Old neighborhoods: gone but not forgotten

Published 4:43 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2022

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There was a time in my generation that everybody seemed to live in town.  I am aware that some students lived in Washington Park and out in the country. Now, I have been told by people in the know that as many people live on the River Road from Washington Park as live in town. That explains why the neighborhoods have disappeared.

Oh, there are neighborhoods but not like there use to be.  With the growth of Smallwood and the continued growth of Macswoods, the old neighborhoods have disappeared.  The growth of convenience stores has taken the place of the neighborhood stores like Mrs. Jolley’s, Mrs. Canady’s and Jefferson’s on 11th Street.  Raymond Jolley’s store on Market Street has been gone and I have been in that store more than I care to.

The neighborhood playgrounds that use to be in WANOCA, behind Bill and Tomp’s on Summit Avenue and on 11th Street have disappeared.  The only remaining one is the Horse Lot on West Main bought by Drs. Tayloe and Stephenson. That was bought by the two physicians to see that children had a place to play, and play we did!

The lot on Summit Avenue in front of Bill and Hunt Taylor’s and beside Betty and Tommy Stewart’s was perfect.  It could be used to play baseball or football depending on the season that was in but it was bought by Swanson Graves to build a house on.  Guess we could trade a house for the lot to get Patty, Swanson Jr and Sarah B in the neighborhood.  Such a great neighborhood that included Cambo, Johnny, Doug, the Bagwell’s, the Lynch’s, the Moore’s and many others including the Brown’s, Selby Jones, Dewey Clagett and Gray and Coley Hodges.  We could get all of them but Mickie and Mike to play any sport.  Mike was the hero of the neighborhood and Mickie was a cheerleader, so we could not bother them.

I remember that the CC Road which is called 15th Street now was a dirt road and ran in front of Larry Taylor’s and the Snow’s home.  It ran to Highway 17 and the fairground and was not paved.  We used it to pick up 17 and go to Old Ford when we visited my grandparents on Sunday.

I really miss the old neighborhoods! They could be gotten to by bike or just walked to on Pat and Charlie. Especially, I miss the local stores that always had a Pepsi and peanuts for only 20 cents and if you did not have 20 cents you could just charge it.

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.