I was born in Sibley hospital in 1938 and went to Eastern High School and Wheatley Elementary School. My name is Barbara Cardoza Coffman. I lived on West Virginia Avenue in the Cafritz apartments. A newspaper columnist lived across the street, but I cannot remember his name. I have heard that the apartments were demolished and a park was built. Our back yard was Gallaudet College, now University. I loved playing in the back of Gallaudet. I worked at Woodward & Lothrop and then left with my parents to California. I have few memories of my childhood and would love to hear from anyone in my era.
I certainly remember the sleigh riding at Battery Kemble and Dana Place. We would start at University Terrace and either go down the alley to Dana or take Loop to the right and then hit Dana. Sometimes friends would stand at MacArthur Blvd and Dana to give the all clear to continue across MacArthur to Sherrier Place. We would then hold on to a friend’s car and get pulled back to the top where there was usually a bonfire.
Other memories of the Palisades---all you people going to Glen Echo on the streetcar had to travel through the Palisades area or as it was often called "Out the Road" by the Georgetown people. This dates back to when MacArthur Blvd was called Conduit Road the name coming from the water conduit running under the road to feed the DC Reservoir. It was changed to MacArthur Blvd. sometime in the forties. Palisades playground, Barry's DGS, Charlie's, the AMOCO Station, Doc Lepz, Lee's laundry, Fletcher's Boat House, MacArthur Theatre, Sherrier Place (now full of million homes) to name a few. I could go on forever being a third generation Washingtonian.
I am a native Washingtonian who got his start in 1941. We lived in a small apartment in the Trinidad section of Northeast near the Sears Store on Bladensburg Road. As a child, I can remember the vegetable cart, the iceman, and the knife sharpener, all horse drawn. I remember how during the WW2 we had to cover our windows at night as the entire city was occasionally blacked out. What we now know as margarine was a gray gob of goo that you mixed little packets of yellow food coloring in to make it look appealing. Fresh strawberries were a once a year treat. Ration Stamps decided how much of what you would buy. We planted victory gardens in the back yard. I remember watching the victory parades at the end of the war since I had two uncles who had served overseas and who were in the parade.
We moved into Takoma Park in 1948. Our neighborhood didn’t have paved roads for the first several years. What a mess. We lived near Langley Park which was then being built. Our old house is still there. How tiny it looks today but it served us well. I lived there until I enlisted in the Navy in 1959 and got on with my life. I subsequently lived in College Park, Beltsville, Laurel, and now Arlington where I have been for the past 30 years. Here are some of the things I remember about growing up in the Washington area. Some are duplicates from other posts but they deserve it.
Glen Echo - along with the streetcar rides out there
Party Lines on your telephone.
The doctor would come to your house.
Swimming in Sligo Creek
The streetcars in general
The old Takoma Park Bowling Alley and Pool Hall - later Read Plastics, now the Metro Station parking lot
The Bladensburg Roller Rink with the organ and skate direction signs
Stephenson’s Bakery in Southeast on Pa Ave.
Weiles Ice cream - first on Kennedy St NE and then in Langley Park
The Hot Shoppes drive in at New Hampshire Ave and East West Highway - that Mighty Mo
The Tops drive in further south on New Hampshire Ave - that Sirloiner (not as good as the Mo)
Saturday afternoon matinees at the Allen Theatre in Takoma Park
Giffords Ice Cream
Cherry Bombs brought back from South Carolina
Weekend movies at the Queenstown Drive Inn - “The Passion Pit” - It used to be an airport
Ledo Pizza - we ate there the first week it opened on University Blvd and never stopped going back.
Climbing the water tower near University Blvd and Riggs Rd. - scared silly but what a view.
Ice cream at the U of Md dairy store.
The old Washington Daily News - I was one of their paperboys
The old Washington Star
WDON Radio - Don Dillard
Friday night dances at the Hyattsville Armory
Uline Arena for the Circus, minor league hockey and basketball
Griffith Stadium watching the old Senators and the Redskins
The Tick Tock Bar
Pop Deitles in Silver Spring
The “Famous” bar across from the old Greyhound Station in DC. Saw Roy Clark there when he was first starting out, and Jimmy Dean while Jimmy was in the Air Force stationed at Bolling field. He was befriended by Luther Briggs (of Briggs Hot Dog fame) and that’s how Jimmy Dean got in the sausage business.
The “Shamrock” in Georgetown.
Benny’s Rebel Room downtown.
The “Capital Barn Dance” on Saturday nights where more than one errant husband was seen on TV.
This was a great area to grow up in. It was full of good times. Thanks for letting me share.
Dave in Arlington
It's been wonderful to read your previous 8 pages of DC memories! I share so many affections for the places mentioned, and the deep nostalgia for a way of life long gone -- where children could roam freely and family was the center of the universe.
Our extended family lived in the Northeast starting around the time of the Civil War -- both sets of grandparents and two sets of great-grandparents, and several generations of aunts, uncles and cousins. One or two of our family men were in government or business; most worked in trades or at the nearby rail yards around 6th St; all the women were homemakers and churchwomen. Our focal point was the Douglas Memorial Methodist Church at 11th and H Sts NE, which would ultimately be "sold" to a "colored" congregation in 1958 or so, after the Civil Rights legislation and "white flight" changed our worlds forever.
As a child, it was impossible to see why people couldn't just get along and couldn't just be nice; and why they felt they had to leave because a different kind of people moved in, especially since we were all Christians; it was heartbreaking. The church where my parents and my large network of family worshipped, were married, educated their children and saw them baptized, confirmed, married and buried -- what could be so terrible about these economic refugees from Jim Crow so desperately in need of jobs and housing that we couldn't stay and share it with them in order to hold onto our close ties?
As an older adult, I now see the depth of the difference in the natural cultures of blacks and whites -- at that time -- that needed to be worked through, and still needs to be completed.
I see that if a minority of blacks had been immediately integrated into white-majority churches in the early 50s, African-Americans' magnificent forms of worship and gospel music might never have been developed to the extent that they are today. The extraordinary influence of African-American witness in public life and their gospel music on our national music heritage, among many other contributions, might also have been suppressed.
In retrospect, it seems that the African-American churches have needed these 50 years to be places of healing and nurture after 400 years of apartheid. It has been politically incorrect to say so, but displaced whites also suffered losses and needed this time to mourn, so as to be able to avoid violence, calm their misconceptions, assuage fears and adopt more godly attitudes about race.
In strictly human terms, though, the the loss of homes and communities in the Northeast is one which many of my elders never really "got over", in the way you can never forget a parent or a child who has died. Whenever I hear the song "Anatefka" from Fiddler on the Roof, I know what it must have felt like for Jews to be forced out of their villages. Thank God for America, where, when white populations were uprooted to serve a higher calling such as racial equality, it did not lead to the fascist extermination camps and continued acts of war against Zionists that Jews suffer to this day. In racist-recovering America, in spite of a diminished but lingering degree of inequalities and mutual suspicion, a majority of American blacks have thrived as a result of the changes made back then, and most are living lives of markedly greater dignity and purpose than the pre-1958 system could possibly have enabled.
I am glad to read the contributions from African-Americans to these pages. As a kid I shared with you a fascination with gospel music (piped to the Prince George's suburbs to which we had fled on my turquoise plastic transistor radio), curiosity about the Daddy Grace phenomenon, learning to dance the cool moves and dig the clothing trends pioneered by black kids, sneaking around our parents' admonitions to listen to "negro" jazz at the Bohemian Caverns in 1962, and most of all a swelling of admiration on witnessing busloads of black folks arriving at the New York Avenue Greyhound station, their belongings tied with string in flimsy cardboard suit boxes and their fried chicken or pork chops darkening the bottoms of tightly-clutched brown paper bags, to go to Dr Martin Luther King Jr's March on Washington in 1963.
To them I say, please know that some of the nostalgia expressed here for the old neighborhoods of DC stems from a price many paid in their lives to achieve a more just society. For Washington to have been the leading city to establish civil rights in employment and housing meant that those many working-class whites who sacrificed homes and close intergenerational neighborhood bonds peacefully did so, never to recover completely. Whether they did so wholeheartedly or not -- what they gave up, money has not been able to replace, but it was done for the greater good of the nation.
Onward and upward, all Americans, and especially those of us privileged to grow up in or near the District!
I got to the page 'googling' "Wiley's Ice Cream." Wondering if it was still in Silver Spring. That was a favorite after- date spot to go. I also remember The Teen Twist at the Hot Shoppe.
Someone asked if anyone remembers Pic Temple? I sure do, as I remember that Jimmy Dean used to have a DC channel program of country music. Also, I remember the now famous Muppets. They lip synced to the hit tunes. Mushmellon was my favorite. This was a 15 minute show and believe it originally aired in DC.
I was a guest on the 'Rabbit' show as a kid. I believe it was called "Hoppity Skippity, right?
Lived in DC from 1941 (born) to 1965. Now in Palo Alto. Went to Brightwood, Paul Jr. High and Coolidge.
I heard Victor Borge at Carter Baron. The Echo 1 satellite passed overhead that night and Borge stopped the show, had all the lights turned down and just watched and riffed about this wonderful piece of technology. A very sweet memory that I will always recall with a smile. Norm Goldblatt
I love this!! My mother was born on K St. NW (in their house) and grew up on Mass Ave. where all the Greeks lived!! She said said she walked to Hines and took the streetcar sometimes! My grandfather had a fruit and vegetable stall at the market. I was born at Garfield Hospital and we lived on 5th street until I was seven. My sister, my cousin, and I would go to the Safeway on Kennedy street and the 5 and dime on our own. My father had a restaurant in Georgetown, the Hilltop Cafe. Years later he said if he had only known, he could've bought a whole street of homes in Georgetown for $500!! But he didn't have that kind of money and he didn't see it changing. Does anyone remember the 5th St Market? We would go there with my grandmother every other Thursday to get our meat. There was the Utz potato chip counter -- we'd get hot chips and a Pepsi from the 2 "old" ladies dressed like the little girl on the package. These ladies had the big ribbon in their hair. Then we'd go to Tony's to get fresh chickens. We moved to Silver Spring. At that time, my mother let my sister and me go down to Hecht's in Silver Spring on the bus to take sewing lessons. I was 8 and my sister was 10. Joanne
My friend is looking for a picture for her parent's 50th wedding anniversary. They met at Kalorama Roller Skating Rink. She is looking for a picture of this roller rink. Can you post to one of your sights asking for anyone who might have a picture to contact me? On page 4 of your sight, "Carolyn" talks about skating at this rink. Do you know how to contact her? Or do you know anywhere she can contact to find a picture?
Here's a short list of my memories of the years I was in Washington, DC (1954-1960). I went to Paul Jr. Hight School, and graduated from Calvin Coolidge High School in 1960.
I remember going to school on the DC Transit bus system using 'school tickets' purchased at Ida's Dept. Store at Georgia and Kennedy Streets. The tickets were 3 cents a piece. I remember the Carter Barron Ampitheater at 16th and Kennedy. I remember attending the Washington Senators baseball games at Griffith Stadium and watching Arch McDonald announce baseball games on television. I remember dances at the Silver National Guard Amory and Little Lord Fauntleroy and Barry Richards as MC's to these events. Also, WDON and WEAM radio stations. I remember the trolleys in town and making several transfers to get anywhere. I remember riding through Rock Creek Park on my motorcycle in the middle 1960's and how much I enjoyed the rides.
St. Augustine, FL
I am wondering how many folks who lived in the DC area especially in the 40's 50's 60's etc remember Eddie Gallahher???? You may remember him on Moondial Matinee I think at WTOP radio in the 50's. What a great program with him playing all the hits of the day plus his comments about the artists of the time. Eddie recreated The Moondial Matinee for one day on 7 August 1977 on radio station WASH FM Wash DC. At that time he was on that station playing the oldies we all enjoyed. But he did recreate the old Moondial Matinee program on that day with his famous "Sit back, the program that's better with your shoes on" and "You always win when the moondial spins".
Fortunately, I did record that recreation of his Moondial Matinee and still listen to it today. Brings back old memories of Roosevelt High School in DC. I graduated in 53.
A number of years ago, I spoke with him on the air and wondered if any of his old shows back in the 40's and 50's were recorded. He told me no they were not so I feel fortunate that I did record his recreation for one day of Moondial Matinee.
Love the memories website for DC.
Larry Richter, Roosevelt High School class of "53", Wash DC Morehead City, NC
Do you the NAME marquee of the 9th Street S.E. burlesque house? I think that the theatre was wreaked in era 1970, towards a huge modern FBI "J. Edgar Hoover" building.
(I was in the front-seat audience, when the stage celebrity, the fiery red-head, Blaze Starr strutted her stuff!)
I am almost 60 years old and grew up in southeast Washington near the Maryland line.
Your site is wonderful and has brought back tons of memories! Washington was such a sleepy city in those early days of the 1950's...... I have tried to find someone who might have a recipe for that wonderful cream pie that the Crusty Pie company made for so many years. It had three layers--chocolate, vanilla and a cool-whip type white topping on the top. They sold slices at the Murphy's Five and Dime on F Street between 12th and 13th Street, NW, advertised as neopolitan cream pie. Do you remember it? If anyone has a clue to a recipe, it would be greatly appreciated. Crusty went out of business probably in the l970"s
I graduated from Anacostia HS in l963 and grew up in Fairfax Village in SE DC. I remember absolutely everything everyone has written in the message section of this site!! Wow, what wonderful memories of days gone by.
Thanks for developing this site and allowing everyone to share their memories! Hope to hear from you re the pie!!!
Hi, I love your web site. I grew up in D.C. and went to John Burroughs Elementary school, the Taft Jr. High, then McKinley Tech High School. I graduated in 1945 and remember selling war stamps and bonds at the Jesse Theatre around the corner from my house on Jackson St. N.E. Also wrapping bandages for the Red Cross and marching in the parade fro the Red Cross. I remember Glen Echo, Hot Shoppes, Capitol Theater, Fox Theater, and when we wanted to hear some REAL music, we used to go to the Howard Theater and were the only white girls there and we loved it!!
After school, I used to Model teen clothing at the Hecht co. for the Daily News paper. I remember Billy Eckstine, Earl Fatha Hines, Lionel Hampton, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, Dinah Washington, Billie Holliday, who was my favorite. Once, when I was sixteen, I went to FDR's Presidents Birthday Ball and I saw Eleanor Roosevelt in a full length white gown with a white fox coat and she looked radiant, almost beautiful in person!! I loved her. I took photos of FDR as he made a speech at the Lincoln Memorial with my Kodak box camera. I still have it. What a wonderful time of life that was. I also wrote to 15 or 20 G.I's to keep their spirits up. Sugar , shoes, gasoline, were rationed, but that was nothing compared to what the troops endured. I was only 14 when the War started, but I tried to do anything to help. I married my High School sweetheart and moved to Miami,Fl. Now I am married to my third husband, happily and living in Sanibel Island,Florida, which really is Paradise, but I will never forget Washington. D.C.
My Mother worked at St. Elizabeth's Hospital for 40 years and I have memories of the Dances they had for the patients there. Things were better for Mental patients then, they had care and a place to stay. My mother adored them. Does anyone else have such fond memories?
Anna Mary (Smallwood) Lederman g.
Does anyone remember the names of the sandwich's served at TOPS and Hot Shoppes? Here's my wonderful memories of the metro area starting in 1952. Route one Alexandria Dixie Pig and Beacon Hill which was at one time an Airport. GC Murphys soda fountain and enjoying the cherry cokes/chocolate cokes and vanilla. Crossing Rt 50 at the Iwa Jima statue to get to Roslyn People's drug store, note no traffic. Milk man deliveries in glass bottles. Charles chips, riding the trolley in Georgetown, S&H greenstamps and those yellow ones to. Walking the brick fence at Arlington National Cemetary. Climbing the Bell Tower. The Spot Tavern in Arlington and watching it burn down. Riding the elevators in all the hi rise apts in Arlington as a kid. Halloween without throwing your candy away and eating home made goodies. The Waffle House in old town Alexandria had the best fries. The beer joints up and down Richmond Hwy.
I ENJOYED READING ALL THE GREAT MEMORIES, BORN IN DC 1938 LIVED ON MORSE ST UNTIL I WAS 8, MOVED TO MITCHELLVILLE MD. BUT SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN D.C. DURING MY TEEN YEARS. A TIME WHEN WE COULD TAKE 5 BUCKS FUEL THE '49 FORD UP GO TO THE MOVIES IN CORAL HILLS, GO TO CHESAPEAKE BEACH, GO SWIMMING RIDE THE RIDES, EAT HAMBURGERS AT LITTLE TAVEN, AND STILL HAVE CHANGE LEFT, AS TEENS WE HAD PLENTY TO DO NEVER A DULL MOMENT, MOST THINGS WERE AN ALL DAY AFFAIR, LIKE GLEN ECHO, MARSHALL HALL, AND THE MOONLIGHT CRUISE ON THE POTOMAC, ON FRI OR SAT NIGHT, ALL THE GREAT SINGERS THEY HAD CRUISING DOWN THE RIVER, AND THEN ALL THE GREAT RIDES, AND THE PENNY AND NICHOL SLOTS , WHERE WE COULD WIN ENOUGH TO BUY MORE LITTLE TAVERN BURGERS, I GUESS THE THINGS I MISS MOST WERE EDDIE LENNARDS, LITTLE TAVERN, DIXIE PIG(CORAL HILLS AND BLADENSBURG RD). JERRY'S FOOTLONG HOT DOGS(BLADENSBURG) WE WERE THERE THE NIGHT THE WAR ENDED.EVERYONE WAS SO EXCITED THEY TURNED VEHICLES OVER IN THE STREET.
ALSO THE FROZEN CUSTARD ACROSS FROM SEARS ON BLADENSBURG ROAD, ANNACOSTIA ON THE RIVER WAS NICE FOR SUNDAYS. TO PLAY BALL AND JUST LAY AROUND. I ONLY WISH THE TEENS TODAY COULD HAVE WHAT WE HAD, EVERYTHING IS SO EXPENSIVE AND THEY PAY A LOT AND GET VERY LITTLE, LIKE I SAID ALL WE NEEDED WAS 5 BUCKS.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR THIS GREAT SITE BERNIE HALE
Hi Debi, Memory lane is super wonderful.
I was born in the old Doctors Hospital on Eye Street NW. in 1940. I lived in the DC area until 1975. I remember in the early forties (during the war) at night my parents would close the heavy curtains and turn on a red light to see. I believe everyone was afraid of a bombing raid. My grandfather had a Shoe repair shop on Wisconsin Ave almost directly across from where the street cars changed from overhead to underground electricity. Remember the loud thump when they made the change underneath the cars I visited there often, and then ended up in foggy bottom just to hang out.
My Mom had a beauty shop in the 1700 block of K Street and I used to take the bus there after school. My Dad was a builder and constructed most of the homes on what used to be Weaver Street later changed to Arizona Avenue. I went to high school at Archbishop John Carroll for one year and then spent the best 3 years of my life at Western High at 35th and R Streets NW.
Does anyone remember the Movie theatres in downtown DC all in the same few block.
It was safe for my brother and I to take the streetcar and see a super show. I cannot remember all of the theatre names but one of them was the Palace. I’m sure that one of them had an orchestra pit that came up from the basement with the orchestra playing. They often had a live show before the movie. Some places I remember are:
The DGS on the corner of MacArthur Blvd and Dana Place (soo many kinds of candy)
The Hot Shoppe Drive In across Key Bridge where we often went after school
The Frozen Custard place on Georgia Ave with the polar bears
Dances at the Palisades Playground Park
The MacArthur Theatre that had movies all day Saturday for 7 cents
The Glen Glen sound company sign (red neon on Wisconsin Avenue)
The Apex Theatre on Mass Ave
Highs Store on MacArthur Blvd
Fishing at the spillway off of the canal near Chain Bridge
The Alexandria Skating Rink
Taking the stairs up and down the Washington Monument
I guess I could go on and on. Thanks to all the other contributors for their wonderful memories which were mine also.
PML Western High School Class of 1958
I remember roller skating at the rink in Bladensburg and also over in Alexandria. Always more fun in Alexandria because of all the cute Marines who came from Quantico to skate. I remember The Dixie Pig on Marlboro Pike. I met my husband who was stationed with the 75th Missile Battalion at Andrews AFB. We called it Andrews Field back then. He was in the Army, but the Army had a small section on the base. He was dischaged from Fort Meade on April 1st, 1955 and we were married on April 2, 1955 in D.C. I worked for a short time at Bolling AFB (Manpower Office - HeadCom). That was a lot of fun----me being 19 and the only girl in an office of about 12 male AF personnel. Great guys. I also worked for Lenkurt Electric in The Pennsylvania Building at 13th and Penn. Over the years my husband and I and our children lived on Savannah Terrace, out in Mount Rainier, Hyattsville, back to SW to Brandywine Street, 76 Forrester Street, Galveston Street and finally Raleigh Street in Congress Heights. At that point we decided that my husband's home state of Texas would be a better place to raise our children, so it was time to leave Washington. I also remember we were living on Galveston Street and one day as I turned the TV on to watch my favorite "As The World Turns", the first horrible news came on telling us that our President had been shot in Dallas and was on his way to Parkland Hospital. We, as I'm sure everyone no matter where they were, were glued to our TV for days to come through all of that. A very sad time for all. But I, too remember Glen Echo, Marshall Hall, changing buses at Barney Circle, riding the streetcars (knowing that nice people stayed away from 9th Street downtown because of the night-time "activity"). Seems as I remember the area around 9th Street SE, also was kind of a wild area with less than the nicer bars. Our oldest daughter (almost 49) still has a post card from Pic Temple, and we visited his show. And remember when Willard Scott was Bozo in Washington? I had forgotten about Milt Grant until I read about it in someone else's memories. When we lived in SW in the South Capitol Street area, we always shopped in Maryland at Eastover Shopping Center. We often recall how we used to be able to buy five lbs. of shrimp for such a low price back in those days. We'd take them home, steam them and have a party with our neighbors. We haven't been back to Washington in over forty years now, but from what we hear, it's definitely NOT the Washington or D.C. area we used to know. Sadly we've heard that we'd probably be taking our lives in our hands if we even tried to approach any of the neighborhoods where we had lived way back then. We already knew it was time to leave when we left for Texas in 1964. But the D.C. area of year's ago was a great place to live.
I was born in D.C. 1935 and lived in the area until I moved in 1959.............Wow what great memories. I must have known most of the people in this article. My great grandmother lived in D.C. all her life, died there in the 50s at 99 years old. Her husband worked on the remodeling of the capitol building, his last name was America, and both are buried in Congressional Cemetery. My Grandmother and Grandfather were also native Elementary. School S.E. Penn. Ave., Patterson Elementary. and lived at the naval housing at Bellview...then went to Washington Lee high school in Arlington and then American University...I recall every thing that has been mentioned and the tears were very heavy. My husband and I were married at the National Cathedral and he was also born in D.C. but live later in Silver Springs. I could go on for another 10 or so pages but it was wonderful reading everyone’s story and brought back so many good email@example.com
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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