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Donna M

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Everything posted by Donna M

  1. When you refer to Kiddie Land, are your referring to Kiddie Wonderland on South Main St. on the opposite side of the street from Playland Park? I loved and frequented this little amusement park during the 50's. The ponies all had their names tooled in contrasting leather on the back of their saddles. My favorite was "Calico" and a close second was "Blackie." You could ride like the wind around that track without a seat belt! They also had a carousel and these little pedal cars you mentioned that you propelled with your hands spinning the handles in a circular motion as you chugged down the metal track. You could build up some pretty good speed on those little machines! Seems like I also remember riding in little boats in the water with bells you could ring by tugging on a string. Loved the old white wooden roller coaster at Playland Park, and their Spook House was pretty scary, too! Was the swimming pool with the breathing bubble Gateway Pool on South Main? I used to swim there but never located that "bubble" everyone talked about. I remember Busch Stadium with the Buffalo logo on the front. Prince's for hamburgers and Valian's for pizza! Thanks for the memories!
  2. Thanks for sharing your great memories of Park Place, my favorite neighborhood ever but especially as a child growing up there in the 1950's! I lived directly across the street from Charlton Park, behind St. Christopher's Catholic Church. Where else could a kid have everything they wanted within walking distance? Charlton Park provided endless adventures with its hills, weaving concrete bicycle trails, the bayou for rafting down to the Glenbrook Golf Course to collect golf balls and walk across their wonderful suspension brides that swayed in the breeze, Charlton's old clubhouse which offered unlimited activities for kids including crafts, dancing lessons, Brownie meetings, musical entertainment on Saturdays for kids by an elderly woman who would gather the kids round the piano and sing old favorites like "The Yellow Rose of Texas" and "Oh, Susanna", talent shows and where a kid could check out any board game or piece of sports equipment for a couple of hours. You could earn a few coins by offering to chase the tennis balls that inevitably flew over the fence on the park's tennis courts. And if no one was playing tennis, the red clay courts were a great place to skate. I remember old Mr. Mucasey from Mucasey's Lucky 7 Grocery Store on the corner of Park Place Blvd. & Broadway. He would often give kids a piece of penny candy. And I remember the "old" white Lang's Drug Store on Broadway with its soda fountain and Mr. Lang, a partially balding man with black hair, a mustache and a friendly manner. You could catch the bus on the corner of Lang's and Barnett's Grocery and travel to downtown Houston. On these bus trips, I was always fascinated watching the draw bridge stop traffic to allow a ship to pass through. Was The Variety Store on Broadway by the post office still there in the 60's? It was similar to a 5 and 10, and a kid with a dollar had unlimited purchasing power. The public library on Park Place Blvd. adjacent from St. Christopher's was one of my favorite haunts. A kid by himself could check out as many books as he could carry home. Sometimes, the library had a magic show on Saturdays. One time the magician gave me an invisible egg which I carefully guarded all the way home. You probably remember St. Christopher's Catholic Church and its incredible bazaars in the big lot behind the church facing Lynn St. They had cakewalks, raffles, games and other fun activities. One time I won a lovely Madame Alexander bride doll with a big "diamond" ring on her finger and another time a beautiful cake. A kid with a few coins could always count on winning something! Park Place Elementary held an annual Halloween Carnival at night. They usually had a spookhouse in the old main building. I remember I was about 7 years old, it was very dark as I entered the spook house, and some unknown ghoulie with ice cold hands grabbed my bare ankles. Scary! Like you, I have fond memories of the Tastee Freeze and their chocolate dipped cones, the Chuck Wagon where you stood outside to wait until they blared your order was ready over the loudspeaker, the Winkler Drive-In, Playhouse Toy Store, the Santa Rosa Theater with kiddie shows on Saturday and Broadway Theater where I first saw Godzilla, the rides at Peppermint Park, all that good stuff memories are made of. Park Place was truly a magical place, a child's dream come true!
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