different clubs. We would order french fries with gravy or chocolate chip ice cream or a hamburger. The hamburgers came with a thin slice of dill pickle across the burger. Yummm. Does anyone remember Miss Ferguson? She was the hostess and used to stand guard at the door. She was not a happy camper watching all of us teenagers have our fun.

I remember dances at the Silver Spring Armory and at the Beth Sholom synagogue. We would walk to the Hot Shoppe after these dances too. Imagine anyone walking at night in this day and age; especially teenagers.

I, too, took the bus downtown with friends. We would take the K8 and transfer to the K4 which let us off in front of Neisner's. We always went in there for a lipstick and a piece of pizza. We would just walk around and window shop all afternoon. We were only 12 or 13 then, and, we were SAFE!

I also danced on the Milt Grant show and my sister was on the Pick Temple show. When I was 14, my friend, Myra and I used to go to the JCC at 16th and P Streets and dance until sweat was dripping off of our faces. We would take the bus down 16th Street to the Hot Shoppe.

My mother worked at Hecht's in the toy department every year before Christmas. She was a toy demonstrator. I bought my wedding dress at that store. She was working there when President Kennedy was assinated and saw the news while going through the appliance department. I have so many memories of Christmas time in D. C. Of course, we all crowded around the windows at Woodies. And, as someone else mentioned...the Wellsley fudge cake was the best. The bakery was located near the parking garage, so, you just HAD to purchase one on your way to your car.

I walked home from Paul Jr. High almost every day. Sometime, my mom would surprise me and pick me up. Some days, I walked with my friend, Phyllis, to the Kennedy Korner where she would get the bus, and, I would continue my walk.

Marshall Hall, Glen Echo, Mayo Beach, field trips to all of the art galleries and memorials...these are all memories of growing up in Washington...and...they are the best memories. I am grateful to have lived in such a wonderful place.

Ilene Martin

I was born in SW Washington, DC on Virginia Avenue in 1936. I remember Glen Echo, Haines Point swimming pool. I went to Amidon, Fairbrother, Jefferson Jr. High. I graduated from Chamberlain High in 53. I used to hang out at the Mighty Moe. We use to go sleigh riding down 9th Street hill. Went roller skating at Kalorama roller rink. I went to all the movies on F Street. There was a movie theater on 7th Wt SW called the Ashley. We used to call it the Ashcan. A dollar was all we needed to spend the day at the movies. Used to get chased out of the parks for playing baseball. Those were the good old days. I wish my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren could experience.

I remember being the first kid on my block to have a tv. does anyone remember going on moonlight cruises on the Old Wilson line? Or going to Marshall Hall on picnics with Kendal Baptist Church. There use to be a drugstore called Hershels on the corner of 10th and Virginia ave s.w. We used to hang out in. I also am like everyone else remember the frozen custard places. That was the best ice cream ever. Stevensons bakery had the best cookies ever made. My summers were spent in Cobb Island Maryland and every time we would go there we would stop at Stevensons and my mother would get me a bag of cookies. Everything I have read on this web site brings back memories and then some.

jim orgel (sonny)

I was born in Sibley Hospital. I grew up in Brentwood Village NE acrosee from the Hot Shoppes at 14th and Rhode Island Avenue. I went to DeMatha High School. I have many good emories. Thank you and call me at 517-217-8319. Robert Oswald

Gone are the days of local DC radio shows like Arthur Godfrey, Harden & Weaver, Milt Grant, Bill Mayhew, Willard and Ed Walker, Jerry and Jemma Strong, and many more.

A native Washingtonian, I worked in a DGS (not short for Dirty Grocery Store, but District Grocery Store) before the days of self-service, when meat was cut to order and fresh killed chickens were available. Remember the points to buy meat and margarine during WWII? I patrolled the darkened streets of Brightwood with my dad who was an air raid warden.

Attended Gonzaga High school (wearing a coat and tie every day) class of 1950. Still get together with members of the class from time to time and via E-mail.

Married in 1953 at Nativity Church 0n 13th Street NW across from Fort Stevens (where I smoked my first cigarette at age 14).

Worked my most career in DC in the motion picture and television industry. Did newsfilm editing for John Daly on ABC, Douglas Edwards on CBS and occasionally for David Brinkley on NBC Camel Caravan. Served as a TV producer at US Information Agency, had my own production company in NE Washington near the Hecht Company warehouse on New York Avenue. Edited a film on the Treasures of King Tut that was filmed at the National Gallery of Art in the late 70's and which was nominated for an Academy Award.

I recall when we could watch the "dress rehearsals" for stage shows at the Warner and Capitol theaters that were held outside at Walter Reed Hospital for the wounded patients. Also recall the all night vigil with my TN news camera crew at Walter Reed when President Eisenhower has his bout with ileitis. Still like to visit all the free places in DC.

I could go on and on, but sum up to say DC was a great place to grow up and continues to be a great place to revisit the past from my home in nearby Vienna.

Paul Lyons

I was assigned to finish my tour with the USAF at the Pentagon and was billeted at Ft.Myer[South Post] I remember writing my brother how expensive the town was. A sandwich at People's, a movie and a round trip cab cost me five bucks! Met a WV gal at the Starlite hillbilly Lounge off 14th and Irving St. Apparently this was the place for the C&P telephone gals on Columbia Street hung out. Got married and moved in with her and her girlfriend at 1468 Girard Street, NW. Men had a hard time finding jobs in D,C. I finally got a clerical job which paid 50bucks for a 35hour week. Moonlighted with GIANT'S Food Store on upper Conn Ave for 1.75 union hourly working 5 4hour days and 8 on Saturdays. It was great. Took a cross town bus to Irving and walked home. Columbia Height was an entity in itself. It HAD everything: Savoy and Tivoli movies on 14th, a five and dime store, Hot Shoppes off 14th for $1 for a COMPLETE MEAL! ladies and Men's shoes and clothing stores; dry cleaning, several Mom&Pop stores that delivered; Drug stores, White Tower burger joint and one other something House. Bars galore on every corner and in between. Menus there consisted mostly of spaghetti or roast beef plate. Remember, when you can only have liquor at the bar and VERBOTEN at the booth. If you move your beer for any reason the waitress had to do it. Friday nites bars were open til 1:00am but Saturday by Midnight. Even the liquor stores had weird hours.

You had 3 modes of transportation at Columbia Hgts: 14th Street streetcar, 16th Street bus and taxi fare by zone.Who needs a car! Car lots if you really had to have one can be bought around the several corners off 14th Street. My life began there when I was discharged at the ripe age of 21.

S t e v e

My oldest sister lived in Glen Echo as a young Child, she is now in her 60's she remembers when our Mother Elsie Mea worked the "Whip" at the park many many years ago . I have a picture of my oldest brother, standing next to a pony. I took my video camera to this Park on Saturday, and it really has changed. My sister said there used to be many rides there, and now just the Carousel is left.


Saint Leonard, Maryland

Gee, I was born as were my sister and brother in Columbia Hospital for Wome back when Mr. Roosevelt started his first term. My greatgrandmother came to Washington when the northern city limits were somewhere around Mount Vernon Square (1880 or so). What do I remember? Learning to ride my tricycle out on the sidewalk not too far from American University. I remember Momma and Daddy putting up one of those wooden swing things with benches on either side. I would put my dolls on the benches and swing back and forth.

My growing up days were in the Mendota Apartments. The hurdy-gurdy man came by in the summer playing the songs I would later later learn were Italian songs. The knife man would come around crying out Knives - sharpen knives and sissors. Momma would hear him and come down to get them sharpened. The rag man came around also. Later when Britain was being bombed, there was blackout of all lights. Daddy put up black shades so we could keep the lights on. The air raid siren would sound and time to lower the blackout shades. Then turn out the lights and watch the wardens walk around looking for house lights still on. Those days there was still the noon whistle to let everyone know when it was noon. That became the air raid siren.

National Airport was built on fill ground off gravely point. Daddy would take all of us out to watch the air port being built and then continue on to the ice cream place at the end of the road. There was a big circle. It is now Memorial Highway into Alexandria, but then it didn't go into town. Instead, there was the ice cream place - the white walls of the place had bits of mirrors imbedded in the sides. A huge polar bear standing on its hind legs was the advertising and oh the ice cream! Oh yes, the best in the world. Speaking of bears, the polar bear at the store of "Zlotnik the Furrier" Quite a land mark!!!

Yes I went to Oyster School! I don't really remember the place. I do remember my 6th grade teacher at Stoddard Elementary School. No fancy eating place for teachers and students, eat in your room with a teacher for a monitor and go outside to the gravely playground! Then onto Gordon Jr. High. Learned about Scottish Highlanders there. Gordon it seems is a Scottish Clan! Then the last 3 years in Western. Georgetown Dental School was being built and the sound of the steel being driven into the ground would make everything jump - just from the sound of it.

I remember as a teen having a quarter or so to put in the pot so my older girl friend could drive her father's Packard up and down Connecticut Avenue and wind up getting orange freeze at the Hot Shoppe. I remember going up the inside fire escape to get on the roof of the apartment house and sun ourselves. There was decking with benches up there. Evidently set up for people to do just that - sun bathe. I remember playing baseball in the alley between the buildings. I remember the iceman delivering ice to our across the alley neighbor. I remember chewing tar which had become soft from the summer sun. I remember crosing Connecticut Avenue to go to the High Store for lemon ice. Or cross Columbia Avenue for the little grocery who sold hostess products - twinkies had a banana filling back then. I too remember riding the trolley to Glen Echo. My memory is strongest for the huge merry go round. I would pretend I was riding a real horse. I remember taking the bus out to Chevy Chase Lake in the summer. Poor Momma would sit in the shade so I could play in the water. To my eyes it was a gigantic pool. The depth started at barely deep enough to get your ankles wet to where the water was deep enough to dive from the diving boards on the other end. I would get out to where the water was waist deep or so and then lie back and float on the water! Those were the days when bathing suits were made of wool! - one piece things. Lots of other memories.


Like many of those who have written of their memories of growing up in Washington I too took the magic trip down memory lane and returned in my mind to the places and events mentioned. Last spring I returned to Washington for the first time since the mid 60's. I must in all honesty say that knowing how long it had been and that urban blight has spread like wild fire I was still unprepared for what has happened to my neighborhood in SE DC. I wish that I had not seen the wasteland of what could now pass for a third world country.

The Street cars, Glen Echo, Wilson Line, Haines Point submarine races, a great bakery on M Street, downtown theaters, the Rocket room, Rebel room, Blue Mirror, O'Donnell, the Cellar Door, the Keg, China Town, concerts at the Watergate and so many, many other places shall remain within my mind eye. It is a travesty that we have lost the society that allowed the culture in which we grew up to flourish. I feel a great sadness for those who did not experience our growing up in what now seems a far away distant galaxy. Remember he was a real rabbit, and maybe I'll see you at the Mighty Mo, or Marshall Hall, or perhaps at Uline Area. It was great to grow up there then. S I guess I'll quit for now and go to Eddie Leonard's for a crab cake sandwich. However before I do I have just one question.What the hell happened?

What a wonderful site I have found this day, I have not had time to read all of the memories but they will be read shortly. I was born in DC at the old George Washington Hospital in 1933, we lived at 1327 11th St. NW from 1933 till 1946, I attended Immaculate Conception school, at N St between 7th and 8th. I currently live in Leander, TX., not sure if my old school is still there or not, would guess that our old 3-story row house is long gone, Lord I wish that we had photos of back then, I try to paint a picture of living in row houses and the school, without a playground, where they blocked the traffic on N St so that we could have recess. Oh, boy. the memories are now starting to flow..more later

Don Lumpkins

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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