Changes in Washington through the years

Published 5:40 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2022

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Change is the only thing most cities the size of Washington faces.  Having been born and raised in Washington then living close by in Williamston and moving back after 30 years, I have seen many changes in Washington.

Gone are the schools that I attended.  Every time I ride by John Small school and the old high school on Ninth St. it leaves an empty space in my heart. Dollar General and convenience marts are dotting the neighborhoods.

The old Coast Guard that always had an inviting atmosphere no longer exist in Washington. Guess maybe the late Herbert Bonner is rolling over in his grave.  As a member of Congress, he fought so hard to get it here and keep it.

Third Street no longer has the middle as railroad tracks for trains to pass on occasions. Gone is the flea market at the train depot.  That was the predecessor to flea markets that cover our town. Saturday was a big day when everyone could buy clothes at half price.

Washington still has its older restaurants in Bill’s Hotdogs, The King Chicken, Moms Grill and the Dairy Palace.  They were there when I was growing up and still remain vibrant to this day. Gone are The Rendezvous that had Raymond Latham’s familiar face along with Saleeby Steakhouse and the Knotty Pine Inn.

Kugler Field-the place where dreams were made. We all remember on Friday nights the cheering crowd and Mr. Larkin’s band playing “We’re the Pam Pack” as the team trotted out from the baseball field. Now it is open for the WYFL on Saturday mornings. At least the Kugler family would be excited about that.  Still, no bleachers always full of fans on a good cold Friday night. No fieldhouse either.

The Bughouse that used to grace us with its log cabin design and tennis courts beside it with basketball goals on the courts. Betty Mac Harding running from her home across the bridge on Jack’s Creek to play tennis with Jerryl Rawls.  And Tony Tankards right across the street that had the coldest drink in town for a thirty tennis player after his/her match,

Yes, there have been many changes in Washington and some for the best and some not so good. Change is consistent and I hope for the best.  These were the places that I remembered as a child growing up and I am sure there are other places that children have today.

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington N.C.! The Original Washington!

Harold Jr.