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Nostalgia


Marcus Allen

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Ok, so those of us who want to take a break ( like we really every could) from all the Houston Happenings, I thought it would be cool to explore our collective conscience and cite what we miss. Let me set the scene; I am only 46, so it's not like I am ancient, but I miss Tinsleys Chicken. I miss Pipe Organ Pizza and Peppermint Park. I wish Jack in the Box was still the crazy clown in a box. I miss roller rinks and roadside BBQ stands. ( the one my parents went to sold Halloween masks, you know the kind with the string attched, and inflatable bunny rabbits at Easter). I miss Ferrels (sp?) and Heap O Cream. I miss the funky clubs in Montrose and those after clubs, (LOVED Club SOME). I miss those massive HTown ditches in neighborhoods. I miss the fall carnivals. I miss Delaware Punch at Churches Chkn.

I know change is then only constant and progress is inevitable, but, well, if you want a walk down memory lane, then share it with our fellow HAIFERs. Oh yeah, and thank you Jack in the Box for making your tacos taste EXACTLY the same for the past 30 years! ;)

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the only thing I really miss from the houston area is astroworld as it was before fright nights.

 

things I miss from my stupid youth stage:

 

drag racing down the runway at andrau airfield in alief.

bb gun fights in the bayous.

 

yes, I said I was stupid. it was fun though.

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ditto everything on Sev's list, plus:

 the  80s punk scene

the original Westheimer street fest

Phi Slamma Jamma

back-to-back world champion Rockets and the massive impromptu street party on Richmond Ave (Sams Boat/Place and Richmond Arms block) when they won

all the defunct venues/clubs but especially Axiom and Power Tools

back-roads cruising out in Katy-Fort Bend, skinny-dipping in the rice wells on the Katy prairie, also all the motorcycle trails to ride on back when there were only  3 subdivision on S Mason road

crabbing underneath the old Kemah drawbridge

catching crawdads in ditches and betting my lunch money on crawdad races

Luv Ya Blue

2 and 3 for 1 happy hours with massive buffets

ladies night!

JR Richard and Jose Cruz era Astros

not Houston, but ...Sea-Arama

Busch Gardens next to the old Bud plant on the loop, where my little brother got massively pooped on by birds in the aviary and cried like a baby 

Leos for tex-mex 

working nights downtown at One Shell and doing office food runs at Pappas BBQ and Yit Ing Ho because nothing else was open. 

Urban Animals

Dark Side of the Moon at Burke Baker Planetarium, pre-IMAX.   Hey, it was the best we had!

Late--night happy hour at BirraPorettis on W Gray

(for me anyway)  growing up in the small town suburbs in the late 70s was exactly as depicted in Dazed and Confused. There was always a  a cool kid with absentee parents and a  pool, summer baseball and softball league,  the Dairy Queen, roller rink, lots of ditch weed

 

 Wortham Center downtown opening during the dark days of the oil bust, and going to an opera for the first time

 

The pre-PC, less litigious olden days when office holiday parties at any big company were  totally debauched, booze and coke in the bathrooms, etc. At UH campus-provided booze was everywhere in large quantity. When I started UH in 83, there was an old outdoor pool between the quad and Moody towers which was the sight of a pool keg party for dorm move-in weekend. Also the Pimp n Ho kegger at Itza Pizza in the MNoody Towers basement, and the infamous Tequila To Kill Ya party hosted and catered by the School of Hotel Restaurant Management graduating class.   

 

God i'm an old. 

 

 

 

 

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1. Houston Coluseum (Houston Wrestling) 

2. SP 982 in Hermann Park (Locomotive)

3. Woolworth in Downtown (Cafe)

4. Woolco at Parker@I-45 (Train Dept.) 

5. Williams Chicken in Downtown 

6. Food Stamp Office in the Heights 

7. The Summit 

8. Zoo when it was free 

9. Malibu Grand Prix 

10. Go Carts 

11. Astrodome , Astrohall , Astroworld , Waterworld 

12. 80's Hurricanes 

13. Going Intercontinental Airport (Eastern)before renamed Bush IAH . 

14. Greenspoint Mall before Citiview/Gunspoint 

15. Garden Oaks Theatre 

16.Goodyear Blimp Yard 

17. Northline Mall 

18. Gulfgate Mall 

19. Break Dancing 

20. Riding around the city 

21. First time going to San Antonio , Galveston , Dallas , Freeport , College Station , Austin , Lamar , Da Ridder , Atlanta , Texarkana , Shreveport , San Diego , El Paso , Conroe , Jacksonville , El Centro , Vidor , Lake Charles , Baton Rouge , New Orleans , Yuma , New York , Tampa , Daytona Beach , Tellahassee , Pensacola , Lawton , Brunswick , Hinesville , Kerrville , Mobile , Savannah , Barstow , Los Angeles , Memphis , Phoenix , Chicago , Cairo , Shannon , Kuwait , TJ , Witchita Falls 

22. Travelling in a Winnebego 

23. Riding Amtrak first time coming from San Diego

24. Riding Greyhound first time (San Diego )

25. Riding a trolley first time (San Diego )

26. Eureka Yard (MKT Active) 

27. going to the Galleria , Richmond , Kirby 

28. Foley's Downtown 

29. Main St. before Metrorail 

30. Downtown Tunnel 

31. Metro (Red/White/Silver Buses) before the 80's revamping to black, white, red ,blue scheme 

32. Willowbrook and Northwest Malls 

33. Westheimer 

 

 

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I miss the Foot Locker in downtown on Main.

Now I have to DRIVE to the freakin Galleria to get my sneaker fix.

BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

I wonder if some of those stores will return to DT as the residential population grows. I certainly hope so. We all know, to keep a neighborhood vibrant, there must be close proximity to amenities, like food, shopping and entertainment.

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Way cool. You had a good upbringing! ;) number 2 cracks me up. I guess at this age, that would be creepy for us to do. LoL. Speaking of malls, remember when The Galleria smelled of clove cigarettes In the mid 80s?

1. Cruising Westheimer

2. Watching girls walk through the mall

3. A few days after Hurricane Alicia my friend Troy's parents invited me on a vacation to Michigan. The 4 of us rode in mini pick up and we two 11 year old boys rode in the bed of the truck lying on inflatable pool beds. We ate McDonalds at every stop - each boy got two cheeseburgers and we played the game where you count cars with burnt out headlights.

4. Going to the convenience store to get candy (including the candy cigarette gum that you could blow in and the sugar would come out like real smoke)

5. Shooting bottle rockets from a Suzuki Samurai against some friends in a pick up truck while driving

6. Sneaking out in Channelview to walk to the railroad bridge

7. Renting Eddie Murphy Raw and Delirious and watching them when parents were out of town with friends

8. Taking my prom date in her dad's red sports car with the tee tops.

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NO, you are not old, you just lived a filled life. That's wonderful. Exactly why I started this post. Nostalgia is fun. did anyone else here used to actually swim in the ditches when they flooded? Now I crunch to think what was lurking in there with us, but when you are 11, all that matters is those you were trying to impress! ;)

ditto everything on Sev's list, plus:

the 80s punk scene

the original Westheimer street fest

Phi Slamma Jamma

back-to-back world champion Rockets and the massive impromptu street party on Richmond Ave (Sams Boat/Place and Richmond Arms block) when they won

all the defunct venues/clubs but especially Axiom and Power Tools

back-roads cruising out in Katy-Fort Bend, skinny-dipping in the rice wells on the Katy prairie, also all the motorcycle trails to ride on back when there were only 3 subdivision on S Mason road

crabbing underneath the old Kemah drawbridge

catching crawdads in ditches and betting my lunch money on crawdad races

Luv Ya Blue

2 and 3 for 1 happy hours with massive buffets

ladies night!

JR Richard and Jose Cruz era Astros

not Houston, but ...Sea-Arama

Busch Gardens next to the old Bud plant on the loop, where my little brother got massively pooped on by birds in the aviary and cried like a baby

Leos for tex-mex

working nights downtown at One Shell and doing office food runs at Pappas BBQ and Yit Ing Ho because nothing else was open.

Urban Animals

Dark Side of the Moon at Burke Baker Planetarium, pre-IMAX. Hey, it was the best we had!

Late--night happy hour at BirraPorettis on W Gray

(for me anyway) growing up in the small town suburbs in the late 70s was exactly as depicted in Dazed and Confused. There was always a a cool kid with absentee parents and a pool, summer baseball and softball league, the Dairy Queen, roller rink, lots of ditch weed

Wortham Center downtown opening during the dark days of the oil bust, and going to an opera for the first time

The pre-PC, less litigious olden days when office holiday parties at any big company were totally debauched, booze and coke in the bathrooms, etc. At UH campus-provided booze was everywhere in large quantity. When I started UH in 83, there was an old outdoor pool between the quad and Moody towers which was the sight of a pool keg party for dorm move-in weekend. Also the Pimp n Ho kegger at Itza Pizza in the MNoody Towers basement, and the infamous Tequila To Kill Ya party hosted and catered by the School of Hotel Restaurant Management graduating class.

God i'm an old.

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Import shops that had affordable, unusual, handmade one-of-a-kind items -- home accessories, dishes, jewelry, party decorations, etc. Cargo Houston in Westbury Square was the best. Cost Plus/World Market and Pier One are still around, but they have mostly mass-produced, overpriced stuff of mediocre quality.

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Record Rack

 

Sound Warehouse on Voss@ Westheimer

 

Panjos Pizza on Winrock

 

Numbers (it's still there, but my 32 inch waist is long gone)

 

NRG

 

Eastside Park as a teen party site

 

Swiss Chalet, especially for high school formal date nights

 

Aquarium Lounge (remember when that part of town seemed sketch?)

 

Power Tools 

 

Reliable Molly 

 

The new midtown is so much better, but the old one was so raunchy (BRBs, Red Square, French Quarter all-male porn theater, gay sex clubs all over the place)

 

Original Barnaby's (yeah, I know it's still there but it isn't the same)

 

Mai's (see comment above)

 

Hunan's on Post Oak (Gigi Huang's Dad's place)

 

Movie theaters in the galleria meant your parents could drop you off for hours and think you were inside

 

Windsor Theater (those reclining seats were pure velvet)

 

Ay Chihuahua on North Main (mmm, chorizo)

 

Davis High's historic losing streak

 

The Southwest Conference

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My childhood in the Heights made me aware of a few things it probably shouldn't have at that age. Like...

Ladies of the evening strolling down Airline between the Hughes and Silver Glo motels, both of which still stand there on Airline, but the ladies have gone much more "undercover" than when they used to line up along the sidewalk so the customer could take their pick.

Of course, for every bad aspect of the northside of Houston growing up, there were just as many good.

Remember when Sam's BBQ on Airline and Canino was "way out in the county"?

The old time Whataburger on Crosstimbers, shaped like a W?

Lee's Inn on 45 and Tidwell, where Chinese food came to a beautiful linen clad table, in silver dishes? China Border on Tidwell & 45 looks like a pig trough. It wasn't always bad Chinese food on the northside, lol.

Malibu Grand Prix and the Water Coaster at Stuebner Airline & 45?

Western Auto? Autozone has nothing on the level of service you used to get from these guys. You certainly didn't have a counter person take a look at a relay switch and ask "what's that??" like you might at your neighborhood Autozone or O'Reilly.

Kmart. "Attention Kmart Shoppers! We have a Blue light special going on in our automotive department, right now! Buy one bottle of automatic transmission fluid at the already regularly low Kmart price, and get a second bottle for half price. That's in our automotive department, so hurry, and as always, thanks for shopping at your West 20th Street Kmart." Spent a little time in there. Can you tell?

Skating around Trade Winds roller rink on West 34th to the sounds of The Bee Gees' "Staying Alive" and later Starship's "We Built This City".

A time when Sly Fox's "Let's Go All The Way" was my favorite song, and was played on 93Q every 3 hours.

The time and temperature spinning around on top of Central Bank.

When Katy was just a bunch of grain silos.

Kemah as a real town, and not a tourist attraction with a roller coaster and a Joe's Crab Shack. Screw You, Joe! Where's my Jimmy Walker's?

The Woodlands when it was still just trees.

Jersey Village being "out of town".

Loading up in the car and taking a long road trip to...Stephen F. Austin Park. Sure doesn't seem so far out there these days.

The MKT line. Still my favorite historical railroad.

I mean, I could go on and on from boomboxes to watching steel hubcaps flying down the road, waiting for someone to wipe it out in one fell swoop of a quickly moving tire. The advancement in technology is tremendous, but it has made a lot of things, that were very much a part of my generation growing up, obsolete.

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Sort of like in that scene from Die Hard before Hans Gruber and his team burst in? Wow.  :o

 

Not quite so dramatic, but more or less. If you want realy good stories, find an old timer and ask them about the 'hospitality suites' at  OTC back in the 80s before the bust.

 

I had to giggle at La Strada--the  walk of shame brunch for clubbers who refused both shame and sleep.

 

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This is a fun thread.  I'm 60 (tho' I still can't believe it's true), so some of my memories go farther back, but others overlap with stuff people have already mentioned.  OK, here are a few of mine:

 

Sneaking into the Boy Scouts' Camp Hudson on Buffalo Bayou with our bows and arrows.

Crossing Buffalo Bayou on the twin cables (one strung above the other) near Lakeside CC.

Riding my bike along Hwy 6 north of I-10 and seeing coyote carcasses strung up on the "bob wahr" there by ranchers.

Riding my bike on Synott Rd (I think) south of Westheimer through cotton fields and past shotgun houses occupied (or at least I imagined) by sharecroppers.

Going shopping downtown or to Gulfgate before the glittering new mall "Sharpstown" was built.

The huge oscillating fans we had in my elementary school before they retrofitted it for AC (in 5th grade or so).

The longhorn cattle and buffalo grazing in the pasture next to my elementary school.

Pizza and lasagna at Valian's on South Main, across from the Shamrock Hotel.

The olympic-sized pool at the Shamrock.

Delicious deli sandwiches at Nielsen's Delicatessen (pastrami, roast beef, corned beef)  ... piled so thick that they were almost hard to eat.

Also, very good deli sandwiches at Alfred's Delicatessens.

James Coney Island downtown, back when you could buy their frozen chili "bricks" and their cheese was not extruded from a squirt gun.

Locally owned supermarkets that had mouth-watering smells as you entered their doors (rotisserie BBQ chicken, hot popcorn).

People keeping a horse in their backyard.

Riding rent-a-horses at Westheimer Stables ... way out in the country where Woodlake is now (off Westheimer, just west of Fondren).

The triangular, rotating Conoco sign on top of their building downtown, with its "weather ball" that was illuminated red or green, depending on whether the barometric pressure was falling or rising.

All-you-can-eat dinners of fried chicken and shrimp at the San Jacinto Inn, down by the monument.  (No A/C there, either, just fans.)

Edited by ArchFan
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Arch, you've got me beat by a little better than a decade, but I don't remember the barometric pressure color changing Conoco sign downtown. I certainly remember the Gulf sign, SP, Rice, Shell, and Central clock, but not this one. What's the timeframe on this one? Was it up there in the 70s, or before?

"Bob Wahr". That's too funny. Reminded me of my late uncle and his "pickem up truck.

How about standing in Fitzgerald's with what seemed like 1,000 other people, drenched in sweat because Fitz had no AC, leaving that old dance hall at a sweltering 115 degrees or better? Saw many a concert there. Got a few stitches from the moshpit too. Twice. :o

The Vatican on Washington. Now, if you thought that Fitz used to be bad, well this one topped it. The Vatican was an old one screen movie theater just before Westcott on the south side of Washington. This one too had no AC, but more people crammed into it than a fire marshal would surely allow...if they knew, lol. Saw Crazy Killed Mingus, Nirvana, UO, and Gwar here. Nothing topped the Gwar shows. They were certainly cutting edge and unique in their time.

Speaking of Washington, the old Shipley's Diner. Yep, Shipley's wasn't always synonymous with fried doughnuts. Used to be on the north side of Washington same block as The Vatican. Mean Hamburger Steak, drowned in onions. Shipley's Diner was hard to beat. IIRC, it sat there on Washington until at least the mid 90's.

For the railfans: The old roundabout and engine repair facility on York. I was a kid with a fascination with trains, and this place never disappointed. That, and you had the MKT, HB&T, SP, and Mo-Pac lines all right there. Seemed there was a train coming or going across one of the lines every 2 minutes. If there was ever a prime spot for railfanning, this was it in the 70s.

Transco Tower, when we'd *gasp* "get to go to the Galleria" back then, we'd always find a way to take the girls up to the observation deck. That was one hell of a view to a teenager that had never been in a plane at that point. I can't remember how we did it, but somehow we used to go through some skywalks that were attached to the Galleria itself, and it seems like we never actually touched a surface street in making it to Transco. I remember walking through that long glass tunnel, and wa la, you were in Transco. Damn. The hash from back then did have an effect... o_O

Edited by Purpledevil
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KFMK in the 60's......one of the first "album rock" radio stations in the U.S.

I wish I'd have heard this one on the air, Earlydays. Imagine that now. A psychodelic free form radio station, not targeting a city or even a town, but a neighborhood. Spring Branch, no less. That's when radio was fun.

Nostalgia and radio. At one time, those two went hand in hand at 102.9 FM.

They had billboards all over town, bearing the simple message, "Tell Everyone You Know, You're Radio Station is KQUE FM 103!" I miss seeing my dad sitting at the dining room table, with "KQ" on his portable radio, drinking a cup of coffee and doing a crossword. Or sharpening his Buck knife on a wet rock.

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Arch, you've got me beat by a little better than a decade, but I don't remember the barometric pressure color changing Conoco sign downtown. I certainly remember the Gulf sign, SP, Rice, Shell, and Central clock, but not this one. What's the timeframe on this one? Was it up there in the 70s, or before?

"Bob Wahr". That's too funny. Reminded me of my late uncle and his "pickem up truck.

How about standing in Fitzgerald's with what seemed like 1,000 other people, drenched in sweat because Fitz had no AC, leaving that old dance hall at a sweltering 115 degrees or better? Saw many a concert there. Got a few stitches from the moshpit too. Twice. :o

The Vatican on Washington. Now, if you thought that Fitz used to be bad, well this one topped it. The Vatican was an old one screen movie theater just before Westcott on the south side of Washington. This one too had no AC, but more people crammed into it than a fire marshal would surely allow...if they knew, lol. Saw Crazy Killed Mingus, Nirvana, UO, and Gwar here. Nothing topped the Gwar shows. They were certainly cutting edge and unique in their time.

Speaking of Washington, the old Shipley's Diner. Yep, Shipley's wasn't always synonymous with fried doughnuts. Used to be on the north side of Washington same block as The Vatican. Mean Hamburger Steak, drowned in onions. Shipley's Diner was hard to beat. IIRC, it sat there on Washington until at least the mid 90's.

For the railfans: The old roundabout and engine repair facility on York. I was a kid with a fascination with trains, and this place never disappointed. That, and you had the MKT, HB&T, SP, and Mo-Pac lines all right there. Seemed there was a train coming or going across one of the lines every 2 minutes. If there was ever a prime spot for railfanning, this was it in the 70s.

Transco Tower, when we'd *gasp* "get to go to the Galleria" back then, we'd always find a way to take the girls up to the observation deck. That was one hell of a view to a teenager that had never been in a plane at that point. I can't remember how we did it, but somehow we used to go through some skywalks that were attached to the Galleria itself, and it seems like we never actually touched a surface street in making it to Transco. I remember walking through that long glass tunnel, and wa la, you were in Transco. Damn. The hash from back then did have an effect... o_O

I am well aware Shipley's once had burgers and stuff on the menu (they did in Bryan, until around they moved to a new location) but I had no idea that one served that sort of thing into the mid-1990s (the Bryan one changed sometime in the 1980s).

I'm pretty sure that there are still skywalks connecting the Galleria (or at least the garages) to Williams Tower.

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It seems like it was in the mid 90's when it shut down. Heck, I don't even know what's there now, or if I'd even recognize the building. That is, if it's still standing.

I wish I could remember how we used to make that journey from the mall to Transco. It seems like we left the mall around Marshall Field's. Oh wait, it was a hall! I remember the shoe shine shop on the left now. It started as a hallway that jetted out of the Galleria, then you made a couple of turns, up an escalator, then into the glass skywalk. Yeah, that sounds right...but where was that hallway?

Where's a good mallrat when you need one? :-D

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You can clearly make out skywalks between the Galleria parking garage to the Transco/Williams complex.

By the way, I like the Transco name. A bit before my time, to be certain, but it's like the Sears Tower in Chicago, once named, always named.

As for my own Houston nostalgia, it's mostly very recent stuff, but even as of 2004 the Northwest Freeway corridor near Fairfield looked totally different than today.

Edited by IronTiger
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Marcus Allen...I still get my Delaware Punch fix at James Coney Island...Sun Up Ice Cream, Golden Age soda water, Weigarten's, Lewis & Coker, Fed Mart, Eagle, Midget Markets and U-Tote-ems, Bang's and Sullivan's in Bellaire, Don's Record Shop, Wee Wild West, Post Oak Drive In, Pin Oak Stables, Sheraton Lincoln Hotel, Cinder Club, Brockstein Music for my drums, ...it's getting late so I'll stop :rolleyes:

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31. Wise Caramel Popcorn Buckets & Welches Soda 

32. Shipley's Donuts 

33. Dunkin Donuts 

34. Pro Wings (Micheal Jordan pre Nike ) 

35. Kapa Shoes 

36. Ocean Pacific 

37. Trapper Keeper 

38. Jordache 

39. Chic 

40. Guess 

41. Micheal Jordan ''Flight23" 

42. Micheal Jackson L.A. Gear 

43. Nike Cortez "Gangsta Nikes" 

44. Timberlands 

45. Nike Bo Jackson 

46 .Nike Deion Sanders 

47. Etonic Hakeem "The Dream"Olajuwon 

48. Chicago Bears Perry "Refrigerator" Williams

49 . Marvin Zindler RIP 

50. Starter Jackets 

51. Diadora 

52. Adidas 

53. Dookie Chains 

54. Doc Martins

55. UNLV Rebels 

56. Georgetown Hoyas 

57. Miami Hurricanes 

58. Duckhead 

59. Lowriders 

60 . Monte Carlo 

61. Grenada 

62. Sunbird 

63. Capris Classic 

64. Honda Civic

65. Accord 

66. F150 

67. Explorer 

68. Suzuki Samuri 

69. Jeep Cherokee 

70. Mazda 626 

71. Datsun 

72 Nissan 

74. Pathfinder 

75. 4x4 

78. Duster 

79. Pinto 

80. Subaru 

81. Mercury Cougar 

82. Lincoln Towncar 

83. Chevy S10 

84. Suburban 

85. Silverado 

86 Ford Ranger 

87 Kawasaki bikes 

88.Honda  bikes 

89. Yahama Bikes 

90. VW Rabbit 

91. Roland Keyboards

92. Korg Keyboards

93. Casio Keyboards 

94. Yahama Keyboards 

95. BMX 

96. AMF 

97. Airwolf 

98. Dukes of Hazard 

99. Knight Rider 

100. Blue Thunder 

101. Hawaii Five O 

102. Miami Vice 

103. Dallas 

104. Knots Landing 

105. Silver Spoons 

106. General Hospital 

107. MASH 

109. Welcome Back Carter 

110. Barney Miller 

111. TJ Hooker 

112. Hill Street Blues 

113. Chips 

114. Charles In Charge 

115 . Bustin Loose 

116. Solid Gold 

117 Star Search 

118. American Bandstand 

119. One Life To Live 

120. All My Children 

121. Jeopardy 

122. Soul Train 

123. Price is Right 

124. A Team 

125. Gimme A Break 

126. Quincy 

127 . Trapper John MD 

128. Mary Tyler More 

129. Taxi 

130 Three's Company 

131. Twilight Zone 

132. As The World Turns 

133. Albert Hitchcock 

134. Magnum PI 

135. Starsky & Hutch 

136. Rockford Files 

137. Eight is Enough 

138. I Dream of Jeannie 

139. The Partridge Family

140. Tne Brady Bunch 

141. Baywatch 

142. The Rifleman 

143 . The Wild Wild West 

144. Matlock 

145. In the Heat of the Night 

146. Bionic Woman 

147. Six Million Dollar Man 

148. The Fall Guy 

149. Leave It to Beaver 

150. Little House on the Prairie 

151.Elvira 

152. Mell's Dinner 

153. Different Strokes 

154. Facts of Life 

155. Good Times 

156. Night Court 

157. Street Hawk 

158. Gunsmoke 

159. Bonanza 

160. Eastenders 

161. Benny Hill 

162 . Carol Burnett 

163. Wonder Woman 

165 . Spiderman 

166. Batman 

167 . Superman 

168 . Law & Order 

169 . Chomps 

 

 

  

Edited by Tower26
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What I miss more than anything was the slower pace Houston had in the late fifties and early sixties when I was a teen. At the time I guess we thought the city was fast paced but not compared  to now. It was much easier to get around even without all the freeways we have now. It was not near as spread out then. I miss all the usual places my Prince's drive in and of course my favorite Bill Williams, the place to go to meet all the cool guys. I miss the soda fountains of Madding's drug stores, I miss that great little burger joint called Prices, they had 15 cent hamburgers, 12 cent French fries and nickel Cokes. I miss the mom and pop family café where my husband and I could go and eat a good meal for a buck fifty each. I miss the dollar for all you could drink beer night at the Texas Ball Room at I-45 and Stubner Airline. I miss the Sunday afternoon dancing at Magnolia Gardens. As a kid I miss the ride to downtown Houston on the bus to see the Houston Fat Stock show and rodeo parade. I miss the serial at the Alabama theatre every Saturday. I could go on here all day long. It was just a simpler time of life in the fifties and sixties, I wish I could go back. Like Bill Murray was stuck in time in Groundhog day, I wish I could be stuck in the fifties as a kid.  

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About to be 44, and this post is right up my alley. Heck, I moved to Colorado, started looking online for my haunts growing up and when I couldn't find much, started a blog just to fill the gap.

 

I'm from the South Belt corner of Houston, so most of my nostalgia is 'burb related, although being backstage/on stage at Fitzgeralds with my boyfriend's band on New Year Eve at midnight when I was still in high school gets me all misty and stuff. Of course, I miss going to see the Astros in their rainbow uniforms in the Dome and the bull snorting on the scoreboard; roaming Astroworld as a teenager feeling like I owned the place; going to concerts and the circus every summer at the Summit.

 

But in terms of the day-to-day nostalgia, it's mostly 'burbs related.

 

I miss being a little kid in the backseat (usually perched in the shelf of the Oldmobile looking out the back window without a though of seatbelts, watching all the signs on the Gulf Freeway going home from wherever we'd been in the city. My memories start around the 610 loop: the turquoise and pink umbrella Gulfgate sign & Dot's . . . The Rocket Neon Sign for a McDavid car place . . The Fingers Warehouse . . .  the lighthouse/Cape Cod looking place at Park Place . . . Harmony Wedding Chapel at Bellfort . . . the old rock Car Wash with its individual letters up high around Howard . . .  the neon suitcase man at the Twin W Motel . . .the Breezeway Lounge meant we were almost at our South Belt exit, not far from the old KIKK billboard.

 

I miss Pipe Organ Pizza at Monroe, the putt-putt and go cart places, sitting at the bi-pane inside the McDonalds at Edgebrook after getting out of school at Easthaven. I miss those little colorful Easthaven vans outfitted with bolted down wooden shelves for seating to and from school.

 

I miss eating out with my parents on special occasions either at Ninfa's (also near Monroe?) or down in Seabrook at Jerry's Pier 8 where you could watch your dinner almost come right off the boat. I miss the candy under the chips at Monterey House and the Saltillo Platter (for what, maybe $2?).

 

I miss so many things about Almeda Mall in its heyday: the smells of the Pipe Pub;  the life size Liberace standee in the window of Brook Mays;  birthday parties at Ferrell's;  playing on the kids' stuff right outside the Doktor's Pet Center; the Aztec mural in Foley's and their blue eyelid awnings outside, their Christmas wrapping department with all the shiny presents hung on the wall, eating at the Terrace for lunch after shopping with mom, their spaceship elevator and, at the very top of Foley's nostalgia, playing on that boat in the children's shoe department. I miss the Pineapple fountain in the center of the mall, and the skylights, and the Christmas train; I miss getting a white paper bag of nonpareils at the Penney's candy counter, and riding the escalator in the center of the store; I miss eating pie in those blue booths at the Woolworths Diner; going to Picadilly on Sundays after church . . . as a teenager, hanging out in the record store and H&H Music . . so many memories in that mall that was more like our little cultural center. 

 

I miss imagining what giant caused all the damage at the Best Store outside the mall, and seeing movies at the Almeda East and West Theaters; I miss spending an afternoon with my Dad gnawing on giant Brown Sugar's BBQ beef ribs, back when it was near Wolfe nursery and the old Target. I remember picking out my birthday cake from Target in the early 70s and my mom never letting me play on the trampolines nearby. Later, nearby the place to be was Golf and Games. 

 

The South Belt was a place you could roam as a kid, ride your bike, leave it outside the 7-11 and not worry about bike locks or thieves. We had Vaudeville Pizza, the place to be after Dobie football games, with its pitchers of root beer, arcade, and old black and white "big screen" area showing Little Rascals and Heckel and Jeckle. Your brownie troop got to make pizzas in the kitchen. Across the street was the pool, with its terrifying high dive. It's where I took summers of swim lessons. There was Sagemont Baptist Church, long before it became mega, with just its little chapel sitting in the middle of a field. Every Christmas, Texas Commerce Bank would host a "snow" event with an ice truck that was a must-attend. There was no beltway and just getting to Pearland or Friendswood felt like it took forever. The Beltway remained a far-off whisper throughout my childhood, although when they took down the four gas stations at South Belt and I-45 we thought it might actually happen. (It still took almost another decade.)

 

There were the floods and hurricanes. As a kid, this wasn't the worst thing in the world, although living without AC in August was pretty brutal. But it meant you could ride in a boat down your street! I was lucky enough to live on a street that never got water in the house. I did get to see floating fire ant hills and quite a few water moccasins in the river that was our street. (The area had been rice paddies before it became a neighborhood and many streets flooded a LOT in the '70s before flood mitigation started to give the area some relief.) Many, many memories of roaming the ditches in the area, catching crawdads and marveling at the graphitti that would spring up underneath the overpasses. I miss the Skate Ranch, back on Blackhawk when it was just a shell road. And, of course, playing softball on the ball fields (and getting "suicide" snow cones after the game) that shared boundaries with Brio, long before anyone had a clue.

 

 

 

Sorry, that went on longer than I'd planned and it's not quite in list form, but a lot of fun to remember :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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...

I miss being a little kid in the backseat (usually perched in the shelf of the Oldmobile looking out the back window without a though of seatbelts, watching all the signs on the Gulf Freeway going home from wherever we'd been in the city. My memories start around the 610 loop: the turquoise and pink umbrella Gulfgate sign & Dot's . . . The Rocket Neon Sign for a McDavid car place . . The Fingers Warehouse . . .  the lighthouse/Cape Cod looking place at Park Place . . . Harmony Wedding Chapel at Bellfort . . . the old rock Car Wash with its individual letters up high around Howard . . .  the neon suitcase man at the Twin W Motel . . .the Breezeway Lounge meant we were almost at our South Belt exit, not far from the old KIKK billboard.

...

 

oh yeah... here's another link you may enjoy...http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/18829-gulf-freeway-landmarks/?hl=+gulf%20+freeway

 

 

I miss : - Old wooden screen doors, open windows, attic fans and the smell of freshly cut grass. - A not-so-junky looking I-45. - Spotting that old wooden, unpainted 2-story structure on the curve of Pierce Elevated. - Alll those vintage neon signs. -The cool feel of the spotless terrazzo and the sound and look of the fountains, while strolling through Gulfgate in the '60's-70's.  

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I miss it all except for the nasty cigarette smokers and their cavalier attitude about smoking and dopping their cigarette butts anywhere they chose to, especially on those smoothly polished terrazzo lobby floors. Just a little reality check!

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loved their bisquits

 

I did too. Surprisingly, the recipe apparently came from the back of a Gold Medal flour bag. Maybe it was the setting that made them seem so special, or maybe the preserves that came with them!

 

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I miss Playland Park, I miss the North Houston Race Track, now on airport property, I miss Myers Speedway, now a cow pasture as it was before it became a Speedway, that's one for the books !!  There once was an old Church on the corner of Oxford in the Heights and as an 8 year old kid I would walk over to that empty lot next to that little church and lay down on the pews and take a nap, they had all been taken outside and placed in a nice orderyly row.  I have no idea what for, maybe the church was being renovated or maybe it was being closed, but I do know it was one nice place to lay out in the sun and nap.  There's no place left in the Heights to nap now....

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I miss Playland Park, I miss the North Houston Race Track, now on airport property, I miss Myers Speedway, now a cow pasture as it was before it became a Speedway, that's one for the books !!  There once was an old Church on the corner of Oxford in the Heights and as an 8 year old kid I would walk over to that empty lot next to that little church and lay down on the pews and take a nap, they had all been taken outside and placed in a nice orderyly row.  I have no idea what for, maybe the church was being renovated or maybe it was being closed, but I do know it was one nice place to lay out in the sun and nap.  There's no place left in the Heights to nap now....

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Great topic. Next time though you might want to be a little more descriptive in the title, for example "What Do You Really Miss About Houston?" It takes a lot to get people to click these days!

To be honest, I begin posts with a vagueness in mind, sort of rhetorically, and let you all take it wherever you will. This actually has received more replies than most of mine, which I felt were too specific; being answered succinctly and closing further discussion. I think I will keep my methodology. ;)

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...and pony rides at those simple little establishments, Peppermint Park (Gulfgate location), and Sears (Pasadena) or Harrisburg Blvd. Walking over the bridge to the Gulfgate Cinema, or down the steps to the bowling alley, or riding the miniature train at the zoo. passing by the Galveston Balinese Room, and thinking how exotic it was. Strolling through the "over the water" souvenir shops at Galveston, to the end porch.  

 

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