Continue to Live in the Past…..
Why is that? I think we Boomers do truly believe that the only true past was our own. There’s no “Gen X” past – And the ‘Greatest Generation”? Theirs was too demanding to be considered fondly as a past – You know – two world wars – Hitler – a depression or two thrown in… a lot to just leave behind…
But I do believe it is safe to say that we Baby Boomers will hold onto our past with every ounce our free lovin’, draft dodgin’, peace signin’, haight-asburyin’, twistin’, go-go dancin’, American bandstandin’, mousketeerin’, phone booth stuffin’, drag racin’, 3.2 night clubin’, Fab Fourin’, mini skirtin’, hula hoopin’, davy crocketin’, rin tin tinin’; beach boyin’, color televisionin’, top fortyin’ …… cold dead fingers are pried from our transistor radios and 45 record collections…..
At any rate – here is a Part 1 Tour of our lives growing up in the Denver area….
The Aladdin Theater
I saw many movies here but won’t forget “South Pacific” and “Bloody Mary” – Tragically this historic and grand landmark on East Colfax was torn down before it could be protected – According to Colfax Mayor Jonny Barber the loss of the Aladdin was the impetus for future efforts to save historic landmarks …..
Arlan’s Department Store
Located on Sheridan Blvd., just steps away from Boss Radio KIMN – this was my haunt for vinyl! The record department – located just inside the main entrance was usually staffed by Judy a very nice lady – and little known to me at the time – that cute little Janet! – My future sweetheart forever!
Arlans was the forerunner to all of the ‘box’ stores – Woolco, Gemco and everything that followed…
Azar’s “Home of the Big Boy”
Beatles at the Brown
The Beatles disembark at old Stapleton Airport – complete with cowboy hats – a tip of the hat to the old west
And there they are – our darling Baby Boomer girls lined up downtown Denver to catch a glimpse of the Fab Four exiting the Brown Palace on their 1964 tour
Big Top Convenience Store
Check out that ’59 Chevy wagon! Before the mega franchise 7-11 had taken over
What is really funny is that we actually thought we could duck into a blast shelter and then emerge safely returning to our Baby Boomer adventures after Nikita dropped the big one. We were always told that Denver would receive a direct hit due to NORAD being located just down the way in Colorado Springs.
We also thought that our ‘duck and cover’ drills at school (ducking under our wooden desk) would shield us from the blast.
My fifth grade teacher – Mrs. Downs – lived nearby and I went over and got to enter her family’s blast shelter. I can’t remember if she extended an invitation for me to use it when the big one was finally dropped. The provider below was located in nearby Evergreen – Notice that they came equipped with a Geiger counter – nice touch
Blinky the Clown
Blinky was a very early children TV show host – I only met him once at his Broadway curiosity (junk) store – He was pretty grumpy – That seems to be the consensus of all who crossed his path or appeared on his local show on Denver’s Channel 2.
Being around a couple hundred thousand Baby Boomers can do that to a fella.
Bonnie Brae Ice Cream
This place across the street from the long running Bonnie Brae Tavern still thrives today with long lines in the summer time
Located on West Alameda just west of Sheridan Blvd., this was my haunt for years for both open bowling and leagues – junior leagues right up through high school. West High had a Saturday league with about 20 teams!
Bowlero vacated the premises in 2017 moving to Highlands Ranch! We used to swing by Bowlero late at night on the weekends and enter the very competitive stakes bowling for a two dollar buy in per challenge across 10 lanes – Winner and 2nd place taking all stakes
It was also the home of the “Bowl Burger”!
If you grew up in Denver – enough said…. Yikes!