Local Businesses — Gone But Not Forgotten
I guess it's fairly well known that I wasn't born in Lake Charles, but I consider it my second hometown. I moved here from Dallas some 20 odd years ago and planned to stay for about a year and move on, but I did live in Lake Charles before off and on.
My family moved here when I was a senior in High School. Now, moving your senior year is traumatic to say the least. We moved here in the summer and the only place I knew of to meet new people was the CYO. Seems quaint now, but the CYO was a great place to meet people. Every time I drive past the old location at Kirkman and Kirby, I wish that beautiful old house was still there.
The folks I met at the CYO took me around and introduced me to various places around town and some of them are stuck in my memory. Let me give you a couple of examples.
The Giant Slide- Does anyone remember when there was a giant slide on what is now MLK? I hadn't lived here a week when my CYO freinds took me to that slide. I forget exactly where it was. I think there is a brick company there now.
Carnation - I guess just about everyone of a certain age remembers Carnation. If you're not familiar, Carnation was located in what is now part of the ICCS parking lot. Great place to go for a cold treat.
Joseph's Pizza - I can only address the legend. I never once had a Joseph's Pizza and from what I've heard, it's my loss. Folks say it was far and away the best pizza ever.
Points 4 - Points 4 was a retail store in the shopping center next to Casa Manana. They sold all sorts of things there. It was kind of the unofficial shop to Lake Charles hippie population, such as it was.
The Mall Downtown - It was a great idea and a terrible idea. Aesthetically, it was great, but on a practical level it was a nightmare. Still, it was a cool place to hang out. Still, there was the Lyric Theater.
The Pitt - Ah yes! The old Pitt theater - I saw so many movies there. I mostly remember seeing Woodstock there. I thought it was great. I've watched it since. Doesn't hold up well at all.
Caldwell's Records - Still one of the best record shops I've ever been in. It was crowded and junk. Loved it. Still have records I bought there. It was downtown next to the Charleston.
The Original Mary Ann's - Well, it was original to me. If you were around then, you remember the old Greek guy who ran the place. He was short tempered and expected you to know exactly what you wanted when you ordered. He was famous for shouting at people when they ordered something he didn't have. Who can forget, "No Coke! Pepsi." It was years later that John Belushi did a bit about about just such a business and just such an owner. Everyone thought the bit was modeled after Mary Ann's. It wasn't. Belushi said the character was his uncle. Still, the similarity was unreal.
Those are just a few of the stand-outs for me. I'm sure there are such places that you remember fondly as well. I'd love to know what they are. Please take a moment and let me know.