Seniors Recall 10 Cent Movie Tickets, First Belk in Downtown Monroe | Investigator’s Log

Jane Langley Williams, after reading my January post, wrote, “Love these memories. I remember many Saturdays some of us would frequent all three theatres, with a quick stop at the Oasis. Of course, I thought I had really joined the “in crowd” when Vangie Hinson Clark invited me to go to the Teenage Club with her. My uncle, Rupert Funderburk, worked at the Wilson Drug Store, so I always liked the ice cream there. Dad’s furniture store was just down the street so my first stop would be there to get change for ice cream and to cross the street for Center Theater candies. Good memories. Can you imagine paying 10 cents to go to the movies? Much better times, without worrying about viruses!

Mack Pigg made some corrections to my last post — he says it was Cain’s Barber Shop in the basement of the Monroe Hotel — he knows that because his dad worked there for a while. He also says The Rolling Pin Bakery was on Main Street right next to 12Chinese Laundry.

John Gaddy remembered parades downtown and would sit on the sidewalk to watch them. I remember doing “snake dances” led by the cheerleaders and starting at the old Walter Bickett High School and walking down Main Street to the old courthouse and then clapping “Go Monroe!

John also remembers the Dairy Queen drag races at the bridge. I do not remember. I remember the Bonfire restaurant so named because the original, the Orange Bowl, burned down.

The Belk Brothers department store (yes, the very first Belk) was located on Main Street. The clerk in the hosiery section always kept the white cardboard that was in the boxes of stockings for my sister Gale and I to draw on while Mom shopped.

There were so many “treasures” at the Dime Store (either Woolworth’s or Newberry’s) – the little cheap perfume bottles with the tiny shades we always bought as “gifts”; the perfume “Evening in Paris”; barrettes and ribbons for the hair; Teabury, Black Jack and Clove chewing gum, or Hubba Bubba chewing gum (which I couldn’t chew around my mother): so many attractions for young people!

I remember, in one of those stores, the giant bottle of Teel toothpaste – it was a red liquid toothpaste. The Ipana toothpaste came in a red and yellow striped tube. Back then, toothpaste tubes were made of a soft metal, so when you rolled the tube, it stayed rolled up! During World War II, these empty tubes were salvaged as scrap metal.

When I was in town at my best friend, Anne Smith Broadwell’s, we’d walk down Morrow Avenue to a little store and buy these chewy, nutritious BB Bats, Black Cows, or Slo Pokes.

And since February is “love” month, here are some old Valentine’s Day memories: Margaret McGuirt Teal remembers her mother driving her to kick her friend’s Valentine’s Day. She would knock on the door or ring the doorbell, and run to the car and try to leave before anyone could see who had left the card.

We all remember putting our Valentine’s Day in the beautifully decorated Valentine’s Day box in our high school classrooms and hoping to get one from that special someone.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to Miss Esther Howland (1828-1904) who sent the first Valentine’s Day card to the United States. She had received one from a friend in England and started making and sending her own.

It’s always fun to get Valentine’s Day, and even more exciting to get a box of candy, a bouquet of flowers, jewelry, or any other token of love. However, I don’t think we’ll ever get back that sense of expectation we had in third grade to receive a handmade heart!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you!


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