Monday, August 2, 2010

Going Home--A Nostalgic Trip

Having done all I can do in the kitchen until the cabinet doors come home, I took a little time this morning for nostalgia. I found an online postcard site with views of my hometown and decided to put together an armchair trip down memory lane. It wasn't until I had uploaded all these photos from old postcards that I realized they were totally out of the order I wanted them in. Enjoy the randomness, please.

In the beginning.....I wasn't a part of it!

I believe that Romper Room was local but am not sure. I always strived to be a "Do Bee" but didn't always achieve that goal. I loved the milk and cookies part and insisted that my mother serve me in front of the television just as Miss Frances (?) did.

Roanoke was the headquarters for the Norfolk and Western Railroad. Steam engines were built and serviced at Roanoke's Schaffer's Crossing back in the day.

Downtown Jefferson Street and the main library.

We spent many fun days at the Mill Mountain Zoo and especially loved riding the zoo train.

Texas Tavern is still serving hot dogs downtown. We were never allowed to eat there and, to this day, I have never entered the door. Lots of folks do and it is a local eatery attraction and destination.

We did enjoy many burgers at Kenney Burger. It left when the Golden Arches arrived.

Heironimus nicely clothed us for back to school each summer. Long gone, alas!

My grandmother frequently took my sisters and me to tea at the Miller and Rhodes Tearoom. It was a very special experience.

Elmwood park in downtown Roanoke.

Hotel Roanoke. The grand old lady is now owned and operated by Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech/VPI depending on your generation) and provides their hotel and restaurant management students practical experience.

Jefferson Street and Campbell Avenue--still the heart of downtown. I've watched many Christmas parades at this corner.

Jefferson Hospital. The fact that I was born here did not keep it from being torn down.

Clark Avenue in Old Southwest Roanoke.

Jefferson Senior High School. The fact that I graduated from here has kept it alive and in good repair. It now houses the Roanoke Symphony and they perform in it's lovely old auditorium. Alas, the auditorium is now carpeted. No more rolling of marbles from the back rows during study hall. The cafeteria and gym are available for banquets and receptions.

The American Theater where my graduation was held. It has given way to multiplex theaters in the suburbs.

The Norfolk and Western Passenger Station is now home to a museum. My family traveled far and wide from this station.

Woodrum Field, Roanoke's airport.

And that concludes my hometown tour. The photos are courtesy of Roanoke Postcards online.


  1. The Shenandoah Valley is SO beautiful. We try to make it to Skyline Drive every fall, for the leaves and apples. I know you're looking forward to your visit home!
    I remember watching Romper Room! We got it on a channel out of Richmond. Did you get Sailor Bob?

  2. Hi, Bonnie, I hopscotched from Words Crafter's blog to yours. I answered your comment about thinking about trying the TWILIGHT Series. I thought it would be courteous if I swung over here and echoed it :

    I found the TWILIGHT book mainly teenage angst and sexual frustration symbolized by a vampire who wanted but didn't dare touch. But I'm a guy.

    Women would go for it. But Bonnie, if you into horror, vampires, fae, werewolves and action -- try Patricia Briggs' MERCY THOMPSON SERIES.

    It begins with MOON-CALLED about the only coyote shape-shifter left unkilled by the vampires trying to live in the modern world where all the Brothers Grimm tales are true.

    Have a great week, Roland

  3. About a month ago my husband was up all night looking at our town on the post card website. He was born and raised here so he had a grand time. I've only been in this town for about 15 years but it's nice to see how much has changed since then too.

  4. I'm here from Elizabeth's blog and grateful for the trip you've taken me on here. I'm from Australia and it's fascinating to see these old photos of another place and time that have resonances with my world but are also different. Thanks.

  5. What a charming post of everything we cherish from the past. Old postcards bring so many similar moments back to us. Very nice area you have there ;o)

    Ciao for now,

  6. How lovely for you to share your memories. I love old photos. Romper Room...oh my, that really takes me back. I do believe it was Miss Frances.

  7. I enjoyed your pictures very much, Bonnie. I visited Roanoke years ago and remember it as a lovely city. My children loved Romper Room and I remember Romper Stompers we made out of tin cans and string. Haven't thought about that in years.

  8. Bonnie, I loved the tour and some history of a town I so love to visit these days!!

    And, I would highly suggest a stay at the Hotel Roanoke for anyone headed there. LOVED it!

  9. thanks for the trip and what a great idea for a history lesson of your home town and a trip down memory lane. i may try it with my hometown.

  10. Wonderful postcard photo tour. Delightful post.

    To reconstitute dried seaweed for making a salad...

    1. Soak overnight in cold water in fridge. This will reconstitute and soften.

    2. Drain the water.

    3. Rinse 3 different times with fresh clean cold water, to remove some of the fishy odor.

    That's about it. From there just cut to your desired size.

  11. Who wasn't a fan of Romper Room?? Loved it!!! Great tour down memory lane - we are also in Va, near Harrisonburg.

  12. Loved the nostalgic trip. Our romper room hostess was Marianne. I wanted my mother to change my name to Marianne, but to my dismay she stood firm on my name.

  13. Cool tour of your home town! I love the old post cards thanks

  14. It is amazing how many things are still be used but just in a different way! Oh, I remember Romper Room! ha! so funny!

  15. I watched Romper Room too! Remember Miss Nancy talking in the mirror and wishing you a Happy Birthday and you wondered how she knew?? :)

  16. I used to watch Romper Room!! And shop at Miller & Rhodes, although there was no tea room in mine. I was just in Roanoke about two weeks ago, and have been in Hotel Roanoke. I've heard they have great food, and we almost ate dinner there. But I didn't know about all these other things. What a nifty idea about the postcard memory trip, I've enjoyed it.

  17. Wonderful presentation! You did a great job to re-create history with your postcards; really interesting.

  18. Great post--you found so many fun things to show us.
    Enjoyed the tour!


  19. Hi Bonnie! Oh, I love these nostalgic trips down memory lane! What were the town folks thinking tearing down the places where you have been? Shame on them! :)
    Have a lovely trip and thank you so much for popping in to see me. We've just returned from the airport dropping off our girls...:(
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

  20. Hey Bonnie, how did I miss this post. Our Romper Room was hosted by Miss Robin but I'm sure you didn't get Capt. Honolulu there! Loved the tour of your home town!


  21. Really enjoyed this post and the pictures. I even read the railroad snippets to my hubby, who loves railroad history!


  22. What amazing photos! I'm going to see if my hometown has any online! Love your blog! ♥

  23. So, you rolled marbles during study hall? Cool. I remember when we used to go to Lenoir and walk around the different blocks, going into shops. Belk's was in a two story building....and Sears, in Hickory, was, too. Downstairs was a GIANT Pooh Bear, and of course-the whole wishbook toy land! Loved the old buildings, they're beautiful...loved the old hospital, can't believe they had the nerve to tear it down! Thanks for the nostalgia!!!


I always enjoy hearing from you, my blogging friends.