Looking Back: Your Memories of Virginia Beach
Want to tell the story about your great Virginia Beach memories? You've got options! First, you can go to the "Contact Us" page of this web site. Just click the button on the navbar. Second, you can go to our
page (virginia-beach-connections.com)and share there. We're even on Twitter (JordanBrosGroup) but we sure hope your reflections are longer than 140 characters!
July 14, 2012, from Sharon...
"Love reading all the entries. Many great memories. I haven't seen mention of Frankie's or Henry's. Frankie's was pretty much an institution for so many years. It was, of course, not at the main beach. I have a Duck In t-shirt (and so does everyone in my family) that we bought at the Duck In about a week before they closed. Hated when they tore it down and hate to drive past and see the empty space where it used to be. We don't live in VA but have family there and visit often. Hope to read the book soon. Thanks for this wonderful site."
October 14, 2011 from John...
"Back in the late 1970's I went to a place called Peter Pancakes. The pancakes were as big as the plate. I always thought I'd never be able to finish the portions...and yet I managed. There were times I'd skip dinner...just so I had extra space for the meal. Seems no one knows about this place anymore. I'm sure it's long gone...but I just want someone to acknowledge its existence.
I loved it when I went to VB."
Shep's notes: John, your memories are making me hungry! Read on. I found the following on a blog from Missy who used to visit here from West Virginia in the summers...
"Our favorite breakfast spot was a place called Peter Pancakes. Outside of the restaurant, there was a huge statue of Peter Pan. Their pancake menu was extensive....any type of pancake you could imagine! My father always ordered blueberry pancakes, my brother the silver dollars. My mom usually ordered an English Muffin and fruit. And me? I had to be exotic and order the Swedish Pancakes with Lingonberry Sauce....I hadn't a clue what Lingonberries were, but those pancakes were very good!
September 21, 2011 from Phil...
"A number of comments here about Lee's Jet Lounge--a place I'll never forget. I was a lifeguard in the summer of ’67, for the Beach Service as it was known then, run by Mr. Kitchen and his son. I burned off a lot of fun that summer before heading into the Army. The Jet was the lifeguard hangout after work. They gave us 10 percent off everything. We loved the place.
What ever happened to old Mr. Kitchen? He had quite the deal, provided lifeguards in exchange for us selling beach umbrellas, chairs and surfers. (I) lived in an old frame bungalow with two others off Laskin Road. Oh, Wareings Gym was good to us too. Great memories."
Shep's notes: Phil, we're amazed at how much feedback we get concerning Lee's Jet Lounge. LOTS of folks feel exactly like you do. Many places catered to lifeguards including Grumpy's, Wareings and of course, The Jet. My brother Jimmy was a guard and he told me the story that Hugh Kitchin did not want his lifeguards going into places like The Jet in their lifeguard suits and tshirts. No problem. Everybody just turned their stuff inside out first!
July 28, from Michael May....
"Just received my copy of your book (GONE...But Not Forgotten, Virginia Beach). You have done a great job with each of the topics. They bring back a lot of great memories. I am looking forward to the next book. I only have one complaint. There are no pictures of The Shack. I used to hang out there from '71-'83 and was looking forward to seeing at least one shot of the inside or outside of the original 1970 edition. I remember they had a blown up aerial shot of the north end of the beach hung on one wall. Wasn't Jack Bellis a partner at one time? Someone must have a picture or two of The Shack. Please put the word out that you are looking for some. I know I never carried a camera in there but I'm sure someone had a birthday or party of some sort there. I remember a lot of partying going on every time I was there.
I was sorry to hear about Mike's passing. He was a great guy. He always had a
smile and a handshake. He made The Shack the friendly place it was. It was as
much a part of him as he was a part of it. You never thought of The Shack
without thinking of Mike and you never thought of Mike without thinking of The Shack."
Shep's notes: Michael, we couldn't agree more with everything you say here. Believe it or not, The Shack was a late addition to our list of topics (what were we thinking?) and because of publishing deadlines, we had to move quickly to get it included in the book. It was all we could do to get a good picture of Mike! We'd love to see more pictures of the Shack also.
Your comments also touch on a point we found to be true during the process of writing our book. In most cases, its not the place we have fond memories of, but the people associated with a place. As you so adequately expressed, The Shack was as much about the legendary Mike Cannon as it was anything else.
July 25, from Ed...
"The summer of 1968 my ship was in the yards at Newport News. I spent most weekends at Virginia Beach. My favorite place to stay was at the old Surf Hotel, close to the Peppermint Beach Club. Some of the coldest beers and best burgers where sold on the wooden pier. Best memories of my life. I spent 32 years working for AT&T and then retired."
Shep's notes: Ed, thanks for your note. Your "best memories of my life" sentiments are a common theme.
July 18, 2011 from Shep at virginia-beach-connections.com...
Most of us go by it a couple of times each day, but have you ever wondered just how it got there? Mt. Trashmore is one of Virginia Beach's most recognizable landmarks, but how many of you know it's story? Head over to our
page to see a great link posted by local historian, Nancy Sheppard.
July 17, 2011 from Rick H...
"Just wanted to add my two cents! I was stationed at NAS Oceana from Jan. 1971 thru Oct. 1972. This had to be, without a doubt, the best duty station I had for my 4 year enlistment. The wife and I were regulars at the Shack, Raven, Mr. Jim's and a place on Atlantic that the name escapes me, but encouraged throwing your peanut shells on the floor. Another favorite spot was Fass Brothers Fish House, all you could eat hushpuppies, clam strips, fish...such great memories. It wasn't until years later that I ventured to the Duck-In...sad I missed so many years. Just retired from 37 years of law enforcement in PA and plan on a return trip...it's been 4 years since I was last there...next plan...get your book! Thanks for the memories."
Shep's notes: Rick, we think your two cents are worth the price of gold! Your story is not unlike many we hear. The Beach has captured the hearts of many Navy personnel over the years. No doubt, the establishments you mention contributed to your positive experience during your time here. Sadly, only The Raven is still in business and they still have great burgers. The Fass Brothers Fish House building has housed many eating establishments over the years and is now the home of a Brazilian restaurant. Thanks for your service, not only in the Navy, but also to the great state of PA. Enjoy your well deserved retirement.
June 10, 2011 from Shep at virginia-beach-connections.com...
Its been a while since we posted memories sent to us but that doesn't mean we don't have some stored up and ready to go. Here's one from Tony De Marco:
"I wonder how many people realize that there was once a "downtown" Va. Beach
There were a couple of banks around 18th & 19th streets. What a great place to have grown up. September marked the end of summer & many of the hotels/motels were family owned & these people lived in some of these during the off season. You couldn't walk on the west side of Atlantic without a t-shirt or some other cover up.
Many thanks for providing this web site."
Shep's notes: Seems there have been several "downtowns" since the early days and all were defined by development. The first "downtown" was the 17th Street area (below). "Downtown" moved north to 25th Street and then it was 31st Street/Laskin Road. Now, Town Center is being promoted as the latest downtown area. Thanks for sharing Tony.
Looking east down 17th Street during its prime. The same view today would reveal mostly parking lots. Notice the Roland Court sign on the left. This historic building is the most recent casualty of "progress".
May 4, 2011 from Shep at virginia-beach-connections.com...
This coming Sunday, May 8th, is Mother's Day. On January 19th, we lost our Mom after 87 years of a remarkable life. That's her in the photo above, second from the left, sitting next to our Dad, whom we lost in 2002. Mom arrived in Virginia Beach early in 1941 from Huntington, WVa. Her dad, a Captain in the Naval Reserve had been called to active duty. Much of the world was at war and the U.S. was soon to follow.
We're pretty sure this photo was taken at the Cavalier Beach Club, probably in 1943. In this photo are some of Mom and Dad's closest friends and family members. I absolutely adore this photo because it shows everyone in the prime of their lives. What great memories.
So, if your mom is still around, please be sure to give her a hug or a call or do something to let her know how much she means to you this Sunday.
January 2, 2011 from Shep at virginia-beach-connections.com...
On January 1, 1963 Virginia Beach officially became the "World's Largest Resort City".
December 22, 2010 from Sally Brunelle...
"Former Navy brat here! Lived in VB from 1973 until 1983. Graduate of First Colonial HS. Fond memories of hitch hiking to the beach with just a towel and a few dollars. Sitting in the sun listening to the local hippies play guitar at the sundial. Cruising the strip endlessly on a Friday or Saturday night. Can't do any of that anymore. Concerts at the Dome. Favorite bar was Country Comfort at the corner of 17th and Pacific. Then came Abbey Road. I still make it a point to stop in and listen to Lewis McGee when I go home to visit. I can't believe how much the city has changed. Roads that winded around corn fields have been replaced by neighborhoods and shopping centers. I never thought I'd need GPS when visiting but it seems the roads are constantly growing, connecting and moving! Who would have thought you could get to Holland Rd via Dam Neck Rd. Weird!"
Shep's notes: Those were great days Sally! I can remember cruising Atlantic Avenue endlessly during the summer and then heading to The Shack until closing time. Not a care in the world! I wonder sometimes, will our kids have the same fond memories of the Beach that we have?
December 14, 2010 from Stuart Parker....
"I grew up in Va Beach and lived there from 1953 till 1972. I remember the days of the RAVEN, it was the place to be, the PEPPERMINT BEACH CLUB another AWESOME place to hang out. I've been out of touch with so many from that area for years now and just wish I could, through this, contact some of them. I'm retired Law Enforcement now enjoying the good life
Shep's notes: Stuart, like a lot of former VB residents, I sense a desire to re-connect with the people, places and things that made your 19 years here memorable. We have found that the "I Grew Up in Virginia Beach" facebook page is a pretty good way to catch up. Of course, you can always check back here to see the latest posts. Thanks for sharing with us.
November 5, 2010 from Richard Knox....
"I was at Fort Story from 1971-1972 and have fond memories of a kinder, smaller Va. Beach. I visited in Oct. 2010 to find tourist trap megalomania that didn't resemble my memories of the "beach". Gone are free parking, Moonies in sheets in front of the Zodiac, Mr. Jims Subs on Pacific, Champs Burgers, Clyde’s farm market on Shore Drive and “my hang out", the Italian Village. It, too, was on Shore Drive not far from Fort Story and was run by a French Canadian."
Shep's notes: Richard, your setiments pretty much sum up what we are all about here at virginia-beach-connections. The Beach IS changing and those of us who have been around long enough want to try and preserve the memories before they are gone for good. Thanks for your observations.
November 2, 2010 from Hayden Ross Mcquilkin....
Shep, I ran into your work while looking at the “I Grew Up in Va. Beach” group on
Good stuff! I am in the process of thinking up some good stuff to add but in the meantime wanted to tell you that I had the honor of living through having Fred behind me and Vivie in front of me.... Hartwell to the side...all of the Everett school grades! And people ask why I'm crazy! Just joking!
There never were more fun days. My mom taught kindergarten (Joy Ross) and also drove the school station wagon to transport everyone to and from school.
The other driver was Arthur, a wonderful black man that drove an actual woody
to pick kids up also.
The most fun was shuffling through the fall leaves, swinging high on the creaky swings and playing hard and serious kick ball before and after school every single day.
There are wonderful and numerous memories....like having a teacher by the name of Smiley. I'll write more soon.
Shep's notes: Hayden, thanks so much for your post. Sadly, we lost Fred (my older brother) and Vivie (Hodgson) way too soon. Hartwell (Cocke) is still hanging in there here at the Beach. They were quite a group and I'm glad you made it through OK! I, too had Smiley (Dunn) as my math teacher and even in 4th grade we thought she was the best looking thing ever. Imagine my embarrassment the day I threw up on her desk! Ugh. I hope you will check back and share more of your great memories.
October 21, 2010 from Shep at virginia-beach-connections.com...
I grew up in a house of 4 kids and have the distinction of being the last born. My older brothers, Jimmy and Fred, were 11 years and 8 years older, respectively, than me. So, when they were in the prime of their young adulthood, I was still a twerp, trying my best to be just like them. Occasionally they would let me hang with them and one of the places it was “safe” to take me was Alexander-Beegle. Beegles (the shortened version) was a gentlemen’s clothing store located next to Neptune’s Corner on 31st street. To me, it was one of the coolest places on earth. The following recollection from Henry Bliley sums it up pretty well:
“The legendary Alexander-Beegle men's clothing store was formed with the partnership of Mr. Angie Alexander and Mr. George Beegle (formerly of Cherry-Pearson, 21st and Atlantic Ave.). The A-B store was always located at the corner of 31st Street and Atlantic Ave. I am guessing (but I should know) that the business was established in the late 50s. Reputably, George Beegle provided the clothing knowledge and Angie provided the sizzle. (Angie and his father formerly owned and operated a very upscale soda Shoppe at 25th and Atlantic Ave, called "Alexander's", which was formerly owned and operated by the Forbes family of Va. Beach candy fame. "Alexander's" was located next door to the Beach Theater.
A-B was initially a men's only haberdasher, and introduced the Polo line early on in Ralph Lauren's career, but there were many fine brands carried by the store: to name a few--Gant shirting (when that brand was real quality), Sero shirting, Hilton clothing, Allan Paine sweaters, Izod's Chemise LaCoste, Majer slacks, and a full line of accessories...
The mainstays of the business, in addition to George Beegle and Angie, were Skippy Rice and George (sorry, last name escapes me).
Sadly, Mr. Beegle died at a relatively early age, leaving Angie to forge ahead on his own. A woman's department was established, as were satellite operations in Norfolk and on the peninsula (but none had the panache that characterized the Va. Beach location.). I believe that Angie sold the business and retired in the late 70s or early 80s, and went into the restaurant business. After his departure the store was unable to maintain its position as a premier retailer. Recently, the location was demolished to make way for a new Hilton hotel complex.
I have shopped in many fine men's clothing establishments over the years, but none seem to satisfy me, or meet my needs, as well as Alexander-Beegle.”
The George that Henry refers to is George Desgain and I also recall that Alec Chapin worked there for a while. Alexander-Beegle certainly had great clothes, but just like anything, it was the people, Angie in particular, that you remember the most. I miss those days.
Up next: The Tidal House
October 20, 2010 from Shep at virginia-beach-connections.com...
As I was sitting at the new gaggle of traffic lights that now choke 30th-32nd streets, I used the 3 1/2 minutes it took to go 2 blocks to think back to some of the special places along 31st Street from back in the day.
Neptune's Corner was a popular restaurant on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and 31st Street. As I remember, it was long and narrow and had tables as well as a counter that ran almost the whole length. My most vivid memory of Neptune's Corner was one Christmas Eve sometime in the late 60's. I can't recall the exact circumstances, but Mom decided the only way we would get dinner that night was to go out. On Christmas Eve? What would be open?
The lights were on at Neptune's Corner and hard as it is to believe, they were open and even more surprising, we were the only customers! Seriously, we had the place to ourselves and, maybe because it was Christmas Eve, it seemed magical to me. I remember they had a TV on and the show "Family Affair" was on. You know, the "Sebastion Cabot as Mr. French" show. Funny how some memories stick forever.
October 11, 2010 from Shep at virginia-beach-connections.com...
A GONE...But Not Forgotten memory: In October of 1948, the first Virginia Beach Hospital opened on the corner of 25th Street and Arctic Avenue. Dr. Waller L. Taylor, Sr. and Dr. Herman F. Dormire invested $150,000.00 to build the 25 bed facility. I can still remember as a kid that Dr. Dormire would make house calls when one of us was sick. I was always fascinated by his black doctor's bag which held a variety of items, mostly scary. Nevertheless, he never failed to reach in and pull out a treat, usually a lolly pop, when he was finished. Those were the days.
September 3, 2010 from Shep at virginia-beach-connections.com...
Another great memory....on this day in 1928, the Speedo was debuted. Have a great day!
September 2, 2010 from Shep at virginia-beach-connections.com...
Here comes Earl! Its gonna be close and it made me wonder about hurricanes from back in the day. Believe it or not, hurricanes have not always had names. Back in 1933 we had two storms which hit approxiamtely a month apart from each other. The Chesapeake Bay Hurricane of 1933 was a powerful storm that reached Category Four strength at one point before weakening to Category Two strength. The storm ended up striking on August 23, 1933 causing 79 million dollars in damage according to 1969 estimates, and left some 18 people dead. It also knocked out service to about 79,000 telephones as well as uprooted some 600 trees in Virginia Beach. The storm also set a record for storm surge with one that was 9.8 feet above normal in spots.
Then about a month later there was the Major Hurricane of September, 1933. Actually, 1933 was a very active year for tropical storms and hurricanes with 21 named storms, and 10 of them becoming hurricanes. In addition to the Great Chesapeake Hurricane of 1933, the Mid-Atlantic was hit by another hurricane almost exactly a month to the day later when a Category Three storm emerged from a disturbance in the Bahamas, and came up the coast to make landfall at Cape Lookout, North Carolina. The storm ended up causing about a fraction of the damage caused by the Chesapeake Bay storm. Only about 2,000 telephones were knocked out by the storm, and only two people died in Virginia.
The Great Hurricane of September, 1944 was a memorable storm in its own right. Cape Henry in Virginia was hit with sustained winds of 134 mph, and gusts up to 150 mph. Meanwhile, in Norfolk, winds reached close to hurricane force while gusts went up to 90 mph. The powerful storm caused tremendous damage along the coast from North Carolina to New England with some 41,000 buildings damaged, and a death toll of 390 people. The storm cost some $100 million dollars in damage including $25 million in New Jersey alone, where some 300 homes were destroyed on Long Beach Island.
Good Luck everybody and don't forget...its going to be a great weekend!!!!
August 22, 2010 from Shep at virginia-beach-connections.com...
I was just checking out the "I Grew Up in Virginia Beach"
facebook page and found this incredible footage, complete with period music, posted by Jeanne Holland Newton. It's the 1967 ECSC with the old Steel Pier as a backdrop. I was 10 years old that summer and just eaten up with surfing. We lived in Princess Anne Hills and I remember I bugged my Mom so much about going to the contest that she finally relented, but I had to take the jitney? Remember that? I caught it right there at 58th street and took it all the way down to 1st street. I think it cost a quarter to ride?
As this clip shows, there was a lot of talent as surfers had to make do with ankle to knee high surf. Didn't matter as they seemed to be able to do things most of us just dreamed of doing. I remember seeing Dewey Weber, Mike Doyle and, I think, Corky Carrol? All were gods to me.
I also remember they were holding a drawing to give away a new surfboard. All you had to do was fill out a small form with your name, etc. in order to enter the drawing. There was no cost to enter AND you could enter as many times as you wanted! So, I grabbed as many forms as possible and when I got home that night I set about to fill out each one. The next day, confident my hard work would ensure my being awarded a new surfboard, I boarded the trusty jitney and headed south. I deposited my forms and enjoyed the day's festivities. Of course, my name wasn't the one called when the drawing was finally held and my 10 year old mind figured there must have been a mistake. Heck, the guy that won the board probably only entered once!
Fortunately, despite my setback, the ECSC has continued to prosper, now in its 48th consecutive year. Check out the great footage here:
1967 East Coast Surfing Championships.
August 22, 2010 from Shep at virginia-beach-connections.com...
There's a great article in the Business section of today's Virginian-Pilot called "Wave of Popularity" whose byline reads, "Surf retailing has grown beyond boards and wax to fashion, but Virginia Beach shops try to keep one foot in the water." Author Carolyn Shapiro does a very good job of covering an industry that has grown from humble beginnings to over $7.2B in sales according to 2008 statistics. Carolyn’s focus of course is Virginia Beach and she received input from a number of knowledgeable sources, not the least of which are our good friends Dave Shotten, owner of Freedom Surf Shop and Ken Hunt, mid-Atlantic rep for Billabong and VonZipper. We particularly like the shot of Billy and Melinda’s baby boy, Sam, on page three!
The best part of the article, especially for those of us who have been around long enough, is Carolyn’s reminder of where it all began here in VB, Smith and Holland Surf Shop. As our old buddy Pete Smith explains, “We mainly had boards.” Pete and fellow VB surf legend Bob Holland opened their shop in 1963 and set the standard that the rest have followed. These days though, its boards and a lot more!
If you have a chance, check out the whole article and don’t forget, this week starts the 48th annual East Coast Surfing Championships, the world’s second oldest, continuously running surf contest.
Speaking of the ECSC, if you have a great memory from the previous 47 years, give us a shout and share it. You can either shoot us a message from the "Contact Us" tab or go to our facebook page. Cowabunga!
August 20, 2010 from John Chandler...
"Received the shirt (the Shack) and just ordered another. Thanks for bringing back the memories. Any chance of creating a Lee's Jet Lounge one?
I had several friends in Va. Beach and Norfolk, some that attended ECU with me and many others that matriculated at other institutions. Late sixties and early seventies I believe our weekend routine went something like this: Friday's at the Surfrider, Saturdays' the Shack and on to others, and Sundays at the 'Jet' as we always referred to Lee's. Later I remember the Sunday spot moved to Trader Nicks where I first was introduced to my wife, Peggy Myers. Of course the Peppermint was prominent as well. Two of my special friends from the area were my fraternity brothers Richard 'Block' Collier and Skippy Dickerson my roomy at ECU and Barbara Taylor. I wasn't a surfer, but my brother in law Cecil Myers was.
Lots of memories of the winter parties at the houses teachers and others rented during the off season.
Anyway, don't know if you knew any of the above, nevertheless, I am happy I ran across your site."
We're glad you found us too, John, and your memories are priceless.
August 15,2010 - from Garry Murphy aka Murph the Surf...
"Just found this site and ordered the book and
a SHACK T-Shirt. Man, great times from 71-76, got to know lots of the gang at
the beach as I worked out at Wareings Gym for many years. Those were the good
times before the beach grew up and got crowded. Look forward to receiving my
copy and reading about all the old hang outs."
Thanks Murph and we hope you get the same good feeling we get when we slip on our Shack T's. Give us a shout and let us know how you like the
Check out more great memories from Murph on our
April 8, 2010 - Sheila Hoarty Strong shares her memories...
"I just found out about this site and your
books on VB. I can't wait to read them! I was born in VB in 1953 and lived
there until 1966 (WELL before all the development). I loved Seashore State
Park (especially the rope swing); Crystal Lake (we lived on 49th Street, land
side); my schools: Miss Barclay's, Everett and Linkhorn Park; sledding on the
huge, stair-like hill behind the Cavalier Hotel, where every kid in VB (it
seemed) would go sledding when it snowed, which was surprisingly often; selling
lemonade on the golf course in Birdneck Point, and selling used golf balls,
too, which my friend and I had found and cleaned up (5 cents if no nicks, 3
cents if one nick, etc.); exploring houses under construction in the north end
(after the workers had gone home, of course); climbing trees (I could see all
the way south to Rudee Inlet and all the way north to Fort Story from the top
of an ENORMOUS evergreen across from 314 49th Street [I wonder
if the tree is still there?); Frontier City (absolutely incredible!); Seaside
Amusement Park (lots of free ride tickets at the end of every school year,
based on your report card: A=4 tickets, B=3, C=2, etc.); roller-skating at the
Dome to "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Rhythm of the Rain," "So in Love" ...); Fort
Story and the lighthouses; Duck-In; High's Ice Cream and Roses Five & Dime on
31st Street; the clean, white sand and natural sand dunes with sea oats at the
far north end of the beach; and, best of all, the QUALITY of life in that
sleepy little seaside village of fewer than 7,000 surrounded by miles and miles
of farms and forests -- a place so quiet and safe in the 1950s and early '60s
that children could go anywhere by foot or by bicycle, with the only rule
being, "Be home by dinnertime" (lunch was optional). What a magical time and
place to be a child!"
Thanks Sheila. And by the way, my buddy Jimmy Finley remembers your family and said to tell you "hi".
April 2, 2010 - Bob sends this one...
"I used to down a beer or two at Lee's in the
early 1960s after getting off work as a beach cabana boy for the Cape Colony
Club at 57th and ocean front. I worked for John Smith who owned the cabanas. I
worked with Pete Smith, Bob Gormley (who ran the snack bar) Tommy Casey, and
several others whose names elude me. The Cape Colony pool area was managed by
Bill (the bear) Nichols. Loved Seaside Park and remember Fats Domino and a
group called the Canaries playing there. There also was a dance/bar place all
the way down the south end of the beach near the pier called "The Peppermint
Twist", which was always packed. I loved also the Pie House (home of the "radar
range") located on the corner of 30th st(?) and Pacific."
March 20, 2010 - From John Hayes, formerly of Fighter Squadron 14 and a dedicated beach bum...
"Your fantastic book arrived today. I love VB-so many great memories. Lived there
(NAS Oceana) summer of '67 til July '70 (interrupted by 2 Mediterranean cruises)
then discharged. Stayed as a civilian 'til fall of '72 mostly playing & working
in the Foosball business. Lived on 24th Street near Atlantic among other
I do remember some of the people/places mentioned here or in the book. Nabil &
Ed of Peabody’s, Tiki, Chichos (my favorite).The Cue arcade. Choosey Mothers
Foosball (22nd btwn Atlantic & Pacific) Worrells (Mike & Chris) Lee's. Dunningtons (Bob&
Rick) Raven. Mike Cannon of the Shack, may he rest in peace. Tom’s with peanut
shells on the bar floor. The Zodiac. Peppermint Beach Club-Bill Deal & the
Rhondels. The Canon Hall Motel (about 20th & Atlantic(?), Cherry Motel/apts, Virginian
Motel 24th St, The Bearded Clam at the Steel Pier (gone but when & how?) Wooden
pier, Seaside Amusement Park, Pembroke Mall, the old classic pool hall( 17th btwn
Atlantic & Pacific, north side of the street. Wareing's Gym, The drug store (Barr's) SW corner of
17th & Atlantic. Seaside Market on Pacific. The Little Theatre, Forbes salt water taffy, 2
cool mini golf courses. One indoor mini golf course at the Hilltop area. Summer
is great but so are the other seasons especially Winter. Cool about James M.
Jordan,Jr. pioneer surfer.
Restaurants: Duck-in, Lighthouse, Marty's Lobster House, Hurds, Puritan, Knife & Fork, The
Heritage, Hamburger Haven, Sambo's, Zeros Subs, Giovannis Pizza, H. Salt Fish & Chips
on Laskin Rd.
Norwegian Lady, A.R.E, Coast Guard Station (I think it was in operation '67), Rudee
Inlet, Cape Henry Cross & lights. The Dome, saw Jimi Hendrix (one of his two times
there in '68), Archie Bell & the Drells, Alice Cooper, Jethro Tull (I
think), Yes, Fleetwood Mac.
My fondest recollection of the Dome was winning
Foosball Tournaments there. A motorcycle in Dec '71 & a Dodge Dart Demon May
'72. After moving on, lived in San Diego, Miami(hometown) & Chicago. I was
single in VB, but since have brought my wife to the beach('80s), daughter &
son('90s).I just love VB & can't wait to visit again many times in the future."
Wow John, for only living in VB for 5 years you sound like a lifer! Your recollections have brought back some long lost memories for me. My sister worked a couple of summers at Sambo's when she was in college but most would agree the Puritan had the best pancakes! And my second grade teacher at Everett School was Mrs. Abramson, whose husband owned Hamburger Haven. You also happen to mention a couple of things that will be in our next book, which is currently in production: the Steel Pier, the Peppermint Lounge and Seaside Market. By the way, I remember that Marty's Lobster House had this steak called "the Sizzler". I'm not sure what they did to it, but when they brought it out of the kitchin it was sizzlin' up a storm! Thanks for sharing your valuable memories, John.
March 1, 2010 - More On Lee's Jet Lounge from Dora
"I worked at Lee's Jet lounge from Sept 1972-
about March 1974. What a time we had. I wonder if anyone remembers the exact
name of the owner; he was a good man. Never told him I was underaged a the time!"
OK, so who remembers who owned Lee's Jet? And Dora, we're betting you must have been pretty enough that it didn't matter that you were underaged!
Feb. 15, 2010 - Lucy from Florida sent the following. You gotta love the memories!
Well, I remember Lee's Jet Lounge quite
vividly. I moved there (Va. Beach) around 1969 when it was total party City! My friend,
Margaret and I moved there together after quitting our jobs in Hartford, CT.
We called ourselves the Gold Dust Twins. Lee's was the spot to stop into for a
few 3.2 beers for about a dime or quarter or to find out where the evening's
parties were held.. We lived at the Breakers (on 25th Street) when we first moved there and
eventually got our own place. Then we lived on Hilltop Rd. and wanted to be
closer so we moved 2 streets off of Atlantic....Baltic or Arctic can’t
remember which. We knew every cop in town as we were constantly breaking the
rules. Also knew all the guys at the Coast Guard Station (right next to the Breakers) on the beach. I
remember playing bumper pool at the CG station. I still have a drinking glass
from Lee’s Jet Lounge which is probably at my father’s house. So many great
memories of Lee’s and Virginia Beach, I can’t even begin to tell. I
remember being pulled over by a policeman because I was riding on the back of a
motorcycle with a bikini and the popo cited me for indecent exposure. The
Peppermint Lounge was there with great music. Does anyone else out there
remember these days?
Yeah Lucy, I'm betting that LOTS of people remember these days and hopefully your story will inspire others to share. I am wondering though, how'd you get the name Gold Dust Twins? Or maybe that's better left unsaid! Cheers!
Which Is It?
Adam Thorogood was one of the first white settlers in what is now Virginia Beach. So why do we now see his name as Thoroughgood? Like many names from early on, Adam's family name became "modernized" over the centuries. So, although the name Thorogood is technically correct, today we recognize it as Thoroughgood.
OK all you history buffs. Here's a note we got from one of our favorite customers. Have an opinion on which version of the name is correct? I'll post my response to her in a few days. Until then, lets hear what you think!
"Just wanted to say thank
you for the great books (I have purchased 9 so far) and for signing the one for
myself and my daughter at the craft show Nov 29th! I am sure you all know
already but it looks like the word Thoroughood is mispelled each time in the
book -- the school, neighborhood and Historic House are all spelled
Thoroughgood. Not a big deal to me but wanted to bring it to your attention ....."
Here's a really great note we got from Bob Hubbard in TN. This is the kind of heartfelt memory we can all relate to:
Got my book in fine shape ( a while back )..THANKS....I held on to this
order email; as I was astounded to read about Mike's ( The Shack )
I was in the Navy there 1968-71, and Va. Beach was a simple place
then--especially in the winter..'bout the only ones stirring were the
locals. I enjoyed the Beach in the winter as much as the summer. My best
local friend was John Wareing; I was young, and going to his gym was a
thing I looked forward to 3 times a week. Bobby Boy he'd call me. And
we went out to sea, he'd stop my membership when we left-and let it
back up when we returned. I bought an old Canary yellow 1929 Ford
pick-up once, and he took the tags off his "Heavyweight" London taxi
car, so I could go get it. Once we had a "short" 3 month cruise to
and I had no place to keep the '29, so he let me park it behind the gym
until I got back...
Several guys I got to know at the gym-Pete Smith
out from time to time, a tall Police Lt. or Cap't. (can't remember his
name), a guy called Nabil Sheik who owned the Tiki bar and another bar,
and, Mike of The Shack was very nice to me. I later sold the '29 Ford
got a BSA motorcycle. Mike had a Triumph, and we'd ride to Sandbridge
Speaking of Triumphs, the Twins of the Raven club had
green Triumphs at that time also.
Mike's Shack always had room for
matter how full it was; and more than a few times a cold one was on the
The small back bar at "Tom's" seafood restaurant was a
cozy place with steamed shrimp or a cup of chowder. For something late
after hours-The Roadrunner was the place, across the street from
and upscale eating for me was the Puritan Restaurant and their whole
Bluefish dinner. I also made many trips to the Duck-In for a simple
meal. I could go on and on...........
I kept in contact with John Wareing after my discharge, and even now
picture frame in "MY" room here at home with several pics of John and
myself at his gym, from then. Christmas cards and short notes back and
forth were neat,,,hated to hear he left us also, he was everyone's
I'm now a Fire Captain with the Nashville Fire Dep't. ( 31 years,
), and thinking back on my short time at Va. Beach, is a very very
memory. Hope you might be able someday to update your "Connections"
and THANKS for letting me reminisce ! ! !"
Mt. Juliet, TN.
Pure gold Bob. Hopefully your recollections will convince more folks to share their stories and memories.
From Bob Bailey:
"Picked up a copy of the book recently. Great read - good facts. However, I did want to send you some additional info and offer a small correction.
In the late 1960's I was going to college and tending bar weekends at Lee's which was located at the corner of Atlantic Ave. and 26th Street.
The first of what we called the new generation of bars was the Tiki located at 2108 Atlantic Ave. where the Edge is today. Michael Worrell, Nabil Kassir and Ed Ruffin opened the Tiki in May 1965. Worrell sold his third in December of that year and bought half of Lee's Jet Lounge in February 1967 and shortened the name to Lee's.
While I was at Lee's, Ricky Dunnington had just returned from Vietnam and worked as a waiter at Lee's for about six months in 1968. His brother, Bobby, then returned from his tour in Vietnam and they went on to open the Raven later that year.
From 1965 through approximately 1970, Lee's and the Tiki dominated the oceanfront bar scene. The Raven later became a player also.
Thanks again for a great read and memories."
Thank you, Bob, for sharing your memories with us!