It’s nostalgia time here at Common Ground. And not a bad time of the year for it. February is not Spokane’s most glorious month. The snow that remains is dirty. The sun rarely makes an appearance. Winter has lasted forever. So it’s nice to remember some cool things about our city. We heard from quite a few of you who filled in the sentence “You know you’re getting old in Spokane if … “
From Gladys Wilcox: You remember the zoo at Nat Park. You knew High Drive was a narrow road that was worth all the bumps to see the spectacular view. You remember the swamp in the middle of Liberty Park; kids were warned not to get too close.
You knew the best street to roller skate was Rockwood Boulevard clean, smooth and hilly. You remember the hobos who came to the door for handouts. You remember that at Grant School, a student played the piano as the students marched to recess, lunch and at the end of the day. You remember learning to dance at the Garden Dance Hall on Sprague. Pure glamour, at 50 cents a lesson.
From Bill Heilsberg: Six-egg breakfasts at Jimmy Durkins pool hall. Staying at the Pedicord Hotel for $1 a night.
From Warren McKinlay: Men removing their hats when women were in the elevator. Cannon being shot at Fort Wright when the sun went down every night. Vaudeville at the Pantages Theater, plus a movie, newsreel and short subjects all for 25 cents. Boys or men yelling “Extra, extra!” while selling the breaking news on downtown streets.
Piano players at the five-and-dime stores who played the latest sheet music so you could hear how it sounded. Street cars had smoking sections in the back vestibule. For men only. Creameries sold buttermilk. All you could drink for 5 cents plus free pretzels. Ice house sold blocks of ice cut in cubes or blocks for household ice boxes. Used whisk broom to brush off the chips. Drug stores that sold prescriptions and sundaes but no disposable diapers.
From Nina Young: The Pantages, Clemmer, Casino, Liberty, Orpheum and Hippedrome theaters. The trains that went to Liberty Lake. McGoldrick mill pond on Howard, north of Trent, now Spokane Boulevard. Miller, Mower and Flynne department stores.
From Wendy Cowden: If you remember what Riverfront Park looked like pre-Expo. When you say you won a prize on the Cap’n Cy show for wiggling your ears on camera. You can recall twice daily mail delivery Christmas week. You saw the movie “Ten Commandments” at the Dishman Theater long before exotic dancers pranced on stage.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
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