Okay - kids, let's move on to a few other places to jog your memory.
How about Bob's Big Boy? Big Boy hamburgers, thick fries with Thousand Island dressing, and cherry Cokes. Probably the one place most will remember, it opened in Phoenix in 1955. (Founded by Bob Wian in 1936, it may well be the first successful franchise. That double-decker came along in about 1940. The first restaurant was built in 1949 in Toluca Lake, California - which is still there! Later it became known by many names all over the US. Shoney's, Azar's, Elias', Abdow's, Frisch's, Manners, Marc's, Lendy's, Yoda's, Elby's, Kip's, Tote's, and of course - JB's). A brief attempt at resurrection happened in 1999 by the Elias Brothers (who franchised the original restaurant to Mr. Wian), but collapsed in under a year.
But there are other places too!
Brookshires at the NW corner of Central and Osborn - and the NE corner of 16st St and McDowell. All-you-can-eat basgetti night was Wednesday. Another 24hr place I spent much time in.
Next is the Carnation Ice Cream shop on Central just a block North of Indian School on the West side of Central. If you went all the way up to Camelback, there was Uptown Plaza and a little drug store on the West end that had great shakes and malts (it hung on until about 1995? - Now there is a Boston Market there).
How about the Palms Theater? And did you know a 1966 classmate, Larry Kuhn, managed the Paramount Theater after our graduation? (now again known as the Orpheum Theater after a complete restoration. Beautiful.) I spoke to Larry recently and he owns a mechanical engineering firm here in the valley.
Events held in the parking lot of the first mall in Arizona - Park Central - mostly Wallace & Ladmo shows. Chris-Town was the first indoor mall. Parrots. I remember the first food court too - at Town and Country Plaza - a bunch of different restaurants in the one building. (recently the property was sold - they say for condos - we'll see.)
The original McDonalds in Phoenix (the second ever franchise location) - which swapped locations with a Der Weinerschnitzel down a bit on the other side of Central. The original location became an Arbys ?, then finally was torn down. The spot is now a parking lot. Just South of Indian School on the West side.
Lester's Coffee Shop (building is still there - now Pat's Family Restaurant). It's on Grand Avenue, a bit South of McDowell Rd. This is where much of the movie "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" was shot, and is said to be the inspiration for Mel's Diner on the televison show 'Alice'. I spent many nights (mornings) there with Larry Kuhn. PIE! And of course, Fredricka Susan Kohler too (another found! - in Florida).
The Phoenix Public Library and the Children's Theatre were on the Northeast corner of McDowell and Central. The library is now moved South about a half mile and is truly a beautiful world class library. (You need to be there on Summer Sostice right at Noon - trust me.) The old Library location still has some of the buildings - but is now the Phoenix Art Museum. A great place - and expanding too! Right up the street is the Heard Museum another place that has grown in stature in the arts community.
Remember the hospital that was on the SE corner of Central and McDowell? Send me the name if you do. I spent two long weeks there between first and second grades, having my lungs pumped daily - and having to drink a quart of buttermilk for every meal to help them do that. A(nother) new Walgreen's is there now.
Aero Theater - later Aero Bowl. Ruth Cole (an older woman of say twelve or so) used to take me there on Saturday mornings on the handlebars of her bicycle when I was about seven or eight.
The drive-ins. Acres-of-Fun, Peso, Indian, Nu-View, Big Sky, Round-Up, Rodeo, Phoenix ( the first in town, on East Van Buren St ), Silver Dollar, Thunderbird, The Oasis in Avondale, Northern - and many more. One in particular is near where I live now - Cinema Park at 7th St and Missouri - was finally torn down and has been a small shopping center ever since.
Lots of times we went to see movies at the Acres and sat in the theater seats right in front of the snack bar - way before we had cars (or air conditioning). And back then we would also go over to Jesse Luevano's house on Taylor (his brother Paul, CHHS 69, still has the house!) and we would all walk up to the outside fence, ask someone to take one of the speakers off the hanger, point it toward us and turn it up, and sit outside the theater to watch the movies.
Let's not forget the fact that Phoenix was one of the few select locations with a Playboy Club. It was in the tower at 3033 North Central. They never tossed us out either - strange. Wouldn't serve us but let us in regularly. I was a Junior and Senior. ??
How 'bout when Lincoln Drive East of 16th Street toward Scottsdale (way before 32d Street was cut through) was a narrow, dark, windy, bumpy, two lane roadway - perfect for fast cars and stupidity.
Annd - of course, cruising Central. Down to the old Phoenix Public Library, up to Indian School (at the Carnation Ice Cream restaurant parking lot just North) or once in awhile all the way up to Camelback (and Uptown Plaza or the Dairy Queen - which are still there today!), over-and-over-and-over again. Gas was a quarter a gallon - or less. Rounding up the money for a Friday night cruise was sometimes a challenge. (Hmmm, that's not too different from now.) I don't care how much whiny power the modern compact cars make - kids are missing the feel of real heart-pounding horsepower of the cars of that time. And we refuse to forget the more - umm . . . spacious back seats too!
Maybe some of you will get a kick out of visiting this site - I loved the old photos (though not as old as we remember). It's called: Roadside Peek