Queen City on the Plains!
Here is a growing collection of images – of places – people and things – This was our ‘stomping grounds’ those many years ago – Most long gone – But we were there – That’s what is important – those many years ago …. growing up in a ‘cow town’ – couldn’t imagine having been anywhere other than a mile high….
A&W Drive In
For West Siders it was the Alameda location just east of the Galaxy 3.2 night club
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
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!
Beating the Oakland Raiders was indeed an event back in 1977 – when that feat had only been accomplished maybe once – maybe not at all since the formation of the American Football League in 1960. Denver was one of the only cities who held huge parades after losing a super bowl!
The “Three Amigos” would come along a bit later receiving bullets from John Elway
Carbones Italian Bakery/Deli and Restaurant
A long-time North Denver establishment located on Tejon Street just down from Gaetano’s – today it is Lachuga’s
Carlson Frink Milk
So many Denver Boomers enjoyed this delight delivered a couple of times a week to our doors in those great amber bottles..
All the door-to-door delivery guys (Happy Home, Carlson Frink, Etc.,) wore cute little uniforms including adorable caps… The Happy Home delivery guy was perhaps one of the happiest people I ever met! If anyone has a photo of any of the Happy Home guys or their trucks – please send them my way.
Celebrity Sports Center
Celebrity was open around the clock for bowling and featured about 10,000 lanes – Late at night they would have great bowling deals – perhaps three or four bucks for all you could bowl – and they piped in rock and roll as aired by KIMN radio!
Celebrity indeed was the kind of place that a family would join hands and madly dash across the parking lot to get to the fun as fast as possible!
Central City Face on the Barroom Floor
There is a lot of myth and legend surrounding this painting which resides in the old Teller House Bar. It was painted in 1936 (I always thought it was from the Gold Mining Days) by artist Herndon Davis.
I had heard stories that he painted it while in a drunken remorseful stupor agonizing over a lost love – not true – but you can dream can’t you. Central City is sad today – a gambling casino hell
Cherry Creek Dam Reservoir
Not much I can say about this – It remains today – with it’s little beach – a place Janet took the children serving little burritos wrapped up in tin foil for lunch between dips in the cold water
Cinderella City Shopping Mall
Denver color malls helped us as shoppers to know exactly where we were at all times …. But I remember constantly wandering around completely lost…..
The Cinderella Twin Drive-In
Located out south in Littleton, the Cinderella Twin outlived the nearby shopping center “Cinderella City” by a few years – but like almost all the local drive-in’s such as the “Compass” chains, long gone…
The Civic Center
A long-time tradition in Denver, the Civic Center lights have attracted 100’s of thousands over the decades in downtown Denver
Named after Colorado politician Schuyler Colfax (who was our nation’s Vice President from 1869 thru 1873) the “Fax” runs for an uninterrupted 26 miles through Denver and it’s suburbs.
Compass Drive-In Theaters
How many of these did you sneak into hiding in the trunk of your 1951 Chevy?
This Golden brewery has enjoyed a long enduring career – the beer brewed with “pure Rocky Mountain Spring Water”
Daddy Bruce Randolph Street
Running through Denver’s northern “Five Points” district the street is a testament to true Denver hero – Daddy Bruce Randolph who shared his bounty with the poor of Denver
Denver Bears Stadium
Located on the grounds of today’s Bronco stadium – (still waiting for a new name) this was the location for the great farm team of the New York Yankees – boasting a lineup at one time of Tony Kubek, Bobby Richardson, John Blanchard, Marv Thornberry, Ralph Terry and more.
The Denver Drumstick
Remember those great little boxes which would be transported out from the back kitchen on an electric toy railroad …
Denver Dry Goods
Or just the “Denver Dry” until it’s demise
Denver Public Library Mobile Unit
As you can see 16th Street wasn’t always a walking mall – three lanes of traffic running one way – perfect for cruisin’
This was drummer Ronny Kae’s store in Wheat Ridge carried on now by his son/s
You had to be there on St. Pat’s day
Duffy’s Delicious Drinks
I remember these being featured at every Cub Scout softball game after the game – affordable and local
Couldn’t wait for our family’s once-each-summer outing to this North Denver park
The gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park – Three words: Salt Water Taffy!
Fitzsimons General Hospital U.S. Army
Many World War II and Viet Nam wounded vets and Korea – passed through this hospital located out east in Aurora – Sort of weird that they had their own matches…. Wonder what the surgeon general thought of that
We used to have so many choices with the Fox Theaters – Only the Mayan is in operation today as an independent movie house..
Fred and Fay Taylor
Long-time Denver kids TV show hosts
Gates Rubber Company
Tires – industrial belts and all things rubber – a national leader while they lasted…
Golden Point Restaurant
In Denver an early competitor for the McDonald chain – I worked at Miller’s supermarket with one of these in the same lot – 10 cent burgers and 15 cent fries!
I reckon that Neal Cassidy and maybe Jack Kerouac may have dined here…
Hub Cap Annie in Aurora
Wonder where your hub caps disappeared to? Look no further…
The Hungry Farmer
JCRS Shopping Center
Only Casa Bonita has survived the constantly revolving retail door of this West Colfax early-era shopping center
Jim’s Burger Haven
The original was on Federal Blvd., in the Barnum neighborhood (now called “Grandpa’s”) – A favorite of Denver West High students – Many of the Burger Haven female staff were also West students…
Would love to get a photo from back then (1960’s)
Joe Awful Coffee
Located at 1120 17th Street
Jolly Rancher Creamery
Located in Golden I would guess there was an association with the Jolly Rancher candy company which was located on Ward Road before selling out and closing down the Colorado operation
Gone the way of ‘Monkey’ Wards – The Denver Dry and many others
Number 1 in the West!
King’s Food Host
King’s featured telephones at each booth where you would call in your order from your table – One drawback was that your voice would echo loudly across the entire restaurant!
The Lakeshore Drive-In
Located on Sheridan Blvd., right next door to Arlan’s Department Store and a stone’s throw from the KIMN studio – more likely than not there was a couple of teens hiding in the trunk of that car entering the drive-in!
The speedway skeleton still stands today with all sorts of junk stored on the premises – the stands ready to collapse and overgrown with every imaginable weed and wild bushes – Loved the demolition events and the ‘figure eights’ – The grand Lakeside Amusement Park tower can been seen in the background
Another one bites the dust! There’s the Daniels and Fisher tower down the street…. 16th street obviously back in the 1940’s
Lincoln High School
Shot taken in 1964 which would place these teens in my era! (Class of ’64) – I wonder if Buster Snyder pulled them over….
The Little Banquet
Not many of the old smorgasbord cafes remain – People not generally eating that way… and there’s Lakeside Amusement Park right next door…
There were big plans for this theme park located along the foothills west of Denver – I seem to recall hearing rumors that it would rival a Disneyland – Not sure what happened but the Magic has been lost…
May D&F Skating
Between the winter ice skating in front of the downtown retail store and the great Christmas window displays – well, a great Holiday destination – The ice has long since melted down..
An early McDonald’s – Denver’s first one opened in 1962 at 2120 West Alameda next to Valverde Junior High School and just a couple of blocks away from Rishel Jr., High which opened around the same time.
Here is an early McDonald’s menu/price list
Mile High Kennel Club
Greyhound racing used to rotate between three Colorado tracks – this one being the premier track in Commerce City – Greyhound racing fell from favor … all the tracks (including horse tracks) now gone
Mister Donut’s are still around but not in the numbers they once enjoyed –
People loved to talk about the place where you could “throw peanut shells on the floor” – And this ad bears that little tradition out… I don’t think anyone every ate shelled peanuts other than at a baseball game and – The Northwoods Inn!
Old Timer’s Baseball
There was nothing like it – No parents (weekday games) – no adult coaches – teenage umpires – the way little league should be..
Not sure why – Peaches wasn’t my favorite record haunt – Denver’s store was located on East Evans and Downing…
The Pizza Oven
I had my first slice of pizza at a basement sock hop – at the home of one of my friends. His mother served pizza with only a little tomato sauce – in a long vertical pan -I generally shied away from anything with tomato on it – but I was won over and eventually would make my way to Bob’s on South Sheridan Blvd., and then was up for pizza anywhere any time…
Located over in the west Denver neighborhood of Westwood – sort of had the same kind of atmosphere as the Lakeside swimming pool – lots of chlorine – trapped inside a sweat lodge…
These early courses were very simple in construction – My favorite part was the final hole where a hole in one resulted in the award of a free round!
The Red Barn
Remember when you could get a free hamburger if you would enter a Red Barn – and sing loudly ‘THE RED BARN!!!!” Did you ever try that?
How long has this been – Remember when the ABA Rockets were probably the best team this city ever placed on the court?
Sort of the western version of “White Castle”..
Roller City West Alameda
And if you follow this Blog then you know that Roller City is back!
S&H Green Stamps
After we would save and lick about a billion pages of stamps placing them in redemption books – I would walk up the S&H center on Sheridan Blvd., and exchange maybe a thousand books for – oh let’s say a lamp..
The Scothman (North Denver)
A great cruising hangout if you were from North High – but watch out if you were from Denver West
For us it was Shakeys on West Alameda next to Bowlero – Shakeys was a great advertiser on KIMN radio
Skateland – on South Broadway
Never skated there – My wife’s grandpa was skating monitor…
The Stanley Estes Park
Way before there was a Steven King or a Shining…. Oh – have you noticed that today’s Stanley Hotel has a hedge maze out in front???
Located adjacent to El Rancho in Bergen Park – I suppose I thought there were real Indians in these Teepees
The great old Tivoli Brewery building stands today at Auroria
Tops Coffee Shops
Move over Starbucks – 10 Cent Coffee
The Original Wax Trax Location on Ogden Street
White Spot Restaurants
What a great late-night spot to catch some real characters in action
Woolworth’s Downtown Denver
Look at those Erector Sets… Look at those prices