Island Home Boulevard Memories of the late 1940s and 1950s.
With Sherry Wallace Barry, Sharon Wallace Cameron, and Brenda Sanford Watson with Jack Neely and Paul James of the Knoxville History Project
February 5, 2019
Subjects areas: Giffin’s Swimming Pool, Parker & Crisp Store, John Cullum, Mamie Freeman Baker, Mead’s Quarry
Paul: So why don’t we start off, I don’t know who wants to go first, maybe Brenda, sharing your early memories. How do you know these two ladies, for example? Did you grow up together?
Brenda: Yes, absolutely. I don’t remember the very first time….
Sherry: We were always together.
Brenda: We were always together, I guess, from the time of walking. I told a story to them this morning about Bette Carlson. When I was just big enough to stand and put my nose against the screened door and look out, Bette stood and put her nose against the screened door and looked out, and we were looking…directly across the street from each other.
Paul: And where did you live?
Brenda: I lived at 2135 Island Home Blvd. And Bette, I just looked out my door and right into her’s, jumping the Boulevard center strip. And we did that for several weeks, just met at the door, each other’s door, until finally I braved to open the screened door, at two or three years old, and sit on the front steps. Well, when I braved to do that, Bette braved to do that. She came out. And then we really got brave and we went down more steps and met in the center of the Boulevard.
Sherry: And that was in the 1940’s/50’s?
Brenda: Yes, it had to be mid 1940’s, I was born in 1945, so it had to have been late 1940’s, I guess. And Bette and Shirley, her older sister, taught me everything I ever knew, from my ABC’s, literally, and they taught me to twirl (5) a baton. I later was majorette at South High School, and we practiced baton in the center Boulevard. That’s one of my earliest memories. But I do remember doing that and then as we got older, we would set up a card table in their front door, and get under the card table when it rained, and eat bread and we thought that was so cool. We’d eat white bread and brown bread, that was when brown bread was first on the shelves. So that is my very first memory. With Sharon and Sherry, it just seems like it has always been.
Paul: Now (Sherry and Sharon) where did you live compared to 2135 Island Home Blvd?
Sharon: We lived at 2033 Island Home Blvd.
Sherry: We were five houses down toward town from her, in the same block
Brenda: Same side of the street
Jack: Do you all remember the street car, or was that before your time?
Brenda: You had to have tokens.
Jack: I think it was 1947 or somewhere around then.
Sherry: Yeah, that when we were born.
Brenda: I remember seeing it go….one thing that, I don’t know that I can get this chronologically to your liking, but one thing that, when you talk about a street car, that I specifically remember, and I ask this question to both the twins this morning, “Do you, have either of you seen the movie The Help?
Well, Island Home Boulevard could have been, it could have been Island Home Boulevard, that movie, The Help . Every home, I venture to say, because I knew, at one time, as did they, every single resident going up and down, I could name them. As a matter of fact, in my first wedding book, I named, I wrote down all of the residents. I was married at Island Home Baptist. But we were like The Help. Every, EVERY home had a nanny, a black nanny
Sherry: Or a maid if you didn’t have children.
Brenda: Or a maid. I’m saying nanny, if there were children, of course, they kind of helped with the children. But the maid…they rode the street car to work every morning, and every afternoon they met at 3:30-4:00 pm to catch the street car. Now, oh boy, if bones could talk. They shared their stories at those bus stops. I know this because I had a nanny. She was with our family 52 years. And she talked about it. But, more than that, I walked to the corner with her every afternoon and held her hand until the bus came or the street car came. Later the bus. And I heard them talk.
They were professionals. Many of the residents were very well known. They were professors at UT, mathematicians….business people. Wallace of Wallace Hardware lived across the street.
Paul: Was John Cullum growing up at this time on the Blvd?
Brenda: John Cullum, Johnny, we knew him as a child, drove me to Sunday school. My mother didn’t drive, and when my dad passed away, we had a car in the driveway but no one could drive it. And Johnny only lived across the street from me, directly across the street was the Carlsons, two doors down from the Carlsons on their side of the street was the Cullums. Johnny’s father, before he passed, wrote a book about Island Home and about his children, and I have that somewhere. He wrote poetry in it as well.
Paul: Do you remember his father’s name? What he did for a living?
Brenda: E. V. Cullum (Jr.). He was retired by the time I knew him. We can get that information. His granddaughters still live in Island Home. They never left. His children all taught at the Tennessee School for the Deaf, they were teachers there. But Johnny, I believe, was the youngest. There was Lee and Caroline Cullum, and Lee was the oldest daughter, I do believe, then Caroline and then Johnny was the baby.
TENNESSEE SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF
Paul: It must have felt pretty unusual, living in Island Home and having right Tennessee School for the Deaf (TSD) there. It helps define it, doesn’t it?
Sherry: It’s not politically correct, but it was called the “Deaf and Dumb” school. And so we called it “the hill” where we would sleigh ride. I don’t know if you have heard about that, but if you go up Island Home Avenue toward Ijams Nature Center, all of that property right past the church, and there is a street (Home Street), and after that street where that old castle (the faux castle on the river, Williamswood) is now, there is a huge hill. And we would go every time it would snow, and, of course, it seemed like we had a LOT of snow in the 50’s and 60’s, and some people would bring car hoods and some would bring tires. And that hill was so huge it would take us forever to walk back up. But that’s where we spent all of the time. It was fun getting there, but walking home with frozen feet was terrible.
Paul: I presume you had to walk all the way around the campus?
Sherry: No, at that time it was not a closed campus. We could walk down the hill and straight to the Boulevard. It was not closed up.
Sharon: It was a long way. You stayed until you were starving and you were freezing.
Sherry: We lived almost at the other end of the Boulevard so we had a long walk.
Sharon: But we would build fires at night, big bonfires.
Brenda: The parents would oversee that. There would be so many parents.
Sherry: I don’t have any memory of parents. We would go from 10:00 in the morning until it was dark, and walk home at dark. And that was the other thing…
Brenda: We weren’t afraid.
Sherry: No. During the summer we would play “kick-the-can” and “hide-‘n-go-seek” down on Estelle Circle. There was a vacant lot, if you go to the east end of the Boulevard and turn left toward the airport, there was a big huge empty vacant land back there, and that was where we converged all summer long. And, we wouldn’t come home until dark and no parents would walk us home.
Sherry: And there were buckeye trees there. Are you all familiar with buckeyes? I still have buckeyes from where we would go up and pick up the buckeyes. And Brenda has memories…we would take them home and polish them and clean them up (with Pledge) and we would go door-to-door and sell them.
Brenda: A penny a buckeye. But hey, you’d get $2.
Sherry: They were precious to us, they were little jewels (for Sharon, they were money). We could not wait for the buckeyes to start falling. They come in about half the size of a softball, and they are green, and then you have to wait, if it falls when it’s green, then you have to wait until that dries up to be able to open it up to get the buckeye. So, we had all of these green balls around all the time because we’d take them home, we didn’t want someone else to get our buckeyes.
Paul: Are they still up there, do buckeyes still grow on the Greenway or at TSD perhaps?
Sherry: I don’t know. It was as you go in now, on the entrance, there were trees on the right, and they were huge. Were they on the right, I think? There was an abundance of them and all of the neighborhood children, we all went up and got them.
Brenda: All that you could carry.
Sharon: I thought we peeled them and ate them, too.
Sherry: No, they’re poisonous.
Sharon: That’s not what we peeled and ate, that were green?
Sherry: They were green, but I didn’t eat them!
Sharon: Maybe that’s what’s wrong with me, I ate those buckeyes
ISLAND HOME AIRPORT
Sherry: And then we would also either lay in that field or lay in our back yard and… I think I found (in an article here) that the first airplanes were cargo planes, like mail or something like that, and we would lay in our back yard and watch the planes go over. And then when we were all in that big field we were all fascinated because then, after the cargo planes, I think in 1930 something, it’s in my notes, it became a private airport for private planes. Then, eventually the Knoxville Airport Authority took it over. But, I mean, if you have any fascination of airplanes at all, it’s wonderful to watch them as they fly down the Tennessee River to that one island where the Island Home Airport is. It’s just fascinating because they are low coming in to land…
Sharon: We actually had a friend that….crashed (actually much later in 1983). The point (of the island) was pretty small, and the pilot came in and hit it. Now, he didn’t die in the crash, his….
Brenda: Judy did…his girlfriend or wife. They lived in Island Home, on Fisher Place.
Sherry: It really shocked us all.
Brenda: It happened early one morning, in the fog and Lynn was a pilot, Lynn White. He was a pilot. And Judy Randles, they had married, Randles was her maiden name, and they had been somewhere.
Sharon: football game
Brenda: And they were coming home, and you would get low coming in, and the fog was so thick that he missed it. I just remember hearing all the sirens and ambulances, and then learned it was Lynn.
Brenda: One of the things that I made note of that just stands out. Many, many years ago you could cross the River by jumping on the islands, jumping jumping from island to island. The water was low, TVA hadn’t messed with us yet.
Sherry: Hadn’t flooded it.
Jack: Because they had already built the dams that affect that area, but they just hadn’t raised the water level.
Brenda: We still had islands that were large.
Sherry: Well, they would drop the water in the wintertime, and so we would have a lot more exposure in the winter, even after it was dammed up, when TVA would drop the water. They don’t fluctuate it that much, but it would drop as much as twenty feet, and so we would have, and that’s when we would go along looking for pearls, Tennessee pearls.
Brenda: Tennessee pearls…did not know they were Tennessee pearls. Sat on the river bank and they would wash up and we would get them and “bing” them out into the water to see who could get them out the farthest.
Sherry: It was only when they dropped the water. When the water was up, we didn’t have that access.
Jack: Interesting. Have you ever heard of..I ran across this in a memoir written about the 1880’a. They said there were two rocks out there called a cow and a calf. There was a big rock called the cow and a smaller rock called the calf. And swimmers in the 1880’s used to like to swim from one to the other and they were kind of destinations.
Brenda: I don’t recall that (and neither had Sherry or Sharon) but I do know there were caves right across the water. And the little boys in our neighborhood, of course we as little girls never did anything wrong, but the little boys were very mischievous and they figured out they could jump from island to island to get across the River to those caves.
Paul: Are those caves still there, are they submerged in the River?
Brenda: Yes. And we had a lot of, today we call them homeless people, but then we called them hobos, and we always had hobos that had self-made rafts, if you will, little canoes, or rafts. They would come up to the waters edge, get out of the, leave their raft tied up on a stump, and walk up Estelle Circle into the woods. We had a good size woods there on Watson Place and they would go in there and build fires and make coffee.
Paul: And this was in the 40’s, in the 40’s you’re talking about?
Brenda: Yes. probably very early 50’s as well. Brenda: And the boys would watch for them. They would get up, they would spend the night with each other, and get up and go down and hide and watch for the hobos to come up and leave their rafts. And as soon as they were out of sight, the boys would get on those rafts and just go have a ball and watch the sun rise, and whatever, and then bring them back, you know.
Paul: Do you ever, any shanty towns that far? I know there were some closer to town.
Jack: There was a place called Roseville, which was just a shanty town of squatters near the Rose Lumber Company
Sherry: I heard there were rumors of it down along Sevier Avenue. There was Giffin’s Pool, swimming pool, and that’s where we all swam. And there was a road one street toward the River from Island Home Avenue, and I don’t, I was trying to find the name of it. And I heard that there had been a shanty town on the River there.
HALLOWEEN & MAMIE FREEMAN BAKER
Paul: What about Halloween. Did anything specific happen on Halloween in your neighborhood?
Brenda: Yes, yes, and I think every child on the Boulevard knew this. We had a dear lady that looked like a witch. She had silver hair, never had cut it, she wore the little horn-rimmed glasses, she had a prominent nose, and she was the sweetest lady in the world but she was the most frightening
Paul: And she lived on the Boulevard?
Brenda: She lived on the corner of Island Home Boulevard and Watson where the woods were. And, she lived alone. She had a brother that checked on her, not very often. Every one dared each other to trick-or-treat at Mamie Freeman Baker’s house, two doors down from where I lived. Mamie Freeman Baker. She had a wrap-around front porch. It was a nice, I mean it could have been a nice home; it was substantial.
Sherry: It was a beautiful old home. Of course, I’ve always liked real estate, anyway, so I always thought it was.
Brenda: It was an older home. But she did not drive, she never left her home, she never bathed. My brother stoked her furnace for her. You know what that means? Are you all old enough to know what “stoking a furnace” means? So, he did that, because he carried papers (newspapers?) and while he was out he would go stoke Ms. Baker’s furnace, make sure she was kept warm. But the children would go up, on any given day, really, it did not have to be Halloween, and peek in her windows that were so dirty you could barely, but you could see in them. And there would, she kept a loaf of bread and she kept it open and it fanned out. And the rats would come, and anytime you would go up to her door, the mice and the rats were on that kitchen counter eating that bread.
Jack: She put out bread for the rats or mice?
Brenda: Well, obviously she must have…
Sherry: Well, there would be the loaf of bread still in the plastic container and it would be open, but the entire center of the bread was gone. We weren’t sure, we think, I think she shared it with the mice. She would eat out of it, she never took the piece of bread out, she just stuck her hand in and grabbed it and would stick it in her mouth. It was frightening. She was a very frightening person.
Brenda: Well, she had a casket in her basement. And, of course, my brother told us this because he was down there stoking and putting coal in the incinerator. And she would go down there and check on it and try it out for size. The joke was, and I’m not certain that I believe it, that was where she slept. You know, that she slept in the casket. But, when you would go up and knock on the door, which I did do checking on her, she walked holding onto the wall and it would take her five, six, seven, eight minutes from wherever she was to get to the front door. And she had on the same dress, always.
Jack: Was she blind?
Brenda: No, she wasn’t blind. She could see you.
Sherry: She did it for stability, holding onto the wall for stability.
Brenda: Yea, stability. And she would come to the front door and just have the biggest, broadest smile and thank you for checking on her, you know. I mean, very….I have a greeting card from her, from Mamie Freeman Baker. I had several, but one I kept and she told me that she loved me. It was very sweet, very tender.
Sherry: We don’t know if she had any family, we never saw anyone there, we don’t know how she got her groceries?
Sharon: The brother?
Brenda: The brother. Also, Parker and Crisp was the grocery store. Do you remember Parker and Crisp? And they delivered, so she could have had them delivered. I’m not sure. It just amazed me that she lived as long as she did. She had to be 100, more. I don’t know,
Sherry: She was very, very old.
Sharon: I always thought she was 100.
Note: According to the Knoxville News-Sentinel archives, Mamie Freeman Baker wasn’t quite that old when she died in 1959 at the age of 76 years at Little Creek Sanatorium (on Northshore Drive near Ebenezer Road). Mrs. Baker was widow to Henry A. Baker, a Knoxville Jeweler who had died 40 years or so previously. At the time of her death, Mrs. Baker was remembered as a painter who received recognition, and local awards at one time, for her landscapes scenes.
Brenda: And then next door to her was Servais Evrard who owned the brake shop on Cumberland. The house was pristine.
Sherry: And the list that I gave you earlier, Paul..the name Evrard was on there. So, they were one of the “original” (Blvd) families.
Brenda: Yes. And my memory of the Evrards is priceless because Mrs. Evrard was the grandmother of the children I went to Kindergarden with, Cricket and Patricia Neal. Those were her grandchildren. And their daughter was the Kindergarden teacher. But, you could eat off of their floors. I mean it looked like you were just walking in a magazine into their home. You could smell the cleanliness.
Sherry: I didn’t want to walk in because I didn’t want to get anything dirty.
Brenda: I know. And these rats from Mamie Freeman Baker would come into her yard. So, Mrs. Evrard kept a water gun with ammonia in it and she would squirt the rats, or any animal, really, that she would squirt it toward them with this ammonia, which I thought was cruel. But her husband was the most loving, he loved children. He was the most loving, caring….he built a roller coaster for the kids in the neighborhood in his back yard. Because he owned the brake shop. And it probably had four big dips, it went in a circle, and every day we could not wait to come home from Kindergarden to ride the roller coaster.
Paul: Just staying back on Halloween, did the kids trick-or-treat? It’s such a destination for trick-or-treaters now, isn’t it
Sherry: It still is, and it was then.
Brenda: It still is. We probably had, when I was a child and you all were, 300-400 kids come. Now they have 4000-5000. I always read Kathy (Kathy Sanders Keck), John Culllum’s niece, her comments on Facebook. They count. They know how many people. My brother still lives on the Boulevard, but…
Sherry: They come from all over Knoxville.
Sharon: They just let them out of the cars.
Brenda: They come by bus loads.
Sherry: It’s a very safe environment. The parents can let them out on one end of the Boulevard and they can go all the way down to TSD and come back, and pick them up on Maplewood Drive. You would always see cars parked at the end of the Boulevard, and you knew that they were from somewhere else.
Paul: Was there any mischief back in those days?
Brenda: Well, those were the days, I was going to say, when the worst you did was maybe a roll of toilet paper or maybe an egg. That was all. That was it. I mean, you didn’t, and that was the worst you did. And it wasn’t the girls that did it, it was the little boys.
Sherry: Oh I did. I rolled somebody’s car in the neighborhood. I can’t remember who it was.
Brenda: You did? Sherry!
Sherry: Oh yes. Yes I did.
Sharon: It gets worse.
Sherry: I was mischievous. Yes. I would, we would go up at night, we would have to find a house that the lights were not on, and we would roll the car with toilet paper rolls. And then my dad would have a fit…”where did all of the toilet paper go?”
Paul: Do you remember this, Sharon?
Sharon: We were only allowed four squares… (laughter)
Sherry: It’s true, it’s true.
Brenda: The difference in then and now, we would be ringing door bells at midnight.
Paul: Oh really.
Sherry: Oh, yes.
Brenda: (Now) when the sun goes down, it gets 8:00, you don’t have any trick-or-treaters, normally. I don’t know about Island Home.
Sherry: Oh yea, because my mother lived there until the late 1990’s (1997) and I would go over on Halloween because I was concerned, you know, as the 90’s began to show themselves. And we would have trick-or-treaters up until 10-11:00 at night, in the 90’s.
Jack: That’s unusual
Brenda: It was good, clean fun.
Sherry: And to this day, I have several friends that still live on the Boulevard. Or my son, one of his best friends actually lives in the house next door to where I grew up. And, to this day, it probably, and I was in real estate for 19 years, there is no other neighborhood like Island Home, that is so safe. If you look, I get crime reports on my phone every day, you know, just to know how neighborhoods are doing. I have never ever seen even a car break-in on Island Home Blvd. There is zero going on there.
RIDING THE BOULEVARD
Brenda: And I have a question… How many neighborhoods like Island Home have horses in their backyards?
Sherry: We did.
Brenda: We had Mary Charles Churchill.
Sherry: Oh yea, I remember riding a horse down the center strip of the Boulevard
Paul: You rode a horse…?
Sherry: Yes. Bareback
Jack: Was it a neighbor’s horse? How many neighbors had horses?
Sherry: You know, I don’t remember whose horse it was. I just remember my first, it may have been the one Brenda mentioned…I just remember the first time I have a memory of being on the back of a horse with no saddle was riding down the center of the Boulevard, and maybe 10, 12 years old. I’m not sure. I don’t remember when.
Brenda: We had horses come through there quite often. Because we had the pony man…do you remember the pony man? He brought ice cream. He had … horse came down, but attached to that horse was the cart, the wagon, that had the freezer, that had ice cream.
Paul: Where would he have come from? Somewhere else in Knoxville…come a long way?
Brenda: Any one of the farms, entrepreneurial gentlemen that wanted, he knew there were a lot of children there and it was a way to
Sherry: We were too little to ask where he was from. We just wanted the ice cream.
CAMP MARY IJAMS
Paul: Were you ladies in the Girl Scouts? Do you remember Camp Mary Ijams? That’s very close to where you would have been sledding.
Sharon: That’s in my notes.
Sherry: Yes. We camped there. Freida Zurcher was our Brownie Scout leader, and we camped at Camp Mary, it was called Camp Mary Ijams, and we camped there. You ask if there was anything else that went on there. I don’t recall, (to Paul James)…when did you come to Ijams?
Paul: Year 2000.
Sherry: So, I don’t recall, between sat the 1980’s and 2000, I don’t recall anything around Ijams.
Paul: The property changed hands about 1986. The Girl Scouts, I think, had fizzled out there by the 80’s.
Sherry: That’s where my memory stops. And then, until I started reading about you (Paul James) and I was so excited over what you were doing at Ijams. That’s why the articles I saved (in my Island Home file), from 2002, about Paul before I even knew him because I was so excited to see….it was such a treasure to me….I loved camping there and going off in the woods
Sharon: Nature walks.
Sherry: And our Scout leader was actually born in Switzerland, and she had a very, very thick Swiss accent. But her daughter (Susan Zurcher Monday) was in our same class. We grew up from first to twelfth grade, so Freida Zurcher, they lived on Sherrod Road in a gorgeous old stone house…beautiful. And it was at the top … if you go up Davenport Rd. and you turn right and you still go up Sherrod. And they were on the very top and they had the most gorgeous view. It was just incredible. But, I don’t know what her father, I mean her husband did, Nicholas, I think was his name. Or that may have been a son, I’m not sure. But anyway, her name was Freida Zurcher and she was our Brownie Scout leader at South Knoxville Elementary.
Sharon: Her daughter would be really good because she’s a librarian or something isn’t she. Susan. She would be a great contact for some more of that information about Ijams.
Paul: Do you ladies remember the Ijams family living up there? Is that something that would have been on your radar at all?
Sherry: I remember an old lady from there, and I don’t know who it was. I don’t know if she was an Ijams family or not. I just remember going up there, before we camped, I went up with Freida Zurcher, and I remember (Paul: the old house). I guess she was making arrangements for us to be there, or something.
Paul: Could have been Mrs. Ijams. This would be in the 1950’s we’re taking about, right?
Sherry: This would have been 1956-57-58, sometime around there.
Paul: I would have been after Mr. Ijams passed away perhaps.
Sherry: Right. I remember she was by herself. There was no man around there. And we were making arrangements for the Brownie Scouts to come and camp there.
Paul: And what about the Quarry (Meads Quarry)? Was the Quarry off limits?
Brenda: It was a daily walk to the Quarry. We took empty egg cartons to collect treasures. Little pieces of rock that we thought were diamonds….pink or silver or green. I thought they were, surely had to be treasures, you know. And we would put them in the little egg cartons, and we would bring them home.
Jack: You’re talking about Meads Quarry?
Brenda: Mead’s, yes.
Paul: That must have been quite a walk back then wasn’t it?
Brenda: Well, for a kid, you know, it was an adventure.
Jack: That was still an industrial site, though, wasn’t it?
Brenda: It was, and it was kinda scary, you know. Then the boys discovered it and they went up there and swam.
Paul: So there was water in there.
Sherry: Now, I have an entirely different memories. I was scared to death of it. I would not go near it. I wouldn’t touch the water.
Sharon: We weren’t allowed to.
Sherry: We were told that there were bodies dumped in there.
Paul: Oh really, even back then?
Sherry: Oh yea. So we were not allowed to go near it.
Paul: So it must have been active back then.
Sharon: And hobos.
Sherry: And hobos that lived there. I don’t know. Like I said, we were forbidden to go there.
Jack: Yea, I remember in the 1970’s delivering stuff there and I guess the Quarry was full of water and they left it alone and they kept the operation elsewhere on the site.
Sherry: Separate. Yes, that was my understanding.
Brenda: Used to be a lot of debris, rock and stone that laid around. And, you know, we didn’t explore the whole Quarry, but we just walked until we saw, “here’s some” and we’d pick up the colorful rocks.
Sharon: Did you ride your bicycle up there? That’s a long way.
Brenda: No, we walked. It was a long way. It was way past the church.
Paul: So you’d walk along the road and down the hill, there?
Sherry: When we went to Ijams, we were not allowed to go across the street. It was across the street, sort of, and we were not allowed to go near it at all.
GIFFIN SWIMMING POOL
Paul: But the swimming pool, you called it Buck Giffin’s. That was a person?
Sherry: Yes, that was the name of the person who owned it. And his daughter is still around, and she would have….in fact I had contacted her and mentioned it to her. Her name is Tammy Giffin, I can’t remember her married name, and she would have pictures of it, because it was there all during….I don’t think it was torn down until probably the late 1970’s or 80’s, I’m not sure when.
Paul: Would Giffin have been regarded as a South Knoxville name?
Sharon: Well there’s a school…Giffin School
Paul: Where was that?
Sherry: Yea, Giffin Elementary…It was over off of Moody Avenue,
Sharon: Lenland and Moody and South Haven.
Sherry: You were asking about parks, there was a Tyson Park over there, we used to go to, was it Tyson Park?
Brenda: It wasn’t Tyson Park, McClung
Sherry: McClung Park, I’m sorry, that was on McClung Avenue, which was like three blocks, four blocks from where we lived.
Brenda: It’s where the Barclays lived. Wow…hadn’t thought that…but we did not just swim at Buck Giffin’s.
Sharon: She’s going to tell that one…what is it?
Brenda: They had a juke box
Sharon. Oh yea!
Brenda: And we Jitterbugged…we put our dimes in that jukebox and we got our hot dogs and French fries or hamburgers and we Jitterbugged.
Paul: You were teenagers at this point, right?
Sherry: Well, close, twelve, thirteen, fourteen.
Sharon: We thought we were.
Sherry: If we didn’t swim, we were dancing.
Brenda: That’s right. We Jitterbugged.
Jack: You were kinda old fashioned Jitterbugging, weren’t you, at that time. Wasn’t it the time of the Twist and all
Brenda: You know, I’ve already had to put my date of birth down there…..
Sherry: I don’t think the Twist came in until I was in
Sharon: We were in high school
Sherry: In late high school, like the mid-60’s
Jack: 1960 is when the Twist came in.
Brenda: We had the Twist Palace
Sherry: Yea, right, the 60’s but when we were dancing…when we were in high school we probably didn’t have time for Buck Giffin’s Swimming Pool much. And so, when we were dancing there it was probably 1960-1965.
Jack: But again, other people were doing the Twist in 1960.
Sherry: Well, I didn’t like the Twist. I loved to Jitterbug. I just loved it.
Jack: I did too, but I just thought that was…
Sherry: In fact today, if I can find anybody who can Jitterbug, I’ll pull them out on the floor, wherever we are, and dance.
Jack: I think of that as a 30’s-40’s dance, but that’s cool you were still doing that.
Sherry: It lasted. It stood the test of time, the Jitterbug did.
Brenda: Well, it was a true dance. Now it’s just movement of the hips
Sherry: Which was the Twist.
Brenda: These were actually dance steps.
Special thanks to the Aslan Foundation for programmatic support.