Marlow Heights 60s and 70s

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Greatest Hits – Guest Book

This is a section of reader contributed memories, from emails and the Guest Book., that I personally chose. If you have particular memories of Marlow Heights and vicinity that you’d like published here, send me an email and I’ll add it.

“I went to high school for a couple of years with Phil L., but haven’t heard about him since he graduated McNamara in 1973. Phil was a smart guy! I graduated from Potomac in 1973. Our principal at that time, R. Francis Eigenbrode, retired to Arizona, and has since passed away a few years ago. I remember Iverson Mall very well, I believe there is now a metro subway stop nearby? The Hillcrest Heights Shopping Center was well-known to all in the area. Our Silver Hill boy’s club baseball team used to play at the old Oxon Run Park. I visited that area many years ago, and one of the ball fields is now completely wooded! They just let everything grow back. That was near the Oxon Run golf course, not sure if that is still there or not.

My pals Rick C., his brother Danny, Chip W. and others used to have touch football games along 23rd parkway, in the median. We most likely put our lives on the line many times retrieving the football from traffic, or running sideline patterns while some teenager was barreling up 23rd parkway in their Chevelle. Even though I have had the opportunity to travel to various parts of the world, I still remember the sights and sounds of Marlow Heights and Hillcrest Heights very well.

Your web site will give many others the opportunity to remember some hidden part of their formative years, and, for that, please let me say thank you again for your efforts in keeping it available for all. The old hobby shop in Marlow Heights shopping center was always a great place to spend a Saturday morning” (Pat J.)

I did know your sister.  She and I were in some of the same classes together.  I was pretty shy so she may not remember me.  I remember Hawkins Glass because [brother] Charlie and I used to ride our bikes in the parking lot there! Oh yes, the Dallas Kitchen… It was a pretty seedy place sometimes. Some of my fondest memories are back on Dallas Drive.  My mom used to walk us (three of us) kids to the Marlow Heights Shopping Center in the summer when daddy was at work.  We thought that was the greatest thing.

I have to tell you, my best memories of walking with my family up the street to Temple Hills Baptist Church there on St. Barnabas Rd.  My sister actually went to Sunday School in the old chicken coops up there!!  We’re dating ourselves.  And good grief, we’d ride our bikes, wagon or skateboards down Dallas Drive sidewalks until we wore them out.  Kids just don’t know how to amuse themselves these days.  I can remember tying my tether ball up on the street sign at the top of the street and the elderly lady in the big white house up there hollering at us to take it down!” (Karen C.)

Having lived in Hillcrest Heights for 20 years (1951-1971) I know much of the history. Sheehy Ford opened in the late 1960s; several friends bought cars there – the Mustang Boss 302s. We used to play baseball in the 50s & early 60s (for Silver Hill Boys Club) where the sign now sits for Iverson Mall. It was known as Carozza field. Where Woodies was had originally been planned as a grocery store. Where Wards was had been planned as a movie theater. The bank by the overpass had a model in the early 1960s. Iverson St did not cut thru then to Silver Hill Rd. The special ed ctr behind Woodies parking lot had been the U.S. Weather Bureau area for launching balloons before moving to Sterling Va in the 1960s.” (Big Al)

“Italians were everywhere in the area back then. Scuderi built Marlow Heights Shopping Center. There were several Nicalosi (I may be spelling it wrong) brothers who cut hair. Joe for many years by the Safeway in the Hillcrest Heights Shopping Center before he joined his 2 brothers, Freddy & Alfred (Alfred had been with Joe for years) by the Hobby Headquarters in the Marlow Heights Shopping Center. The Procopio family owned and/or managed most of the drag strips in the region at one time. The Ferrantes had the Village Supermarket. Amatucci Rambler was across from Iverson mall. K.P.I. was owned by Emile Croci from the late 40s til he died in the 70s. Both were Italians and members of all local civic groups. When Silver Hill was a boondocks, KPI was owned by someone else.

It was a real dive and some folks tried to have it closed because school kids passed by it going to school. It was located where the gas station is across from the old Rambler car dealer. Across Silver Hill Rd from that was the Pyles Desoto dealer, related to Dave Pyles from St Barnabas Rd., Carozza owned most of undeveloped Hillcrest Heights and Iverson Mall was his dream.

For years, there was a Giovannis Restaurant in the HHSC but when it first opened in the 50s, it was called Ginos and had a a small deli like you’d find in NYC. The Pizza Pan was for many years next to the A&P by the HHSC – that portion was never really part of the center. Anyway, the pizza was always good and ‘Lou’s Pride’ was a great burger with mushrooms & onions. I believe Lou was Italian. Anyway, that’s all I remember for now.” (Big Al)

“1. The great fire at the Holy Family Catholic Church. I was a student 1960-1968.
2. The great fire at the Hillcrest Heights Boys Club. Played Silver Hill BC Basketball there. Watched the Lightweight champ Bobby Foster (from DC) there in the 60’s.
3. Mr. Merrick and the Bingo Hall right behind the GC. Murphy’s and next to the Boys Club. Now owned and operated by one of the Genua’s (Ronnie).
4. “dangling”- Grabbing onto the bumper of a bus when the snow had stuck to the ground and covered the hill on 23rd Pl.
5. Seeing the rising smoke from Holy Family Baseball Field from the riots in DC after MLK was assassinated in Apr 1968.
6. Making of the Tasty Grill (Grilled Ham & Cheese on Sesame Roll w/Tasty Sauce (Mayo & French Dressing) at the Tasty House that used to be next to the Scot Gas Station ($0.18/gal)@ the corner of Auth and St. Barnabas Rd. Worked there several yrs.” (Rick R.)

“While searching for that Silver Hill school building photo, I came across these two jems. The “on way to Luray, that’s me and Steve Lund in April of 1973 getting ready to go camping in Luray Virginia with Mackie Jenkins and Jim Brigham. The other, of course, is Mr. Lea in 9th grade science class which would be around March of 1973. That is my childhood buddy Robert Fleming on the right, long after we went our separate ways, as Junior High can do to many an Elementary years friendship.” (Dan C.)

“I graduated from Sandymount, Benjamin Stoddert and Potomac (Class of 1970). I grew up on a dead-end street parallel to St. Barnabus Rd. – Riviera St. When my family moved in, the strip between our street and St. Barnabus Rd. was a an old farm with a big house, cherry trees and blackberry bushes. Then the whole area was paved over with a car dealership, small strip mall and ROY ROGERS! Many of us from the Class of 1970 helped open that restaurant. I worked for many years at Steak-N-a-sack. We opened all night, then, and I made lots of tips from the people going home from Rosecroft Raceway who would stop in for a late breakfast. I remember us increasing all the prices on the menu every night at 8:00pm in anticipation of the late crowd. I also remember walking to school – Sandymount and Stoddert- through the woods that separated our street from the playing fields at Stoddert. No one would dare do that today.

Our dentist had his office over the stores in the Hillcrest Heights Shopping center. We would be treated to a milk shake at the soda counter at Drug Fair to help the filling “set”. And Drug Fair gave you a free coke while you waited for your prescription to be filled. I remember when the  Hecht Company store was built. The kids in my neighborhood used to roller skate on the large open concrete area before the store officially opened. I remember riding my bike up to the High’s store and getting a 5-scoop ice cream cone for 25 cents. It was a nickel a scoop! No wonder I’m a little overweight!!!” (Linda B.)

“I still enjoy getting the reminders about updates on the site and checking out what is new. I’ve spent quite some time on any number of the links and delving deeply into many of the sites with obscure but memorable events and places. I really got into one site that led to memories regarding guitarist Link Wray and his brothers that used to play nightclubs in SE D.C. and P.G. and Charles County. Needless to say, I got to thinking that maybe some of the old Crossland Yearbooks might have some photo shots of the Marlow Heights area and sure enough the class of 67 Yearbook has a picture of the Pappy Parkers sign right at the intersection of Branch Avenue and Iverson Street. There is a second picture of Crossland students sitting and standing inside the Pappy Parkers Jr Hot Shops Restaurant. I recognize a few of the folks right off. The guy on the left sitting down and playing cards is Matthew Scott a former classmate of mine. Note the big guy with the hat seated at the other table with the subtle middle finger to the camera. His name is Joe Migellet (not sure of the spelling) a real character that was a graduate of Surrattsville H.S. He was a regular at the Hot Shoppes with his souped up Roadrunner. The Shoppes was for years in the late 60’s and early 70’s a hangout for students from both Crossland and Surrattsville High School. It was the place to meet before and after school events or to get the scoop on where a party was going down. It was also a place to profile your wheels and to arrange for races that often occurred on a straightaway stretch of 295 right at the DC & MD line. One car that sticks out in my memory was a tricked out car called “Ramblin Rose”. The big muscle cars of the days that you would see at the Shoppes were the Pontiac GTO, Plymouth GTX, Chevrolet SS Supersport, Mustang GT’s, Chevy Camaros, Plymouth Barracudas, Chevrolet Impala SS 409, Dodge Charger and the Plymouth Roadrunner. The crowds that assembled at the Shoppes and in the next door Montgomery Wards parking lot eventually drew the attention of the local authorities and the Shoppes ended up hiring off-duty P.G. Police officers to maintain crowd control in order for commerce to continue unabated. I recall several of the police officers, most of whom were friendly (one in particular was known as “officer Friendly”) and sought to convince the youth to hang out farther over in the Montgomery Wards lot so as to not interfere with business at the Shoppes. Drugs eventually came upon the scene and the police used the Shoppes as a place to conduct undercover ops with snitches, narcs and undercover police. Busts occurred, some people went to jail and the attraction of the site as a hangout waned. Business eventually withered and at some point the place shut down. You might be better at filling in the details about the final years. I was not as present upon the scene at the Shoppes later in the 70’s although I did work part-time in the mid 70’s at the Walden Book store in Iverson Mall when I first began my teaching career at sandymount Elementary in 1973-74. By that time, the hang-out scene was no longer a component of my life.”

“My father, Jack Hutchins, 1926-2011, was definitely a part of Marlow Heights history. In our family we said he was the man who made it “Springtime Forever” at Iverson Mall. In 1967, when the mall opened, dad was working in Heating and Air Conditioning for United Industrial, Associates. They installed the original heating and air conditioning equipment in the mall and dad maintained that equipment for United Industrial until 1980. At that time he went in to business for himself, but kept the Iverson Mall contract. Unbelievably, he took care of all that equipment himself until his retirement in 1991. Dad was born in Jackson, MS and moved to Washington in the early 1940s with his mother and sister. He was a Marine, stationed on Okinawa during WWII. He and my mom were married in 1948 and moved to Marlow Heights in 1959 where they lived on Lyons Street until 1978 when they moved to Upper Marlboro.” (Cindy Hutchins)

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