GM doesn’t normally do this, but he was especially touched by a comment he received the other day in response to posting the image of the old Roy Rogers on Wisconsin Ave. It’s from reader “George” and it’s a love letter to Georgetown’s past:
I remember the balloon man, I heard he was busted for selling heroin, he used to be outside of the Little Tavern, at Wisconsin and N St. And those were not “Hells Angels”, they were “Pagans”. They were scary! Used to be a lot of them in the middle sixties, down on M Street, when the auto parts stores were there, and the saddlery store, near Desperado’s, and the laundromat on M St. And the other Little Tavern. Near Stohlman’s Chevrolet, and Menehan’s and Hardware, around the corner was Weaver’s. And the Cellar Door. And the head shops selling trippy posters and black lights. Before “Up Against the Wall”. Remember when Britches first opened on Wisconsin, just below N? 1967. And Doc Dalinsky’s, Mrs. Crocker’s lamp shop, Dorcas Hardin’s dress shop. Bill Fitzgerald’s Wine and Cheese Shop, next to Peoples Drug Store. Or Coffee, Tea and Spice? Rive Gauche! The French Market, Magruders, the Sealtest dairy at 25th and M St? They delivered! Rich’s shoe store. John Learmont’s Records and Books. Arpad’s Antiques. Long before, my mom kept her horse in the stable at 23rd and P Street. We used to take the street car to the amusement park at Glen Echo! My sister and I once got stuck there because our nanny didn’t have the 5 cents for the return trip. Buying our goldfish at Woolworth’s. Exotics pets up at Friendly Beasties. And the man with his haunting bell, who would walk the streets in the summer, sharpening knives. Lad Mills selling Esso on Que Street. Georgetown was a great place to grow up, and still is.
I almost forgot the Francis Scott Key Bookshop on 28th St. And the fabulous Saville bookstore on P st, just off Wisconsin. Used to buy my copies of I F Stone’s weekly there, during the Vietnam War. And “Yes!” for organic food. And music at the Bayou. Gallagher and Huegely’s Lumber yard, the coal trains coming to the power plant. The Veerhof Gallery, and Barbara Fendrick’s Gallery on M. Great memories.
And…the Cerberus movie theatre, Sonny’s Surplus, the Gulf Oil gas station where now stands the Latham Hotel, Fromage on M Street, the Guards, and Jamie’s East India Company, the River Club, and Wyatt D’s nightclub on M, near Desiree. Gepetto’s Pizza. What was Alan’s movie theatre on M Street called, where now is CVS? Before that it was the showroom for Manhattan Auto, then they moved to Rockville. And on that same block was Shrader’s Sound, the first good stereo store in DC. And Orpheus Records. I could go on…Larry McMurtry’s Booked Up on 31st.
GM tries to be a historian of Georgetown, but even he hasn’t heard of half the stores mentioned here (although he definitely remembers waiting in line for Geppeto’s Pizza back in the early 80s when he came to DC with his family; it still ranks in his memory as the best pizza he’s ever had). Something tells me George and Dave Roffman ought to get together sometime and reminisce. GM will be there taking notes…