Friday, December 18, 2009

If I Could Go Back In Time

If I could go back in time to my hometown which was North Little Rock, Arkansas where I lived from the age of 3 to 15:

My little brother Freddie and I would climb on the bus and go over to Little Rock and spend the entire morning at the zoo and then we'd be hungry and we'd walk just a few steps to the Amusement Park which was at War Memorial Park and we'd stand for the longest looking at and laughing with the jolly fat lady with the red and white polka dotted dress who lived inside a big glass box. We'd put nickle after nickle in the slot to watch her laugh, then we'd be feeling real happy so we'd get a bite to eat and ride the Merry-Go-Round and depending on how much money we still had left we might get to take a spin on the Tilt-A-Whirl or even play a few games and remember we came by bus, so we had to save enough to get back home. The park and zoo was safe in the early fifties. No perverts lurking about.

I'd go for a full day of shopping at Sterling's down on Washington Avenue or maybe even head on over to J.C. Penny, Woolworth's or the Argenta Walgreen Drugs. I could look at all the new stuff like foam rubber curlers or might even buy some Spoolies. What you don't know what Spoolies are? Well they were little bitty rubber curlers which were shaped like miniature hubcaps and they came in brown or pink and you held them flat to your head like a little bobbin and rolled your hair around it then snapped the top and bottom closed at the same time and that was it. Groovy!

If it was Friday night, I'd probably be found down on Riverside Avenue at the Skating Rink and music blaring and handsome boys with ducktails greased to perfection would be my idea of heaven for several hours.

Maybe Freddie and I would go to the Razorback Drive-In on Saturday night and put dime after dime in the jukebox and listen to Stonewall Jackson sing "Waterloo" and have a blast watching all the truckdrivers make passes at the roller skating, short skirted carhops. We'd probably get ourselves an RC and a burger while there.

Some Saturdays we spent the whole day downtown at the Rialto Theater watching Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and Hopalong Cassidy. We'd get to see previews, and comics and if they were really funny we'd stomp our feet on the seat in front of us and cheer and clap wildly. We'd always get a big dill pickle, a hot dog, a Coca Cola and some JuJu's and still have money left for the bus ride back home. Most of the times and when we'd eaten all our spending money up we'd just walk on home. Only 4 or 5 miles.

On a weekday we knew what day the new comics (we called 'em all funny books) came in the stores and I wish I could remember the name of "our" store but I can't. Anyway we'd be there before the truck brought them in and we'd buy however many we had money for and carefully read them, then go in and the man who owned the store would sometimes let us trade them back to him for ones we'd not read. Eventually we wound up with our books and we could then trade them to another kid for ones we didn't have.

When I was in Junior High, I'd stop off after school at a little cafe called Paladino's and we'd all sit around and play the juke box and dance usually with other girls, 'ya know the Bop and the Jitterbug because there were way more girls there than boys and they didn't much like dancing unless it was dark. We'd have Hot Chocolate and Donuts and most of the times I'd skip lunch so I could have more to spend there. Sometimes the older girls from the high school would be there and be smoking cigarettes and they'd sometimes give us a puff. That was pretty daring and fun. I couldn't wait to grow up like them. Before I left I'd go in the restroom and scrub the lipstick off!

If I wanted to be alone, I'd go down to Fairy Street by the Arkansas River and visit with the homeless people who lived in cardboard shanties and they were called "Foxholers". I loved those interesting and colorful folks.

When Daddy was studying to be a Mason with Uncle Sammy, Momma would drop him off and we'd all three head for the Crystal Drive-In for a huge bag of tiny hamburgers. 10 for a buck and we'd take in a double header at the drive-in movies and eat our burgers and drink the grape Kool aid on a pallet in front of the car and we'd go back for Daddy afterwards. We did this once a week for over a year.

If it was blistering hot in the summer and Momma was not working she'd load us in the car with innertubes, sandwiches, lemonaid, Freckles the Cocker Spaniel that bit Freddie on the lip and off we'd head for Lake Nixon to meet up with Aunt Marion ( whose parents actually owned the place) and her girls for a fun day swimming, dancing around in the pavillon to the jukebox, eating lunch and lying around on the sand while Aunt Marion read Romance books and Momma read mystery magazines and smoked L&M cigarettes. That was the life.

What are your memories of if only....................


  1. This was a precious post my friend. Gone too soon, I say.

    Blessings and love to you~


  2. I really enjoyed my trip with you to h=your hometown, it was wonderful. I love fairy street! You sound like you had a lovely childhood there! Thank you for your kind and warm comment on my blog again Mollye. Merry Christmas! suzie. xxx

  3. Oh Miz Mollye...
    I knew there was something about you. Girl, every summer, EVERY summer, we went to Beaver Lake in Arkansas, or Table Rock Lake in MO. We spent so much time at Hillbilly Land and Christ of the Ozarks and Eureka Springs, long before it became this darn commercialized rat trap that it is now. Oh what simple fun it was. We have so many things in common.

    We also had a Woolworth's. I can remember walking around and around the fresh candy counter trying to think of what I wanted to spend my money on. Oh my gosh, they had so much candy. I loved that licorice rope, it lasted forever, and the fresh peanuts smelled so wonderful. I loved their wood floors, when I wore my Sunday best shoes they clip clopped on the floor, and the popcorn popping was just to dance for.

    Our burgers were 15 for a dollar. Only ours came from Pak A Sak. It was wonderful. We thought we were so rich. Little did we know how hard our parents worked for those treats.

    I remember how thrilled we were at simple things. Chocolate for our milk, a season pass tot he swimming pool, no shoes in the summer. Quarters for the juke box. Cartoons on Saturday, riding our bikes to the corner family grocer. What fun we had.

    Thank you for the memories sweetie. One of the reasons I so love to come by.

    Country hugs and so much love...Sherry

  4. Ahhhh, those sweet precious memories. Sweet enough to almost make you cry missing them. We grew up the same,with a Woolworth's and a Wacker's store. Fresh candy for the ladies to weigh and put in our sack,then off to look at all the "girl" stuff..maybe an ice cream scoop in gorgeous cut glass dishes at the drugstore...,
    oh..those memories of a small town in Texas with dusty feet in summer catching crawfish and cooking them outdoors in my and my sisters makeshift little play kitchen. Thank you for jogging all those and more memories of younger sweet life with no worries...Ahhhhh

  5. I have similar memories to yours... spending Saturdays at the Double Feature at the "picture show", hanging out at the drug store soda fountain and drinking those large fountain cokes in the paper cups with crushed ice and a bag of Lays BBQ potato chips. Riding horses to the country store where you could get a whole host of penny candy. Riding my bike in town at my Grandmother's house and just having total freedom. Lots and lots of wonderful memories. I loved my childhood. It was blessed by God. :-) Oh, and Christmas with the annual Christmas pageant at church (the one they had done for years and years and years) and the one at school, waiting on Santa and to hear reindeer hooves on the roof, looking at the big, velvet coated Santa move back and forth in the Auto supply store window, etc., made me a very happy camper!


    Sheila :-)

  6. What a great trip back in small town America.
    Love it.


Thanks for taking your valuable time to tell me what you are thinking about!