MEMORIES PAGE 14
My story starts out different than most of
yours, I was born in Louisville Ky in 1936, it was during the depression,
the south was hit by it harder than this area, my Father filled out
an application in Ky, for the Navy Department in Wash, DC.
and was accepted and asked to report to work, ASAP, the year was 1941.
Dad was a draftsman in research and development for the Navy on
Constitution Ave, now the home of the Vietnam Memorial.
There was no big highways in those days, he packed his model t and in
January, snowing and mountains, he persevered, even witnessing a car slide
off the side of a mountain, he could not stop and would have been of
no help if he did, so he reported it in the next town he came to. My
Mother and myself (5)and 2 brothers(6&3), followed one week later by
train. There was a housing shortage in Washington, Dad
found a room across the street from what is now Guy Mason Ball park,
the house is no longer there. Then, through a friend he
rented the upstairs of a family that lived across from Old Soldiers home. Still
looking for housing he rented a house on Buchanan St, in the same
area, My brother Joe attended St Gabriel's first grade. I went to
Barnard Hill Kindergarten. Dad applied for housing in
Greenbelt, but was turned down, because he was making top salary, a
whopping $1,800.00 a year, yeah, which was too much to qualify.
So my parents bought a home in Riverdale, my brother and I attended St.
James in Mt. Rainer, We were 6 and 7, Mother would take us
across Rt 1 and we would wait for the Capitol Transit Bus that took
us to the Mt.Rainer terminal, and we would walk the 2 blocks back down to
school. My sister was born in 1942 at Leland Memorial, and by then
St. Jerome's opened their school, we all eventually went through St
Jerome's. We were outgrowing the little house in
Riverdale, so moved to Hyattsville in 1950, 2 blocks from DeMatha,
Joe attended DeMatha and could practically roll out of bed and run to
school before the bell rang. I, on the other hand
attended Notre Dame Academy, my girlfriend
and I, first had to walk 3 blocks to Rt 1,
get the greyhound bus and get off at Big Ben, North Capitol St. then
either walk down to K St. or get the streetcar.
After high school my friends and I got a job
at Acacia Life Insurance Co. We would go ice skating at Uline
Arena, where I met and married the love of my life, we were
married for 48 years, till he passed away in 2003.
Phil lived on Ely Place across from Uline and
started working there as an errand boy when he was 10. He was a
great skater and besides his regular job continued to work part time at
Uline, the skating clubs, circus, ice capades,
concerts, everything. When the NHL came to Landover,
Phil submitted his application for the Time keepers position. They
told him his name was bouncing off of the walls, as he had kept the
time at all of the hockey games at Uline. He would be on the
phone explaining the rules to the men, as hockey was new to this area and
even the sports writers and news people did not understand all of the
rules, in the early days, during one of the games there was a big
fight on the ice, and Phil had to explain to everyone, who got how many
minutes, why and what for, and when they could come back out on the
ice. He knew and loved his hockey. When he started
having strokes, he turned it over to Bob Stafford, they gave Phil a
wonderful retirement party, they all thought the world of Phil, he was a
great person. They told him at his retirement party that
even though he ran the off ice officials in a very professional manner,
they also had fun while he was in charge.
He was one of the good ole' S.E. Washington
boys on 7th and Penna Aves. He was one of the Cobra Club members. Terrific ball player.
Duck tail haircut, peg pants, blue swade shoes, and a convertible 50 ford.
A far cry from the DeMatha boys my parents were used to me dating. We
were both 19 when we got married. My Father cried when he
first saw him, but learned to love him and Dad spent his last 10 years
living with us.
One memory I have, that I did see yet was
watching the donuts being made at Sears on Bladensburg Road.
I really enjoyed this site, keep up the
good work for us, makes me realize what a good time we lived in.
grew up in DC until we moved to
when I was 11. Went to
, affiliated with St. Matthew’s Cathedral, through 3rd grade
and Our Lady Queen of
through 5th grade. We lived on
15th Street, NW
(now office buildings) and then on 37th Pllace, SE.
Remember Rocky’s Rolling Mart? It was a grocery store on wheels
that went around SE. There was also the Good Humor Truck with
popsicles for $.05 and Rockets (those push up ice cream bars in a
cardboard container) vanilla on the outside and a chocolate center for
$.10. I also remember Milt Grant and
. Milt Grant’s show would sometimes be broadcast live from Parkington
(now Ballston) in
and we would go there. I also remember the night clubs—
, The Casino Royal, the Hayloft and the Rocket Room. I also remember
the Christmas decorations in the window of Woodward & Lothrop.
HI, I grew up in S.E. D.C.
in the 50;s and early 60's, now 61. What fond old memories of living on
the corner of Penn ave and Minnesota ave and shopping at Mortons for
clothes. Chino pants, Keds shoes, Banlon and boat neck shirts. Going down
the block to Stevenson bakery (they were our next door neighbors living in
a row house like ours). Going to Orr, Kramer, and graduating from
Anacostia high. I remember being in a gang called the Turbans and then in
the Ave gang. We wore black cordiroy jackets with the white lettering on
the back. We just hung around the corners trying to look cool and mostly
girl watching, very few girls would be around back then, wonder why.
People's drug store and Mario's pizza would be hangouts. Highland Movie
Theater was a big hit also.Little tavern next door was the place to eat
and talk with the sailors and other service men who always seemed to be
there. Rolling our Lucky cig packs up our sleeve in our white T-shirts.
Listening and playing our 45 records in someone's basement while playing
Tonk or hearts for pennies. Walking down to Good Hope Rd. to the Rainbow
or Jacks playland to play the pinball machines. Stop by Clancy's for a
cold mug of beer for 15cents and watch the Go-Go girls dance. Playing all
sports daily in the Orr elementary schoolyard was a never ending way to
spend time with all you friends. Going with my dad through the
neighborhoods selling rat poisioning to the neighbors for extra money we
always needed. Like probably most of you we were very poor (8 kids) but my
dad did have a good Gov't job with the Interior dept and also worked at
National Geogrophic and drove a Yellow Cab at night. Getting drafted and
going to Viet Nam was something else i will never forget.
Growing up in D.C. was so much fun and the life experiences i had
that i wish all young kids could have today. I think we had the best of
times growing up in the era we did and nothing like it will ever be the
same. Thanks for all the memories you lucky people have shared on this
great site. B.C. Tampa, Fl.
FISH AND COW FROM SUNNY FLA.
i have lots of pix of Glen Echo. I am a
photographer and also a vocalist. I live in Vegas now, but I'm from
D. C. I lived for quite a while at 602 G St. S. E. My dad was
a musician with Arthur Godfrey's band and Stan Kenton. His name was
Danny Powell. My name is Sharon Powell Caballero and my professional
name is Lynne Powell. I grew up all around D. C. Congress Heights
was my longest place of residence. My mom and I lived on Highview
Place and we used to go to Bob's Frozen Custard on Nichols Ave. We
also went to the Atlantic Theater and the Pacific Restaurant when Manny
and Nick owned it in the fifties. All my family worked in places
like Kann's and Landsbergh's and the government printing office and the
Navy Yard. I myself worked for the Washington Star down on Va. Ave.
S. E. We all used to go to Glen Echo and I remember one time the
tracks washing out under the streetcar during a storm. I was
petrified!!! Do any of you remember Velati's Candy store on G St.???
I order from them now online, since someone else has bought the company.
She is sticking to the old recipes from Mr. Velati and the candy is
wonderful!!! We lived on Mellon St. for a while near the Congress
theater and before that, we lived near Seward Square. I remember
putting pennies in the milk bottles from each state to fight polio when
they had the cart at the Penn theater on Pa. Ave. S. E. Boy have I
jogged some old memories and feelings from the past. I would like to
submit pictures to the site, and I look forward to hearing from some of
the old crowd.
Sharon Lynne Powell Caballero
mother was born in 1939 and grew up in DC.
She went to Coolidge High School and I think
graduated in 1957. Her name was Gale
Richter. I know she won a Queen Esther
pageant. I don't know too much
more and I don't have a lot of contact with
too many of her friends. She passed
away suddenly in 2001 and I thought it would
be nice to hear if anyone knew her and what
they remembered about her. I do always
hear how much people really loved my mother.
She was a really special woman. Please
write in if you knew my mother Gale Richter
in any way. THANKS!!
I wonder if you're still collecting them.
I'm in my 40s and recall glen echo! the old
ballroom and the cups that you sat in and swirled around for a ride. I
barely remember that but I know it was the most amazing place. Later one,
after the park closed we still went to the ballroom and jumped around the
When I was young another big treat was
going to the garden tea room in Woodies after shopping after doing
some back to school shopping.
Or going to Best and Company for
shopping--near the shabby (back then) but fun Johnson flower company and
then the hot shoppes near there or the one in MacLean Gardens or
the one near Scan Furniture store down on CT avenue.
(going out to hot shoppes seems to
be a prominent memory!)
First time I went to a movie with friends was
to see My Fair Lady at the Uptown.
We'd go to the spring fair at the
cathedral and go to the little shop next to the bishop's garden--just like
Donna did. I'd get a lemon with a peppermint stick in it and sit under the
huge tree that was held up with wires in the garden.
OH and when I was a teenager, I'd wander
around Georgetown randomly--and we'd try on Mexican wedding gowns at the
shop there. It was there for years, might still be there, down a little
passage.... the place that sold ethnic clothes. I and went to a
couple of free talks closer to George Washington U (took
the 30s bus but can't recall exactly where they were) and wandered in to
listen to Milos Forman talk about making one flew over the cuckoo's nest.
I volunteered at the Humane Society which I noticed because it was just at my
bus stop (I'd take the D4 and the 30s bus to school) It was located above
the Audubon shop.
Golly nothing as wonderful as the other
memories I found at your site. I lived on 34th place between Newark and
Ordway. We could clamber over the fence into Rosedale and go sledding
there and play hide and seek in the old boxwood maze (a pathetic little
maze but we loved it.) Cleveland Park was far more diverse when I was a
kid -- it was a wonderful place to grow up. The Cleveland Park Club had
that tiny little pool--the community bathtub, we called it--and we'd watch
movies in the rickety clubhouse on summer nights and go to the potluck
dinner. I think the place is still there (it had been there since the
20s) but I bet it' s far fancier now.
Aloha from Maui! (A very long way from DC!)
Came across your site while googling Hot Shoppes. Very interesting! Loved all of
it!!! Memories? Have I got DC memories? Ohmygod! I could (and should) write a
book, but I doubt if anyone would ever buy it/read it if I did.
Anyway, here's a stream of consciousness "list" (in no particular
order). The aforementioned Hot Shoppes, Little Taverns, Glen Echo (the pool, the
concerts - Don Dillard's and Milt Grant's, the roller coaster, etc.), the Zoo,
the "original" Smithsonian museums, National Airport (when all of the
planes had propellers), hanging out at Dupont Circle (in the mid '60s), going to
ball games at Griffith Stadium (I went to Friends School, and to games, with
Clark Griffith III, so we never had to pay!), the street cars (and,
particularly, the changeover from overhead to underground power on Wisconsin
Ave. in Georgetown), Georgetown!, hiking on Roosevelt Island, trips down the
Potomac on moonlit summer nights, drag racing at Aquasco Speedway and Capitol
Raceway (and illegally, on "H" Road, directly in front of the
Pentagon, and on the Beltway before it "opened" to the public!),
Gifford's Ice Cream (dutch chocolate with their homemade hot fudge sauce was the
best!), B-CC teams of all ilks (I was on the rifle team in '58), Montgomery
Donuts (on Ga. Ave in Silver Spring), Henry Hiser's movie theater (and
downstairs bowling alley) in Bethesda, Barry Richards and Don Dillard on WDON,
The Bayou, The Keg, The Rabbit's Foot, Emergency, and a host of other NW rock
clubs that were happening in the '60s, and, before those, the Alpine Room ,
Benny's Rebel Room, Crossroads and the Lion's Den, Jimi Hendrix at the
Ambassador Theater (opening for Vanilla Fudge), shopping on F Street
(downtown), riding the Congressional subway, soaping fountains at various
places around town, blowing the horn on my car the entire length of the Conn Ave
underpass under Dupont Cir., summer concerts at P Street Beach, roller skating
at the Congressional Rink (in Rockville), ice skating at Uline Arena (and seeing
James Brown and his Famous Flames there, too), car shows, home shows, dog shows
and more concerts at the DC Armory, being a "regular" on Milt Grant's
show (1958/59), dining at Blackie's House of Beef and the Hot Shoppes cafeteria
at McLean Gardens, marrying my first wife in the Bethlehem Chapel at the
National Cathedral, the Avalon Theater, yelling as loud as I could to hear my
voice echo off the ceiling of Union Station, taking a train from Silver Spring
to Union Station (and back) - 35-cents each way! - the soft serve ice cream
place on Fenton St in Silver Spring (name escapes me), driving around the
Bethesda Hot Shoppes backwards (69 laps!), after B-CC beat Blair in the
"big game" of '57, in my parents' '53 Chevy convertible, the Cellar
Door, WHFS, Danny Gatton, Nils Lofgren, Link Wray and Roy Buchanan (guitar
heroes, every one!)... and the list goes on!!!
On a more personal note, I grew up in Chevy Chase (without a silver spoon in my
mouth, although there were a lot of silver spoons in my family), and
lived just off Wisconsin Ave (two blocks south of Bradley Blvd). I went to
Friends School, Longfellow School, Somerset Elementary School, Western Jr. High,
and B-CC. I moved to Arlington in '58, and went to Wakefield High (Jr year), and
then back to DC, finishing high school at Emerson Institute (near Dupont
Circle). My paternal grandfather, C. V. Wheeler, was the modern day equivalent
of a CEO with the Washington Steel and Ordnance Company, D.C.'s only steel mill
(it produced armor piercing shells for the big guns on battleships, immediately
prior to, and until the end of WWI). WS&O Co. was located on land that
eventually became the site of Bolling Air Force Base and Anacostia Naval Air
Station. Wheeler Rd SE is named for him. I haven't lived in the DC area since
late '71, and haven't even been back since '79. (Yeah, I know, a lot
So, how's that??? Did I do OK? 8-)
I'll get back to your site again, and spend even more time there. As ol' Bob
Hope always sang, "Thanks for the memories..."
Bruce Wheeler ("too
old to rock 'n' roll, too young to die!")
Please visit us online @ http://www.maui-angels.com
you for this great site. I would
like to add a few of my memories to the others on your website.
was born in DC (1950 --
) and grew up in the Adams-Morgan area. My Dad had moved to DC in 1948-49 from
Puerto Rico via
(hated it) and
(too hot and racist). He worked as
a bus boy at several hotels and restaurants including the Mayflower. He later
went back to the
to marry my mother and they arrived in early February 1950. I was born on
Veterans' day that year.
lived mostly in the 18th Street and Columbia Road area known as Adams-Morgan(loved
Kalorama Park in the summers, People's Drug Store, the street car crossing - Rts
40/42 and 90/92), etc).
at 11th and U Streets, 18th and Kalorama, 1801
1762 Kenyon Street
1650 Columbia Road
. My Dad had become a professional
barber by 1955 and established in 1957-58 what may have been the first latino-owned
barber shop in DC at
1650 Columbia Road
-- Pan American Barber Shop. We
moved into the upstairs apartment and lived there until November 1968 when we
moved into our first real family owned house in
. Next door was the Embassy Rexall Drug Store (owned by "Doc"
Salomon and Evelyn Gadol"), where I started working part time and summers
when I was 15 until I graduated from Maryland U (1972). The row of stores
included a Chinese laundry, a french furrier -later a mod clothing store,
another laundry which later was converted to the famous Potter's House and a
small deli shop.
from 1956 to 1964. Used to ride
the streetcar (RT 40/42/45) almost every day to and from school (except for the
year or so that we lived on
). I then attended
's HS (on
) graduating in 1968. Then attended
until 1974 when I obtained my Masters Degree in Engineering. After graduation I
where I met my wife and my children were born.
In 1990 we moved to
and have been here since.
summer (2005) my family FINALLY had the opportunity to visit DC (still have
cousins there). It was the first
time my daughter (24) and son (19) visited DC after soooooo many years of
promises. My wife had visited in
1977 shortly after we had married.
took them to all of the standard tourist sites (o many!) plus the off the beat
areas including my home turf along
. The Zoo was impressive (although
the heat was probably the worst in years) and it brought back memories of when
my family and friends would walk to the Zoo via the old path off
Adams Mill Road
(before the Tunnel was built).
of my personal highlights was the visit to
and Shrine (16th and Park Road). Except
for the fence around the site, including the famous ledge, the school looked
much as when I attended the school. It
is still a neighborhood school but it now also serves as a community education
center especially for the large number of Central American immigrants living in
felt rewarded when I was able to meet the current Principal and she graciously
assigned a lady employee to accompany me throughout all of the facility.
I immediately went to those rooms where I spent my youth with the nuns
and O! what memories. The old
auditorium, which few elementary schools had in those times, had been recently
renovated and it looked better than ever. The
Gym is still there located below the auditorium.
Spent about an hour on the tour and loved every minute.
old building that housed the
(the all girls HS) is still there but is now used for other community oriented
purposes. The same goes for the old
the school we went down the street across
to visit the Shrine where my parents and I (I being an only child) attended
regularly the 9 AM Mass. It still
looked magnificent inside but the large fence around the front speaks sadly of
the current situation of the neighborhood.
(my son was impressed -- "Dad, THIS is a high school!"
He attended Cardinal Gibbons in Fort Lauderdale -- An excellent school in
the South Florida style -- School mascot - The Redskins (Guess what team it
reminds one of) - School colors Red
and grey (like St John's). A trip
was also on the agenda.
my trip to DC last year I was able to meet up with a few of my old buddies from
Sacred Heart and St. John's and although we spent more time watching NFL films
and eating and drinking, a lot of memories were exchanged.
would love to contact some of my fellow Sacred Heart/St John's companions
There have NEVER been any doughnuts as good as those baked by Heller's --
including Krispy Kremes! Almost
every Sunday after Mass we would walk to
Mt. Pleasant Street
and take a number to wait with dozens of others to order the delicious
doughnuts and cakes.
great rum cakes (with Don Q rum) from
Mt Pleasant street
car when it traveled under
-- The Rt 20 street car was the best ride for me.
It wasn't until 1960 that my father bought the first family car, a Chevy
Point -- summer evenings at the mini-golf course.
beautiful Christmas displays at Woodies, Hecht's, Kahn's, etc and the lights
(especially after conversion to a mall style).
Shoppes - I remember the one at
Wisconsin Avenue Sears with the rooftop parking.
HS was like the girl's annex to
(or was it the other way around?)
Pleasant Library at 16th Street and Lamont Street
of the first Toy's–R-Us on
just south of
. It looked more like an old warehouse with static displays of the toys on top
of the corresponding boxes.
live in a parade on
18th Street (Adams Morgan area)
. Plus Ranger Hal and Captain Tugg,
among many others.
Scott as Bozo and the FIRST Ronald McDonald's
, Ambassador and Ontario Theatres. The
first has been renovated and redeveloped, the second was destroyed during the
1968 riots, the third was demolished in the late 60's or early 70's (It was a
beautiful movie house but with a tragic history), and the fourth was converted
to other uses. The Ontario had
great first day premiere activities -- The Longest Day and The San Pebbles
included several spotlights, military bands and marching units, speakers and a
few of the main stars -- I got to see them LIVE - less than a block from home.
annual Christmas tree on the little island at 18th and
“old” Children’s Hospital
temporary WW2 buildings around the reflecting Pool
with games, sprinklers and movies at night (projected on a huge sheet)
of the museums along the Mall.
baseball at the
– Carter Baron (got there via the S-2 bus)
) infamous for the spate of suicides.
and RFK Stadiums
– Jammed packed summer afternoons and beautiful fountains.
José Luis "El Gran Puma"
Hello, my name
is Marsha and you asked about the playground at 17th Street and Benning
Road. Could that have been Rosedale Playground? When I was in 4
or 5th grade, I would walk to Rosedale (down 17th Street) and swim in
their pool during the summer time. I believe it was a free.
I remember there was a grocery store across the street where I would go
and by a tiny packet of smoked fish as a treat. I learned to swim in
there and I remember twin brothers, Roger and Roderick, who were
lifeguards there. One of them gave me the courage to jump in the
deep end of the pool and swim across. I never forgot them and have
wondered where they are now.
I lived on Lyman
Place N.E. and would walk all the way to the playground and back by
myself. I wish I could remember how far away that trip really was.
I also remember a movie theater down that way where I would go to the
I have written
on this site before (about a year or so ago) so I won't repeat all of that
but a lot of my memories are the same as most of the others. I used
to think my family was poor but now I realize we had everything
everyone else had in those days, and more. I had no idea the
"little things" I remembered and loved weren't so little after
all. They are absolute treasures. I am so happy my
childhood was so much like everyone's on this site. We all share a
very special bond no matter where we are. Thank you.
WAS BORN IN
D.C. (GARFIELD HOSPITAL ON SHERMAN AVENUE) IN "31 AND LIVED MY
CHILDHOOD IN SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON. I ATTENDED GREENLEAF ELEMENARY &
JEFFERSON JR HIGH, GRADUATING IN '46. I REMEMBER WALKING UP THE STEPS OF
THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT (555 STAIRS) AND RIDING THE SUBWAY THAT WAS
UNDERNEATH THE CAPITOL TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
ALSO PLAYED TENNIS ON THE MALL DURING THE 40'S. DURING THE SUMMERS
ON SUNDAYS TOOK THE FERRY FROM 7TH & M STREETS TO HAINS POINT TO THE
PUBLIC SWIMMING POOL. THE FERRY WAS 5 CENTS.
BRIGHTWOOD IN '46 AND ATTENDED COOLIDGE HIGH. REMEMBER THE HS
FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES. EVERYONE HAD A SWEATER WITH THE GREK
LETTERS. I WAS AND AM STILL A MEMBER OF THE SIGMA ALPHA RHO FRATERNITY AND
WE STILL MEET THE 4TH SUNDAY IN OCTOBER OF EVERY YEAR FOR A REUNION
Oh Boy! I was born in the back seat of Diamond Cab #7 at 7:00 am on 12/23/38;
my father was driving the cab. It was snowing and sleeting. Grew up in the Mt.
Pleasant area. 1661 Park Rd. Apt.26, then Apt.23, (now a condo) then a small
rental house at 1613 Monroe St., NW. CO (lumbia)-1564 was our phone #. 8 years
at Sacred Heart Grade School (Dominican Nuns) on Park Road. CYO Basketball
Champs coached by Father Cole. Altar boy at Sacred Heart (The Shrine of)...Gonzaga
High School ('56) and later Georgetown Law (Night) '66. My older brother and I
would ride with my father in his cab on the catholic holidays when we got off
school and the public schools were in session. He would pick up politicians,
Supreme Court Justices, etc...a nickel for a High's Ice Cream Cone, or the
"Dixie" Cups with the movie stars pictures on the back of the
lids...playing baseball at 16th & Kennedy...snow sledding on Rock Creek
Hill...basketball at Powell Playground with the Baylor brothers, including
Elgin... The "Nats"...Eddie Yost, Wayne Terwilliger, Mickey Vernon,
Mickey Grasso, Bob Porterfield, Jim Busby, Arch MacDonald (announcer..."ABC
Inning...ABC Always Buy Chesterfield")...Uline Arena &
"Bones" McKinney & the "Caps"...the Tivoli and Savoy
theaters on 14th st... 15th st. hill & Meridian Hill Park...the
"Downtown" Theaters on "F" St...."Go Gonzaga, Beat St.
John's"....The Redskins...Sammy Baughj and Wayne Milner...Eddie LeBaron,
Charlie Taylor, Bobby Mitchell, George Preston Marshall..."Hail To The
Redskins, Hail Victory, Braves on the Warpath, FIGHT for old DC!!!!!!!!!!"
....standing up and making the trolley rock on the click/click tracks to Glen
Echo...the pool in the Ambassador Hotel...running under the fire hydrant on hot
summer days...making "biscuits" of the Daily News newspaper (Scripps/
Howard) and throwing them on peoples porches from my wagon... Boy Scout Troop
301...Heller's Bakery (the BEST doughnuts)...the Parades!!!! - Shriner's , VFW,
American Legion, the Inaugurals...the iron drinking basins for the horses...the
knife sharpener carrying his wheel on his back, ringing his bell,,,the junk men
doing the same with their horses and wagons...the zoo, and especially the
bears...Zlotnick the Furrier on G St. with the big white polar bear in
front...Charlie Byrd at the "Showboat"...the Marine Corps Band...the
"Mighty Mo" hamburger at Hot Shoppes...the 14th street stores -
Murphy's ,Kresge's, Kinney Shoes, Waxy Maxy Music, Junior & Senior Proms at
the Shoreham; the introduction of the "2-way" Studebaker at the 1948
auto show at the DC Armory...the building of the tunnel under DuPont
Circle...the train crashing into Union Station (it is STILL there-they just
covered it over)...sunday chamber music concerts at the Art Gallery
(free)...Charlie Wong's Restaurant at 6th & G. and the "Good
Earth" at Conn. & 18th..so many, many summer days in the Mt. Pleasant
Library (it was cool)... picnics at Annapolis Roads and getting stung by
nettles...Milt Grant building Drum Point and making WTTG Ch.5 "work"
after vhe Dumont network failed - with "Hoppity Skippity" (AND he gave
Jim Henson and his "muppets" their start - Wilken's Coffee)..."Tippy"
Stringer the weather girl on Ch.9..."Footlight Theater"...Eddie
Gallagher on the radio every morning...WMAL, WOR, Bob Mayhew and Mac Knight All
Night...Peace Cross flooding every heavy rain...the names for areas -
"Swamp Poodle"; "Foggy Bottom", "Tenley Town".
"Mt. Pleasant", "Federal Triangle", "Anacostia",
"Foxhall"...somebody was always jumping off the Connecticut Ave.
bridge...Morgan Wooten and the DeMatha basketball dynasty...free band concerts
and plays at the floating amphiteater on the Potomac just down from the Lincoln
Memorial...bus tickets for 2 cents...a DC Transit Weekly Pass for $2...rationing
tokens during WWII and getting tokens for bringing fat drippings and gum foil
wrappers to the grocery store...4 cab companies - Yellow, Diamond, Bell and
Black & White...Segregation...the Howard Theater..."Colored"
signs,,,"White Only" signs everywhere...the "colored" people
on the back of the trolley or bus...Gonzaga was the 1st integrated high school
and had to play sports in Pennsylvania because they could not play segregated DC
schools...Jazz at "The Bayou"...hanging around Griffith Stadium,
listening to the game on the radio, hoping to get a ball hit out of the park and
exchange it for a bleacher seat (or keep it if it was hit by Ted Williams or
Mickey Vernon, etc. and get an autograph after the game...); all the bail
bonding places on 5th st.; the special feeling if you got a gift in a
Garfinkle's Box...the MacGruder's Grocery Stores..."Wings" &
"Fatima" cigarettes; National Bohemian Beer, Gunther's, Ram's Head
Ale, Valley Forge Beer, the seafood restaurants on Maine Ave - "Hogates",
the "Flagship"...the Arena Stage... the Taft Carillon on the
"Hill"...all the high school kids from all over the country every
spring...the catholic girls schools with their different uniforms...the St.
John's high school cadets in their uniforms...O. Roy Chalk and DC Transit (he
also owned Glen Echo)....Valle's Candies on G St...Avignon Freres on Kalorama
Rd., Britts for breakfast at 2 am on a sunday morning in Georgetown...when
Georgetown was a slum and you could have bought a townhouse for $4000 and it
would now be worth $4M...coal bins in every apartment house and in homes...ice
boxes and the BIG ice delivery men with that heavy leather apron...Dr. Markwood
coming to my apartment every day, letting himself in, when I was bed-ridden with
"whooping cough" for over 2 months...the OLD EBITT Grill on F st..."Blackie's"
Restaurant for the best steaks, and "Gusti's" for the best
Italian...visiting friends in "IRON LUNGS" during the 40's and then
later getting the polio vaccine free at DC General Hospital...and I could go on
and on...DC was a great place to grow up...then...
Richard Loftus RWLoftus@mac.com
This is a
wonderful web site. I grew up in NW
Washington and the surrounding metropolitan
area. I have very vivid memories of my
childhood and am writing a novel set during
WWII, with DC and those times as the
As soon as I
read all the other contributions, I'll send
in some of my own memories.
Has anyone ever
considered a get-together of us
oldtimers who've contributed to this page?
NOTE FROM DEBI - GREAT IDEA!!!!!!!!!! ANYONE??
This is a very cool site. I was born and raised in Washington,
D.C. in 1959. My mother was born and raised in Foggy Bottom
Georgetown in 1934. My grandparents owned a house on 21st and
Virginia Avenue to be exact. I now work at the
Washington Harbor in Georgetown. I took my mom out driving one
afternoon and we came up to the Washington Harbor and as I drove she
would point out different areas to me and tell me what they used to
look like and what was once there. What is now Georgetown's
beautiful Washington Harbor filled with restaurants, businesses and
condos, was once a shipyard. That beautiful stretch along the
Kennedy Center and the Watergate were the homes of my mom's old childhood
friends. She went on to tell me how she and her
sisters and friends when they were kids used to rollerskate down to
the very spot where the George Washington Hospital now stands.
It's funny, she went on to say how her sister fell at the
construction site when they were building George Washington Hospital
and broke her leg from climbing the fence during it's construction.
14th and U Street used to be a fabulous strip of cafes, bars, and
clubs (think harlem renaissance). My mom was happy to see a
lot of that area uptown being restored back to it's original lustre.
She's a true DC girl.
am I. When I was born in 1959 at the Washington Hospital
Center, my family was living on 14th and Clifton, N.W. From
what they tell me, during that time you could walk up and down that
street anytime of the day or night and not fear for your safety.
As the family grew, we then moved to 9th street, S.E. on Capital
Hill (as kids one of our favorite outings on Sunday was walking to
the capital, the monument, all the museums), then we moved on to
1101 7th (which is now an old folks home) and then on to 3rd and I
street, S.E. about 3 blocks up from the Navy Yard on M street
where my parents lived for 26 years or so. Talk about history,
I remember sitting in the living room on the floor watching the
"I Had A Dream Speech" I remember watching President
Kennedy's funeral. I remember standing on the porch petrified
at the smoke from the riots of 1968. There was black smoke
everywhere, I thought the world was on fire. My parents let
us stand on the porch and we couldn't leave the stoop as we watched
what we thought was DC burning to the ground. I remember the
stores would put large pictures of Martin Luther King in their
windows to show respect and to not be vandalized. And yes, I
do remember playing at the Kennedy playground when I would go uptown
to visit my uncle and that train that's now in the museum. I
remember parties at our house. My mom decked out in cool chic
outfits with her gogo boots and Diana Ross and Supremes wigs.
I think my dad thought he could sing like Sam Cooke. (smile)
attended Van Ness elementary school which still sits across from the
Navy Yard on M Street, S.E. I then transferred to Giddings
Elementary which you can see from the SW freeway which has now been
turned into a Results Gym. I then attended Jefferson Jr. High
School in S.W. I remember when our history teacher would
conduct class on hot days outside in the school yard and we would
sit and watch the demolition of the original Hogates restaurant.
amazing when I'm jetting across the S.W. freeway in the morning on
my way to work (I'm a legal document specialist for a law firm in
Georgetown), I get to a certain point crossing that bridge and I
have to sometimes look to the right at my old elementary school.
I then look to the left at the 501, 601, and 625 apt complexes which
are now gone. The entire Arthur Caper projects - gone or
boarded up. Further down M Street past the Navy Yard, the
infamous Tracks nightclub and Chapter II club, all the party harty
places within walking distance of 3rd street, have all been replaced
with new office buildings, and all the people and the players - long
gone. But, boy do some good memories still remain,
(believe it or not, there were many many good memories -- the hood
of the old days was so not like what I hear about nowadays), like
buying paper dolls from the 5 and 10 cent store on Pennsylvania
Avenue and 8th Street, S.E., playing hot bread-n-butter, tag, hop
scotch, jacks, the Good Humor Man and let's not forget Mr. Frosty;
trick or treating through Garfield park getting chased for our candy
by the older kids - screeching and laughing all the way, and as I
grew up, dances on Friday nights at the rec centers, hanging out
with my little boyfriend in Garfield park on summer nights, sitting
on the batman poll watching the cars fly across the SW freeway while
grooves like the four tops, temptations and aretha played on the
radio; going to block parties, cook outs, blue lights in the
basement, hanging out on the stoops; and the fashions - aw man! afro
wigs, hot pants, sizzlers, marshmallow shoes, buffalo sandals and
soul train, aaaaaah, hot fun in the summer time. And, for a
brief second as I'm driving to work, I suspend in time and flash
back but (laugh) unfortunately I have to return to the reality of a
horn in the next lane blaring, and I think, with a smile, as I'm
changing lanes while approaching Main Avenue passing the Bureau of
Engraving, "aaah warm summer days and cool times, growing up in
the hood of Arthur Caper, chilling out on the stoop. Whether
it be red hots, lemon heads, sweet tarts or blowpops, it'll will
always be remembered with a smile.
Both my wife and I were born and raised in DC
(1947). I lived at 10th & M St N.W. and went to the old Calvert
School (long since closed) at St. Mathews Cathedral in 1st grade.
Then moved to S.E. (Just behind Sousa Jr. High) and went to Our Lady Queen
of Peace (QOP) before moving back to N.W. (14th & Military Rd.) and
graduating from St. John's College Prep in 1965. Anyone remember
the unfortunate riot at the end of the City Championship Football
game between Eastern High and St. Johns at the then D.C. Stadium? My
wife attended Nativity Catholic grade school and went to Immaculate
Conception Academy downtown in Foggy Bottom for H.S. We remember
almost all of the things mentioned by the other contributors (Glen Echo
Park, Hains Point, Griffith Stadium, Wonder Bread Bakery, Polar Bear,
Giffords, Stevenson's Bakery, Sheridan Theater (We both worked there for
awhile), street cars, etc. How about seeing the Redskin players dancing at
the Rabbits Foot (?), Sonny Jurgenson hanging out at the Dancing Crab
(?) or the picture of the owner of the Locker Room, Gary Youish
(sic), hanging over the bar, boxing (and losing) to a very young Cassius
Clay? Before we were old enough to go to these great watering holes (Only
needed to be 18 in those days) we used to attend CYO dances at St.
Bernadette's on University Blvd. every Friday night for years.
I grew up very interested in fast cars and my
good friend Doug Fleharty founded "Douglas Speed" on Fenton St.
(Silver Spring), still there but owned by someone else now. We were very
heavy into the drag racing scene back then and I remember sneaking onto
the Not Yet Opened to the Public Beltway (Rt 495) and race all comers
until early in the morning...or until the police showed up!! I would look
forward to seeing the new hot cars at Hick's Chevrolet (If any of you
remember, Malcolm Durham was a mechanic there before becoming one of the
countries most recognizable African/American race car drivers).
Our neighborhood in N.W. was a wonderful place
with great big, large Italian families with lots of kids to play baseball
and pick-up football with. The little harmonica player, Johnny Puleo was
everybody's Uncle (He and his very extended family lived on Tuckerman
St.) and we would call every friends mother "Mom" and
they would treat us like their own. I, and most of my buddies, delivered
the "Evening Star" newspaper to make a little spending cash. My
girlfriend Marie (now my wife) would deliver my papers when the good
brothers of St. John's would see fit to punish me for goofing off in
school. Yes we had discipline back then...and our parents agreed, no they
actually encouraged, it! I did a lot of hanging out at the Silver Spring
Hot Shoppe, Marie favored the one on Conn. Ave. but we both considered
ourselves children of the "Avenue" (Wisconsin). After all that's
where all of the aforementioned watering holes were located. I could go on
and on, but hopefully these lines may jog your Memories. DC is a
special place and growing up there in the 50's and 60's was too.
Editors Note: I was at the Dancing Crab one night after a Redskins
Sideline Show (remember those)?? Anyhow, everyone was there - Riggo, all
the Hogs, Sonny..............they were getting ready to go Duck hunting the next
day. They were rather tipsy (to say the least) ..we had a
blast. Does anyone remember THE LODGE??? The Dancing Crab was the Lodge in
earlier years. I used to hang out there quite a bit.
I was born in old Sibley hospital and lived in the city and suburbs for 55
years, before moving to Fl. I read the memory about the train crashing thru the
train station. Around 1950 or so. I was at a gas station a few blocks from Union
Station, and heard the Crash. I rushed over to the station and they were already
putting up wooden barricades. The same day a store that sold tires, batteries,
and other auto parts, blew up on H st. n.e., not far away. There was also a
streetcar crash. It was a busy day. I lived in northwest d.c., not far from
Coolidge High School.
I grew up in D.
C. myself and my dad and mom were from there
too. My daddy was Danny Powell and he
played music with Charlie Byrd and Stan
Kenton in his day. I am a vocalist in
Las Vegas now. My mom's name was
Eunice, but they called her Jerry. My
whole family worked in the D. C. area, and I
remember going on Pic Temple Show. I
sang at the Casino Royal at the age of 5.
I lived in Congress Heights on Highview
Place, and I'd love to find some of my old
buddies. I lived on G St. S. E. when I
was little. Thanks for this wonderful
site, and keep up the good work.
Born in DC in 1943 at Old Providence
Hospital. Lived across from the Navy Yard.
Graduated from Anacostia High School .
Remember the Sousa Bridge, Little Tavern,
Glen Echo, Marshall Hall (on the boat ride),
Mr. Henry's where Roberta Flack began. What
Art Turmelle -- Art Turmelle Coordinator
Campus Abroad Program Foothill College
grew up in Falls Church, Virginia -
but I also remember Hechts, Woodies,
Kanns - anyone remember the monkeys at
Kanns? My mother used to take me
and my 2 sisters there, she would
always buy us those packs of Lollipop
underwear! And in the shoe
department was a stage with
stairs going up both sides and behind
the glass were a bunch of monkeys!!
So weird to think of it now..
e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you remember
I am retired from the U.S. Navy and was stationed at the Naval Medical Center
from 1957-59. During that time I visited the usual areas of nighttime
entertainment to include, but not limited to Guys, Rands, and Hayloft. Also Glen
Echo. My favorite pastime was going to the Hot Shoppes in Bethesda, cruising the
parking lot in hopes of getting a young lady's attention. To this day I would
give most anything for a Teen Twist Sandwich from the Hot Shoppes. I would spend
two more tours of duty in the D.C. area in 1962-69 at the Navy Yard, living on
Wayne Place, SE. My last tour of duty was from 1970-74 at the Naval Medical
Center. It was a memorable experience. I located a web site from old WPGC radio.
Listening to this really brought back many happy memories. Oh! for a trip to
Eddie Leonards for a sandwich. I really enjoyed reading all the comments.
It brings back many pleasant memories.
Hi my name Randy I noticed a post from a Eunice she speaks of the same places
as my Mother Bernice did and she spoke of a Eunice thanks for any
hi Debi, just read all of the memories about DC in the good OLD days,so
thought I would add somethings to it, VJ day I was a newspaper the daily
News and remember going up aned down 14th street near the old Arcade in a
convertible selling extras to anyone and everyone, a happier time I cant
quite remember. An afterthought to some of you who may remember
Central High School located at 13th and Clifton street, the school
closed in 1950 , well we just celebrated a reunion at Leisure World in
Silver Spring and had over 150 of us in attendance, on top of that we have
what is known as a Jocks reunion every 3months and a few years ago it
started out with just 10 to 12 guys and enrollment now is over 80. our
best attendance has been 55 of us at one luncheon, held at Ferdinands
restaurant in Wheaton. Amazing to me that after all these years of a
school being closed , reunions are held . It is a blast to see all of your
friends from that era. just as this has been a great read. Did not
recall whether anyone mentioned Bronaughs Pharmacy at 14th and Monroe, or
Savoy and Tivoli Theatres and the Starlite Lounge on Irving St..... Still
living here I can tell you the town is as great as ever , and it is still
Hi Debbie Wow, just stumbled across your website and had some wonderful
memories in the process. I am a native of DC (as were my parents) born in
'47 and left in 1974 for Wisconsin as they were beginning the diggings for
the new metro. Lived in SE DC and graduated from Anacostia HS in 1965. My
friends and I would frequent the Highland Theater (on Pennsylvania Ave
SE)...also the Naylor Theater. Also Brestlers? Drug Store (good ice cream
sodas) a few blocks closer to the bridge over the Anacostia River. My
father played with the Tiny Meeker musicians on the Wilson Line most week
nights in the summer during the early 1950's as it came down the Potomac
to Marshall Hall Amusement Park. What a treat it was to dance in that big
ballroom on the boat. Jim Henson who I believe was from Hyattsville
started the Muppets in DC in the 50's on a show called, "Sam and
Friends." The Muppets that had about a 5-minute spot before or after
the 6:00 and 11:00 news, used to feature"Mush" as he gnawed on a
frog who looked like todays Kermit. I believe they also did the Wilkins
Coffee commercials. Arthur Godfrey show was also local. I still tell
people about the Stephenson Bakery's pies. The bakery on Pennsylvania Ave
SE was destroyed when they built the overpass there near the Anacostia
River. I worked while in school at Lansburgh's Dept Store in the Ladies
Leather Goods on the 1st fl with Estelle Esenstad and Bertha Friedman.
When the store had sales I remember customers running up the down
escalators in order to get upstairs before everyone else! The tea room
used to host visiting stars, like Andy Williams. I still occasionally have
dreams about St Francis Xaviar Elementary School in SE DC and Morton's
Dept Store at PA & MN Avenues! -
Bonnie (Bell) Abrams
got this email from the washington d.c.
memories site. i would like you to
post this so i can get back in contact
with my old friends. thank you
My name is Joe Biscieglia and I am
answering Barbara Cardoza Coffman. We
went to school in the 8th grade at
Holy Name together. We used to hang
around on west virginia avenue
together. Holy Name Convent has been
torn down and a few years ago I worked
on a building at Gallaudet College.
Times change don't they. I recently
saw a friend of yours, Janice Pell and
Larry Wheeler and if you would like to
get in contact with me, please
email my granddaughter Lauren at Girl4soccer@comcast.net
I dont have an email so we can
communicate through my granddaughter.
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
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