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Submissions that I received from 2001 through 2003 are posted at
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those I received in 2004 are posted at
those I received in 2005 are posted at
those I received in 2006 are posted at
those I received in 2007 are posted at
those I received in 2008 are posted at
those I received in 2009 are posted at
those I received in 2010 are posted at
memories currently being sent in are at
For all you former "Altar Boys": "Ad deum qui laetificat juventutem meam."
(Missouri Sales Tax Tokens, commonly referred to as "mils".
Red ones were worth 1/10 of a penny, green ones worth 1/2 a penny)
This twenty-five cents would get you a double feature and a
bunch of cartoons to boot.
On April 4, 2001, I posted a few memories I had of growing up in St. Louis. I received so many great replies that I thought I'd post some of them here.
Original Post from Dave Lossos
I remember when my phone number was Mohawk 2343
I remember going to see a double feature at the Ritz Theater for 25 cents.
I remember coming into the movie in the middle and eventually saying to the person I was with "This is where we came in".
I remember the way to get your friend to come out to play was to stand in front of their house and yell their name (was this a St. Louis thing?).
I remember the first time I had the nerve to wear "bermuda shorts".
I remember getting all the news I needed from a St. Louis publication called "Prom Magazine".
I remember (as a ten year old) being sent to the corner tavern to get my grandma a pail of draft beer.
I remember riding the Grand Avenue electric street cars.
I remember riding my bike in Tower Grove Park (even after dark!).
Response from Pat
I was raised on a farm, but I remember some of those things too. We must be the same age!!
Response from Mary
I remember playing stoop ball.
I remember playing marbles.
I remember being able to walk down alleys. I remember walking everywhere.
I remember having to use my imagination to make up games because we didn't have all the toys they have today, such as Red Rover, Swing the Statue. I remember playing with nothing but a bean bag.
I remember neighborhood grocery stores and confectionaries.
I remember hunting for soda bottles to turn in for 2 cents to by candy (and you could buy candy for 2 cents).
I remember going to the show with 50 cents. Seeing two cartoons, the feature, a serial and still being able to buy popcorn and a soda.
I remember having to tell my parents where I was at all times and they knew who my friends were, their names and where they lived.
Times sure have changed.
Response from Pat
we used to ride the bellefontaine streetcar from one end of
town to the other and the Salisbury bus from one end of it to the
other this was our Sunday afternoons!!!
we used to go to Bremen show and walk back through Hyde park what a wonderful time
all those parents and families walking through the park home My parents dropped me off at Macklind show on arsenal to see GONE WITH THE WIND they went to tavern and then came after me .. all my friends were there too
when I graduated from Clay School we all went down on Grand Ave to Fox Theatre for graduation present there must have been 10 of us what a great time we had
Response from Jan
I did most of the same things too!!!!!! wouldn't dream of it
We had the Welston & Victory show in Welston,and the Gem Show in St.John's which was one of my hang out's.
I remember paying 10 cents to ride the street car.
We also had an Overland Show in no less Overland.
And O!!!!! the fun at the Airway Drive-IN.
I think we all lived in the best of times.
Response from Elaine
This brings back a lot of good memories. I grew up around Grand
and Chippewa--went to Scruggs and Cleveland High School.
What a godsend to people like me living out of town.
Response from Dominic
OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVE! Must be a St. Louis
My goodness did you bring back my childhood experiences.
NO ONE, I mean NO ONE, believes me when I tell them that I use to go to the corner tavern (most in there new me by name) and buy a PAIL of beer for my Dad and his sister.
The HiWAY theatre that I use to frequent always had a serial too, Rocket Man was my favorite.
Prospect 3307 was my south St. Louis phone number.
I was mortified when my Father MADE me wear bermuda shorts.
At the age of 12 I used to take the bus and then a streetcar to Sportsman's park to see my hero Stan the Man and yes that was to NIGHT games also.
Mills.....can you believe prices were such that you could cut a DOLLAR into a 1000 parts? Streetcars took mils I remember using the red and green ones.
Bottle caps in the alley was my neighborhoods cork ball. Only the rich people got to play in those cages down on Twelth street (I believe)
Grade School picnics after finals right before summer at the Chain-of-Rocks park.
3 minutes to heaven...play a slow record and neck with your girlfriend or someone elses.
The GREAT ole days!!!!!!
Memories.......thanks for rekindling mine
Response from Barbara
We must be the same age and lived within walking distance of each other.
Response from Charles
You must be one of us older guys!
Response from Lisa
Wow, you can't be all that old, because I remember most of this
stuff, too and I'm not that old!
Our phone number was Dicken6040.
We had "marked quarters" for our pinball machines from the Vending company.
Running around in the woods with no shoes on.
Running around ANYWHERE, and our parents did have an eagle-eye on us every minute!
Popping tar bubbles on really hot Missouri afternoons.
The first time I wore a gaucho outfit and everyone thought I was hip.
Response from Gary
"I remember (as a ten year old) being sent to the corner tavern to get my grandma a pail of draft beer." While I'm sure you are MUCH older than I, my Great Aunt's southside "Dutch" described this as "rushin' the growler" - the "growler" was the pail.
Response from William
Brought back memories, I remember allies, cork-ball, and bottle caps. Rode the Lee ave bus to Grand Ave to catch the street car to go to the YMCA to swim, (across from the old Sportsman Park) when I was 7. Mom taught me how.
Response from B
While I never lived in St. Louis, Grandma did - Evergreen 3312.
Did you see the "Body Snatcher" at the Fox? Great movie, my brother & I would act out the entire movie for weeks.
Did you "eat out" at the automat after the show? So magic to put coins in the slot and the door would open.
The one man band on the streetcar going home, he had spoons, washboard and would sing. We were always given a few coins to put in his cup.
Over in Illinois - The "hot tamale" man came around with a metal case over his shoulder shouting get your "hot tamales." They came with real corn husks.
After we kids brought that pail of beer home from the saloon, it was passed around the room and all the men would take a drink from it!
Dark green window shades to keep the sun from fading the furniture.
The evening news on KMOX with the theme song for a brewery, Roll Out the Barrel - silence in the house so Dad could hear the news!
Response from Barb
Well Dave, now you've done it...brought the rest of us old
farts out of memory lane and on to email. (You young farts can either
delete or come along for the ride.)
I remember that "name thing" too..usually preceded by "oh" and called in a kind of melodious singsong.."Oh, Johnny.."
I just missed the 4 digit phone numbers but COlfax1-9165 is burned into my brain for all time
I remember when "Howdy Doody" muffins, as my mother called them, were 5 cents
I remember the morning our first television set was delivered and when the man turned it on there was Garry Moore and Durward Kirby.
I remember a special treat on a hot summer night was to walk up to Bircher Ave just west of Kingshighway..by the ball diamonds..there was a miniature golf course and an ice cream stand next to it (this was before Hwy 70 existed)
And when Hwy 70 was being completed (after the workmen went home) I would take my new Schwinn racer up on the highway and RIDE! Absolutely fly!
I remember when the little boy across the street got polio and died and the next year Dr. Salk discovered his vaccine and we all had to get "shots" at school (and I still have that little boys photo)
I remember the streetcars on Grand Ave too, that was usually a doctors visit or shopping with Grandma
I remember mils
I remember confectionaries (and, oh, what a shabby thing a 'convenience store" is by comparison)
I remember milk delivered by Quality Dairy, the White's Bread truck, the produce truck going down the street in summer with the driver singing out "str-aww-berrr-ies.. STRAWBERRIES!"
I remember going to the Northside YMCA on Grand for swimming lessons and once a season going across the street to Sportsmans Park to see the Cardinals play
I remember the movies too, usually the Rio on Riverview or the Pauline on Emerson, wheere you got two movies, a couple of cartoons and a dozen previews for that 25 cents
I remember the rare occasions when the family would get dressed up and go to the Big movies..usually the Fox or St. Louis. And wasn't that a mind boggling, jaw dropping place to walk into for an 8 year old!
Whoo, I need to stop for awhile..too many memories..gonna take myself to Crown Candy for a chili tamale and some ice cream. It's not just for breakfast anymore, you know.
Response from George
"I remember when my phone number was Mohawk 2343" I can remember our ring being 2 longs and a short.
Response from Marie
I remember some of those things too, I was born in St.Louis,
down on 14th and Salisbury.
I went to Clay School Elem. and Hadley Tech, I remember riding the streetcars and going dowtown and seeing all the windows in the stores live with displays for christmas. Plus going to see Santa Claus and standing in line and getting a toy afterward.
Going out to Chain Of Rocks Amusement Park and riding the rides or roller skating or watching the fireworks on the 4th of July.
I remember going downtown for the St Patricks parade and all the good stars they had at the arena. I saw Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rodgers and Dale Evans and their horses. I also saw Gene Autry and Sonja Henie and RIngling Brothers Circus several times.
Lots of good memories from back then. Thanks for the memories.
Response from Karen
...whether or not standing in front of someone's house and yelling their name was "a St. L. thing." I think so and this is why. My father was "mentored" by a Catholic priest, a Father James Murray. When they wanted him, they would stand in front of the rectory (I guess) of the Assumption and call, "Father Murray. Father Murray."
Response from Bob
"I remember when my phone number was Mohawk 2343"
"I remember going to see a double feature at the Ritz Theater for 25 cents."
"I remember coming into the movie in the middle and eventually saying to the person I was with "This is where we came in"."
"I remember the way to get your friend to come out to play was to stand in front of their house and yell their name (was this a St. Louis thing?)."
"I remember the first time I had the nerve to wear "bermuda shorts"."
"I remember (as a ten year old) being sent to the corner tavern to get my grandma a pail of draft beer."
And, in '47, the year of my discharge, I got my army canteen filled with same.
"I remember riding the Grand Avenue electric street cars."
And especially the Clayton 04 Toonerville Trolley. And the big news in '36 when the red PCC streetcars were introduced. And the Manchester car over the big bridge then used only by streetcars. And the Southhampton loop.
"I remember riding my bike in Tower Grove Park (even after dark!)."
I biked more in Francis Park.
Response from Frances
I remembeer the Creve Couer streetcar from Delmar Loop to Creve
Couer Lake - because it could not turn around, there was no "back"
, it had two "fronts". the drvier just went to the other
Also the mills, saving up ten to buy a piece of penny candy. I still have a couple of them.
I remember begging the ice man for a chunk of ice to suck on in the summer time.
The Panda bear at the St. Louis Zoo.
Milk being delivered on the front porch in glass bottles (a case at a time - large family) and if we did not get it in the winter, the cream on top would freeze and tasted soooo good.
Response from Tom
How about playing fuzz ball with a tennis ball and broom handle
on the playground at Rose Fanning School.
Playing Indian ball at the cork ball fields in Tower Grove Park.
Watching the men play cork ball and getting big chunks of ice to suck on out of their coolers.
Collecting soda bottles and buying 'dots' (suger candy dots on a strip of paper) at the corner store.
Climbing up on garage roofs just to prove we could.
Response from Bill
I remember the Dor and Zeller bakery on DeBaliviere (400 block) and K.O. Koverly's restaurant where radio personality Rush Hughes used to hang out.
Response from Mary
Who remembers "Phil" the Gorilla at the St.Louis Zoo?
Remember the man who came around to sharpen knives and his cart that he pushed around?
Remember when some of the city streets were bricks and not paved?
Remember catching fire flies and putting them in a jar with holes in the lid? I don't think I have seen fire flies in years.
Remember walking to school because it was within a few blocks of where you lived?
I remember the ice man and the milk being delivered.
Response from Audrey
I loved the St. Louis Memories from Dave. I too have always
wondered if standing outside a friend's house and calling his/her
name was a St. Louis thing. I can remember sometimes calling for
almost an hour before I decided no one was home.
My phone number was FLanders 4813 (in South St. Louis near Hampton Village).
The scissors grinder
The strawberry man
The paper boy with the cart with no tires (We could hear him coming from the end of the block.) I always thought he was saying, "Arnie, Arnie Ottie." How I got that out of "Sunday Morning Post and Globe Paaaaaaper," I'll never know.
Playing kick the can and cork ball
Walking home from the Ivanhoe show at 11 p.m. by cutting through the alleys. And it was a fairly long walk at that.
Anyone remember what kind of candy we bought for a penny? What about mills? There were green mills and red mills, but I don't remember which were worth more.
We played a game called Mill. Don't remember much about it, however.
Response from Marcia
Well, I can't stand it anymore -- I have to write!! Only some
of my fond memories are of St L. as I grew up in Joplin! Had lots of
family in St L and surrounding suburbs though, and we visited quite
often! I remember going to neighboring houses with my cousins and
hearing them call out for their friends. I wasn't surprised in the
least because we did the same thing in Joplin!! In the evenings the
main sounds were of kids calling out to their friends and parents
calling to their children to come home!! Some nights it could be
quite a cacaphony!!
I had an aunt and uncle who lived at 8277 Morganford Road!! They had no children, but I loved going there just because the street was curved and the address sounded so classy to a child's ear!! (Though I have to admit I still like the way it sounds!!) It was also the first house I'd ever been in that was called "ranch style" and I wondered and wondered why they called it that when it obviously wasn't on a ranch!!
In Joplin, in the late '40s, my phone number was 4773-J -- and thanks for letting me put in my 2¢ when I didn't even live in St. Louis!!
I remember the end of the year school parades and how we spent days creating the perfect banner to carry in that parade.
Response from Jan
Boarding the buses after the parade to go to the Forest Park
Highlands, and later to Chain-of-Rocks Amusement Park.
Going to the corner store, at about age 10, to buy a pack of cigarettes (unfiltered at that time) for my father.
Girl Scout Day Camp every summer at Carondelet Park.
Walking or taking public transportation everywhere we went. It was unthinkable to ask a parent for a ride.
Every family on the block having 3 - 5 children.
Most of the father's in a two block area working at Anheuser-Busch. My father and a few other men pooled their money to buy one car in which to car pool to work, thus leaving their one family car for the convenience of their wives.
The Morganford Park Improvement Association having an annual block party, and at Christmas, sponsoring a visit from Santa to every home in the subdivision. Santa even brought gifts. Halloween was a wonderful time, we spent months practicing songs/dances/jokes to present, and working on our costumes. I always associated doing a great "trick" (songs/jokes) would result in a bigger treat. It was a shock to find out, upon moving to California that this was not a universal practice, and have really missed it.
On our block, most families had different ways of calling their children home. One used a triangle, another a large slide whistle; my family used a large bell.
Everyone on the block ate dinner at 5 PM. My father still does to this day.
Response from Harry
I was one of the paperboys with the steel wheeled wagons.
How about bottlecaps in the alley. Played it like cork ball.
In our area the tomale man had a hot steam wagon and they were 10 cents each I could it 10 without any trouble.
And of course White Castle hamburgers on special 12 for a dollar. Each of my grandparents ate two each I got the rest.( hey they were small and I was growing)
Response from Kathy
Dave, that publication for teens was called "Prom
Magazine". Each high school had a correspondent.
I remember watching the fireworks from the Police Circus when it was held at Public School Stadium.
Who remembers dancing to Ike and Tina Turners Band at Club Imperial. I was all of 16 years old. They didn't serve us liquor, but they would let us dance there. My father would have killed me if he had known I was in such a place.
I remember when downtown St. Louis was decorated like the town in "It's a Wonderful Life" at Christmas. I also remember the great toy windows at Famous, Stix and even Scruggs-Vandervoort.
Response from Jan
How about the ration's books.
...our exchange was Harrison and we had a 2 party line for years.
My husband's grandfather was a scissors grinder down in the city,and one more Sam the water melon man,and the Ice man.
Response from Linda
The hot tamale man in south city whenever we visited my aunt
(why I developed and still have a fascination for the city...)
Turtle soup at the taverns my dad delivered liquor to...although I always ate a hamburger.
The Tower movie theater, and the Rio, and the theater in Baden, though I must be MUCH younger than Dave Lossos :), cuz they cost 50 cents by the time we were going...
Chain of Rocks park for school picnics (that goofy Gypsy fortune teller used to both fascinate and scare me)
The OLD boat rides in Forest Park and how summer wasn't summer if we didn't do the grand tour of the zoo, art museum, and Jefferson Memorial (History Museum now), Jewel Box and a picnic
"dog tags" every kid wore
those spring "one button" coats that resembled today's fleece jackets so much.
Easter hats and a purse shaped like an umbrella
my cousin's pedal car
the chrome kerosene lamp we used often because the slightest storm would knock our power in north county (hey, wait a minute......it still does!!!)
Driving through the area the tornado of 1957?? hit so hard the road we lived being dirt and level with the road till they paved it ca 1955
Oh my, getting to River Roads on Saturday mornings to check out the new albums and singles in Woolworth's! And the top hits list with song lyrics on the back from KXOK!!
And those goofy white go-go boots...
Response from Barbara
I remember seeing my first bag of Fritos there when they first
came out about 1945 or so.
In summer there was a man who came down our street pushing a cart with ice cream in it.
Also in summer there was the Huckster selling vegetables from his truck which was built especially for this purpose.
After the paper started getting delivered it was thrown from another truck, made for this purpose. A man drove while two boys stood on the back step tying and throwing papers.
I can remember the poor lady across the street who got two telegrams from the government in the same morning. Such sadness!
Oh, and I can remember during the was Pevely Dairy making the rounds with a horse drawn wagon.
I remember the scissor grinder well. We used to turn our tricycles over and pretend we were him.
Response from Pat in FL
We walked to school come rain or snow or shine.
The little store on they way to school and spent our lunch money on penny candy and then charged our lunch, Mom was sure mad.
I loved the pretzel man who on the corner selling them for 5 cents.
We went to the theatre in Overland on the weekends cost maybe a nickel to get in.
Ice skating in the road when it would freeze.
Velvet Freeze Ice Cream.
Normandy Senior High School having to walk almost a mile to the school bus stop. No rides for us.
Me being the operator in Ferguson before dial phones. It was fun.
I remember living in O'fallen Mo and driving to St. Charles every day and it was all open fields.
Response from Gary
Learning - and using - the art of hitchhiking. We knew the city
and environs well before access to our first car.
Steinberg for skating and the girls, of course. Wish Steinburg would have had clockwise skating to go with the counter-clockwise. I could only skate going to my left after learning there! Even though her name is long forgotten after 40+ years, my best friend and I, to this day, still remember a phone number acquired from a Steinburg young lady - EVergreen 5-4795. We had nothing to write on, so we kept repeating the number all the way home. Unfortunately for me, he was the only one who ever saw her after that!
Response from Norma
I remember pony riding in Hampton.
Response from "gineil"
I had not thought about mills for years! BUT I do remember
We would stretching clover chains across the neighborhood streets---and the fun of a car coming through to break it. We would do repairs and stretch it back again.
We always drew hopscotch courts on the street and would play until dark.
We jumped rope (with 2 children holding the rope and one jumping in the middle. While he or she jumped we sang little ditties to the jumpers.
Kick the can was a real favorite too.
My dad's victory garden was in the backyard and he loved watching me pluck a fresh green onion from the soil, shake it off, and eat it for dessert.
The day World War II ended, my mom gave us pots and spoons and sent us up to the entrance on Clayton Road and told us to bang them and make lots of noise! Many cars would honk back at us.
All the children had a great time gathering toys for a family in the neighborhood whose home burned 2 days before Christmas.
EVERY Christmas Eve the kids in the neighborhood of all ages--- little ones, high school, college students home for the holiday, and a few adults would don red and white capes and go Christmas caroling to every house in the neighborhood. What a blessing!
Response from Bill in Florida
I offer my own recollections of growing up in the Normandy, St.
Louis area between 1940 and 1954 (the latter date when I went into
Our telephone number was GOodfellow 9312. The phone was a black dial type; the cord was of the non-coiled type, covered with a brown woven braid insulation. It tangled easily. I think we had a party line - you had to get off if someone else was talking.
Everyone's house smelled like an ashtray. Lucky Strikes were actually GOOD for you - they soothed your T-Zone.
To get a playmate, you called out in front of their house something like, "Oh, Roger!" And the mother sometimes came out to tell you he was eating or had chores.
Winter: We all had sleds, but there was seldom enough snow on which to run them. After a few days, snow banks became covered with sooty flakes from coal-burning furnaces. Kids would vie to break the first ice coating on puddles on the one-mile morning walk to grade school. You had to occasionally stoke the manually fired furnace with shovelsful of heavy lump coal, always dropping some bits. And you had to take out the ashes. Anyone with a stoker was rich. In winter, houses were HOT and very dry. You had to light the gas hot water heater and wait for it to heat before you could take a bath or shower. Woe unto you if you forgot to turn it off, 'cause the water in the tank began boiling, causing a commotion throughout the house.
Summer: No air conditioning, so in the daytime during school vacation we'd retreat to the cooler basement, where we'd listen to radio favorites such as "Welcome, Traveler" and Mom's soap operas. In the late afternoon it was "Don Winslow of the Navy", and "Terry and the Pirates". At night we'd lie in bed with the windows open, sweating and trying to get to sleep. You could hear the steam locomotives whistle for the Woodstock crossing, and then struggle to get up the hill. Sometimes the wheels would slip on the rails, and you'd hear "Chuff... chuff.... chuff,chuff,chuff,chuff. When you tried to cut the grass with a push mower early in the morning, the wheels would slide on the wet grass without turning the cutter blades. There were no weedwhackers, and trimming manually with clippers was a hateful job, especially if you had a picket fence and a gravel drive.
The scissors sharpening guy came by once in a while with his ancient green truck and his bell: "Bing... bong... dong!" Beats me how he made a living, since practically no one stopped him.
There were about three or four different dairies delivering milk each day. And the mailman walked the route twice, making morning and afternoon deliveries to your door... for a penny post card, yet!
The Happy Haulers garbage collection truck came maybe twice each week, but we steered clear - we were scared of those guys!
Our development (Berdell Hills) had an annual street dance on the parkway at the end of our street. They'd spread ground rubber on the street to make feet slide easier. They'd set up booths for games of chance, and they'd sell beer. All this was to earn money for the neighborhood improvement association. On the morning after, we'd search the grass in the parkway for dropped coins.
On Sunday, if we were lucky, we'd be given a quarter for the movie. We'd walk to the Normandy theater, pay ten cents admission for a double feature (if we were VERY lucky, we'd get a cartoon carnival as well), and we'd be faced with the choice: buy a FAT candy bar for a nickel and get a comic book at Bloemker's Drug's on the way home, or do without candy and get a fifteen cent milk shake at Velvet Freeze after the movie. Some WWII movies were great, and I wish I could find copies now: the feature length Donald Duck cartoon called "Victory Through Air Power", for example. But those movies wouldn't be P.C. now, because of the war propaganda. Theaters gave away dishes, electric fans, etc. during intermission. In the summer, our family might go to a movie where the first feature took place indoors, and when it was dark we moved to the cooler outdoors for the second feature. Movie theaters then were full of cigarette smoke, and you could see the occasional glow as people drew on them.
Schools sold war bonds and stamps one day each week. The rich kids could afford to buy bonds, and they got a ride in a real Army Duck (DUKW amphibious vehicle). We poorer kids could only afford stamps. No Duck ride.
School kids went through fads at recess and lunch. Each fad lasted a week or two. One time each year it was trading playing cards - Blue Boy and Pinkie were worth a great deal. Another time it was yo-yo's, and the Filipino experts from Duncan would come to your school to demonstrate all the tricks and whet your appetite. Another time it was simple squirt guns made from plastic tubes with a cork in one end and a hole in the other. Squeeze the tube, and....pfftt! It was always something.
Candy could be purchased after lunch at school. Remember Cho-Cho's, the chocolate malted milk ice cream on a stick? You rolled the Cho-Cho between your hands to loosen it so you could pull the paper cup cover off? I'd buy those now, if I could. And remember rows of little candy dots on a paper strip? You ate them off, trying to eat as little paper as possible. Remember little wax bottles full of colored syrup?
The War: I have two unused ration books from WWII. You could only buy white margerine, and it came with a little octagonal packet of yellow dye. You had to mix it yourself. When we had communal meals with grandparents in Illinois, we'd always ask, "Who's sugar is this?" It was a joke - no one was serious.
Cars: Dad had a '38 Oldsmobile, a huge green hulking thing. One night the brakes went out, and we went right through an intersection. Cars had priority stickers, "A", "B", "C". I think most had "C". When the Olds needed paint, Dad found a special green enamel designed to be applied with a powder puff. So he and Mom painted the Olds with powder puffs. It wasn't up to current standards, but it did the job then.
Remember pressure cookers? When those came out, they were the cutting edge. For a while, everything was pressure-cooked nearly to oblivion. Also, we all worried about them blowing up. How could they? The relief valve on top was just a weight, and if the pressure inside exceeded a certain value, it HAD to lift the weight and relieve the pressure.
I'd be sent to walk about 1/2 mile to buy ten cents worth of minced ham for my Dad's lunch sandwiches. I had to go the more distant store, 'cause the quality of lunchmeat was better there.
On summer vacation Tuesday mornings, I'd rush to the end of the street and wait for the bookmobile to come and set up. I'd take out five or six fishing or science fiction books, then get horrible headaches from reading them all day inside where it was cool.
All the kids I knew had guns in their houses, and knew where they were, and I had BB guns and pellet rifles of my own. But no one ever thought to take a gun to school or shoot anyone with it. Of course, television was showing mostly test patterns, dancing cigarette packs, wrestling, and Sid Caesar's Show of Shows.
In my mid-teens I sold ice cream. I pedaled my bike from Normandy to Ferguson about noon, then pushed a heavy freezer bike loaded with ice cream and dry ice over a Florissant route of about ten miles, up and down streets, up and down hills. The dry ice kept fudgesicles so cold they'd stick to your tongue if you rushed them - I had a few irate mothers on my case. After selling ice cream all day, I biked to Dairy Queen in Ferguson for a supper of two large shakes (chocolate/strawberry mixed, and banana), then sold ice cream in the Berkeley area all evening. Then I pedaled my bike home, had supper about 10:30 p.m., and went to bed. Because I would sweat like a pig in the sun all day, I was brown as a berry, lean, and hard as nails. I made lots of money for a kid, but had no time to spend it.
Response from Kathy
This really brings back memories. It's funny too because I was
just telling some people at work about calling my friends like this
when we were kids. I had friends that were twins and we would stand
outside and call "Oh Donna, Oh Diane" in that order ever
time. Oh the good ole days!
I also remember walking to Northland shopping center or River Roads with my friends to go shopping. They were both a little over two miles away. I can't remember the last time I walked two miles!
My brother and his friends (8 yrs older than me) use to drive thru Steak-n-Shake. By the time I got to be old enough we drove through White Castle on New Halls Ferry.
Response from Barry
I remember (the game) Mill- On a trip to England I found that
it is derived from a game called Nine Men's Morris.
I remember climbing in ash pits looking for treasures
...Searching in sand-filled ash trays in church for long cigarette butts to smoke
...turning in wagon loads of soda bottles for the deposit money
...Willie the Paper Boy- famous in South St. Louis
... Pneumatic tubes in department stores, gift wrapping stations at Xmas,
...Famous Barr's playroom- Mothers left kids there and went shopping
Response from Jim
I remember watching the old lamplighter coming down Harris Ave
along side O'Fallon park in the evenings lightin the gas street
lamps. I used to follow him on my bike and asked to see his long
stick. It had a small arm to turn the gas cock on or off and a piece
of punk an another arm to light the lamp.
This area was the last area of St Louis to be electrified. When the new electric street light were installed, everyone complained about the "bright" light, so the utility company came out and painted the back of the globes with black paint. Of course it didn't help with the light on the opposite side of the street.
Response from Georgia
Regarding standing outside your friend's house and calling
their name, we did that too up here in Dearborn Michigan unless it
was just us kids of a St. Louis mother.
Response from "M"
You always knew what part of the city a person lived in by the
You mentioned the street cars ... I rode the street cars many, many times. My brother drove a bus from North Broadway and Hallsferry to Ferguson. The bus came about once an hour, I think? You needed a schedule to know when it would come to your stop.
I remember the movies being 10 cents! You seen two movies .... cartoons and new reels .... and a serial, usually "Flash Gordon".
I also was sent to the tavern to get my Grandpa a pail of beer.
Yes, in those days, St. Louis was safe .... even after dark!
I remember Tower Grove Park.
I remember going to my friend's house and yelling, "Oh ________". We NEVER knocked on the doors!
Response from Rosalind
How about the Watkins man, the Fuller Brush Man and Stanley
Home Parties...My Mother had a few of those...
How about at Christmas time the great Window displays at the downtown stores and going to Famous to visit Santa where the dedicated the whole floor was for Santa and Toyland.
Response from Nancy
Hey on a hot day like today I remember MR. SOFTEE that ding,
ding of the bell and they all came running.
Does anyone remember the Fog Truck that sprayed for mosquitoes and we all played in the street inside the fog it left behind. Oh my what we have breathed in!!!
Response from Margaret
I remember living on Garfield next door to the deserted Penrod mansion near Vandeventer and the corner store butchered their own chickens and gave mills for change.
Response from Diane H.
Dave, what memories you brought back. I, too, remember going to
the Ritz theatre only I had to pay 35 cents!!
We use to stand in front of a friends house and call for them to play, but in South St. Louis we would also yell through the mailbox in the door.
Teen Town was a place that my older sister use to go to, but I would watch St. Louis Hop on Saturday morning.
Although we moved when I started fifth grade, I will always have St. Louis in my blood.
Response from Bill
If people aren't yet tired of this thread, here are some 40's
and early 50's radio programs. Mom had to help me on the soaps,
'cause while I overheard them as she listened and ironed clothes down
the basement, I didn't pay much attention. That's why there's no
dialogue for them.
LaMont Cranston learned to cloud the minds of men, and said, "The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"
Did humor and sang. One of his favorites was about "Six tall slim slick sycamore saplin's; Possum up a tree"... A bear chased him up the tree, resulting in "Lord, if you won't help me, then please don't help that bear!" The song ended with his appeal to spare the tree, because it had saved his life.
Fibber McGee and Molly - Lived at 79 Wistful Vista. Visited by all kinds of folk, among them Diggery O'Dell, (in a sepulchral voice) "The Friendly Undertaker".
The Lone Ranger and Tonto ("What we do now, Kimosabe?") and Trigger and Scout ("Gettum up, Scout!"). This show wasn't terribly P.C. if judged by current standards.
Amos and Andy. This one was even worse, P.C.-wise. Wasn't all that good, either.
Duffy's Tavern (Ring-a-ling, ring-a-ling!! "Duffy's Tavern, where the elite meet t' eat. Arch speakin', Duffy ain't here.")
The Fred Allen Show (and Allen's Alley)
Jack Benny (and his chronic indecision while buying Christmas presents that drove the salesman nuts. "Should I buy them shoelaces with metal tips or plastic tips? Hmmm-mm-m!") Dennis Day, Mary Livingston
The Bob Hope Show
First Nighter - "The house lights dim, and..."
One Man's Family
Our Gal Sunday
Portia Faces Life
The Romance of Helen Trent
Stella Dallas (Wasn't that the one with Poppa David?)
The Guiding Light
Young Widow Brown
Inner Sanctum ("Creee-ee-eakk!!")
Mr. and Mrs. North
The Sheriff ("When in trouble, call the sheriff!")
Mr. District Attorney (Dum, dum-de-dum, dum-dum-de-dum!)
Superman ("Look, up in the air!...")
Captain Midnight ("Bong, bong, bong, ..." 12 times, yet!)
School promotions - Remember how they sent kids out to sell seeds every year? We had to peddle those furshlugginer seeds from door to door, and since every kid was doing it, you didn't sell many seeds to anyone but relatives. Woe unto you if you didn't sell seeds, because you became a pariah - maybe it even affected your grades. If the school sold enough seeds, they got a movie projector or something. Besides the commercial promotions, there were numerous charitable solicitations for March of Dimes (polio), and other. They also sent around sheets for various patriotic-sounding organizations, such as the Abraham Lincoln Society and you pretty-much had to sign up. I wonder how many Communist organizations I unwittingly joined as a kid?
School films - Remember how almost every educational school film had a title block proclaiming it as "An Erpi Classroom Film"? That always got a laugh.
School supplies - On the first or second day of school you were issued a box of crayons. If you were very lucky, they were new, with sharp points. If not, they were last year's hand-me-downs, with blunt points, maybe with dark colored wax smeared on light colored points, or (horrors!) shorties with paper peeled back. Crayons were one reason elementary classrooms smelled like they did - crayons, cheap paper, floor sweep compound, wet snowsuits.
School craft projects - Who hasn't (under teacher directive) glued macaroni to a coffee can, then painted it silver or gold? Perhaps it was given to Mom on some special occasion to "keep things in". The landfills must be full of those things. Gifts for Dad were always made of pipe cleaners.
School science projects - Did your teacher ever put a blob of liquid mercury in your hand, so you could watch it roll around? Mine did. Some kids put the blob on a copper penny, which immediately soaked up the mercury, gone forever, then penny into pocket. The floor was covered with tiny shimmering silver blobs. Hands didn't get washed afterwards, of course. Geez, if they only knew then how poisonous mercury is. But none of us kids died - far as I know. (They said some of the kids moved... that's what they told us, anyway.)
School clothes - I can't remember when, but for a few years of elementary school I wore knickers with suspenders to hold them up. I swear! And I wasn't the only one.
Valentines - You bought cheap ones, scrawled your name and your target's name on them in pencil, and took them to school to give to everyone, even other boys - goodness knows why. You dasn't give a nice valentine to just one girl, because everyone would know.
Things you sent away for - The Atomic Ring - you took it into the janitor's deep sink closet in the boy's john, where you and other boys held this thing right up to your eye in the dark so you could see the little blue sparks. What was in there, uranium? The Smoking Gun - you sent away a dollar in response to a slick ad, and months later you got a cheap wooden gun that you poked a white powder into the barrel of, and pulled the trigger and a tiny puff of powder came out, looking very little like smoke. Probably talcum. What a rip-off!
Buying shoes - Since it's important that growing children have toe room, the shoe store people had this fluoroscope thingie you stepped onto. Your feet and new shoes fit in a little cubbyhole. You looked into the top of this gadget, and you could see a green screen with your shoe outline filled with wiggling toe bones. Eerie! Naturally, we had to do it several times. Heaven knows what kind of radiation dose we were getting.
Neat places to eat - Hendrickson's Cafeteria. On south Union? The best were the chocolate eclairs and jello cubes. Sunshine Dairy on south Union. Thick chocolate malted milk shakes that still filled most of a huge stainless steel can, even after the big soda fountain glass was filled to the top. I'll never forget the night my Dad agreed to us each having TWO of these! Can't imagine where I put mine. Romine's Chicken on Riverview Blvd. The chicken was fried, very thickly coated with batter. No air conditioning then, so you perspired profusely while you ate chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, cornbread, etc. Sam the Watermelon Man on Natural Bridge at Goodfellow. I didn't care for watermelon that much, but my parents liked to stop there and eat at the wooden picnic tables. Always crowded.
Response from Linda
I remember playing a game with my friends at dusk in the front
yard. If a car came we dropped to the ground so the lights would go
over us and not hit us. This was on Kirkwood Road (Lindbergh
Blvd.)and we had long waits between cars.
Chasing lightning bugs.
Playing Red Rover with the neighborhood kids
practicing flips and cartwheels
Snow Forts (Where is all that snow now?)
St. Louis Zoo every summer.
Dairy Queen chocolate double dipped vanilla cones
Sitting on the magazines reading comics at the Kirkwood Drug Store. (Smith's Drug Store)
Wondering what was in the huge red and green liquid jars.
Watchin the Cardinals with my dad when the stadium had posts!
Stan the Man!
Bicycles with fenders
Howdy Doody show
My friend Flika
then later Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Johnny Rabbit and Bruno J. Grunion
KXOK versus WIL
St. Louis Hop
The soda fountain at the 5 and 10 (Woolworths)
Velvet Freeze where the "big kids" hung out.
Driving through Steak and Shake first Kirkwood then Glendale and back to Kirkwood.
Saving my lunch money all week to buy the first Beatles album.
Going to the movies at the Kirkwood Theatre. There was a room glassed in for mom's with babies. And ashtrays on each arm.
Fourth of July at Kirkwood Park.
Response from B
Day trips on the Admiral were always a favorite of mine in the summer.
I believe the Eskimo Pie man would position himself right in front of the entrance to the zoo, hard to get us past him. Mother would always say that we would get one on the way out.
We would go to Alton and have "Jack Salmon." I have often wonder just what type of fish that was.
Response from kathy
WestLake Park had the highest,longest,fastest hardwood slide
for miles around. If you came off the burlap bag you sat upon on the
way down this slide you would remember this slide for its wood
"burns" instead of its thrills. The saucer that rotated its
passengers from the very center to the very edge through rapidly
rising rates of rotation!!!!! I was only about 6 to 8 years old,but I
remember this park like it was yesterday.
Response from kirby [now in NC]
...like growing up on KXOK! then later came KDNA, the
'underground' station from Gaslight Square. and the Admiral day trips
reminded me of 'fort nightly' or other dances on the admiral. [which
reminds me of Miss Condon's dance classes & her saucer of water
so her shoes wouldn't slip on the floor].
and the author from Kirkwood reminded me of turkey day football games [arch rivalry] betw Kirkwood and Webster Groves
now, if I could only find the memories my ancestors left behind in the 1890s to 1940s! stone mason, optometrist, steno clerks, crematorium operator... now there've *got* to be some memories they took with them!
Response from Nikki N/A????
War Days: Absolutely no nylon stockings .... had to buy a tan
cream to color your legs in order for them to look like you were
"Big" celebration downtown the night that the war ended! Everyone hugging and kissing everyone else.
No leather in shoes -- only clothe. No elastic in panties -- only buttons to hold them up.
There were "stars" in the windows for "your man" in service.
All-night shows downtown . Balconies in theatre's.
In those days, doctors actually came to your house! Wow! Is that a switch!
No liquid soaps .... only powdered
Organ Grinders with their monkeys.
In North St. Louis, everyone I knew shopped on 14th street. Cherokee St. shopping for the South St. Louisians.
Juke boxes .... only 5 cents .... 6 for 25 cents.
Forest Park Highlands. It has since burned down.
School picnics .... always at Chain of Rocks.
Veiled Prophet Parade.
Going downtown to see all the moving displays in the windows at Christmas and especially at Famous & Barr.
Fireworks display at the airport on the 4th of July .... and free!
In those days, girls could actually dance together and hold hands .... yet, no once considered them "odd".
Outhouses .... even in the city!
Tying beetle bugs on a string and watch them fly in circles.
NO freeway or interstate highways.
NO "fast" food or "frozen" foods.
Kroger Grocery Stores. You had to stand at the counter and ask the clerk to get what you wanted. Also, the same applied at the Butcher's case in order to get your meat.
Horse & buggy ragman or "carts" going down allies calling, "Rag-Man!"
Making and playing hopscotch on sidewalks.
Sledding down the O'Fallon Park hill near North Broadway.
Big furry dice on rear view mirrors or tiger tail hanging out of trunk.
Neighborhood bakeries and confectioneries.
NO Jr. High schools. When you were going to graduate, you wore your school color's ribbon for awhile; and, on your "big" graduation day, you got the longer ribbons. This was graduation from the 8th grade.
Bus and streetcar weekly passes. On weekends, you rode all day with your parent's pass.
Candy bars, three scoops of ice cream, soda .... all 5 cents! Three scoops of candy for 1 cent!
NO school buses. That was unheard of!
The "good ole" roller skates which required the "key".
"The Shadow Knows" on radio ... who had a television set?!?!?!??!?!?!
You NEVER locked your doors.
Chesterfield and Marvel cigarettes. Hyde Park and Griesidieck Brother's Beer.
Pushing streetcar seats up a little so that when someone sat down, it made a loud noise.
Streetcar tokens and transfers.
Home Economics was called "manual" in those days. AND, God forbid if a BOY should take "manual".
On way to cemetery, the funeral procession passed your house for the last time. Now, sometimes people don't even pull over to honor the procession!
Truant Officers drove the streets looking for kids skipping school.
Student monitors in school halls.
Patched inner tubes when you had a flat tire.
Coke, Pepsi, Royal Crown , Nehi sodas .... 12 oz for 5 cents!
I still remember the Pepsi Cola song, "Pepsi Cola hits the spot - twelve full ounces -- that's alot. Twice as much for a nickel too -- Pepsi Cola is the drink for you!"
Mr. Goodbar candy bars were the biggest and for only 5 cents!
Dirigibles in the sky writing "whatever" in smoke.
5 cent phone calls!
Policemen walked their "beats" .
Neighbors sat out front in the summers to keep cool in the evening.
Dog catchers roaming the streets looking for poor unsuspecting dogs.
Carnivals coming to your neighborhood.
Hall Street "drag" racing .
The city dump .
Rumble seats in the cars.
The St. Louis Car Company made new style streetcars.
Kids addressed their teachers with, "Yes Mam, Yes Sir; or, No Mam, No Sir." Now, there is so much disrespect in schools .... it is pathetic!
Okay, you have to be pretty darn old to remember the dance called the "Rubber Leg".
Having a box on your windowsill to keep your food cold in the winter.
The coal man and the coal yards.
Boy's boots with a pocket knife holder on the side.
Making headbands, etc. by folding gum wrappers.
NO slacks or pants for girls in school! Imagine that! Jeans were considered for "play" AFTER school .... NOT school!
Patrol Boys to help the kids cross the street ... they even had badges!
The "Admiral" Boat on the Mississippi River.
Naval Base at the foot of Ferry Street on North Broadway.
Streetcars ran along side of Bellefontaine and Calvary Cemeteries.
Broadway streetcar loop was in Baden - end of line.
Krey Packing Company on North Florrisant.
The two water towers -- one on 20th and Grand Avenue; the other on Grand and East Grand.
Swimming pool at Forest Park .... boy, was that fun on those hot, hot, summer days!
Bath houses on St. Louis Avenue.
Two-story dime store on Grand and Olive .... probably the largest in the St. Louis area.
Walking around with smashed cans on your feet -- and to think that the kids today are soooooo bored with Nintendo, etc.!
Soda fountains in all dime stores.
The Crown Candy Company on 14th and St. Louis Avenue. It is still there.
"Atlantic Mills" Department Store on Hallsferry Road.
Could get driver's license at gas stations -- no test. For 25 cents, they gave you a stub -- you had this until the "real" license came in the mail -- I think the Chauffeur's license was 50 cents.
The old Sportsman baseball field on Grand Avenue .... it was the Brown's and the Cardinal's at that time. Just an open area .... no dome.
Old North Drive-In -- in St. Ann; the 66 drive-in had 4 screens -- some two and some had one screen.
"Making love" was hugging and kissing ONLY! Again, imagine that! AND, "going" with someone meant that you actually DID "go" somewhere!
Old airport on Lindberg.
Western Union and Postal Telegraph hired boys with bikes to deliver telegrams in uniforms.
Pretzel boys or men on corners or in front of the schools at recess.
U.S. Army men at Jefferson Barracks.
Chain of Rocks Bridge.
The Casaloma Ball Room.
Insurance man came to your house.
People coming to your door selling things.
Hobo's would come to your door asking for food. If you did feed them, they would mark your house for the next hobo who may come along.
Mullanphy Park -- near Cass Avenue.
Hyde Park on Blair & Salisbury.
The firemen, at the station, would have sprinklers in the summer to keep the kids cool.
Old Federal Building on 12th and Spruce Streets.
When you had a new baby, Famous and Barr would send a card for a free baby ring.
Old fire station and library in Baden on North Broadway.
Garbage cans in the alley -- not trash ashpits for trash.
Kids selling magazines door to door.
Old, small airport in Baden right below North Broadway -- right by the railroad overpass.
My brother took flying lessons there.
Boys putting a match under the thermometer at school so they would send us all home .... didn't seem to work out very much though.
The soldier's took the Broadway streetcar to the end of the line in south St. Louis -- they then had to take a bus to Jefferson Barracks. No civilians were allowed to go pass the gates, as there were guards there .
Does anyone remember Frank Riefle's restaurant/bar on North Broadway and North Market? I do remember Romine's restaurant on Riverview -- it was well known around the city.
How about Hollywood Gardens on North Broadway -- a bar and dance place -- it had an outdoor place on the side during the summer months?
Suburban Gardens or Pandora's Box in North County.
Booneville, Missouri for "bad" boys and Chillicothe for "bad" girls.
Hill Brothers' shoes .. You could get 2 pairs of shoes for $5.00!
Taps on the soles of shoes.
Continental Can - was an ordinance plant during the war. They had Italian prisoners of war there to work.
"Kick The Can" .
No soda or beer in cans.
Response from Pat
I remember the old Powhattan show in Maplewood that you sat on
folding chairs outside in the summer to watch movies.
Or the Bettendorf store on Sutton that was on two floors so that when you were down stairs you put your basket on a conveyor belt to take it upstairs.
I remember all the others that were written especially the mills. Red and Green. We had a big box of them and used them for money when we played Canasta with our Grandmother.
Playing ball in the vacant lot.
Taking naps in the summer "to keep from getting Polio".
Having a summer of skinned knees from roller skating on the sidewalk with those metal stap on skates.
I love St. Louis.
Response from Ralph
I grew up in the neighborhood of Nebraska and Gravois.
Growing up in a German household I was also sent across the street with 10 or 15 cents to fill up the Cooper Kettle, sipping a bit of the foam before I crossed the street.
The Princess theater was located on the next block over and in the summer as darkness approached they opened up double doors so that one could watch the show from benches outside. If you did not have a dime to get in you could tell the ticket taker that you had to find your older brother in the airdome or find a knot hole in the fence to look through.
I also remember Uncle Joe Casino at the South Side YMCA, and the woodwork shop in the barn in back of the Y.
And for fifty cents a week I traveled all over the city and never waited more than fifteen minutes for a bus or street car to come.
I remember riding on a bike to Shaw's garden, and sailing my brother's sail boat in the pond at Tower Grove park.
We lived across from a lot where paper boys loaded up on the Saturday evening editions. I can still hear the steel wheels of their carts on the brick street and their calls of "extra, extra read all about it".
My first job at age of twelve or thirteen was at Walter's drug store on Gravois near St. Francis Desales church. I made malts and ice-cream sodas at an old time marble fountain.
Yet I also remember a nation in depression and at war.
Response from David, now living in Louisiana
The paper boy was probably yelling "maaaarning Glaahbe
The fish called Jack Salmon, a deep-fried favorite in St. Louis, is also known as Whiting.
Response from Debbie
My phone number was Prospect 2-2483.
Listening to Pevely Playhouse and going there with my Girl Scout Troop.
Watching the Charlotte Peters Show.
The smell of Switzers Licorice along the river front.
The arcade on the lower level of the Admiral.
Banging pots and pans on your front porch on New Year's Eve.
Traveling as far as you wanted without a parent on Halloween. You must do a trick for a treat!
On Thanksgiving evening going downtown to see the animated Christmas windows.
Watching the coal man shovel coal through the chute to the basement.
Poking the clinkers inside the furnace.
Getting my arm stuck in the wringer washer.
Fastening baseball cards to your bicycle spokes.
Playing dodge ball in the alley.
Buying soft pretzels during lunch at school and after Sunday masses.
Going to the corner tavern and purchasing turtle soup and brain sandwiches.
My father whistling for the 5 of us to come home. I developed a very good screech that sounded like the whistle which worked on my siblings. Now I know how to whistle and no longer screech.
The scissors grinder man with his push cart--Ding, Ding, Dong.
School picnic parades through the city streets. Every class wore a different color.
Wearing a handkerchief on top of my head when I forgot my beanie.
Going to the drive-in theater on Broadway.
Playing school (guess which hand the rock is in). Correct move up one step toward the top of the stairs.
Collecting soda bottles - small 2 cents, large Vess soda bottle nickel.
The insurance man coming to the house and giving us coloring books.
The Arena and Busch Stadium!
Response from Jill now living in Colorado
I recall with delight the giant VESS bottle, not to mention
Vess red cream soda over vanilla ice cream on a hot summer night.
And the Muny Opera, and those giant fans they'd turn on at intermission. I recall Pernell Roberts in the King and I, and Lesley Gore(!) in South Pacific.
I also remember my Girl Scout Troup appearing (reluctantly) as dancing fruit baskets in a big Girl Scout show at the Arena. (I preferred Ice Capades and Freddie Trenkler at the Arena! )
I remember the new wood in the Arena ceiling where they repaired the holes from the tornado in the 1950's.
Steak and Shake chili steaming up the car windows on a cold winter night at Hall's Ferry Circle, and those TOUGH car hop girls with the headscarves knotted on their chin!
And our home on Bellefontaine Road. Sigh!
Response from Joe now living in Reno, Nevada
-I remember when the final segment of the "arch" was very slowly eased into place. My father's hand was on my shoulder. We were standing at the northwest corner of the open space garden between the "arch" and the "old courthouse." This area of downtown was conspicuously absent of people as most were present near the action during this much anticipated event. The energy and tension affected all. I was about six years of age.
-I also remember taking a night cruise on the Admiral. My father described the great times he had in the grand ballroom with big bands a playin'. I personally wondered how the captain was going to turn this floating island of silver steel around as we were heading downstream. (The size of the ship seemed to reduce the size of the river.) While standing on the wide open top deck, under a clear, moonless and dark sky, the great spotlight appeared. As if having a mind of it's own, the light searched and found a suitable rotation point among the sandbars. Then, as promised and only partially believed, the entire ship rotated as if it were poised on the sharp end of a needle. Without going into more detail, this "rotation at night on the Admiral" process was one of the most magnificent experiences I had in youth. AND, I got around.
Response from Walt Barry - Gainesville, Florida
I grew up in forties and early fifties at Shreve and Natural
Bridge with a phone of MUlberry 5096. I went to Scullin Grade School
and remember the school parades and picnics at the Forest Park
Highlands. We went to the Bridge Theatre for a dime until at some
point we had to pay $.35 to get in.
Riding the bus to and from downtown with a younger brother was no big deal then. I remember large lumber hauling contraptions going up and down Natural Bridge from some point A to another unknown point B and remember the sound of bowling pins at the bowling alley just across the street from us and above the hardware store. It burned as I recall, shortly after we moved.
I also remember Ike and Tina at the Club Imperial and was one of those paper boys who sold the Post and Globe....Paaaay-PER! on Saturday nights.
Response from Gloria
I can remember when the milkman had a horse and a highlight of
the day was to have him give you a chunk of ice and then let you pet
"Calling" your friends outside was the only way to go. When I married and moved away to Chicago area I thought my childrens friends a bit weird when they rang the front doorbell.
How about bobbie-sox----to be cool at Kirkwood High girls wore the sox up and Webster turned theirs down. I understand they still have the Thanksgiving football game between K and W.
Remember playing marbles?
The family had to eat tons of cereal so that you could send away for a decoder ring
you had your mother call you in time for the radio programs. Captain Midnight, Terry and the Pirates, Jack Armstrong, Tom Mix, Lone Ranger, Little Orphan Annie, ate early dinner then went outside to play until "the street lights" came on and you better be home or else.
My mother had a butter and egg man who came to the house every week. Before milk was homogenized, when the milk was delivered in winter sometimes it froze on the doorstep and the cream would swell up and push through the cardboard cap and it looked like it had a top hat on. It was tempting to scoop that frozen cream and eat it but then mother would pitch a fit because now the milk would taste like skimmed.
Downtown at one of the dime stores they sold something called "concrete" which was the thickest malt in town.
Another thing about those days was "dish night" at the movies. Sometimes when my mother wanted to compile her china faster, she would pay full price for me to get the extra dish.
The beer bucket, tamales and ice cream carts were just a part of family life. The corner grocer would fill your list while you waited and actually cut your meat to order . If you were good the butcher would give you a slice of bologna or a hot dog to eat while he served your mother.
Remember the Zenith radio "green eye"?
As a teenager I naturally wore jeans rolled up (not dragging the ground) and my father's old white shirt.
Sundays we females wore hats and white gloves to church. Gil Newsum on the radio played the top 10 records every night.
I can recall when a nickle bought a small brown bag of candy. I got a nickle from my grandfather almost every Sat. and I would go down to the deli-saloon and lunch place and buy bubble gum for a penny, three suckers bound together with a rubber band, an all day sucker that lasted all day, a long strip of paper with dots of candy on it. a tootsie roll and wax red lips. Wow!
Mills I remember started out made of cardboard and looked like milk bottle tops. Then came the war (WW II ) and they went to plastic. During the war we children collected newspapers and scrap metal and old tires. You were excused from school once a week for a few hours to do this collecting.
To conserve paper in school we used to write on the lined paper for one subject and then write in-between those lines for another subject. Math was done on the back.
Ladies do you remember "Double Dutch" jump rope?
How about coal cellers and that dirty black stuff your dad shoveled into the furnace?
When we moved to South St. Louis I walked 6 or 7 blocks to school, even came home for lunch. My kids would have thought they were in a third world country if they had to do it. I really wish my children could have enjoyed that kind of living.
St.Louis was home and still is I guess. Did all this really happen in just my 69 years?
Response from Jan
I'm not as old as some of them sound, but I have some wonderful
I grew up near Tower Grove and Manchester. I remember Carp's on the corner and at Christmas time they would dress up the detached corner area just as good as Famous Barr did theirs.
The 905 Liquor store, where at 16 I would pick up my neighbors 905 beer for her. The 1st beer I ever drank was a 905 beer.
On the same block use to be the Manchester Show. My dad wasn't a very affectionate man, but once in awhile we would go. Sometimes he would send by brother and I ,and my brother wouldn't sit by me. Casey's Tavern where my parents went.
The friendly neighborhood 'Winos'. Sarge the pervert cop (but nice). The guy selling fruits and vegetables from his raggley truck. Going to Adams School K-8, coming home for lunch, next block over.
Happy days, when summer vacation started. We didn't have a phone but I remember them starting out with letters. Hanging out with my friends on the side of my house, where I got my first kiss. And a few more in later times. The pool hall, the bikers hung out in. The cleaners, ice cream shop, hardware store, barber, laundromat, and the shoe store where the old man fixed shoes. I loved the smell in there. Clarence who would play the fiddle, he even made it in the paper once. Gosh! I could go on forever.
Response from anonymous
pasadina hills, getting ice chopped off the milk man's truck.
riding our bikes behind the bug spray
skating on the pond
going to blompkers for a cherry coke.
pulling dad out of waylens bar.
Response from Barbara
I remember riding the street car, it stopped in front of our
... worked at the Ritz, got in free
Mavrokos candy,Cherokee street shopping, dollar days at downtown Famous Barr Velvet Freeze, playing softball in the alley, Fox playground, my dad and all my uncles playing cork ball and tons more
Response from Mary
I remember candy being 6 for $.25 at Walgreens.
I remember the day after the tornado of '57. Grandma took us to look at the remains of our beloved Arena roller rink. We were very sad.
I remember the day the Highlands caught fire. We lived near Hampton & Chippewa and could see the smoke from our front porch.
I remember listening to the radio on snowy days to see if school was cancelled; it never was, because the nuns only had to walk across a street to get to school!
I remember trampoline lots where you could pay & jump on a trampoline for a while. I think one was near Hampton & Nottingham, another near Ted Drewes on Chippewa.
I remember seeing the ads for "Evelyn West's $50,000 treasure chest" and the World burlesque house in the newspaper and wondering what those were.
Response from Ann Marie
I grew up around St. Louis Hills in the 50s and 60s and went to
St. Gabe's grade school.
Nuns wore black and white habits and lived in a convent. There were plenty of them!
Hampton Village had the best toy store - Gorman and Raab, where Grandma bought me the lst Barbie doll in 1959.
I liked "surprise balls" that you unwrapped and unwrapped, and plastic charms would tumble out of the wrapping.
Highlands amusement park's bobsled and Comet rollercoaster was for the big kids. There was a kiddie section with nursey rhyme moving characters (like in Famous Barr windows at Christmas).
Then in the 60s The Enchanted Forest was built, with "Candyland" and black lights illuminating your white shirt and peddal pushers.
The huge carousel with reindeer and horses is still in St. Louis - at Faust Park. It doesn't look as huge now as when I was 8.
There were 2 "Pony Tracks" near my house - one at Hampton and Sutherland, and one at Devonshire and Hampton. They would make sure we kids were strapped on the pony with leather reins, and we'd hold on to a metal bar or the horn of the saddle. They'd get the ponies trotting, not just walking. I loved the smell of the saddles and the crunch of the pecan shells underfoot (I think that's what they spread down).The pony, Smokie, was for heavier kids. I was a lightweight, so I usually got Tony.
Snow cones were l0 cents.
Kids in the front seat of the train would ring the bell on and on until they closed for the night.
Carnivals were erected at Hampton and Landsdown in summer on the weed lot that is now Target. Remember the cupie dolls with hot pink feathers dangling on a long thin cane? Back then only carnival men and sailors wore tattoos.
And, at the Circus at the Arena, I'd want my Grandma to buy me a pop gun - the kind that would shoot a cork attached to a string. And, at intermission time, you'd hear vendors sing-songing, "Orangeaaaaaaaid, lemonade, here!"
Response from Andy
We moved to St. Louis in 1951 from Oklahoma when I was 2. My
dad was an editor at the Post-Dispatch. He bought a circa 1888
Victorian home in Compton Heights on Hawthorne Blvd. Our house was
close to the Southside YMCA on Grand Ave. The "Y" is still
open, I think. Our phone was PRospect 2-3139. My brother and I spent
a lot of time playing B-ball or swimming at the "Y" -- I
think I was a Flying Fish --riding bikes at Reservoir Park and Tower
Grove, and hanging out at the corner store which was just down the
alley behind the house then left. Reservoir Park was great for
sledding in the winter too if you had enough nerve to go down the
steep hills. My mother always told us" Don't go too far from
home", but in those days no one really worried about safety in
south St. Louis. We just had to be home before dinnertime to stay out
There was an ice man, a scissors/knife sharpener man, a Sno Cone man, Sealtest Dairy man, and a coal man who would pour coal down the coal chute to feed the old furnace. We had to shovel coal onto a little conveyor belt to heat the house. Later Dad converted it to fuel oil, I think because they outlawed burning the coal. The house also had a 2-story stables out back that had been converted into a big garage. The doors slid open horizontally as stable doors do.
We went to the Shenandoah Theater for Saturday afternoon matinee and I remember we were incensed they went up from 10 cents to a quarter (for a double feature no less!) Whatever happened to double features? A really big outing would be Forest Park Highlands, the Comet roller coaster, and the bobsled ride which was actually much scarier. I also remember riding the electric streetcar up Grand to the St. Louis or the Fox. BTW there is also a Fox theater here in Atlanta that is similar. We liked to put pennies on the track and let the streetcar flatten 'em out.
My dad liked to stop off at a tavern called "The Place" after work and occasionally my mother would send me down there to fetch him for dinner. It was also at the end of the alley, but to the right. There was also a GREAT German bakery one more block away with unbelievably good bread, sweet rolls, and streudel.
Speaking of fattening food, as an 8-year old kid I was pretty sure Velvet Freeze was Heaven, until I got a little older and discovered Ted Drewe's and the "concrete". Later during high school we would head over to Ted's (the one on South Grand Ave next to Cleveland H.S.) and order a giant concrete with a raw egg in it for more protein.
Response from Janet Stone, Colorado Springs
I grew up in near West Florissant and Jennings Road (Fairview
Elem. & Jr. Hi). Here are some memories from the 50’s and
Picking out a Christmas tree at the fire station
Skaters at Forest Park
The Veiled Prophet Parade
Chocolate fudge sundaes at Walgreens (you got to pop a balloon for a discount)
Sunday afternoons with my dad parked at the end of the runway at Lambert Field while we listened to a Cardinals game
School picnics at Chain of Rocks (Fun Fair Park)
Seeing the Sound of Music with our whole sixth-grade class
Symphony concerts at Kiel Auditorium
My first pony ride at Holiday Hills
Clydesdales at Grant’s Farm
The Shriners’ Circus
Meeting Captain Kangaroo at the mall
Making a lanyard at summer playground
Going with our band to Pevely Playhouse
Sitting in the audience of “Corky the Clown”
Falling in love with books at Lewis and Clark Library
Hiding in the basement while a tornado destroyed the arena
Sledding and hot chocolate at Dead Man’s Curve
Riding a train out of Union Station
Watching the boats go through the locks in Alton
Collecting little plastic sticks with famous Americans from Dreamsicles
The “Bethlehem Sky” show at the Planetarium
Harry Caray and Jack Buck
Orange freezes at Steak ‘n Shake
Response from Myrna
When the doctor came to make a house call, some times you were put under quarantine. I guess it was for the measles. No one was allowed in or out of the house. A big sign was put on the front door, or in the window.
Also, the air raid practice. All lights had to be put out, or dark shades drawn. A man with a helmet went by and checked to make sure all was done. If not, you were warned, and I guess you could have been fined. A siren always went off first, and then you had to follow the instructions. I remember always being scared it was the real thing!
I always lost my skate key, and then the clamps didn't always fit your shoes, so you had to strap the skates on.
Also, when the bakeries went on strike, you had to go to the store, and buy salt rising bread. It wasn't bad.
Response from Charlotte
Most of my growing up years were spent around Chippewa and Gravois.
My phone number PRospect 2-8663
"swimming" in the pool at Tower Grove Park
dad's office being across the street from Sportsman Park and finding broken windows and the home run ball
Velvet Freeze ice cream - my dad worked at the one on Kingshighway when I was a little girl
summers at the Oak Hill Elementary School playground
Mrs. Flowers my eighth grade teacher
stopping at Ted Drew's after school at Cleveland for a cherry coke on my way to work at Nettie's
sledding on Art Hill
Saturday football games between Cleveland and Roosevelt high schools (it was hard because my boyfriend went to Roosevelt)
the roller coaster at the Highlands
Charlie's confectionery on Morganford
going clear out of town and through the country to get to South County Famous.
Oh my gosh I could go on and on, thanks for the memories..........
Response from Nancy
My address was 5621 Arthur
Phone: Flanders l-6067
Sledding on Art Hill and buying hot chocolate from the wagon
Hayrides at Valley Park
Bowling at Redbird lanes
Sororities at Southwest High School
Hanging out at Steak'n Shake
School picnics at the Highlands
Roller skating at the Arena
Going to the 66 Drive-In
The Big Vess soda bottle
Swimming at the Highland's pool (Splatter, platter parties)
Walking everywhere and never being afraid
Listening to Harry & Jack broadcast the St. Louis Cardinals
Learning to drive around Frances Park
Going to see Stan Musial's home with the reindeer on the roof at Christmas
The zoo and Phil the gorilla (anyone remember what Phil used to do?)
It was a happy life growing up in St. Louis in the 50's and 60's!
Response from Karel
My number Pa 1-4405
Talayna's Pizza after a date or maybe Cirano's on Clayton Rd.
The Pauline Theater around Ruskin Ave. on Sat morning with Hoppalong.
Mae West performing on De Balivere when it was the "strip"
Stopping at "Woods" drug store in "Old Orchard" after classes at Nerinx Hall
"Poor Richard's" in the Central West End
Walking to Velvet Freeze at night (even after dark) for ice cream
The zoo when Mr. Vierheller was in charge.
Chris King playing Irish music in Gaslight
The street car that ran from University City and along Forest Park Blvd.
Lombardo's when it was on Florrisant
Response from Ray
I remember how great a "town" St Louis was for
I remember free tickets to baseball at Sportsmans Park; the Municipal Opera; Fox Theater; Forest Park; the USO in Kiel Auditorium; steaks at Emil Vescovo's (out Delmar, somewhere
the beautiful street cars and street car system;
walking my girl-friend home along Clarendon -- across Enright, Kensington, Cates, Cabanne, Raymond, Vernon and Maple to Page after she got off work at midnight. (In 1946, after the war, the lady and I were married - and we still are.)
With in-laws in St. Louis, we've been there many tiimes, since.
And I still remember how hot and sticky it got in the summer. (No A/C in those days.)
Response from Carol, now living in Iowa
Reading this site was wonderful, we did have fun, didn't we?
My phone number was Lockart 5760, I lived at 4730 S. Grand Avenue.
Went to Scruggs and Cleveland High School, graduated in 1957.
I remember all the things and places that the others listed but my favorites were dancing to Ike and Tina Turner (who knew?)
Mavrakos candy store, Famous & Barr downtown, the German section of north St. Louis where my grandparents lived. And yes, the beer bucket.
High school was Ted Drewes, Steak & Shake, sorority and dances.
I was glad to see that someone else worried about the x-ray machine to fit your shoes; between that and all the dental x-rays taken at St. Louis University to straighten my teeth, I thought I was doomed! Not so.
I have to feel sorry for all these people in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Their memories were so small, and ours in St. Louis were so far-reaching.
Thanks for the memories.
Response from GraceAnne in Washington State
taking a blanket and laying on Art Hill to watch the colored fountain at night
going to the Muny to watch an operetta and never having a fear of walking through Forest Park
Jefferson Memorial - our entry to Forest Park
Bringing our sleds to Art Hill
Response from Garth
Growing up in South St. Louis. Every morning, I emptied the
grates on the coal furnace and carried the cinders out to the ash
Saturdays, going to the Cinderella Movie House on Cherokee Street, getting in for a dime, and spending the rest of the quarter on three bags of popcorn.
Saw a double feature separated by a Superman serial episode, the World News, and three cartoons.
Taking the Cherokee Street trolley ot Saint Thomas Aquinas Grade School. Later, I took the bus and used a school bus pass (issued monthly). Lived in fear I would lose the pass at the beginning the month.
Going to Sportsman's Park to watch the Cardinals, Stan "The Man" Musial, Red Schoendist, Marty Marion, Harry "The Cat" Brecheen, Enos Slaughter, and a host of other stars.
Also going to Sportsman's Park in the dead of winter and freezing while watching their professional soccer team play.
Walking down to the edge of the Mississippi in 1948 to see the rising flood waters. The river had completely inundated the railroad tracks and bluffs.
Playing "Indian Ball" on a cinder lot behind a friend's house. The game consisted of a baseball, baseball bat, and three players on each side.
Going swimming in Merrimac River. Almost drowned when a rip tide caught me. Really learned how to swim that day.
Going to Roosevelt High school and cheering on the Rough Riders.
Waiting on the front porch (with the other neighbors in the flat) in a heavy rainstorm. We waited for the sewer cover at the top of the street to blow sky high when the compressed sewer gases blew it out.
Carried beer in a silver bucket back home. St. Louis passed a law against open containers, so we hid them in brown paper sacks.
Playing flippers, using creased baseball cards from bubble gum packs, in the school yard.
Taking trips downtown to ride the metal steamship "The Admiral" down to Hannibal and back,
Like some of your other contributors, I went to Chain of ROcks Amusement Park across the river.
Taking frequent trips to Forest Park and the Art Museum.
I'm afraid I could go on and on, so I'd better stop now.
Response from Violet (12/18/2002)
I remember growing up in the old German town, "Baden," located on the near North side and living on Bittner street. My parents bought the house we lived in for $2,000 from the owner of Pluempe's Drug Store where long, glass encased candy counters, the old-fashioned ice cream parlor table and chairs, shake & malt areas beckoned and awaited one to spend their meager, but appreciated weekly allowance after school hours.
As a child, my parents, sister and I lived right across the street from the American Lithofold. My mother worked there for approximately 18 or 20 years. It was difficult to not only sleep because of the incessant noise, but also to maintain privacy because of the many, many cars of the employees pulling in and out of the parking areas throughout the night and day. Adjacent to the American Lithofold was the St. Louis Car Company where a portion of that area was fenced off and housed a variety of sheep. As a child, for whatever reason, I used to walk from my house to the St. Louis Car Company to gaze, view and smell the sheep.
I remember that while daily walking to school, out of curiosity, I would cut across the next street to Baden Avenue and enter the Water Works; an area which housed huge mysterious towering tanks which echoed and reverberated a variety of intriguing sounds across the immediate area. It was spooky, but nonetheless, I found myself continually going back to ponder and think about how magnificent it was that man could build such creations. I repeatedly asked myself how such things could happen.
When exiting the Water Works, nearby was also a medium-sized man-made pond with white lillies whose frogs hopped endlessly off the lillies and into the water. The water was surrounded by a multitude of strategically placed white rocks around the perimeter which appeared to be that of a grotto. I expected to see the Blessed Virgin Mary appear at any minute. It was in this area that the Baden Station existed:
The trolleys would whiz by! I always had the idea in the back of my mind that I could easily get run over if I did not watch out for myself when crossing the tracks to daily attend Holy Cross School. I also remember that in those days, by October and November, snow would be up to my knees as I trudged through the alley from Bittner street to Baden Station and on to Pelham Avenue, then crossing North Broadway, and finally ending up on Baden Avenue where the very religious neat, clean, well-organized red brick school building was/is located with its historic church and huge steeples that so magestically stands next-door.
I also remember that in those days, as children, and while growing up in Baden, there were no concerns or fears about pedafiles and things of that nature. If that had been the case, my playmate and I would have ended up missing, or would have been found dead a long time ago. Many people left their doors unlocked. You see, at the very end of Bittner street, (and behind what used to be called the American Lithofold), there used to be a dump there. Adjacent to the dump area was a heavily forested hidden pathway which led to the railway yards and river. My playmate and I used to periodically walk this pathway and become infested with poison ivy along the way. On the way to the railway yards and the river, we would hear and see bums on the path also. The bums would be searching for food, and trying to find quarters for themselves on the parked and sometimes "abandoned" railway cars. At that point, my playmate and I would slither into the heavily weeded section and hide until the vagrant/vagrants passed; our intuition telling us to do so because of a very good upbringing and also because there was no immediate escape outlet in the event something bad were to happen.
I remember the "Rag Man." I remember going to the Baden Show every Friday night, receiving rations to buy meat with, and receiving the Jeweled Tea, white with gold trim, dishes. I remember the mills, green and red. I remember my father being an Air Raid Warden who wore a big white hat which looked similar to a Fireman's hat. I remember hearing loud, shrill air raid warnings blowing in the night throughout Baden. The air raid warnings sounded like the nearby sound of the St. Louis Car Company's daily lunch-time whistle, only it was louder and more demanding.
I remember the streetcars, and my dad's old Model T Ford. I remember the flooding on Bittner avenue before the Riverview Flood Wall was put up. We were the only school kids who had to go to school in a boat in the city!
I remember the many wooden bridges on Bittner street that had to be built during flood times so that the employees of the American Lithofold could get inside of the building to go to work.
I remember the Fox, Missouri and St. Louis Theaters. I also remember the old Grand and World Burlesque theaters in downtown St. Louis. I remember the Stardust Club. I remember Winter Gardens, the skating rink on the Debaliviere Strip which was nearby, and adjacent to the Stardust Club
I remember seeing Evelyn West and her manager, "Al," whenever they nightly came into the Sheraton Jefferson Hotel for coffee after she had performed elsewhere. I remember seeing and talking to Evelyn West and observing how "classy," she was. I remember Evelyn West had impeccable taste for clothing, on and off stage and wonder what has happened to her.
I remember and occasionally view the picture that I have in my possession of Evelyn West and I together, dressed sexy and smiling as though there were no tomorrow. I remember that HALT, an organization of Americans for Legal Reform published in their summer 2002 newsletter that same established an Evelyn West Civil Justice fund stating Evelyn M. West made the largest financial contribution in the organization's history. It was also stated that Ms. West passed away in February of 2002, and that she had won a landmark gender equity settlement from the City of New York in 1985 after more than a decade of administrative proceedings and court litigation.
I do not know if Ms. West's middle initial was M. I do not know, therefore, if the Evelyn M. West that HALT speaks about is the former graduate and showgirl of Earl Carrol's chorus, Evelyn West, (the same Evelyn West who was affiliated with the Stardust Club in St. Louis, Missouri), or not. I would like to find out though. Evelyn West's real name was either Patricia McQuillan, or Amy McQuillan, and she originally was from Illinois. I would like to find out what happened to Evelyn West, however, and if any of your readers know, it would be interesting reading.
Yes, I remember Sportman's Park, the Highlands, Chain-of-Rocks Park, Steak & Shake on Riverview Drive, the Sugar Bowl which was located right next to the Baden Show, the Lombardo brothers, (one of whom went to school with my sister), the Richard Bono in Baden who was a fabulous musician and the music teacher, Mrs. Jane Creech, who recommended I study the saxophone from same, and of whom whose sister sang with the popular television show, "The Firestone Theater." I remember "Howdy Doody." I remember the Baden library having originally been right next door to the fire-house instead of where it is located now.
I remember the huge, decorative Christmas tree that used to stand tall and proud right in the middle of Broadway across the street from the fire-house and across the street from the then "Rexall Drug Store." In addition, I remember the daily and nightly Christmas recordings that echoed throughout Baden at this time of the year. I remember the Dime Store, and upon how I would spend a weeks' lunch money just to sneak away from school and go to the Dime Store instead at least once a week. I would sit up at the counter and buy an egg salad sandwich on toast and a piece of spiced cake. It was my favorite! The cake would always be very fresh because it was enclosed and stood upright on the counter in a round plastic container.
I remember the local hamburger shop a few doors away from the Dime Store. After viewing a movie at the Baden show, many times my sister, playmates and I would stop in at the hamburger store. The hamburgers were grilled with lots of onions. The buns were warmed up. You could smell these hamburgers a mile away! Boy! Were they good!
Thanks for giving people the opportunity to recant and reminisce. There are many, many pleasant memories of mine concerning St. Louis.
Response from Mark (12/22/2002)
St. Engelbert School, and DeAndreis and Laboure High Schools;
"Justice Under God" on Saturday mornings at school, which meant mopping, waxing, buffing the floors and other janitorial duties when accumulating demerits;
Eight inches of snow?? No problem, since the Nuns had to slip and slide only 20 feet from the Convent to the School.
The mid-September fund-raising carnivals at St. Engelbert;
Spending all day Saturdays (after chores) hanging out with my buddies;
Riding our bicycles to the Penrose Park bicycle track;
Harry Caray and Jack Buck doing play-by-play for the Redbirds;
Riding the Redbird Express to Cardinals games;
Teen Nights at Busch;
The "Big Red" football Cardinals, with Charlie Johnson handing off to Willis Crenshaw and Johnny Roland;
Riding the number 41 Lee bus downtown during Christmas;
Streetcars!! We had them;
Wesley House Community Center at the corner of Lee and Taylor;
"Bob", "Miss 'B', Be-Be, Miss Mary, Miss Harriet, Ed Squires, and everyone else who worked hard to make Wesley House the outstanding facility, at that time, for serving the northside youth and seniors. What a great program it was!!!
Kroger, Bettendorf-Rapps, Schnucks, TomBoy, Bi-Rite, and National groceries in which the customers were its most important and valued clients . . . and treated accordingly;
Friday night dances with live bands or DJs at the various Catholic High Schools in the area;
"Prom Magazine" which had two "reporters" from each area high school writing monthly "happening" columns;
Great football and basketball competition and cheerleading pictures were a staple in "Prom Magazine";
After-school get-togethers at the local Velvet Freeze;
High school football games all day long on fall afternoons at the Public Schools Stadium. The excitement, the bands, the fans, it was always a glorious afternoon;
Turkey Day championship and runner-up football games between the PHL and CAC conferences. These games were played originally at Public Schools Stadium, then at the old Busch Stadium for a couple of years, then finally at Francis Field at Washington U. The 2nd place teams from both leagues would play first, then the respective champions would play for the title of City Champion;
Sledding in O'Fallon Park near I-70.
Norside, Fox, Loews Mid-City Theaters;
Matthews-Dickey Boys Club baseball during the Spring and Summers. Those two gentlemen are Saints!!!
CYC football at Heine Meine (spelling??) Field;
Midnight Mass on Christmas was special;
The day Forest Park Highlands burned;
The decision to make Laboure all-girls and DeAndreis all-boys (neither school ever recovered);
Leaving windows and doors open on hot, steamy summer nights;
All the neighborhood kids gathering in our backyards (most seemed to find their way to my backyard) at the end of each nightly performance of the Shrine Circus when it was held at Public Schools Stadium;
El Birdos beating the Red Sox in '67;
St. Louis Hawks with Zelmo Beatty, Bill Bridges, and Lenny Wilkens;
St. Louis Blues with Red Berenson, Plager brothers, Jimmy Roberts, and Al Arbour;
The dance at Rosati-Kain HS in '69 during a major blizzard. The dance was not cancelled, was well-attended, the band was outstanding, and everyone had a great, great time;
I could go on and on and on and on !!
Response from Maureen (1/2/2003)
Are you still accepting St. Louis memories? If so, I have countless memories of my childhood in north St. Louis and later in north St. Louis County. I just turned 63 and grew up until age nine at 4653 Labadie Avenue...my younger brother and the other neighborhood kids and I walked to Blessed Sacrament grade school on Kingshighway every day. As I got older I would often walk alone and experimented in going home different ways...Maffit Ave. rings a bell...there was a bakery a few blocks away where we kids would congregate in the mornings to buy donuts and pastries...cream puffs and eclairs...and there was a chili parlor a few blocks the other way where we would buy the best chili during lunch periods a lot...
Blessed Sacrament church had a larger-than-life size carving of the last supper that was mind-blowing in retrospect...I remember standing in long lines in church to go to confessions on designated afternoons...I remember recesses in the school yard where we jumped rope and I never persisted in learning double-dutch...I remember my friend, Mary Catherine, in fourth grade, standing before the steps up to the school yard telling the little boy who had a crush on her to "kiss me" and he misunderstood and kicked me in the shins...she was so remorseful. I remember my rich girlfriend, Shirley, taking me and a bunch of other kids to the drugstore right across the street from school and buying us anything we wanted, usually fountain cherry cokes. She lived a block or two from school and would often take me home for lunch to her Italian grandmother's cooking of risotto or, on bad days, calf-brain sandwiches which I would scrunch up in my fists and feed to one of their chihuahuas! But nanna baked bread every day and it smelled and tasted so good.
I remember regretting that I made fun of a little boy with a cleft palate on the way home from school and I remember his name but am too ashamed to mention it. And inadvertently playing hooky one day when a friend were really late and couldn't open the school doors.
I remember the little boys and I taking shortcuts to school and them taunting the girls with: I saw England, I saw France, I saw "Mary's" underpants...and trying not to step on cracks because they would break my mother's back...and seeing a photo of a "UFO alien" on the frong page of a tabloid lying on the sidewalk and being totally mesmerized by it...
My mom saved newspapers collected during the war and kept them in drawers in a spare bedroom and I used to dive into them insatiably...lots of funny papers, too, which is how I learned how to read, really. The war photos, especially of concentration camp inmates, have haunted me all my life. After we moved to the county my mom kept these newspapers for years in boxes in the basement and I don't know what happened to them.
I remember best of all the times we went for cruises on the Admiral and what a wonder that boat was to me, from watching the big exposed "oars" and other machinations, to sitting on the deck on benches or at umbrella tables while my parents and other relatives drank and watching both sides of the river as we cruised, asking a thousand questions and getting answers...the ladies' rooms were named after movie stars like Sonia Henie -- maybe Rita Hayworth and Betty Grable, although I only remember for sure Sonia Henie's -- they were so glamarous -- so Hollywood, I would visit each one on every trip and could never make up my mind which was my favorite. But best of all was the arcade for the kids where my brother and I would spend hours looking at automated films through viewers, making imprinted "silver" star-shaped coins, etc. I loved the Admiral so much.
I remember dad taking us to see the Veiled Prophet parade from his office window (ala Miracle on 34th Street) and to the Shriner's fireworks display on Kingshighway and to baseball games where one of my older brothers told me to go get that guy's autograph and I later learned it was Joe Garagiola...and meeting him when I was grown up and telling him the story which he thought was totally lame, I guess.
Loved Westlake and Highland Park and the zoo and Jewel Box and Shaw's Garden in South St. Louis, where my mom grew up. And going fishing across the river with my family in Illinois and playing the slots in my dad's favorite bars there...Graffton...driving through country lanes and corn fields to this charming little country cottage where we bought eggs and probably other stuff...and going to Frankie and Mary's on Chain of Rocks for chicken dinners on the way home...just countless good memories...what enchantment it was compared to the real, grown-up life that was ahead.
Response from Judy (1/4/2003)
Growing up on Riverview Boulevard two blocks from the Halls Ferry Circle I remember walking to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel school and passing Baden School on the way. The Lutheran school was one block the other way. I remember rock candy next door to the Baden Show and walking along the path adjacent to the Mississippi River across Broadway and the playground there.
I remember Suburban Gardens swimming pool and Chain of Rocks Park and passing the cement plant on the way to a private swimming pool that wouldn't allow black people to swim there but I didn't know why. I remember skating on the pond in front of the St. Louis Art Museum, the roller skating rink in Pine Lawn, Club Imperial in Jennings where I danced for $1 to the sounds of that unheard of band Ike and Tina Turner.
I remember teen club dances every night of the week at a different Catholic school gym. I remember riding the bus all the way to high school at Incarnate Word Academy and playing basketball and volleyball against Nerinx and Rosati Caine. I remember Elvis concerts and 45 records and mood music like Jackie Gleason's Music For Lovers Only and Martin Denny's jungle sounds but I can't remember the name of the album.
I remember Charlotte Peters and Stan Kann and Bob Petit. I remember hating the Celtics bec. that darn guard, Bob Cousey, was always stealing the wings of victory from our Hawks. I remember St. Louis U's Billikins being U.S. soccer champs. I remember dating guys from McBride and Jennings and CBC. I remember trampoline parks and the Rio Show and when Tom Dooley was buried in Calvary cemetary.
I remember thinking that that new fangdangled thing called River Roads shopping mall was threatening to steal all the customers from Famous and Barr. I remember the drive in out in the N. County. I remember seeing the hot air balloon rise from the stage of Forest Park while seeing a performance of Meet Me in St. Louis. I remember riding the train to play basketball in St. Genevieve, Mo. and going to Wentzville and to Alton to Pierre Marquette State park.
I remember the Veiled Prophet parade and the Sadie Hawkins day race when the women got to ask the men out ..if you caught one in the race! I remember the Chase Park Plaza Hotel, the Chevrolet plant and pushing a patch on the window of stores downtown at Christmas and controlling the flow of the toy trains in the display windows.
I remember Norwood Country Club and the Fox and Loew's theatres. I remember alot but then it also feels as if I remember nothing at all. I do remember calling a name outside a door to get a friend to come out and play. Maybe that is a St. Louis thing, I really don't know. I live in California now but I love St. Louis and always will.
Response from Mort in San Diego (1/11/2003)
I remember when Mercy High School was being built. The Sisters of Mercy held $ bingo in the cafeteria weekly. In the forties and Fifties I lived in University City on Pennsylvania Ave just West of Vernon about as close to Mercy as you could get. Vernon was originally the Creve Coeur street car track right of way. I remember the straw seats that the driver "reversed" to make the trip back to Creve Coeur Lake. The other terminus was the Delmar Loop. I understand the Loop "newpaper stand" newsman died recently. He was there when I was a boy over half a century ago. Babler's Drugstore in the Loop had a fountain and two pinball machines or the Royal Sandwich System across the street. It was a treat to go into the Walgreens Drugstore on Delmar and Kingsland in the 40s. S S Kresge Co (the headquarters building is interesting and I'm sure still standing on Lindell just West of Grand Ave) and Woolworths dime stores and the U City Bowling alley upstairs. The French fries with sauce at Hamburger Heaven on Olive St Rd and Pennsylvania. The Coffee Pot Restaurant or Spry Farms Pet Supply. Did you ever leave St Louis via train using the Wabash RR Delmar Station? You could board the sleepers at 9 PM and wake up in Chicago! White Castle across the street sold a billion before McDonald's was invented. And the DeBalivere Strip with Parkmoor, Garavelli's, & Sorrento's. Golden Fried Chicken and Clardel Restaurant or the Blue Moon on Delmar. The Clock in front of the streetcar yard "barn" at DeBalivere & Delmar Blvd( or was it across the street in front of Moll's Market?). Nobody remember's the Gaslight District on Delmar and Boyle. It was lost in a Tornado almost half a century ago. And does anyone remember the Uptown, the area around Kingshighway & Delmar? How about Chain of Rocks Amusement Park? I remember seeing the Carteff Giant displayed there. Or the Royal American Carnival Shows visit each year to the vacant lot on Grand and Laclede. Or in the summer, open air watermelon stands(one was on Olive St RD) with ice cold water melon stored in huge iced in ground barrels. Jack & Jill Ice Cream Shop's colored whipped cream served on maybe 100 or so different specialities on Olive St Rd across from Westover Nursery. Or the Kiddieland on Page, just West of Pennsylvania Ave in the 40s. Or Siebert's Restaurant on Gravois, I believe in South St Louis. The old lady owner made creations like the Showboat (ice cream and sugar cookies with smoking stacks and she blew a whistle when served table side) and the tallest sundae ever, the Empire State building! Next best: a hot fudge sundae with whipped cream and nuts at any Velvet Freeze. How about Toddle House's chocolate cream pie or hash brown potatoes? Or the Winter Garden for ice skating? Or the Arena for roller skating(lost in 1958 to a tornado I think). The old terminal building at the airport?
And how about the East side of the river? Stoplight for fried chicken or Parkway for roast beef sandwiches(across from the swimming pool in East St Louis)? Did you every eat at the Stockyard's Restaurant? Or the public swimming pool in Belleville...
Response from Gail (2/7/2003)
I remember: my father had a big brown bike and he would ride my
sister and I to the Dairy Queen on Hampton Ave. Then we'd go pony
riding at the pony rides on Hampton too. Our phone number was
Flanders 1696 but they added a two to it after a few years (FL
2-1696). Sometimes we'd go to the Pony rides down on S. Broadway near
the prison yard and the Chariton's restaurant. It was behind the VFW
hall on the corner. Latter they had 24 hours BBQ available.
We'd walk everywhere too. We had the Roxy theater about 6 block away; the Avalon was on Kingshigway near south town famous and the Granada (which had a balcony) was on Gravois. We'd go to those shows mostly. We attended Our Lady of Sorrows grade school which was about 6 blocks from home. My best friends were Judy and Martha. We had been firends since well before school started for us. My dad use to show movies in our backyard for the neighborhood kids and he'd serve watermelon. All the kids had to bring was one button for admission! Dad was a big watermelon fan and we'd go to several watermelon stands in the summer. One was on Cheorkee St. and the other was behind a building on Gravois, near McMahon (Pontiac back then) Ford, near the cross roads of Chippewa and Gravois.
We had a club house on the Big River in a place called Gesso's cottage farms. My mom and dad would have various anunts, uncles and cousins out for the weekends. After dad died in 1951 the O'Malley family (my mom's family) rented a larger cottage and almost every weekend in the summer, the O'Malley families would go there. The grown ups would drink and play horse shoes and we kids would wander around the woods. We found an old Indian burial place hidden in the woods. We'd swim in the Big River and we had a rope swing that we could swing on into the river! There were snakes in the river too.
I remember riding our bics to the Highlands and playing there all day with no adult supervision but we never got into trouble. We went to the swimming poll next to the HIghlands. They made it a private pool and you had to pay one dollar to join. We'd to to Steinburgs every Friday night and we'd ride the bus there and back, walking home about two blocks from the Kingshighway bus stop in the dark.
We had horse drawn news paper guy. He'd drive up and down the streets in a horse drawn carriage and throw the papers at each house. We lived next to a Tavern and he'd always stop there and we could pet the horse while he was in drinkig a beer (to cool off). Sometimes we'd go into the tavern and the men would give us nickels or dimes. Uncle Frank owned the tavern (no relative of ours, but we called every adult we knew well either Aunt or Uncle as a courtesy title, never called an adult by their given name).
We ran behind the bug smoke truck as it choked out that smoke used to kill misquitoes, runnng after it for blocks.
Response from Carol from Iowa (2/19/2003)
My family also had a cottage at Giessow's Cottage Farm on the
Big River. We had the first cottage as you came up the road, we were
the Feeneys. We kept this cottage for thirty years, from the time I
was ten years old. It was an wonderful family place, the resort had a
playground, our own Catholic church - with traveling priest - tennis
courts and all the walking in the woods you could want. There was so
much early Missouri history in those woods; arrowheads, even an old
headstone for an early settler named Elizabeth on a bluff overlooking
the river. The little church was later built next to this headstone,
and the grave was treated with reverence. We had Indian burial mounds
right down the hill from our cottage, along a little stream. The
river and grounds were full of snakes, mostly poisonous but this
didn't deter "the kids" from exploring and canoeing. We
were a bunch of citykids and couldn't get enough of this new world.
Cottage Farm is still there, owned by one of "the kids" who
fell in love with it. I would love to share memories of this place
with anyone who either visited or had a cottage there in the fifties,
sixties and seventies. You can contact me at email@example.com.
Response from Elaine in Florida (3/2/2003)
Oh my gosh - Thanks for all these wonderful memories. I
remember standing outside my best friend's house calling OHHHHH
SUUUUUSIE to get her to come out and play. Guess that was a St. Louis
thing cause when I tell friends about it they look at me like I'm
NUTS! HAHA I remember being the first family on our block to get a
TV. The adults watching "the fights" on Saturday night and
us watching Howdy Doody, when we lived in Pine Lawn. We would walk to
the Catholic Church every Sunday with our lace caps on. The knife
sharpening truck would drive around our neighborhood. Grandmas had
coal furnaces. One Grandma had a "trash pit" in the
Went to the tavern with grandpa and I got an ice cream soda near Grand Ave. Water Tower I think. Grandpa would take me to O'Fallon park and he taught me how to play golf. My grandpa was a policeman and his beat was across from Sportsman's park and he'd catch the balls that came over the fence and we had a whole bag of balls in the garage for so long -- next to the 4' high stack of cases of 6oz. Cokes. Dad worked for Coke so we had always had cases of those great-tasting "little" Cokes.
Paying with mils -- riding on the streetcar and getting transfers to go all the way downtown to go to Dr. Hall -- the dentist. I hated those visits. I can still remember the fan in his waiting room and him saying "hold up your hand if it hurts and I'll quit." And I'd hold up my hand, and he wouldn't quit!! Going shopping downtown to Famous & Barr at Christmas and standing in line to see Santa and then we stuck our hand thru a hole in a clown's BIG mouth and picking out a gift - with the different clowns marked "girls" and "boy's" toys. Ordering clothes from the Montgomery Ward catalog. Grandma made most of our clothes though - and doll clothes to match with the leftover fabric.
Moving to Dellwood when I was in 3rd grade and going first to St. John and St. James school and then to St. Sebastian School near Moline Acres. If I missed the public bus (no school buses back then) I would have to walk. Running behind the "bug truck." Going to the Highlands at Forest Park and riding the wooden roller coaster - ONLY ONCE! I remember when Northland was first built and I would spend all day Saturday up there shopping. And if you had your hair in rollers then everyone knew you had a date that night and that was cool. I remember the hula-hoop contest in the parking lot of Northland shopping center - I WON!! I remember Dellwood Bowling Alley and winning the 1957 championship for "bantam girls" when I was 10 years old. I've still got the photos - pathetic hairstyle!!! Going to Blanchette Park in St. Charles for the annual picnic for our Catholic grade school. Uncles playing bottlecap baseball in the alley behind my Grandma's house on Holley Ave. Not only learning to swim at the downtown YMCA but trying to sneak a peak at the boys, cause they swam NAKED (why?) but us girls didn't. Watching Kukla Fran and Ollie -- Watching Charlotte Peters on TV. Going to the St. Louis Hop - our version of American Bandstand.
I remember cruising Steak 'N Shake and sitting there for hours on end doing nothing and collecting change from everyone in the car to get enough money to buy gas so we could "drive around" all night long. Getting pulled over by the cops cause we had too many kids in the car near Northland. Dating guys from CBC - Dave - God rest his soul, Wally from Aquinas, Tom from McBride and friends from Incarnate Word. Swimming in the canal. Going to the Savoy Theater in Ferguson and paying .14 cents to see a matinee on Sunday. Every girl I knew bought her shoes from Baker's Shoes.
Going to Wabash Park to go ice skating in the winter. Drag racing on Hall Street and "Dirty Harry" would arrive and pull out his DRAGSTER from the back of a trailer and drag it down Hall St. until the cops would show up. I was the FLAG Girl one night! Going to Luigi's Restaurant for the best pizza in the whole world. St. Louis is the ONLY place that has Provel cheese - that's what makes their pizzas the BEST! The first McDonalds - a walk-up - in Florissant. Velvet Freeze Ice Cream store in Ferguson. Roller skates which required a "key". Pretzel boys on corners - sooo good.
JAckson 1-5750 & party lines. Traveling as far as you wanted without a parent on Halloween and coming home with a pillow case FULL of the "big" candy bars. Having to do a trick for a treat! Going to the FOX theater to see "Gone With the Wind" with girlfriends from High School and having a DRESS and highheels on and crying so much there was a PUDDLE in my lap cause the dress was some kind of slicky fabric that didn't absorb water!
Club Imperial and Ike and Tina Turner. Going to Gaslight Square and seeing Johnny Carson and getting his autograph.
The admiral. Backing in to the drive in or somebody being in the trunk - the Airway (?), North Drive-In -- in St. Ann. Teen Town on the parking lot in the summer and in the gym at the grade schools.
St. Louis will always be "home" and I miss it. 5 generations of my family lived there.
Response from Mary (6/14/2003)
I remember when my grandparents had an old fashion grocery
store with potatoes in a crate, meat in an ice box, a meat block the
old cashregister that ring when the cash drawer would open. There
were metal and plastic mils. There was a sugar shortage. Later after
my grandparents passed away my parents took over the store. We didn't
have 101 different kinds of cereal. TV, what was that we had radios.
It was quiet and peaceful. Lots of clean fun. Jumping rope, playing
jacks. I remember the Air-Way Drive car load for a dollar. My dad
would take us for a ride on the ferry out in Saint Charles. My
brother made his own wagon we had lots of fun taking turns. We would
pick berries on a Farm make money to catch the bus to Wellston. Go to
a movie buy popcorn. We could leave our doors open all night during
the summer. There were so many things different from today. We had
clean fun Our parents knew where we were. We did family things
together. Lots of love. My phone # was Atwater 1981.
Response from Jim O (7/3/2003)
My phone number was Prospect 24236 We shared it with 3 other
We lived off of Cherokee Street and spent lots of time at Benton Park
Fishing tournaments in the city parks
Trips to Soulard Market with a stop at "Shusters" or Hog N' Frog" - A
haircut at Dixie's
Golden Glove tournaments at Lemp Park
Watching cars race on Hall Street
Afternoons at the "Hospitality House" at the Falstaff Brewery
Then chicken dinners at Hodak's
Playing 25 holers at the Shasta Tavern
Bottle cap tournaments at Newman's
Skipping school to see an afternoon game at Sportman's Park
Walking around "Famous" downtown at Christmas time
Going over to Columbia, IL during Strassenfess
Roller skating and swimming at the "Downs"
Going to matinees at the "Cinderella show"
A double scoop of Chocolate Chip at Velvet Freeze
Skating at St. Anthony's on Friday and Teen Town on Sundays
Watching the river boats on the Mississippi at Bellrieve Park
Selling pretzels from Gus's behind Sears
Bowling at Bowling Grand or Jackovac's on saturdays for 10 cents a line
Summer visits to the "Highlands"
Response from Tom (7/16/2003)
I remember ICE trucks that dropped huge blocks of ice off to
people...and sometimes kids....
I remember "the snow cone man" coming on a little motor scooter on Summer evenings...
I remember the Bobsled at The Highlands.....
I remember our band, The Aerovons, playing at Bat Cave, Castaways, and the Rainy daze club....
I remember the famous "sugar bowl" case .....(big news in St louis in the 50s....their sugar bowl was moving and no one was there!
And I remember running, slipping, and sliding home on the ice to get my new copy of "Meet The Beatles"......
Response from Ed (8/1/2003)
The radiant heat of the Cherries Jubilee on my face at Cyrano's
and the decadence of the 'legal' brandy poured over the smooth
vanilla ice cream
.... Summer evening dances with a live band in the air-conditioned ballroom on the S.S. Admiral
.... Playing summer tennis in the shadow of big sycamore trees ringing the abandoned Meadowbrook Country Club courts
.... Sneaking in for winter ice skating on the monastery pond at Ashby & Midland or, at night, by streetlight, on the frozen canals in Forest Park
.... The irresistable, after-swimming hunger caused by the smell of fresh popcorn drizzled w/mustard (or the juicy, hamburger) at The Overland Legion Pool concession stand
.... Walking out of a big, dark, cool downtown movie on a summer day into the brightest light and hottest blast of heat imaginable
.... Driving w/the windows down right after a rainstorm, as the smooth, wet streets hiss beneath the wheels, St.Louis smelling intense and organic, of the river.
Response from Debbie Price in Alabama (8/5/2003)
I now live in Alabama. Reading and remembering has made me
I remember the Ritz Theater and the Melba Theater where I saw the movie "The Blob" which gave me nightmares for months.
...the bakery on the corner of Wyoming and Spring where you could get coffee cake for a quarter every Saturday morning.
....the confectionary with all its penny candy, including Bonomo's taffy.
...in Tower Grove Park, playing down by the "ruins" and the pond.
...rolling skating down the cobblestone alley and around the block.
...Utah Street, between Grand and Spring Avenue, had a small park that ran down the middle. It was great for a game of touch football, tag, or anything we could make up. In the autumn we used to run and scatter the pile of leaves that had been raked up in the middle. I am sure we weren't appreciated but the dry leaves felt so good and it smelled wonderful.
...the streetcars on Grand Avenue.
...the old trees arching over the streets in the summer, making a cool, shady tunnel.
...St. Anthony's roller rink with girls in their white skates and boys in their brown.
...I, too, remember driving with the windows down on a rainy summer's night and smelling the breeze off the river.
Dave: Thank you for letting us remember!
Response from anonymous (8/7/2003)
I am 61 today and a friend sent this site to me. Oh, what a gift!
I started out around Spring and McDonald Ave. in south St. Louis. Ash pit in the alley and watching my Dad remove "clinkers" from the furnace. The vegetable man came down the alley with his horse and cart. Everyone seemed to have a picture of themselves dressed like a cowboy and sitting on a pony. The pony and pictureman went around neighborhoods. The milkman left the bottles at the backdoor and if there was a change in your order you left a note for him in the empty bottles. The doors weren't locked even when you left for a Sunday drive. Screen doors slamming let you know when Daddy was home. Does anyone remember Tullman's market? Ice cream cones for a nickel, double scoop for a dime. Great penny candy. I saved up the mils and returned bottles to partake in a feast! Being sent to the store with a grocery list and it was filled from shelves reaching to the ceiling. The neighborhood tavern was across the street, that filled pails of beer for little old ladies to bring him for the "old man". And the tavern had fish frys on friday evening. Great German bakeries with gooey butter coffee cake and the light whipped and tall cheesecake. Playing in the "gangways" between houses. Hopscotch, roller skates with the key around out necks, and perpetual skinned knees in the summer. The feel of the concrete lampposts that were "base" for all those twilight games. And yes, yelling "Oooooh, Fraaaaaanny" in front of her house until she came out or I got tired of yelling. Weren't neighbors wonderful then?
The Melba Theatre and the Ritz. The Sears store on Grand with the blind guy and his accordian out front. And the vacant lot with pony rides across the street. My favorite was a white pony, Snowball. Wethington (sp?) hotdogs were a real treat. The St. Louis Zoo with Phil the beer drinking gorilla. Coolie hats to keep the heat off, and cupie dolls with feather clothes dangling from a stick.
St. Pius grade school. Talk about not PC. I remember being in a minstrel show with burnt cork on our faces. Great school parades down Utah St. Decorating the bicycles for the parade and carrying class banners that were decorated. The Valentine box was extra special and you got, and made homemade valentines from paper and doilies.
Rose Fanning summer "camp" with the costumed "pageant" at the conclusion. And big kids "taking us up" on the swings, with "dips" that were really scary.
Moving to Spanish Lake . St. Aloysius school and Laboure. The Grand Ave. streetcar for visiting the old neighborhood. The Baden downtown, and movie theatre. Attending football games at the public school stadium and then to White Castle for a bag of burgers Halls Ferry Circle. French fries and cherry cokes at the Katz drug store, and hot fudge sundaes at the soda counter at Bettendorfs. (Angie, the best waitress ever). Cruising through Steak & Shake to see who was there. One night driving through in a baby blue Ford Galaxie convertible with white upholstery. It was a loaner for one day, but the response was so memorable! Glass packs and dual carbs. I had no idea what that meant but acted like I did because it was so cool! Senior Prom in the school gym and the mirrored disco ball that made it so memorable! And we wore hoop petticoats under our prom dresses.
Thanks for letting me reminisce. I don't feeling any younger, but, those were the best of times!
Response from Michael (originally from St. Louis 16, Missouri) (8/27/2003)
Response from Joy Jones Brandon (9/22/2003)
Response from Ann Gunn (10/3/2003)
Response from Bob Doerr (10/4/2003)
Response from Jeanne (10/23/2003)
I remember skating at Hodges in Pine Lawn. My partner was Jack Jennings who had grand kids my age (17) and we used to do the dance demonstrations during the skate break.
I remember the prefix names for the phones and as a customer service rep at SWBell (Pine Lawn office) my responsibility was "Forest" .
I recall being allowed to sneak into the ball park to see the Cards because my beau of the day was an usher! I lived a block away on Palm and went to Central.
The bobsled at the Highlands was so scary when I was only 7 but not so bad at 15 with my sweetie.
remember the tamale man and his push cart/ "Tamales get your red hot tamales" I didn't like them then but now (living in Texas) I love them especially the New Year's variety with pineapple, nuts and raisins...sweet ones.
Let's see did anyone mention the Turner Hall? All the special parties for St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Polish and Italian celebrations? I went to all of them!
Tower theater (free my beau was an usher and let me in the side door)
Fish fries at the Catholic Churches.. I have never had jack salmon anywhere else and the red sauce was to die for!
How about mandatory driver's education? My first time at the wheel I centered it on the trolley tracks and scared the stuffing out of Mr. Thuett the instructor. How was I to know anything about a car....like most of our neighbors we didn't even own one!
White Castles, Steak and Shake Orange frosts, playing in the fountain at Hyde Park, the Two big water towers on Grand Ave. The Jewel box, Muny opera (free seats)
the circus at Public School Stadium on Kings hiway. The Chinese restaurant across from the Fox theater...my uncles tavern on 14th street. First Baptist church on Grand and Holy Name next door....I went to both every Sunday for awhile.
Snowflakes sticking to my nose and eyelashes(sounds like a song there) Autumn......the crunchy leaves and wonderful colors and Spring going to the woods to look for violets and Jack in the Pulpits....Dandelion wreaths in our hair and lying in the fresh cut grass on a summer day reading about "Mr. Poppers Penguins" or the "The 5 Little Peppers and How They Grew" The worst memory is of being sick every single holiday without fail and my favorite uncle would come to give me a hug and the cigar smoke on his clothes would make me throw up! He bought my Polio Insurance and paid for my shots when they came out.
Our landlady's son was Randall Maiden and when he died of Polio the wake was held in her living room on the first floor of our apartment building on Randall Street. I remember the casket being open and everyone crying but it was the first time I had seen a dead body and was only 8. He had been in an iron lung when we moved there and that too was in the living room.. I could visit but he could not talk so I would read to him.
Enough I could go on forever...I really miss my home town too.
Response from June or Jeff ??? (11/10/2003)
My phone number was FLander's 1-1274. I lived across the street from St. Boniface School and the convent, which makes for some interesting stories in itself.
Our neighborhood show was the Michigan show where it cost 10 cents until they raised it to 25 cents. I remember getting a sucker called a Slow Poke because it was cheap and it would last through two features and you would actually still have some of it left over. You could also buy other things later with the money you had left over.
All the kids in the neighborhood (living on your city block) played together. We would play a game called "release" which was really a hide and seek game but we used our entire block to hide with one person's house being "home-base". I remember leaving my house in the morning and not coming home until evening (I don't think we even stopped playing to eat) which was when all the mom's in the neighborhood would walk outside their doors and call their kids to come home. My brothers were usually playing basketball at St. Boniface playground across the street. Along with my mom calling us home, I remember being sent out in the yard by my mom to call my brothers home too.You were in serious trouble if your mom ever had to actually leave the yard to go find you.
As a family we went to the drive-in theater where my mom would make her own shrimp rolls (unbelievably good) and she would pop popcorn from the bacon grease that was left and always kept on the stove. That was the best popcorn ever!
As kids we did our own haunted house and charged something like a penny to get in. Then of course there was candy day. Every kid went home and rounded up every bottle in the house, getting them from places that you would never touch if it wasn't't for the fact that you would get candy. We would go to Mr. and Mrs. Robert's confectionery on the corner of Stein St. and get a huge bag full of candy. The Robert's were always so patient in taking our candy orders.
Who can forget wash day? This is where all the mom's in the neighborhood were washing the clothes by a wringer washer and hanging them outside, wow those sheets always smelled good on Monday nights. Then came Tuesday's, where my mom spent the whole day ironing clothes but first she had to "dampen" them and roll all of them up to wait for their turn to be ironed. That was also spaghetti day and my mom would cook her spaghetti sauce all day long, the prize was that my brothers and I could have one piece of bread with sauce before supper but no more because it would spoil our supper, at least according to our mom.
I remember the rag man, the scissor sharpening guy, the Saturday night paperboy, Kipp's candy on Broadway for cherry cokes the little Dairy Island across from St. Boniface where on summer nights my mom and I would walk to for ice cream cones.
I could go on and on. Actually, I remember almost everything that you have already posted but I just had to tell someone, other than my kids, that I had a wonderful childhood too growing up in St. Louis!
Response from Wayne Royce (11/18/2003)
Parents shopping on Cherokee Street Friday nights and walking to St. Agatha's for Sunday mass.
Later, shopping on Gravois and also going to the Sears on So. Grand.
Going down to a sealed back entrance to Cherokee Caves located in a lot on 18th St. and Cherokee St. Later I found out that it was part of what was called Lemp's Cave.
Going to the "swimming pool" in Tower Grove Park; was there one in Dakota Park too?
Sailing boats in the pool by the ruins in Tower Grove Park. There were large water lily pads in tubs in other ponds.
Watching the water come out from the lion's mouth in Shaw's Garden.
My aunt was an elevator operator in the Park Plaza Hotel and would give us rides in the elevator and Sunshine butter cookies.
Going under Grand Ave. through the tunnel between Desloge Hospital and St. Louis U. Med. school basement.
Learning to swim through the "Catfish Club" at Marquette pool and yea, everyone was worrying about catching polio. I almost drowned there swimming alone; was pulled out by a lifeguard.
I always thought that by ringing the doorbell, the visit would be considered more important and the adults would answer it. So if a kid was calling a kid's name from the sidewalk they could just ignore it or let their kid come out.
No one can believe me now when I tell them that at Halloween you had to perform something to get a treat. This was for little kids, of course; older kids waxed any window that wasn't protected and dump any garbage can that wasn't hidden for the night.
My mom called breaded pork chops, "poor man's turkey" for some reason.
People from the country were called "Hoosiers" (all of my family came from the country), girls were called dames and anything we didn't like was "fruit".
I remember going to Forest Park zoo and transferring from the Kingshighway bus to the Forest Park street car and seeing the POWs from WW II. They lived behind a barbed wire fence in tents.
Long School library on Morganford was really great with books on Indians and Boy's life magazine. It seems to me that the children section was larger than the adults. Mrs. or Miss Eagle was the librarian.
There was an old Bank building on Gravois and Morganford that was closed for as long as I was there. Maybe it failed during the depression?
We had an Ice Box and used a sign to indicate we wanted ice. It was turned to the side that had the amount you wanted.
I went to St. John the Baptist school and the school picnic was always great.
There were free lemonade and turtle races. I lost a nickel at one of the games and have rarely bet on anything since.
Father Peters led the school parade and I think the white horse used to deliver Pevely milk was in it too.
Once or twice a year my mom would take us downtown to shop for school clothes and we would have a toasted ham salad club sandwich at the dime store down there.
There was a donut-making machine somewhere, down there. The donut dough would drop down into a form in the hot grease and be slowly pulled half way around, flipped over and then expelled at the other side when it was done. To get across 12th Street and Market, we would go down some stairs and then under the street.
Every one on the bus would be embarrassed as we went pass the House of the Good Shepard on Gravois when one of my younger siblings would say that is where they take "bad girls".
White castle hamburgers were great then and even better when I use to drink Stag beer with them and my father. It's usually the first thing I eat whenever I go back. On the west coast you can get them in a frozen package now; but it's not the same thing.
We had a ceramic pitcher that was sent to the corner tavern for beer.
I always admired that happy Falstaff guy in his leather hip boots on the Falstaff advertisements. He had an enormous belly, sort of a South St. Louis Santa Claus.
For a while, we lived on Schiller Pl. and one of the scissor grinders (I think his name was Mr. Caladucci) lived down the street. He use to push his cart all around St. Louis. I think he appear in the Ripley's Believe It Or Not for all the miles he had walked.
In the summer, we would wait for the ice-cream man who would ring a bell and push his cart around. We would wait in the shade under what we called a cigar tree (Catalpa) across the street.
At the school picnic, the seventh grade boys who were going to be patrol boys the next year, got to pick up "empty" bottles. Most of them were beer bottles and you can imagine how some of them got completely emptied.
During the war, we got into the Granada Theatre free one time for bringing scrap metal. I remember opening both ends of the tin cans and smashing them flat. I always will remember the maps in the paper showing the progress of the war.
There were neat military parades on Washington Ave. downtown for holidays, like Veteran's Day.
After the war, there was a war surplus store down town that had all kinds of neat things.
When we hitch hiked out to Sunset country club to caddie, we would go by Grant's farm on Gravois Rd. with the fence made of rifle barrels.
Then there was Gravois creek. I spent many hours exploring it, from Crestwood to River Des Peres, trespassing all over the place. Grant's farm had a really neat lake behind a huge ornate gate. It was like stepping into what I imagined Bavaria would be like.
Getting haircuts at "Charlie the chopper" on Delor St., I think his real name was Al but nobody used it. He washed everybody's hair before he cut it.
There was another non-union barber on Bates St. near So. Grand that could do all kinds of math in his head. Later I found out that this included calculus word problems. He never stopped talking.
Checking out the people dining outside at Bevo Mill with birch bark lamps at their tables.
Listening to "Slavic Melodies" on Sunday mornings on KSD (didn't understand a word of it but it was very pretty).
I remember the music associated with the Veiled Prophet Parade, I think it's the March from the Aida opera. It always moves me.
Looking at fossils in the limestone foundations of many of the old buildings anywhere in South St. Louis.
Later, Bellrieve Park, off Broadway and near Bates, was great place to make out with a full moon overlooking the Mississippi. Art hill in Forest park and the Merrimac river (off Big Ben road) were great too.
There were (are?) great places to swim; some that I can remember are Webster Groves (40 acres park?), Maplewood pool, a pool on highway 66 next to the Merrimac River, Springdale and maybe the Rivera on highway 141.
Getting sandwiches made at Usselman Market on Spring and Laclede Aves. near St. Louis U.
Hamburgers and onion rings at Parkmoore (Clayton and Big Bend) in Richman Heights were great too.
Crossing the rail yard over the bridge (sort of a steel suspension) on Grand Ave. with streetcar tracks right down the middle of it.
The Limestone quarries were neat too. We use to have weenie roasts at the one off River Des Peres.
Riding the buses and streetcars in St. Louis really provided a view of the outside world. There were so many interesting, beautiful buildings, bridges and other structures with different architecture from all over the world.
In spite of being warned about drowning, getting run over by trains, stuck in caves (like Floyd Collins) or getting our eyes put out in sword fights, we were always safe to explore it.
That was a long time ago.
Response from John E. Conrad (11/18/2003)
I must be older than most of your respondents. Several sounded about my age of 79.
The tireless wheels on the paper delivery wagons pulled by the paper boy were called "PD" wheels. (Post-Dispatch)
I rode the Creve Coeur streetcar with my grandmother from the Wellston loop. Also the Kirkwood Ferguson streetcar from Grand and Hebert all the way to Kirkwood for a nickle. The car had running boards on each side of the car that the conductor came along and you put your nickel into the fare box he carried. I accompanied him many times.
There was also a car that only went to the Crow's Nest; which was just west of Midland and Ashby nowadays.
I went to picnics from St. Edward's School to Westlake which was then just behind where McDonald's is now at the junction of Natural Bridge Rd. and St. Charles Rock Road.
I also rode on the back of the ice man's wagon and also the newspaper delivery man's wagon. He later turned out to be the mayor of St. Ann—Clarence Tiemeyer.
St. Edward's School used to let us out of school at 2:45 p.m. and we ran to the Cass streetcar loop at Belt and St. Louis and headed for Sportsman's Park to watch the Cardinals or Browns. We usually got there about in the third inning.
Remember the Parkmoor restaurant on Kingshighway and Cote Brilliante across from Sherman Park? And the guy who sold ice cream and gave you a song with it? "Here goes another one, just like the other one, tra-la-la-la-the la?
Nobody that I knew even had a telephone!
And I remember my dad's home brew blowing up in the basement during the hot summer nights. He cried like a baby!
I also had to walk home with my mother after the 1927 tornado struck. A friendly fireman put his raincoat on us as he walked us home from Grand and Hebert to Vandeventer and Kennerly.
Ah, yes! Those were the days.
Response from George (11/24/2003)
Granada Theatre. Any former ushers or concession girls reading this?
Street Car rides to the Fox, Missouri and St. Louis theatres.
Arena Roller Rink.
Forest Park Highlands.
Western Auto Stores/ Dime stores/ yo yo contest.
Christmas time in Downtown St. Louis.
Santa at Famous, Stix and Scruggs.
Animated Christmas windows.
Palace of Poison.
Lee's Grill. (Good hamburgers)
Gas Light Square.
Ike and Tina Turner @ the Southwinds. (Kingshighway & Chippewa)
Tony the Hot Tamale Man. (South St. Louis)
Ronnies Drive-In/66 Drive-In.
Splatter Platter Parties (Sunset Pool/Dick Clayton disc jockey)
Coal Furnace/Alleys/Ash pits.
Playing softball/bottle caps in the alley.
Riding your bike with cards stuck in the spokes.
Cleveland, Southwest and Roosevelt High Schools.
Beautiful South St. Louis girls.
Oh...my old phone number Hudson 8475 (4507 Morganford Rd.)
Response from Jim Quinlan (11/21/03)
Many thanks for the memories you have stirred.
I grew up around St. Roch's. Skinker, Waterman, Kingsbury, Pershing, those were the street names I remember, and Cabanne 8806.
The old Delmar Station and a White Castle nearby. Sliding down the embankment toward the tracks on a cardboard box and more sliding, this time on a sled in Winter down Art Hill toward the lagoon.
And scrap drives during the war. I must have cleaned out more basements than any other kid.
For great food there was Garavelli's on ??? street. Where was it again? I recall old man Garavelli would bribe us kids come Haloween night with a little roast beef sandwich and bread sticks. Oh those breadsticks!
The Esquire and Apollo theaters - ring a bell?
Setting pins at Nelson's Bowling Alley. Ash pits, the rag man, and the Veiled Prophet.
The Muny Opera and riding our bikes down those steep ramps during the day. Sitting on the grass at night.
Response from Ed McGue (12/3/03)
Having the White's Bakery truck stopping by what seemed to be 3 times a week.
Having a juice company deliver juice to our door, but cannot remember the name of the company.
Taking the streetcar with my mother to Wellston, and her telling me that the Victory theatre used to be named the Mikado, but the name was changed after the beginning of WWII.
I also remember the Holiday, Airway, Olympic, and Saint Ann Movie Drive Ins.