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Alief History


theoriginalkj

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  • 2 months later...
Does anybody have any old Alief area photos that they can share? I'm talking about photos from the 30's through 70's? An arial would be awesome if anybody has one...

Kevin

Someone else started a thread on this awhile back. Unfortunately, they never got any responses. I hope you have better luck.

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  • 6 months later...

I noticed the thread about Sharpstown and wondered if anyone had any interesting memories from the Alief area (Westwood to Mission Bend and everything in between). I moved there (Club Creek to be exact) as a child in 1994 and there have been so many changes since then. When my family moved into the Villa Madrid (formerly Sundance) Apts, most of the whites and minorities of means had left for the greener pastures of Mission Bend and points west. It was a lower middle class area at this point with the exception of some relatively new houses (now much deteriorated) off of Greenfork. My apartments were a mixture of black and hispanics with the apartments next door, Fairway West (now Happy Homes) being nearly all black. At one point, only my complex and the 100% hispanic Spring Rose complex had sizeable hispanic populations. That would definitely change over time as all apartments along Club Creek from Beechnut to Woodfair would become nearly 100% hispanic.

Back in 1994, Westwood Mall was just beginning to enter it's twighlight. It used to be bustling and a great place to hang out, especially the TILT arcade. Each year however, the number of visitors decline and the death knell came when Foley's opted not to relocate from Sharpstown. I think the mall officially closed in 1997 or 1998, maybe later.

In these past 13 years, a number of formally undeveloped fields have become cheap strip centers or convenience stores. I remember when Ventures was built on Beltway 8 and Beechnut and went out of business a few years later. K-Mart took over that site and suffered the same fate. It has since been redeveloped as a Viet Hoa. The old Auchan on the Beltway is now a Food Town that has somehow managed to compete with the new Wal-Mart across the street.

I used to work at the Home Depot on Bellaire and the Beltway. As I'd walk to work alongside the tollway, I'd see remnants of old gates from ranches that used to be along the former Roark Rd. I'm tired now but I'll type more later. Hopefully others have memories to share of the Alief area.

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The Asian community, in particular the Vietnamese, haven really taken a foothold in this area. I feel like I can actually see the area improving every time I drive down Bellaire or Beechnut. The apartment complexes are the only thing they seem unable to change, even in the ones that they make up the majority of the ethnicity in.

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I attended HCC at Alief High School on Highstar around 1990. The school was 95% anglo and considered a fine school then. Has it started on the decline too? Whenever I hear about it, its usually a crime of some sort. Honest. Is it best to remember the way it was?

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I attended HCC at Alief High School on Highstar around 1990. The school was 95% anglo and considered a fine school then. Has it started on the decline too? Whenever I hear about it, its usually a crime of some sort. Honest. Is it best to remember the way it was?

Well, the HCC you went to was housed in I believe the "Annex" building between Hastings and Elsik high schools. Both of those schools have declined somewhat, but they aren't a ghetto mess on the level of say Kashmere or Jack Yates. They both still serve a suburban core of students along with a number of lower income families on the eastern edge of the school district.

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My family moved to Alief in 1989 and I attended Holub Middle and Elsik High. I think, at that point, it was just beginning to really turn for the worse. Big pants, man. Everyone wore really big pants.

I remember when the Auchan Hyper (Hyper!) Market opened on Beechnut at the Beltway. It was truly an event. Imagine, being able to by tires and groceries under same roof! Of course, I imagine it wasn't much bigger than a Walmart Supercenter, but back then it seemed to truly earn the "Hyper" moniker.

I've just discovered this forum and have really enjoyed it for the past hour or so. Hopefully, I'll be able to contribute to this collective trip down amnesia lane.

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My Mom and I moved to Alief in 1976 and I lived there until about 1982 and then again in '88 through '93. I saw alot of the growth in my time there. I attended Hastings and graduated in 1979. There was pretty much nothing from Sharpstown to Alief. It was like driving in the country. There were also a lot of dirt/gravel roads heading out towards Highway 6. It was quite peaceful in the 70'/80's as compared to the early 90's when you heard periodic gunshots. My how times have changed! At the time we moved out there, Wilcrest was dirt/gravel from Harwin(Alief-Clodine) to Westheimer. Westheimer pretty much ended as a paved road just past Wilcrest. The schools (Hastings & Elsik) were pretty much tame and very, very white. We still had truant officers back then, not school/campus police. I worked at the Minimax both at the old location at Belle Park and Bellaire (don't know what it is now) and the new location at Bellaire and Dairy-Ashford (possibly a furniture store now). Those were some good memories............if anybody wants to know anymore and I can answer it, I'll be happy too!

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My Mom and I moved to Alief in 1976 and I lived there until about 1982 and then again in '88 through '93. I saw alot of the growth in my time there. I attended Hastings and graduated in 1979. There was pretty much nothing from Sharpstown to Alief. It was like driving in the country. There were also a lot of dirt/gravel roads heading out towards Highway 6. It was quite peaceful in the 70'/80's as compared to the early 90's when you heard periodic gunshots. My how times have changed! At the time we moved out there, Wilcrest was dirt/gravel from Harwin(Alief-Clodine) to Westheimer. Westheimer pretty much ended as a paved road just past Wilcrest. The schools (Hastings & Elsik) were pretty much tame and very, very white. We still had truant officers back then, not school/campus police. I worked at the Minimax both at the old location at Belle Park and Bellaire (don't know what it is now) and the new location at Bellaire and Dairy-Ashford (possibly a furniture store now). Those were some good memories............if anybody wants to know anymore and I can answer it, I'll be happy too!

Thanks for all who have contributed so far! I have a few questions; was Alief-Clodine called Alief Rd. at any time or has it always been named Alief-Clodine. I'm wondering because a number of early 90's maps showed Alief-Clodine as either Alief Rd. or showed Alief Rd. as a phantom road that paralled it from Westpark to Highway 6. This road was also sometimes referred to as Alief-Houston Road. Also, when did the segment of Dairy-Ashford that borders Elsik change it's name from Alief-Cemetary Road to it's present moniker?

Also, what happened to Cooper Road; it's a small road that's listed on some of the older maps. I believe it was around as late as the 60's and was a precursor to modern day Wilcrest. I think Rodgers Rd. is the ancestor to modernday Rodgerdale and it used to come close to connecting with Roark/Murphy Road as well.

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When my family moved into the Villa Madrid (formerly Sundance) Apts, most of the whites and minorities of means had left for the greener pastures of Mission Bend and points west.

Mission Bend is on a downhill slide now. Many people have moved to more affluent areas of Fort Bend County.

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Thanks for all who have contributed so far! I have a few questions; was Alief-Clodine called Alief Rd. at any time or has it always been named Alief-Clodine. I'm wondering because a number of early 90's maps showed Alief-Clodine as either Alief Rd. or showed Alief Rd. as a phantom road that paralled it from Westpark to Highway 6. This road was also sometimes referred to as Alief-Houston Road. Also, when did the segment of Dairy-Ashford that borders Elsik change it's name from Alief-Cemetary Road to it's present moniker?

Road names vary from location to location along the road. I did some research on historical route geographies in Burnet county, texas, and discovered that a single route might have multiple names. The Burnet-Florence road was called that in burnet, but in Florence, it was the Florence-Burnet road. Since it continued east, it was also called the burnet belton road. etc.

I used to drive to Alief from Westbury to visit a friend, and I remember driving a long straight road parallel to a railroad track, and at one point you had to cross the track and then it ran parallel again. Sometimes we would race trains to get to that s crossing. This would have been in the late 60s. I cant remember the name of the road, but it was the main road to alief from sw houston at the time.

I also remember as a kid, in the 50s we would go on long road trips west of houston, and that in the alief-katy prarie area, we would pass the time by counting the cotton gins- there was always one on the horizon. By the time I got old enough to drive myself, they were gone. I remember santa gertrudis cattle, with cattle egrets, and fire ant mounds everywhere.

In the 1980s, the alief sheet of the 7.5 minute USGS topographic series was considered by geoscientists nationwide to be the map that should the most phenomenal rate of development. The maps are updated by aerial photos, and if a site is being developed but not finished, it is shown in purple. The alief map from the 80s was about 80% purple, and no other topographic map has ever come close to that large of an area being developed simultaneously.

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The changes to the Alief schools since 1988 are well documented by SchoolDigger:

Comprehensive high schools

* Elsik: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...103/school.aspx

* Hastings: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...104/school.aspx

* Taylor (Opened 2002): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...598/school.aspx

Magnet high schools

* Kerr (Opened 1995): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...742/school.aspx

Middle schools

* Albright: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...840/school.aspx

* Alief: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...105/school.aspx

* Holub: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...639/school.aspx

* Killough: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...108/school.aspx

* O'Donnell (Opened 1993): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...143/school.aspx

* Olle: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...110/school.aspx

Intermediate schools

* Budewig (Opened 2004): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...517/school.aspx

* Klentzman (Opened 1995): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...016/school.aspx

* Mata (Opened 2000): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...267/school.aspx

* Miller (Opened 2001): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...806/school.aspx

* Owens (Opened 1995): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...756/school.aspx

* Youngblood (Opened 1997): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...309/school.aspx

Elementary schools

* Alexander: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...944/school.aspx

* Best (Opened 1992): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...293/school.aspx

* Boone: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...106/school.aspx

* Bush (Opened 1998): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...622/school.aspx

* Chambers: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...113/school.aspx

* Chancellor: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...107/school.aspx

* Collins (Opened 2000): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...266/school.aspx

* Cummings: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...841/school.aspx

* Hearne: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...349/school.aspx

* Heflin: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...637/school.aspx

* Hicks (Opened 1997): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...308/school.aspx

* Holmquist (Opened 2007): No data

* Horn (Opened 2006): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...251/school.aspx

* Kennedy: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...112/school.aspx

* Landis (Opened 1990): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...640/school.aspx

* Liestman: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...111/school.aspx

* Mahanay: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...114/school.aspx

* Martin: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...102/school.aspx

* Outley (Opened 1994): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...182/school.aspx

* Petrosky: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...385/school.aspx

* Rees: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...943/school.aspx

* Smith: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...109/school.aspx

* Sneed (Opened 1991): http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...817/school.aspx

* Youens: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/...115/school.aspx

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  • 1 year later...
  • 3 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Does anybody have any old Alief area photos that they can share? I'm talking about photos from the 30's through 70's? An arial would be awesome if anybody has one...

Kevin

A while back I did a project on Alief (an architecture class by Stephen Fox at Rice), and I have a good number of pictures left. They were taken recently (2004), but are of the older/more historically important buildings. Let me know if you want em. I also have some photos of the graveyard at Dairy Ashford in detail, plus photos that are legible of the two historical markers if you want to read them.

Rob

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A while back I did a project on Alief (an architecture class by Stephen Fox at Rice), and I have a good number of pictures left. They were taken recently (2004), but are of the older/more historically important buildings. Let me know if you want em. I also have some photos of the graveyard at Dairy Ashford in detail, plus photos that are legible of the two historical markers if you want to read them.

Rob

Can you tell us where that house is located? I would like to see it.

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Can you tell us where that house is located? I would like to see it.

It sits along the bayou between Alief Clodine Rd and the Westpark-ing Lot Tollway (South of the 'tollway', north of Alief Clodine). Its almost directly at the intersection of Kirkwood and Alief Clodine. If you were to continue north on Kirkwood where it ends at that intersection you would basically run right into it. That narrow strip of land was where the railway station for Alief was along the Aransas Rail into Houston. Now there is some sort of defunct wharehouse on the strip of land rendered useless now that the railway has been replaced with the Westpark-ing Lot Tollway.

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It sits along the bayou between Alief Clodine Rd and the Westpark-ing Lot Tollway (South of the 'tollway', north of Alief Clodine). Its almost directly at the intersection of Kirkwood and Alief Clodine. If you were to continue north on Kirkwood where it ends at that intersection you would basically run right into it. That narrow strip of land was where the railway station for Alief was along the Aransas Rail into Houston. Now there is some sort of defunct wharehouse on the strip of land rendered useless now that the railway has been replaced with the Westpark-ing Lot Tollway.

Thanks! The house looks to be in good condition in the picture. Is it open for tours or something?

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  • 2 years later...

I moved to Alief in 1945. There is a Facebook page called "I remember when Alief, Texas was not a bad thing". I jumped into it beginning August 2, 2011 and if anyone would like to stroll down memory lane with us, we have lots of stories and photos.

Yesterday my daughter and I drove to Cuero where we attended the 90th birthday party of my mom's best friend, Hazel Reeves. Some other Alief ladies from that era were present. My daughter should be posting the photos soon. One of the ladies brought a 20 inch wide photo of over 100 members of the Alief Community Church. We are all assembled out on the front steps. In November this church will have it's 50 year reunion celebration. It took 3 shots to get this photo in it's entirty since it was so wide and we hope to have it on that Facebook page soon.

Because there was only Alief Elementary School, we had to be bussed to Sugar Land for middle school and either Missouri City or Bellaire High. Because I was the first one on the bus and the last one off I had the misfortune of being on the bus for a total of about 3 plus hours a day while he drove up and down every little country road in the area picking up students.

I just posted an aerial shot of Old Alief from a 1961 yearbook. There is another link for aerial shot I obtained last night from HAIF forums. It's rather fuzzy, but I got see our land and Quillian Memorial Center where my dad, Garry Cloud, was manager for 15 years. I actually worked there before my dad as a hostess when it first opened. Members of Dr. Allen's First United Church at Main and Clay would drive the 15 plus miles out to Alief to see their beautiful recreational center. It was quite lovely in its day. The lounge with the roaring fireplace was my favorite.

Before my dad worked at Quillian Center he was employed on the R.E. Bob Smith ranch. Because he was so good at BBQ'ing Bob Smith would have my dad go out to his main ranch in Richmond and BBQ for huge parties he had out there. Occasionally, I got to tag along and that was a good memory.

Anyone live in Alief in the 40's, 50's or 60's?????

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  • 7 months later...
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I was watching a news report where they showed a short film about Alief today; it's mostly African American now and is being overrun by gangs; the new locals call it "The West". It's a shame how a nice community or neighborhood can go trash with the gangs and drug deals and all.

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  • 3 weeks later...

A while back I did a project on Alief (an architecture class by Stephen Fox at Rice), and I have a good number of pictures left. They were taken recently (2004), but are of the older/more historically important buildings. Let me know if you want em. I also have some photos of the graveyard at Dairy Ashford in detail, plus photos that are legible of the two historical markers if you want to read them.

Rob

hey do you have any info on the big old house right accros it its siting in an acre or half and it has a lots of big trees, right next to the gas statio. the house is right on alief clodine and J st

.

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  • 3 years later...
  • 4 months later...

Any memories from the late '70s through the '80s of of the areas along Beechnut, say between Kirkwood and Highway 59? Currently, I reside near Boone and Beechnut, along Shannon Hills drive. Yeah, the area is pretty rough. I'm much too young to have lived during the '70s-'80s, but I'd have loved to imagine how much better it was. Any pictures would be awesome.

 

Also, maybe a bit of a specific question, but was there always a cut-off on Leawood Blvd between the schools of Olle Middle School and Boone Elementary, and the residential area going towards Beechnut? 

 

And a bit of a darker question, but I heard stories from some of my older neighbors, at least two different accounts, about a young girl at her Fifteen party, or something along those lines, who was murdered by her boyfriend, I can't remember the exact details. But according to my Cuban neighbor who lived on my street since the late '70s (who recently moved away after the passing of her husband, RIP Rolando) this was over 30, 35 years ago, but depending on the account happened either on either side of Bissonnet. Anybody heard of this at all? Honestly, this is just morbid curiosity here. 

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Any memories from the late '70s through the '80s of of the areas along Beechnut, say between Kirkwood and Highway 59?

 

I grew up in west Sharpstown in the 1970s, so I had some exposure to that area.

 

Beechnut stopped at Pella street when I moved to Sharpstown in 1971, but there was at least one section in existence in Alief. I think it was from Boone to Kirkwood. It was a big event when the missing link was opened. I remember those original sections of Beechnut in Alief were very cheaply built to low standards, and that section was totally rebuilt maybe 10 or 15 years ago.

 

I remember when Club Creek drive was first built and there was nothing out there. There was a lot of erosion of topsoil onto the road, and my father took me out there to load the back of a truck with soil for our flower beds. I also remember some kind of major golf event at Westwood Country Club around that time. I think it was an LPGA event. Cars were parked on Club Creek for a long distance away from the Westwood CC entrance, most of the way to Beechnut.

 

The apartments on Beechnut just west of the Breas Bayou crossing were somewhat trendy when first built. The bayou was different back then - there was a flat, dry area at the bottom and a narrow water channel. I remember a lot of folks running up the side of the bayou for exercise, and there were rumors that Houston Oilers players were among those who would sprint up the slope for exercise. I have no idea if those rumors were true, but I recall seeing numerous athletic-looking black guys at that site, and that was definitely consistent with the rumor.

 

I passed by the bayou crossing because it was on the way to the Eagle supermarket in the shopping center at Club Creek. Eagle was somewhat expensive, I seem to remember, and it was gone as soon as the area started to become low income.

 

Of course, Roark Road was on the alignment of the present-day northbound BW8 frontage road. I remember driving my bicycle out there, wondering when the beltway would be built. Further north along Roark, closer to Bellaire, there where numerous relics of the old R.E. "Bob" Smith Ranch. Some of those relics lasted a long time, maybe into the 1990s.

 

I remember riding my bicycle out to Corporate Drive and watching work crews pour the pavement. Corporate was obviously built to low standards since it has been in bad shape for a long time.

 

Going further west along Beechnut, there was not anything memorable. Boone was a two-lane country-style road until around the early 1980s when it was paved with concrete to have four lanes. There was the Charlie Club hotel and fitness club near Bissonnet. In 1983, the first year I could drive, I paid $100 for a three-month summer membership to use the gym. That's about $238 in today's money! But that seemed to be the going rate back then, and as a 16-year-old I thought it was cool to hang out in the weight room. I remember Akeem Olajuwon was there at least once when I was working out.

 

Further west near Kirkwood, in the 1980s people began converting those mini-storage units facing Beechnut into storefronts. That seemed to last for a long time, but I don't remember seeing any storefronts on a recent drive-through.

 

One interesting historical tidbit that I remember is that homebuilding was still active in Alief in the 1970s, especially between Alief-Clodine and Westheimer. I remember that builders touted "Alief Schools" to attract buyers, both with signs at the subdivisions and in the newspapers. That ended very quickly when Alief became a low-income school district seemingly overnight.

 

There was a weekly Alief newspaper called the Advertiser Advocate, which was also distributed in Sharpstown west of Gessner. I was a delivery boy in Sharpstown. I remember reading the newspaper, and it had reports for and all the neighborhoods and schools in Alief. Of course, Alief was a different world in the 1970s, overwhelmingly white and community-focused. I don't know when the Advocate ceased operation, but it seems like it was gone by the 1990s.

 

As another observation, there was a lot of drugs being distributed at Sharpstown High School in my first year there, 1981-1982. In fact, at my table in homeroom I sat with a drug dealer. Every day he would spread out numerous baggies and foil wrappers on the table, and every day he would say the same thing, "At the end of the day this will all be gone." (Our homeroom teacher was an old lady who was half-senile.) However, by then end of my first year there was a drug crackdown, and one day that kid was gone, never to return. The next year the smoking area at Sharpstown was closed. I think a lot of that drug activity shifted to Alief. My neighbor two houses over was a major stoner, and he transferred to Alief Elsik because he said there were more drugs available. (His mother worked for AISD, so he could transfer.) He could have been exaggerating, but I think there was plenty of drugs moving through Alief in the early 1980s.

 

Huntington Village near Bissonnet and Dairy Ashford was a good area when first built. The tennis center was especially active, and since my parents were avid tennis players, I was there often.

 

Others may have commented about Great Skate on Bellaire near Boone. It was the skate rink closest to Sharpstown, and I remember a few birthday parties there. But it never seemed crowded, and I think it was gone by the early 1980s.

 

As far as Alief has fallen, I must say it seems to have rebounded in recent years, mainly due to the Vietnamese influence. On a recent drive-through, it was not nearly as trashed out as I expected. Beechnut Street between BW8 and Boone has been repaired, and is no longer horrendous, but still needs a complete rebuild.

 

That's enough recollections. :-)  

Edited by MaxConcrete
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I grew up in Huntington Village, 1975 to 87 when i went on the road with various punk and metal bands.

HV fated better than most Alief neighborhoods, as there were fewer rental properties as compared to the rest of the area. The real estate crash ob 87 didn't affect HV much.

The entire Alief area went to hell between 93 and 94... Former sister in law graduated from a mostly white Elsik in 93, former brother in law graduated from a mostly black Elsik in 94.... Alief has been in a downward spiral since.

Ma and Pa moved out of HV in 97

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  • 2 weeks later...

I worked at Cardis, Backstage, still at Warehouse, Fitz, HoB, wad just reminiscing about Motorhead and all the local shows with Lemmy, and I even did a short stint in a punk band called Green Jello..... heh

Ha! I read on a different forum of someone who went to a Motorhead show at Cardi's around 1986, and actually met Lemmy. Lemmy asked him and his friend if they wanted an autograph, and his friend said "no, I want one of those warts on your cheek" and Lemmy punched him squarely in the nose hahaha

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