1. The "Hugh-Baby Hop" held in
Gallatin every Saturday night. Anyone who loved dancing or to watch others
dance showed up and people came in droves. "Hugh-Baby" Jarrett was a local
DJ and he played the BEST dance tunes. At that time, Jack White and Mort
Smithson were good friends from West High School and the finest dancers in
the area (maybe the state). In my mind's eye, I can still see them doing
the "bop" and the "pop-back."
2. Teen town at St. Joseph Catholic School on Gallatin Rd. (across from
the old Sears) in Madison and the Sock Hop at Sidney's Roller Rink in
3. Swimming and sunning at Pleasant Green Plunge in Goodlettsville and how
everyone cleared the pool when they saw Willard "Tarzan" Adams climbing
the high dive ladder to do his traditional "belly-flopper." And pumping
quarters into those metal ID Tag machines. Everyone wore one on a chain
around their necks and exchanged them with their girlfriend/boyfriend. And
dancing to Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" inside the huge
refreshment stand where the jukebox was located.
4. Sneaking into the old Montague or Colonial Drive-In Theatres just for
the fun of it by hiding in the trunk of the car, which was carefully
unlocked and vacated by the driver or other passengers once the car was
5. Circling the Shoney's Big-Boy Restaurant curbside drive-thru in Madison
just to see who was there and occasionally driving through in the wrong
direction and having the "so-called security guard" posted outdoors chase
6. The Corral, Evergreen and Hi-Hat BBQ in Madison. I always heard that
Evergreen had chairs nailed to the floors to keep guests from "brawling."
Hi-Hat had the best BBQ around. All were "beer joints." "Nice girls"
didn't go there. They sent their boyfriends or daddys to pick up food
orders. A nice girl wouldn't even be seen waiting in the car in the
parking lot of one of these establishments.
7. Doochin's 5 & 10 Cent Store on Gallatin Road in Madison where we bought
our jawbreakers and Tangee lipstick, which only amounted to a pale pink
Chap-Stick. It was the very first lipstick any girl was allowed to wear in
the 50's and virtually invisible on the lips but we felt all "grown up"
wearing our Tangee. Every teenage girl had a stick of it in her Levi's
8. Madison Square Shopping Center, the first shopping center anyone in the
Nashville area had ever heard of was built early to mid-50's and long
before 100 Oaks Shopping Center was even thought of.
9. The Lowe's Vendome Theatre on Church Street downtown directly across
from the short block between Union and Church Sts. that is now called
Capitol Boulevard. It had a gorgeous red and gold velvet Victorian
interior with private seating in boxes on the sides with curtains that
could be pulled for privacy, similar to an Opera Box.
10. Watching rounds of doughnut batter being dropped by a machine into hot
oil, cooked and iced in the window of the Krystal on Church Street, close
to Candyland and then going in and having an iced maple, chocolate or
vanilla one freshly made and still warm from the cooker.
11. Having an orange or lime freeze at Wilson-Quick Drugstore also located
on Church St. two doors down from the Doctor's Bldg. and the Benne-Dillon
Bldg, and a block from the old Montgomery-Ward store at 8th and Church St.
12. Dressing up and "dining" out for the first time with your girlfriends
at Cross-Keys Restaurant located on 6th Avenue between Church and Union
Streets. Their signature dishes were the "Hot Brown" and "Shrimp Arnaud."
13. Slipping off to Saturday night dances at the YWCA located on 7th
Avenue behind the Benne-Dillon Bldg. where you could always count on
meeting a "cute" Ft. Campbell soldier. Not that your parents would EVER
permit you to actually date one of those "older men." I guess that was the
14. The ole A & W Root Beer Stand in Madison, a great meeting place and
"THE OTHER" place to go besides Shoney's) after a Friday night date, with
frosted mugs and those small bags of Cheez-Its. My high school sweetheart,
who later became my husband, took me there after our first date. JoAnne
Armour was the car-hop and I remember how proud I was to be seen with my
15. "Parking" at Old Hickory Lake to watch the "submarine races."
16. Spaghetti and pizza at Melfi's on Division Street near Vanderbilt
17. Male classmates telling wild tales of diving off the famous spot they
discovered and referred to as "The Bluffs" and swimming in the Cumberland
River at the end of Old Due West and Montague Drive in Madison. Forbidden
to lowly girls.
18. Rum Angel Whips at Margo's, another "well-known and frequented local
joint" located right next to the Old Hickory Bridge on the Madison side of
the Cumberland River.
19. Pulling into the People's Oil Station at the corner of Old Hickory
Blvd. and Gallatin Rd. in Madison to purchase 50 cents worth of gasoline
and getting the oil and tires checked and all the windows washed for free.
Back then 50 cents worth of gas was enough to drive anywhere you wanted to
go in Madison or Old Hickory for an entire evening. We got our money by
selling Coke bottles.
20. Playing basketball on Saturday at the Community Gym in Old Hickory.
Another great gathering place.
21. Poe's Market at the Corner of Due West Ave and Gallatin Rd. where you
could phone ahead your grocery list and they would have it sacked and rung
up when you arrived. You only had to pay. This was probably the original
fast food market anywhere in the area, now that I think of it. Robert R.
Poe, the owner was was also the local constable, alternately respected and
feared by all teen drivers to whom a speeding ticket was the kiss of death
at home, meaning no use of the family car for weeks. Locals referred
admiringly to him as Rapid Robert.
22. Alan Dennis, the popular music DJ on 1500-WMAKRadio. He's now on WSM
23. Remember the local radio station that played "Roll With Me Henry" by
Etta James non-stop for 24 hours when it was first released? What a stir
that created! Parents were appalled; we teens loved it. Rock and roll was
fairly new and relatively "forbidden" in most homes. One of the best "bop"
24. Late night rhythym and blues on WLAC-Radio with Hossman Allen, Gene
Nobles and John Richbourg where you could hear black artists like Lightnin'
Slim, Bobby Bluebland and commercials for Silky Straight hair pomade.
Another forbidden activity in my home. But I found if I put the bedding
over my head AND the radio, that I could listen undetected for hours.
25. Evening swim parties at "The Horn." Horn Springs Swimming Pool, in
26. Standing in line single file behind the stool seat you wanted at F.W.
Woolworth Five and Dime Store's luncheon counter on Church St. Everyone
would walk down the counter to see who was nearly through with their meal
to decide who to stand behind. The same was true of the luncheonette at
Harvey's Dept. Store.
27. Remember the escalators at Harveys? And the carousel horses? And
remember riding the elevator in all the retail stores in downtown
Nashville? Each had an operator who called out each floor name and the
merchandise available on that particular floor, i.e., "Mezzanine:
Photography Studio and Women's Ready-to-Wear."
28. Arthur Gunter (of "Baby Let's Play House fame) and his blues band
playing at Apple Orchard and "The Horn" in Lebanon and the House on the
Hill out on Hwy 100. Two more places that "nice girls" couldn't be seen. I
remember talking a guy into taking me to Apple Orchard one night but only
if I promised to stay in the car and listen to the music that carried
through the windows of the establishment.
29. After Prom breakfasts at Loveless Motel and the restaurant on Harding
Road located at the Hwy 100/70 Split. Does anyone remember the name?
30. Renting Riverwood Riding Academy's Party Room in Inglewood for parties
with former classmates in the 60's.
31. Beech Lodge, situated overlooking the Cumberland River near the end of McGavock Pk. (near Opry Mills these days), a private BYOB club for dinner
and dancing, accessed from the Inglewood side of the river by ferry. The
bartender was a large, jovial guy called "Fudge." And the club had a slot
machine that accepted nickels and paid off sometimes (illegal in those
days too). It was not rebuilt after being destroyed by fire.
32. Cruising Shelby Park and weiner roasts at Sycamore Lodge in the park.
Weiner and marshmallow roasts in one of the many private "shelters" at
Percy Warner Park.
33. Getting an entire day off from school to attend the Tennessee State
Fair where $2 enabled you to enjoy every single ride, eat lunch, have
cotton candy or a candied apple, and pay for your bus fare from Madison to
downtown Nashville. As you boarded the bus, the driver would give you a
piece of paper called a "transfer" which allowed you to change buses at no
charge to take you anywhere in the city.
34. Attending 6am Easter Sunrise Service at Spring Hill Cemetery in
Madison with your "beau" and wearing your finest dress or suit, matching
pillbox hat and white gloves.
35. Going into Zibart's Book Store on Church St., near the Paramount
Theatre, selecting any 78 rpm records you wanted to hear and entering a
private "glass listening booth." You were free to stay as long as you
wished, and it was not necessary to make a purchase afterwards. Rather,
this privilege was available for the listening pleasure of customers. Mr.
Zibart was a kind man and it was a sad day when the store closed.
36. Strolling leisurely through the Arcade, which connects 4th and 5th
Avenues, window-shopping and stopping to get a handful of freshly roasted
peanuts from the "Peanut Man" who was dressed as a huge peanut and handed
out samples during selected times of the day.
37. Attending the "drags" (drag races) at Union Hill in the 60's and the
Funny Car Class with a Henry J car nicknamed the Roadrunner, who was the
big winner for a while.
38. Logan's Market on Gallatin Road near the old Inglewood Theatre. I
remember there was a very special promotion. My mother saved all our
grocery receipts and when they totaled a certain amount, store management
allowed a child to select a free doll of their choice. All the dolls were
beautifully dressed and coiffed and represented many foreign countries.
The dolls were highly coveted by young girls, and displayed through the
store. I wish I knew whatever became of all the ones I acquired.
39. Individual ice cream cups with a photo of a movie star on the
underside of the lid.
40. Wintertime fun sledding off Glenn's Hill in Madison. It was the huge
hill that Crown Chalet Apts. later occupied.
41. Beautiful Rawlings Swimming Pool in Joelton.
42. Sadie Hawkins Day and Madison High School when the tradition
flip-flopped and the girls invited the boys to the S.H.D Dance.
43. Pop Bills Pool Room in Madison where we girls drove by to see whose
cars were parked out front so we'd know which guys were there.
44. Hayrides and sneaking first kisses with your date under a quilt. And,
Spin the Bottle and 5-Minute Date at weiner roasts.
45. Slumber parties with boyfriends sneaking around outside tapping on the
windows to scare us.
46. Getting my mother to drive us through Spring Hill Cemetery, and
totally terrified, very late on a Halloween Night.
47. Taylor Stratton Elementary School and Mrs. Bateman the principal, and
her legendary "electric paddle."
48. My all-time favorite Madison High School teacher, wonderful Lucien
Battle and his wife Carolyn driving a group of us to an "away" football
game in Livingston Tn. I learned that night that when you see a one-eyed
car (one with a front headlamp burned out) that you shout out "PADIDDLE."
If you're the first, you get to kiss the person of your choice in the car.
49. Morris Estes' and Henry Laux's full-service gas stations and garages
in downtown Madison.
50. Madison Drug Store and 7-Up Floats.
I fondly remember Nashville downtown in her "glory" days when there were
four theatres, all located on Church St. within four blocks of each other,
several retail department stores, restaurants, millinery and tailor shops,
shoe stores, and most anything you could want. I remember how excited I
was to attend, with my girlfriends, the very first movie ever shown at the
new Tennessee Theatre's grand opening. It was the premiere of "On The
Town" with Donald O'Connor and Gene Kelly. We felt like movie stars
ourselves. You could walk anywhere day or night in downtown Nashville
without fear and only wore your "dress-up" clothes downtown. A woman
wearing "short-shorts" as we called them back then, would be branded as
"loose" if she wore them in public, or anywhere other than at home or at a
swimming pool. Nashville was a wonderful place to see and in which to be
seen and offered anything your heart desired and I cherish my memories of
days spent downtown. Brenda Logan
by R. Stevie Moore
m h s a a