Anyone Remember? The Psychedelic Shack?

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“Me at son's apt. 2008?”

Since: Oct 09

Smith Mountain Lake. Virginia

#1 Oct 14, 2009
I have just recently found out about this site and pleasantly surprised, I might add! Being away from Wise County for a very long time, but revisiting relatives when able, I drive down Park Ave. in Norton and always wonder, "What happened, where did everything go? As a very young teenager, we had the Psychedelic Shack, located next to Park Ave. Hosp. Anyone remember it? They had a juke box, served treats, and it was mainly set up to keep "us kids" out of trouble! Only lasted a short while,(the Shack & trouble!). Then there was the Norton Swimming Pool. WOW! I loved it and THE WALL, where we would sit for hours on end.
So good to see familiar faces and I hope to get a bio. going at some time. Take of yourselves and each other, remember the "Pass it on Rule: "If a kindness is done to you, PASS it on!" (I find that rule has been most shown in the mountains surrounding that area. Of all the places I have lived, Wise County and southern VA people are the BEST PEOPLE and still believe in "kindness to a neighbor."
Kitty
Class of 71 Wannabe

United States

#2 Oct 14, 2009
I would have been a class of '71 graduate at Burton (I'm 57). I went to the Psychedelic Shack every Saturday Night with my old pal Otis Mullins. They had a singing group from school come in one time, and they were called "Me and 6 More", I believe. Well the hospital sent word that we were way too noisy, so the leader of the group, Dickie somebody, started singing songs without the electric instruments and we had a great time joining in. I remember going downtown and sitting on the wall to watch the Little League games; my brother was one of the Indians.

“Me at son's apt. 2008?”

Since: Oct 09

Smith Mountain Lake. Virginia

#3 Oct 14, 2009
That is soooooooooooooo cool! You remember it!
That would have been either Dickie Shupe or Dickie Ward, I am pretty sure.
Thank you for sharing that with me! The WALL, that beautiful stone wall....with the "Snack Shop" just across the street.
And also, not forget the "Steak and Shake" in West Norton, the best Cheeseburger I ever, EVER ate!
Kitty
Class of 71 Wannabe

United States

#4 Oct 14, 2009
I have a few memories. The Steak and Shake, yes; also, there was a restaurant called the "Mountaineer". I remember the whole main street of Norton was like a gigantic traffic circle. The kids with cars would go down Main Street, then onto the back street and around again. Occasionally, they would stop and pick me up since I hung out in front of the news stand; I never knew where we were headed, but once Eddie Belcher took me and Otis to a party -right out of the clear blue. Also, back in the day, there were coke ovens right on the edge of Main Street.

“Me at son's apt. 2008?”

Since: Oct 09

Smith Mountain Lake. Virginia

#5 Oct 14, 2009
I think Eddie had a few younger brothers? Chuck, David, and Danny?
We would start at Steak and Shake, then up Main St. to Parks Drive in (just past the Dairy Queen), and go through the parking lot looking for anyone we knew, or even didn't know.
Then if we had a "good" vehicle, we would take the drive to High Knob and and of course, the now burned down look out tower, what a loss! I know my initials were on there somewhere....
I hated seeing the Coke ovens destroyed. When I was little, because of the name, I thought Coca-Cola was made there! Dough! Then when I got a little older, I thought they were ovens from Germany!(I had a vivid imagination!)
If we had a really reliable vehicle, it was "over on the Pound" and a stop at the Golden Pines restaurant (if we had money)
Saturday ALL day and NIGHT at the Koltown/Coaltown? Theatre, where we saw the same movie over and over, bringing our own food in, admission was $.50.
"Hoover," Bless him, was a well known man in town, extremely tall, and he and his buddies would sit up in the balcony drinking wine.
Okay, sorry, taken up too much time on here, my memory just keeps going, but for me, HAPPY MEMORIES!
Kitty
Class of 71 Wannabe

Roanoke, VA

#6 Oct 14, 2009
I love the memories, keep it up. The old days really make me think. I remember the Koltown; there was a twist contest there once and the place was literally standing-room only. I can't remember the band, but me and my brother had to push through the crowd in the aisles to see the contest, which was the open area in front of the screen. But to me it's the names that are so nostalgic about Norton. If you've never left, they might not mean all that much, but to me they have a real charm about them: Tom's Creek, Ramsey, Sandy Ridge, West Norton, Crabtree Orchard, and the South Side. It was on the South Side, Robert's Ave. that I got to know Eddie Belcher, but he only had 1 brother, I think, but he was older and we called him Sonny. In the same area were the Edward's, Greg and Sissy, and also my old buddy Jesse Lawson. What a cast of characters we made. I gotta agree about the people being extra nice and caring, these were top-notch people. But you know, we were all poor by today's standards but we were always happy.

“Me at son's apt. 2008?”

Since: Oct 09

Smith Mountain Lake. Virginia

#7 Oct 15, 2009
71 Wannabe, yes that was a different family of the Belcher's. You were a few years ahead of me, I went to Burton when they still had the 6th and 7th grade classes. Then, they built the "experimental elementary school" up on the hill and I had the privilege of attending 7th grade there! WOO HOO!
You probably were in the grade that Keith Burchette attended or a grade or two ahead? Also, Mark Redmond's dad was the principal of Burton, I think? Or was Mark's mother the Math teacher? Are the school colors still purple and black or was that orange and black? Gosh, the one thing I can't remember, but then again, we moved and I graduated elsewhere.
And you are right, compared to "today's standards," it seemed that money was a LOT tighter! I remember going to the little drug store on main street,(not the big one with the booth's) and ordering their WONDERFUL hotdogs. And the soda's were in a "cone" with crushed ice and paper straws!(2 hotdogs, a soda, fries were just under $2.00-- A WHOLE WEEKS ALLOWANCE! BUT WORTH EVERY PENNY!)
The one block I was NOT allowed on was the last one going toward Wise, where there was a bar called the "White Front Cafe." I remember always being curious as to "why" not being allowed, then got the nerve, with a friend, to peak in once. I got caught! Whew...I got a real punishment over that.(however, I look back and from what I can remember, it didn't seem all that bad, especially compared to some of the "dives" I have seen in Europe, but my parents RULED!)
The Woolworth's was my favorite shopping store, it OUTRANKED Ben Franklin by a mile! And Cohen's? You had to "step down" when going in. My folks made me get clothes there (or Parks Belk), but Cohen's SCARED ME! It smelled and everyone seemed to be at least 110 years old! SHIVER - SHIVER!
The radio station, WNVA was located over Belk and the D.J. was a "Burnette," at that time anyway. We could stop in after school and "request" a song.
Oh, you may have also gone to class with Mark Marcum? Or his brother Mike? Mark was in a lot of trouble, but he was a "chick" magnet! Unfortunately, he was killed by a hit and run driver while in boot camp in N.C. His brother Mike, was one of the nicest fellows I have ever met. They lived right off East Park Ave., above the Stapleton's.(Rev. Stapleton and many children, which were all great people)
We had just moved back there when they had the 200 year Bicentennial, I think, 1970? Do you remember that shindig? WOW, everyone in town dressed in the clothing, parades, it was a WHOLE weekend affair! I WAS IMPRESSED!
Oh, and you mentioned the dance in the Koltown. Do you remember the "street dances" in Norton AND Coeburn?(oh, and when Coeburn installed their first redlight in town, the mayor cut a ribbon! I loved it all, I still do, those were very good times, more innocent times, at least I want to think so)
The dry cleaners - finally - was put in accross from the post office, and had "one hour MARTENIZING." I STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT MARTENIZING IS/WAS! The original bus stop was over on the South Side, then moved to the end of Park Avenue (east end). It cost $.25 cents for a ticket to Coeburn! And for a cab fare to Wise,(from that little cab stand shack on Main st.) was just $.50 cents! WOW!
Sorry, rambling again, oh, I do MISS home so much. Must plan a visit home soon....
Take care,
Kitty
Class of 71 Wannabe

United States

#8 Oct 15, 2009
Kitty, I was born in Norton in 1952; we moved away around 1962, but I returned in 1970 and attended Burton for half my junior year; that's when I re-met all my childhood friends. The school colors back then were orange and black and I don't know if that's changed. Now Keith Burchette I knew real well because we rented their apartment when I came back to Norton.(it's a confused trail due to my parent's divorce) Now the Drug Store as I recall had a window on the street and you could either order there or go inside to the counter. I used to go there when I would go to the pool or the ball games. The Markham name is certainly familiar and I probably did go to school with both of them and I think I remember playing with kids by that name, but I really can't remember now. We lived in Wise once and I remember we would catch the bus next to "Shorts" supermarket and ride it to Norton; it cost 10 cents back then. Now I don't remember street dances, but that may have been during the time I was gone; I do remember the Christmas parades though, they remind me of the one in the movie "A Christmas Story" because it was small town stuff, but they were really great; Santa would throw candy and we'd fight each other to grab it in the street. It's funny, but in a small town like Norton, it seems most of the people think alike and give out the same advice. My parents told us never to go near the White Front either; years later, my cousin Billy Ray and some of his thugs tore the place all to pieces in a drunken fight. I do remember my brother and sister and Eddie Belcher were up on that end one time and we decided to make a train down the middle of the highway; well, in a small town, the neighbors are gonna tell on you so we got a beating for that one.
Well that's all the nostalgia I got. You say you've been to Europe so I guess that makes up for me; I ain't been nowhere. Just the service, but I never left the states.
So you take care, but I hope we can still talk here on occasion. I'm new here myself.
Class of 71 Wannabe

United States

#9 Oct 15, 2009
I got your e-mail, Madam. How weird is this? Didn't you make the connections? I happen to be your brother...on your mother's side. Anyhow, I'm glad you enjoy the site. I thought about answering your e-mail but I figured why not just post it here for all Norton to read? It's funny, people are looking for family members here and I find ones I'm not even looking for.
I'm never going to drink again.

“Me at son's apt. 2008?”

Since: Oct 09

Smith Mountain Lake. Virginia

#10 Oct 16, 2009
Yes dearest brother, I did figure it out, especially since the post just before your last. I was trying to think of something clever, but you didn't give me time!(It takes me a while you know)

I was going to mention Ohio and viaducts, they had one in Norton AND Ohio, where you used to walk me to Safety Town...

Take care, will keep on bringing up memories for ya!
Kitty
Class of 71 Wannabe

Roanoke, VA

#11 Oct 16, 2009
We used to live on 9th street where my father built our first "real" house, one that was brick and looked nice. The fellow who lived below us was Mr. Jenkins and I recall my little sister used to call him "Jinks". I also have a memory of her crashing her arms through the window pane of the storm door. She was a whack job.
But I do remember that one time a bully called me stupid, so I said, "Oh, yeah? Well, your drinking glasses were jelly jars you picked from the dump!" But he just paused, and said, "Well so did you." I hadn't insulted him, nor him me, we had simply stated the truth.

“Me at son's apt. 2008?”

Since: Oct 09

Smith Mountain Lake. Virginia

#12 Oct 16, 2009
Yes, I recall Jinks, it was years later that Mrs. Jinks, was visited by me at a dept. store she worked in Norton, "Jinks" was long departed by then. I took a ride up 9th street a few years back, the house is the exact same, even the door I believe, the one where your "little" sister tumbled threw, and if I am correct in the recollection, I believe she was chasing YOU! And the door slammed shut!(hey, give a two year old a Steak and Shake is empty and the pavement all broken up. The hotel they started building on the end of the strip of West Norton, just before the viaduct to the school, still stands 9 floors of skeletal remains of rebarb steel. It has been that way since the 70's. Downtown, has moved UPTOWN, mostly into Wise, where they have a GIANT Walmart, I don't know if they ever managed that "K." Still, it is home, and magical in it's own way.
I always managed to return there time after time for sometimes years. But now, decades have passed. Perhaps, I may still return again, never know with me. Counting recently of the actual moves I have made, the count was 69. Seems a lot for 50 years, considering I wasn't an Army brat.
Will talk later.
(oh, the comment you made of the "train" of you, your brother and your sister threw me, it wasn't one of my memories, now I realize it was our OTHER sister, the one from our dad's side of the family!:)
Kitty :)

“Me at son's apt. 2008?”

Since: Oct 09

Smith Mountain Lake. Virginia

#13 Oct 16, 2009
hmm, the line disapeared, it was suppose to read, "hey give a two year old a break! Oh that's right, I think you did!) She is still a "whack job!"
joyce bell

Elliston, VA

#15 Oct 25, 2009
[well i was just looking for infro on the reunion they had this weekend when i found this. we lived in norton in 63 64 mother was manager of norton garment company we lived in bucca apts. oh how i came to live norton.many days were spent at the pool or on the wall and spending what little we had at pauls restaurant accross the street. marvin flecter was the life guard and we all waited for hin to show his dives from the high board. who knew we would long for the old days. the koltown only charded .15 on wed nites. on friday a dance where we all enjoyed the monkey the jerk and anything else we could dream up. when we came to pulaski for the weekend we knew we were home when we saw the red shy of the coke ovens. ive lost touch with friends i knew if anyone has infro on anybody i would love to catch up they were sharon and marlene roberts, linda geear john and anna ruth kelly, robby carr. roy mullins. i cant beleive its been over 49 years. we love to eat at steak and shake or go to the drive ins. the biggest news while we were there was kennedy getting shot. we had gone over to bristol to shop and news boys were shouting about it and selling papers. mother as saved that paper for years. would love to read more storiess. jb 9175
Madam Kitty

Front Royal, VA

#16 Oct 27, 2009
Hi Joyce!
It is so nice to hear your memories, and fond ones at that! And yes, we all long for the "good ole's days gone by!"
As you can see, when I started this thread,'71 Wannabe and I were conversing, unbeknownst to each other that we were brother and sister! What a HOOT! We live far apart and had no idea we were chatting away with "siblings!"
Anyway, I don't personally remember any of the names you mentioned, except for the last names, they are very familiar.
The Bucca apts. with those old rattling PIPES! They wouldn't bleed the darn things! It was stoked by a coal over for the entire building. Mr. Hunnicutt (mayor) ownen them. We lived there once for a brief 6 months when we again returned once. The rooms were HUGE, but COLD. and those pipes would beat and bang all winter long! The courtyard was nice though and I remember, walking down that long sidewalk, on to the Piggly Wiggly or Payless, grocery shopping, and wheeling the groceries back to the apt.(course, I had that cute little baggage boy to do the "pushing":)
The Steak and Shake had the best burger in my life of memories. It was later changed to "Burger Barn." They had a Cheeseburger Basket to "die" for. And the best Shakes around. The building is still there though, unfortunately in disrepair, dandelions sprouting through what is left of the pavement, where our vehicles circled over and over.
Ah yes, the pool, the wonderful POOL! I don't remember our lifeguards name, but he was something! Back then, we had to prove we could go to the deep end, by swimming, back and forth in the shallow end twice!(Whew, a long way)
Welcome down memory lane, do come back with more, glad to hear them.
(Oh, I was born in 1959, and my brother and I were in Ohio when Pres. Kennedy was assasinated.(I remember, just being a small thing, my parents and I were shopping for a new TV and it came over the stores TV's -ALL of THEM! We rushed home, schools were let out, everything closed down. Back in those days, we had respect!
And yes, those Coke ovens, red as could be....
Take care,
Kitty...
Hi brother, hope all is well with you? I heard you had quite a laugh with this at mothers! She laughed also....
joyce bell

Christiansburg, VA

#17 Oct 27, 2009
kitty do you still live in norton? honeycutt's son still has the apt. i was out last year and talked to one of the residents can't remmber her name. i have talked to edward and terry gardner, ed was a wise deputy. i'm 60 now and retired so i ues my computer to see the world with out the expense. i learned to drive while waiting on mother to finish work at the garment factory. i would drive around the plant. we had to do that swim test too. we had never heard of corn night the night before holloween till we moved to norton. i will check this site often to keep up. whats your maiden mane and is your brother older or younger? i have a older brother fred bell. keep the threads comming i really enjoy them.
Class of 71 Wannabe

United States

#18 Oct 27, 2009
I hope it's alright to butt in here. I was busy but I got back on here and noticed that this thread is really growing; looks like someone started something. I'm 57 and Madam Kitty is, I think around 50; I remember we were living in Wise when she was born. Yes, Kitty, mother got a real kick out of the story about us not even knowing each other here. I think the big news when I lived there in the early 70s was the flood that destroyed Haysi; as I recall, we had to take the football game off of our list of oppenents because it must have leveled the school. And there were a few more floods before the state finally came in made some river repairs so they could handle the overflow. My cousin was baptised by my uncle, who's a pastor, back behind the house where my grandmother lives, in the river that runs behind it. Kitty lives close to Charlottesville, but I live closer to Roanoke.
joyce bell

Christiansburg, VA

#19 Oct 27, 2009
sure its ok to jump in!!! they got me listed as elliston but i'm in pulaski va. so guess you are closer to me/ i thought it was great that you and madam kitty went for several repost before you figured out who each other was!!!! i check the coalfield progreee on tuesdays and fridays to see whats going on out there. they poat the family reunions and thats where i found the class of 59 reunion with the classes of 50 thru 69 joining them. i wanted to get out there but didn't make it.the drive from here to there is beautiful this time of year. when we lived in norton if was a long trip but now it's a little over 2 hours. have you been out there latley the power plant they are putting in saint paul is HUGE!!! i want to go back to high knob to see if those lizards are as big as i thought they were when we went swimming there. was the skating rink still open while you were there down toward powell valley? i think the beer joint you were talking about was the first place that would let us play the pin ball machines. i dont recall the hayis flood but do remmber coeburn getting it quit often from the creek along main street. we had relatives in coeburn. bear lawson had some coal mines after we left. they are having a reunion for buster brown employees on holloween. i think that was who took over norton garment before honeycutt got it for a warehouse for pepsi. there have been some good changes but i wish they had not taken the pool out. well enough from me more later. thanks for the menories jb
Class of 71 Wannabe

United States

#20 Oct 28, 2009
It's been many years since I've seen God's country: Southwest Virginia; I'm sure I'd get lost down there now. I don't remember many attractions, but you know, in a way that made it kind of special. We'd play kick-the-can, tag, roll down hills in boxes we got from the appliance store, and we'd go to the Koltown every Saturday night. I remember science fiction was big in the early sixties and they'd always show a serial. Me and my brother were big into fighting and killing; so was the whole neighborhood. We'd go see the movies then come home and strap on the guns and kill everybody! It's funny, but we did those things as kids and yet today we don't do anything violent; in a way, maybe we learned the difference or something. Anyway, we got family in many families: Arney, Meade, Laney, Bond, Bryant; we got a bunch. There is a Meade family reunion up on Sandy Ridge every year but most of the original ones I remember are gone now. It's funny, but at 57, I'm the younger generation. I work for a foundry now, and though I was never a miner (my family were though), I still look like one when I leave the plant. I guess you never truly forget your roots. But I don't care; I'm not an intellectual; what I know, I know because I've lived it, just like the real people in Southwest Virginia.
Madam Kitty

Front Royal, VA

#21 Oct 28, 2009
Hi brother Wannabe and Joyce, I see that you are indeed correct, the thread has taken off a bit. Nice to walk down memory lane...
Joyce, you spoke of the Hunnicutts, you probably went to school with the eldest of the boys, who in fact, has the Pepsi plant now. I went to school with Huck (younger brother), who had a heart attack just last year I believe, he is an attorney. Such tragedy in the family, Strawberry, his sister died of breast cancer, and the youngest daughter, Laura (?), also died within one week of each other just a few years ago.
Haysi did have that major flood Wannabe, I remember also, wasn't that also when Nelson Co. had that flood? Or were they two different ones? Nelson Co. was related to the hurricane. But may have been in 1969, I know it took out the lake where we now live, as there is a sign up the Army Corp. of Engineers rebuilt the dam here.(you didn't see that on your trip up to my house last time, as we didn't take you around the lake)
Coeburn flooded so very often, and the worst was probably the flood of 1977, my mother bought one of the flood trailers to renovate and placed in Wise to use when they were in the area.(you remember that Wannabe? And that Plastic underpin that Ken put in, ha ha:)
Anyway, Coeburn had water as high as the store front window tops, all was a disaster, and many never reopened. They just relocated to higher ground it seemed. Most all of Coeburn is a ghosttown now.(they had apts. over many storefronts also, which tenants moved out of)
Okay, am off, hadn't checked the thread in a few days, hey bruv, we got the Swine Flu! No kidding, I am sure you aren't surprised. But anyway, hubs has gone to pnuemonia, had him taken by ambulance to hospital at 1:00 a.m. this morning. He has been off work now for 3 weeks! I am staying upstairs, he downstairs. The ambulance drivers didn't want to even touch us when they came in last night, I had to put all his ID's in plastic for them!
So time for meds and bed.
Take care and keep the "good ole days" coming back. It is nice to remember gentler and kinder days and that way of life. Gosh, makes me feel like one of the "Waltons!" Goodnight Wannabe, Goodnight Joyce, Goodnight Johnboy....
Kitty

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