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The Page Title
Time span in Arlington
Elvis pointing at the arrival
Elvis may STILL in the building BUT ... WE have left New Jersey! ... so long ago, we made our way south on the Garden State Parkway  onto the New Jersey Turnpike,  across the Delaware Memorial Bridge  (just a single span back then), continuing to go through the Baltimore HarborTunnel,  along the Baltimore Washington Parkwayonto New York Avenue N.E., passing The Hecht Company Warehouse and the Firestone sign all the way to the Key Bridge  into Rosslyn, and yes, this IS Arlington
The scene in the background image (from the "Library of Congress" ) shows the Key Bridge, looking into Arlington (Rosslyn), as it was around the time of our arrival in June of 1963.  If you have a nostalgic interest in the DC area, I highly recommend Ghosts of DC  with lots of old photos and stories.
Thoughts of Wonder
In the mid to late 1960's, I remember being amazed by the things my grandmother (May Eshleman Bussell - 1898-1969) had seen in her lifetime.  She was, after all, born in 1898. 

Think about this: from ice being delivered in a horse drawn wagon (
a trade plied by her grandfather Jacob Randolph Newman in Washington DC), automobiles; electric lights, telephone, radio, television; airplanes with propellers and then without; two world wars, Korea, Vietnam; segregation outlawed; the infancy of the computer age; the advent of air conditioning; clean city water supplies; all the way up until, almost, a man on the moon
Nana, as my grandmother was known to us, passed away on June 28, 1969; 22 days later, on July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 touched down on the surface of the moon.
WOW! That's a lot of experiences, and that's just scratching the surface of the progress of humanity during HER lifetime.
A SHORT SYNOPOSIS OF MY OWN FIRST 10 YEARS

Shortly before my birth, a vaccine against Polio is discovered and then; on December 30, 1953, the first color television is put on the market for sale;  in October 1957, Sputnik passes overhead, unseen but heard, and it scares the bejesus out of the American public, bomb shelters become all the rage; the Asian flu epidemic carpets the nation in 1957-1958; the Bay of Pigs in April of 1961;  Alan Shepard flies into space on May 5, 1961, John Glenn orbits the earth on February 10, 1962, on September 12, 1962, then President John Kennedy announces that the US is going to land on the moon before the end of the decade; then in October 1962 we have the Cuban Missile Crisis  bringing us (much to close) to a nuclear war; rock and roll has changed the music world forever, and my life has only just begun. There was so much more in those first 10 years and in retrospect all I can say now is...WOW, again! Today I find a bit of awe in all of this!  Seems like my grandmother wasn't the only one.

photo of Rosslyn Virginia in 1965  from Key Bridge
Rosslyn in 1963-64 - Things have certainly changed!
Photo Credit: roger4336, CC BY-SA 2.0
<https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Does History Repeat Itself?
At the time I am writing this, some 60 plus years have passed and  I am thinking about the events I've seen in my lifetime thus far, and for this part of the story,  just the first 15 years!  I don't have to think too hard to realize one hell of a lot happened even before we left New Jersey.  Again, as I write this so many years later, I think about events I've seen up to this point, (the early ones of which I share with my grandmother), and I can't help but conclude that "history does, in fact, repeat itself".
It's a long story image - as an apoolgy to the readers
"Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short!"
Henry David Thoreau - 1657
No doubt you've noticed Herbert Butros Khaury (aka Tiny Tim) on the lower left of this page.  Because of this, rather lengthy, story (see Thoreau's quote), he's here to help you "tiptoe through the tulips" of Arlington with me.  Clicking on his image below will open a sidebar menu of links to sections of this page.  Anytime you want to jump around the page, simply click Tiny Tim and then on your chosen link in the sidebar. As an added bonus, the sidebar contains a stunning photo of me around 1966-67!   Somehow I hope this helps!
Image of Tiny Tim as a link
Wild Hairs!
Just in case you get the urge, why I don't know, to listen to this song by Tiny Tim, here's a short, 1:12, video of Tiny singing his "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" masterpiece. It wasn't released until 1968, our final year in Arlington.
From Home Fries to Grits ... In One Fell Swoop!
image of the cover of the book - The Arrival - by Shaun Tan
Image of the Cover of the book by Shaun Tan
click for more information
Link to Book by Shaun Tan
First Stop: A small brick house at 2242 N. Madison Street in North Arlington. Located between Nottingham and Lexington streets just a block and a half from Lee Highway, the house was a rental. Come to find out when I was 65, that it belonged to a long-time childhood friend of mom's and together, they had pre-arranged the whole move including the rental of the home. We only stayed in this house for 1-year but oh what a year it was!
Mom Planned Ahead:  It seems mom was pretty conscientious when it came to making moves and specifically as those moves impacted and/or uprooted her sons. Certainly she must have considered herself as well, but I have no doubt now, that timing was purposefully planned. These are the kinds of things you have to be old enough, to be able to look back on, in order to realize that she was only trying to do what was good for the kids.
our house on n. madison street in arlington
Photo from several  years after we left
image of a 1962 volkswagen bus
image of vintage 1950s model airplane
New People, Place, & Things
It is increasingly difficult to remember the people I knew while living here, with a few exceptions.  For neighbors, I remember on one side was Mrs. Sedgewick and on the other side the neighbor lady had a dog, a pug I believe.  It was, without any doubt, absolutely the ugliest, most obnoxious dog I've ever encountered in my life! Snorting like a pig, drooling like a ravenous hyena, and wanting to bite anything it laid its beady little eyes on was enough to prompt me to avoid it, AND the associated neighbor! No wonder I can't remember her name!
I only remember two of the neighborhood kids.  Directly behind us, facing Nottingham Street, were the Martins.  Jerry Martin, the son, was around my age.  We hung out once in a while.  I remember him being a pretty nice guy but I don't remember much more about him or his family.  Then on Nottingham Street, I think at the corner of 23rd Street (not sure), lived the Graham family.  Bob Graham, the son, again around my age, was probably my closest friend that year.  I always wondered what happened to this family. Bob's dad was extremely nice, treating me as if I were one of their family; I was a bit envious at the time.  They had a Volkswagen bus that I thought it was the coolest thing on wheels since Ernie Rocco's family Corvair back in Oakland. We rode up to a field in Maryland to fly remote control model airplanes at least once.   I DO remember that was a fantastic, not to mention memorable, day!
This was the beginning of so many things that would happen over the course of the next five years.
August 23rd, 1963 - It didn't take long after our arrival to encounter the first life changing, world altering event.  There was a lot of talk on the radio about "things that were happening" downtown, involving "civil rights" and a "massive gathering".  While there may have been some "not so peaceful" incidents around town, from what saw on the TV, it seemed largely, very peaceful.  I was only 9, so I really didn't understand the whys or wherefores but I did know it was happening just 6 miles from home on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  I don't think any of my family (except my aunt in her official role with the DC Metropolitan Police Department) attended.  We watched the happenings of the day and Dr. King's speech on one of the 4 available TV stations, probably WRC channel 4. Of course, cable had not been invented yet!
Image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - I Have a Dream
READ MORE about this event at
Wikipedia  or The History Channel:
Button from the March on Washington 1963
"The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom"
was a massive protest. It was also known as the "March on Washington" or "The Great March on Washington" and it was held in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963. Some estimated 250,000 people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. THIS was the largest gathering for civil rights of its time.

The event focused on employment discrimination, civil rights abuses against African Americans, Latinos, and other disenfranchised groups, and support for the Civil Rights Act that the Kennedy Administration was attempting to pass through Congress.
At the march, the last to speak, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech in which he called for an end to racism. More than 3,000 members of the press covered the event.
At the end of the speech he says:  "we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last!  Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
Personal Commentary on this event at the time of this writing - February 2021

Here we are - many years later - and that Dream has yet to be realized!  What is wrong with us?  Why can't we ALL just get along?
The bias one learns in life IS, just that..."learned".  Looking back, it appears, our parents (Larry and Paul) and grandparents never tried to influence our thoughts about others.  A few years before we moved to the DC area, we were visiting my grandmother May Bussell when, one day, I rode with her on the streetcar back to Rosslyn from the District.  My curious 8-year-old-self asked (probably a little too loudly) "why do the colored people have to sit in the back?"  Her, almost whispered, response was to wait until we got home and we'd talk about it.  When we did get home, she reminded me that what we saw was "not right" BUT "it is the way things are right now ... hopefully this will change."  I suspect she, perhaps like many others, was afraid of the backlash that she would most likely encounter while supporting "colored people" and "equality" in public. 
The way I see it, MLK's dream was all about giving EVERYONE an opportunity to succeed and treating EVERYONE fairly. He was calling for the creation of a just and equal America, one where all of us would treat each other as people based on our own merits and qualities, not what color or race or belief we may possess.  Why has this changed to something resembling a precursor to civil war and why so much hatred?  Perhaps we need to return to those "historic" days of Dr. King's speech and listen anew. Maybe we can learn from history instead of, yet again, being doomed to repeat it or worse yet, erasing it as if it did not exist! 
September 1963
balloon, 10th birthday
Clicking on the photo of me holding the cake brings up 5 photos of the event
I'm 10 years old, my brother is about to turn 15!  We have only been in Arlington a bit more than 2 months, but - mom made sure I had a birthday party. 

School had not started and there was hardly enough time to make new friends so this day was purely a family affair. Even my grandparents drove down from New Jersey for this day.

Attending were my Aunt Cecile (Bussell) Ridgely MASON, Uncle Larry MASON; Aunt and Uncle, Relmyra (Warren) BUSSELL and Richard BUSSELL, Sr.; “Meme" Julia (Jordan) WARREN (mother of Relmyra); maternal grandmother May (Eshleman) BUSSELL; paternal grandparents Larry MCKENNA and Val (Desjardins) Lachance MCKENNA; brother Paul LACHANCE; cousins Carol Ann BUSSELL and Richard BUSSELL, Jr.; two girls who were dates of my brother and cousin (don't know that I knew their names then, let alone today!)
  • Happy Birthday Larry Lachance | A Great Cake
SCHOOL BEGINS at ROBERT E. LEE ELEMENTARY- SEPTEMBER 1963
Collage of photos for Robert E. Lee Elementary School
FIRST THOUGHTS
Family separation, goodbyes to the only friends I ever knew, long distance moves, new places and faces, civil rights marches, birthdays and now - a new school - Lions and tigers and bears...Oh MY!  I am thankful that in my first 4 years of school, history (while some facts may have been distorted) WAS taught. 
So the name of my new school is "ROBERT E. LEE"!  What did this mean to me, as a 10 year old?  It meant the school was named for a confederate Civil War general who grew up and lived in Virginia, fought for what he believed in (right or wrong) and lost.  Of course it's good that he lost - the proverbial story of good triumphing over evil - what would the world be like today IF he had won?  I can't imagine!
Robert E. Lee SHOULD be celebrated, statues in place, buildings and streets bearing his name, it's all good! His claim to fame?  He precipitated, by way of his loss in war, the changes that began and have continued to evolve to this day.  Without Robert E. Lee, there would have been no Martin Luther King to have a dream!  Robert E. Lee caused us humans to make strides towards the equality (while not yet perfect) and freedoms we share today.
SAFETY PATROL
Being on safety patrol was an honor in elementary school in the 1960's.
Image of an elementary school safety patrol
And an Award to boot!
cropped image of a school safety patrol certificate
THE SCHOOL
And so school begins. Life hasn't been overly traumatic although I must admit I did miss my dad, in spite of marital difficulties that resulted in us being here in the first place.  And, I really wanted to go back to New Jersey. But alas, this was not to be, at least for a little while.
School was quite close by, just 2/10ths of a mile and about a 4-minute walk.  Of course it was perfectly safe and parents didn't escort you along the way. And this also meant I could actually sleep in and get up at the last minute to get to school on time. 
My 5th grade teacher was "Mrs. Miller" - I don't know (or don't remember) her first name.  I thought she was nice and I'm pretty certain I learned something during this year...although I was known to be a bit indifferent at this stage.
One of the very first things I did (perhaps an omen of life to come) was sign up for the school safety patrol for the year.  I even received a certificate acknowledging the exemplary and meritorious services I provided while ensuring the safety and security of my fellow students. Wasn't that special!  Even more incredible, I still have the certificate!
Homer Simpon eating donuts
One accomplishment of note during this first year in Arlington, and perhaps yet another sign of things to come, was my first venture into "sales". 
I went to work (age 10 mind you) with my very own doughnut route.  I wish I could remember the name of the company but I do not.  The route, however, worked! 

I made some cash, learned a few things about being nice AND enjoyed some pretty tasty doughnuts once in a while.
clipart field trip
What's 5th grade without a field trip right?  While I'm sure in my years of school that we must have taken more than one field trip...this one was documented with a photo.

I believe the subject must have been civics but who knows.  We went to the U.S. Capitol to meet with our Congressman, Joel T. Broyhill.  I would turn out he lived less than a mile from our George Mason Drive home.  I remember his house well...there was a sign on a rock in front that read "House by the Side of the Road".
Photo of Mrs. Millers 5th Grade Class
with Congressman Joel T. Broyhill
Click for full-size - it's rather large
banner for 5th grade experiment
image of a tooth in a cup
Sometimes things stick in your head no matter what you do to erase them.  The impact of this experiment has never gone away and even today I think about it on occasion.  It began with Coca-Cola that we poured into several small cups at the back of the room.  Into each cup we placed a "human tooth".  I have no idea if the teeth came from the "tooth fairy" or from a "cadaver" in some laboratory.   AND, I don't remember how long we left these cups sitting but, as days and weeks passed, we would select a cup, pull the tooth out and record what we found. 
All I really remember is on the last day (end of the month, end of the school year, dunno) there WAS NO TOOTH - gone, kaput, disappeared, nada, zilch... what the heck happened to that tooth?  Maybe this is why I don't drink Coke!  Then again, it might just be the fact that during the first 10 years of my life, I didn't even know Coke existed.  I occasionally had RC Cola when visiting my grandmother in Washington but back home in New Jersey, it was ALWAYS Pepsi!  Pepsi has been my choice ever since and unless I can't get it, it will remain my preference.  My favorite adult beverage you ask?  why it's "Rum and Pepsi" of course!  This, is in spite of listening to the Andrews Sisters eschew the virtues of Rum and Coca-Cola!
click for my choice
WHAT?  ANOTHER HISTORY MAKING - WORLD CHANGING EVENT?
Life was moving along just fine for the first few months...and then, the proverbial poop hits the fan!
collage banner for JFK assasination
IT WAS NEWS THAT SHOCKED THE WORLD - ALMOST AS IT HAPPENED
Nov. 22, 1963:
At 1:40 pm EST,
a "CBS News Bulletin" bumper slide broke into the live broadcast of “As the World Turns”.  It had been just 10 minutes after shots were fired in Dallas.  Over the slide because lights and cameras weren't warmed up yet, Walter Cronkite began reading:
"Here is a bulletin from CBS News. In Dallas, Texas, three shots were fired at President Kennedy's motorcade in downtown Dallas. The first reports say that President Kennedy has been seriously wounded by this shooting."
At 2:38 pm EST, while filling in time with some observations about the security presence in Dallas, which had been increased due to a disastrous visit by United Nations Ambassador Adlai Stevenson to the city earlier that year, Cronkite was handed a new bulletin. After looking it over for a moment, he took off his glasses, and made the official announcement:

From Dallas, Texas, the flash, apparently official: (reading AP flash) "President Kennedy died at 1 p.m., Central Standard Time." (glancing up at clock) 2 o'clock Eastern Standard Time, some 38 minutes ago.

After making that announcement, Cronkite paused briefly, put his glasses back on, and swallowed hard to maintain his composure. With noticeable emotion in his voice he intoned the next sentence of the news report:

"Vice President Johnson has left the hospital in Dallas, but we do not know to where he has proceeded; presumably he will be taking the oath of office shortly and become the 36th President of the United States."
On the day of Kennedy's funeral, Cronkite concluded CBS Evening News noting the following about the events of the "last four dark days":
"It is said that the human mind has a greater capacity for remembering the pleasant than the unpleasant. But today was a day that will live in memory and in grief. Only history can write the importance of this day: Were these dark days the harbingers of even blacker ones to come, or like the black before the dawn shall they lead to some still as yet indiscernible sunrise of understanding among men, that violent words, no matter what their origin or motivation, can lead only to violent deeds?
This is the larger question that will be answered, in part, in the manner that a shaken civilization seeks the answers to the immediate question: Who, and most importantly what, was Lee Harvey Oswald? The world's doubts must be put to rest. Tonight there will be few Americans who will go to bed without carrying with them the sense that somehow they have failed. If in the search of our conscience we find a new dedication to the American concepts that brought no political, sectional, religious or racial divisions, then maybe it may yet be possible to say that John Fitzgerald Kennedy did not die in vain."
"That's the way it is, Monday, November 25, 1963. This is Walter Cronkite, good night."
Personally speaking - I couldn't agree more with his analysis
Most of the above loosely copied from Wiki, NPR, CBS Archives and others
SCHOOL DAY INTERRUPED - THEN CANCELLED
Everyone was sitting in class on this day, just like any other day.  Our school principal came into the room and walked over to Mrs. Miller (our teacher) and quietly told her something.  She appeared like she was going to faint. She then told the class that the President had been shot at which point everyone was sent home, almost immediately.
For mom, my brother and me, this was a first!  For my grandmother, it was history repeating itself as, while she didn't know it at the time because she was so young, William McKinley, the 25th president was assassinated on September 6, 1901 in Buffalo, New York.

And, three and a half years after he left office, Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president, while campaigning for another run in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 14, 1912, was shot once in the chest with a .38-caliber Colt Police Positive Special.  He, however, survived.
Lyndon Baines Johnson - I will remember his name as long as I am alive.  Why you may ask?  I know I was only 10 years old at the time this happened, but I've had years and years to think about the events of the day.  My most visual memory is the self-righteous look on Johnson's face and what I perceived as evil in his eyes as he was being sworn in.

Of course, this is NOT a reason to believe Johnson was guilty but, I maintain my belief that he had something to do with it.  It was either his plan or he coordinated it with one of the government agencies, perhaps the CIA.  He was, from all accounts, a man who thrived on the possession of power.

As it turned out, Jackie Kennedy recorded her thoughts about her husband’s death and they were subsequently kept secret for many years until her daughter made a decision to release them. 

In the tapes she recorded, she revealed her belief that Johnson and a cabal of Texas tycoons, orchestrated the murder of her husband by gunman Lee Harvey Oswald.

There were many others who also had their own reasons to believe this to be true and there have been many "conspiracy theories" brought about since this happened.  I really can't tell you what the future holds but one day, perhaps long after I am gone, the "real truth" will come out. 
If it does, you might be able to look back here and say - "Hey - he was right!"
ALL IN THE FIRST SCHOOL  YEAR IN ARLINGON
The only other thing that happened in 1963 was on December 30, when "Let's Make A Deal," debuted on NBC-TV. I remember watching this show and thought it was just great!
1964, on the other hand, seemed like the wheels were being placed in motion for the shape of things to come. Following are just a handful of the events of 1964.
February 9, 1964 - The Beatles make their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.  Two days later they would play at the Washington Coliseum.  Of course I wasn't there but,  I already had (and still have) the 45 RPM record "I wanna hold your hand" on Capitol Records. And the British Invasion, along with Rock and Roll, begins!
February 25, 1964 - Cassius Clay beats Sonny Liston for the title of Boxing World Champion.
March 1964, - Cassius Clay changes his name and becomes Muhammad Ali.
April 5, 1964 - General Douglas MacArthur dies.
April 22, 1964 - the New York World's Fair opened for the first time. Larry went with dad in August 1964.
May 17, 1964 - the first Tim Horton's coffee and donut shop opened in Hamilton, Ontario (established by NHL player Tim Horton - I had no idea!)
July 2, 1964 - President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act.
August 2, 1964 - Race riots unfold in Jersey City, New Jersey - perhaps yet another sign of the what's to come?
August 2, 1964 - A “confrontation” in the Gulf of Tonkin and then on August 4th, a second incident.  This second incident would be, basically, a lie that it took years to uncover. The outcome of this was the passage by Congress of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. This granted then President Lyndon B. Johnson the “authority to assist.” This, in my opinion, is exactly what he wanted and sixth months later, exactly what he did!
August 17, 1964 - the "Capital Beltway" (aka I-495) around Washington, DC is completed.
October 14, 1964 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and becomes the youngest person ever to receive the award. And then, on the very same day, Nikita Khrushchev was ousted as premier of the Soviet Union and chief of the Communist Party. He was succeeded by Leonid Brezhnev.
October 12, 1964 - Voskhod 1 is launched by the Soviet Union, besting the U.S.  It returned on the 13th. It was the first human spaceflight to carry more than one crewman into orbit, the first without the use of spacesuits, and the first to carry either an engineer or a physician into outer space. 
Oct 16, 1964, just two short days later, China detonated its first Atomic Bomb. Another sign?
THANK GOODNESS FOR EASTERN AIRLINES AND THE WASHINGTON TO NEWARK SHUTTLE!

Larry started flying, back and forth, between Washington National Airport and Newark, NJ, via Eastern Airlines, Air Shuttle service. This would continue up until September of 1971, just before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force.

 

As an aside, in the beginning, the Eastern shuttle flew, one way, in a mere 29 minutes. By the time of my last flight, the rules had apparently changed. Now this trip in the air lasted almost one full hour.  I suspect something referred to as "the OPEC circle" had something to do with it as the skies were quickly becoming more congested.

airplane superimposed over National Airport in Washington DC
Image of the L-1049 Super Constellation (a.k.a. "The Connie") would soon give way to the jet powered DC-9.
I miss "The Connie" to this day.
DOG FOOD, PETS and P.T. MORAN
recreation of the PT Moran Company Logo
scan of newspaper ad for PT Moran and Company, Arlington,VA
The ad is real, from one of the local papers.  While I did find the logo in the paper as well, it was too distorted to use.  So, I decided to recreate the P.T. Moran logo as it appeared.  The logo above is, I believe, very similar to the sign they had over the storefront on Lee Highway. It is as close as I could get to the real thing.

We shopped here for dog food and for the next 5 years, I would regularly patronize this store on Lee Highway for both the dog supplies and their great selection of tropical fish.  I loved just going in the store and looking around.
WESTOVER and AYERS 5 & 10
a collage of store images from Westover, Arlington, VA
Westover was walking distance and Ayers 5 & 10, renamed later, was not only a great place to get things, the Ayers were super nice to the all of us kids. We need more store owners like them today.

Of course the Westover Market was there and Drug Fair too, but most of the time, it was just some place to go visit. 

Swanson Junior High School was nearby as well. Had we not moved, I would have attended thisJunior High School and not Williamsburg Junior High in Arlington.
THE MARATHON MAN DENTIST
image of scary dentist
My first dentist, and subsequent nightmares, in Virginia was just up the street, located on Lee Highway.  The office was in the basement of his house with an entrance to the "cellar" in the back.  The look of this place was enough to scare me to death!

The movie, "Marathon Man" comes to mind BUT, if "Young Frankenstein" had been out, I would have had nightmares believing I heard Frau Blücher and horses neighing in my room.  Thankfully a new dentist, and a good one, was found.  His name was Dr. Alvin Morris.  He specialized in pediatric dentistry.  Larry breathes a sigh of relief! 
collage banner for school years 1964-1965
Thank you DreamWorks for the animated film that takes me to my 6th Grade Elementary School!
NEW HOME - 1965 (New to us anyway)
The House On George Mason Drive
2440 N. George Mason Dr.
click to enlarge
SAME HOME - 2012
New Owners, things change!
click to enlarge
NEW SCHOOL - FOR JUST ONE YEAR!
NOTTINGHAM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
PHOTO FROM THE CENTER OF LOCAL HISTORY, ARLINGTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Walking to school took about 25 minutes, about 1 1/4 miles away.
click to enlarge
SAME SCHOOL - 2011
NOTTINGHAM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
PHOTO FROM Samaha Associates, PC,
FAIRFAX, VA
The school was built in 1951. It was redesigned by Samaha’s PC Architects and the result is what the school looks like today.
click to enlarge
paul lachance on bed in bedroom with fan and coconut
(Click to open full size)
I am uncertain as to the specifics of the reason we moved out of Madison Street but I suspect mom and her landlady, for whatever reason, were only able to enter a 1-year lease. Almost exactly 1-year from the day we first moved to Arlington, we packed up and moved again.  This time it won't be a 250 mile plus journey!  I'm still young and it seemed like we moved much further away than we actually did!  Fact is, it was exactly 1 mile door-to-door.  The new rental house was nice and included a first-floor bedroom that our grandmother, "Nana," could use while she lived with us.  My brother and I would share a bedroom upstairs and, I might add, it was WITHOUT air-conditioning.  We did have a large, powerful and very loud window fan that helped!  Mom and Nana both had window units in their rooms to keep them comfortable.  It was 1964 so having A/C was just not that common yet.
photo of messy closet
(Click to open full size)
With yet another change of school, I would attend 6th grade (1964-1965 school year) at Nottingham Elementary School, 5900 Little Falls Rd (between N. Ohio and N. Nottingham Sts.) in North Arlington.  Today, the students are known as the Nottingham Knights, a moniker that I don't know if we had or not back then but, certainly appropriate for a school named Nottingham, right? The school was announced in 1951 and built in 1952, making this one of the most modern schools I had attended thus far.
The Arlington newspaper named the "Daily Sun" printed an article on October 20, 1951 concerning the plans to build Nottingham Elementary School, the largest in Arlington County at that time.  It would cost $673,000 and would take 270 days to complete. The winning contractor was the Eastern Construction Company of Falls Church.  The elementary school would have 20 classrooms, a clinic, library, kitchen, auxiliary rooms and a large multipurpose room. It would also have the stylish “bilateral lighting” in which windows would feature on one side of each classroom and a strip of glass block near the ceiling would be built on the opposite side of the room. (From Yorktown High School '68 Website)
image of the daily sun headline october 20, 1951 nottingham to be built
This is the actual Headline from "The Daily Sun". 
I found mention of the article at the
"Yorktown High School, Class of 68 Events" website. If you're alumni of Arlington Schools, it's a great place to visit. 
Here's a link.  Yorktown High '68
THE NEIGHBORS
Immediately outside our back door were are nearest neighbors, the Bonney's.  Hilton's wife died in September 1965 and he remarried in January 1967 to Ginnie. While we never really got to know either of his wives we did know Hilton.  He was 2 years older than my grandmother and they talked frequently.
photo of Hilton Bonney
I remember Hilton as "a grand old man" who loved life and everybody in it. Hilton was the type of guy that would do anything for anybody. (Click for full-size)

Mom and I drove to visit him after he left to live in Appomattox.  We had a good time being nostalgic and just enjoying the company.  He once suggested the possiblity of marrying my mom (30  years his junior).  Personally, I think he'd have made a great step-dad!

Hilton died in January 1992. His photo is from his ancestry.com family tree, posted by Ryan Bonney.
Here's to you Hilton...
Glad I got to know you!
MORE NEIGHBORS
Next to the Bonney's were the Banks, Paula Banks and Jonathan Banks.  Paula was near my age.  And across from them, the Halls, whose son Robert was my age.  And next to them, I think his name was Roger, a great guy who I thought would become a scientist or engineer.  Here we are at my 11th or 12th birthday party at our house. (Click for full-size)
photo of childhood friends gathered around the table
On the opposite corner from our house was Roger Coggins and family, a coach at Washington & Lee High School.  I had little interest in sports but we always talked and he was always a friendly, nice guy.
1966 yearbook photo of Coach Roger Coggins
Roger Aubrey Coggins passed away in Knoxville at the age 86, on Saturday, August 27th, 2011. (Click for full-size)
NEW HOUSE SO - FIRST THINGS FIRST
One of the first things accomplished after the move was for mom to arrange for my brother and me to have a portrait photo taken.  On June 21, 1964, we did just that.  The studio was at the corner of George Mason Dr. and Lee Highway.  This would be the ONLY family photo we ever had made.
1964 family portrait paul and larry
THE DOG ADJUSTS QUICKLY
What's a boy without his dog? 
photo of dog on floor in 1964
Trixie survived the trip from New Jersey and now another move to another new home.  She's perfectly happy!
(Click for full-size)
AND OF COURSE 6TH GRADE
September 1964-June 1965 - I do have fond memories of my 6th grade teacher. Her name was Mrs. Parsons.  I cannot remember her first name.  I know she lived very near the school, I believe on the opposite corner.

She always seemed to treat me as if I might be her own son.  We had many talks throughout the year.  One thing I have never forgotten is when she told me she liked the music of Nat King Cole which I did as well.  And then she said, she had only recently discovered he was black.  It didn't matter to her, but it made an impression on me as a kid. How could she not know this?
THE YEAR OF THE SCHWINN
This would be the year I get my first 10-speed bike as well, a Schwinn Varsity.
old ad for Schwinn bicycles
This bike would be stolen from in front of a store at Lee-Harrison Shopping Center.  I was NOT a happy camper!!!!
NEW FRIENDS & AQUAINTENANCES
Many memories of my school years have long since faded but there are a couple of standout friendships that were made during this first year, one of which would last throughout our time in Arlington and even occasionally over the years that passed afterwards.
I need to mention one person in particular because as I continue to research what has happened to those I once knew, I stumbled upon distressing news.
I first met Billy Koczyk while at Nottingham.  While we were not "best friends" we did develop a friendship that would last.  Billy was a lifeguard at Overlee Pool on Lee Highway.  He was soft spoken and one of the kindest, most caring individuals I'd known.  His GQ good looks made him very popular.  I would last see Billy in 1976 when he drove out to Fairfax for a visit. It would not be until 2021 that I discovered his untimely passing at just 53 years old.  In his life I am certain he touched the lives of many and was successful in his own right. I am privileged that one of the lives he touched is mine. 
MacKenzie Kearney (whom I do not know) wrote a tribute to Billy Koczyk in the Overlee Newsletter  in 2006.  (visit with the provided link or the below image)
Overlee Community Association Logo used for link
I extracted the article and it's also available HERE  to view or download (just in case ). 
In memory of Billy Koczyk
tribute to Billy Koczyk
"A life that touches others...
goes on forever"
Worlds Fair Header
Boy Scouts Troop 811 header
Northern Virginia Sun - Headline Logo - May 31, 1965
Also in 1964 AND 1965, my dad and I would visit the New York World's Fair.  My biggest memory - "It's a Small World" - the Disney Pavilion.  I bought, and still have, the souvenier 45 RPM record.
photo of Larry Lachance at the New York Worlds Fair in 1964
click for full-size
I joined the Boy Scouts too! Troop 811, sponsered by Rock Springs Congretional Church on Little Falls Rd., in Arlington, VA.  Dad came down from New Jersey to attend the "Father & Son Campout" in Frederick, MD.
photo of Larry Lachance and Bill Lachance in 1965
click for full-size
While not close friends, I do remember Ray McGhee while in Troop 811. I'm not 100% certain, but I believe his dad was one of the scoutmasters of the troop at one time. Ray made Eagle Scout in 1965.
cliping from No. Va. Sun, May 31, 1965, Ray McGhee awarded Eagle Scout
click for full-size
banner image My Life from the song
lyrics by John Lennon
There are places I'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain

All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all
The song "In My Life" was released by the Beatles in 1965 - fits right in huh?
During our 5 years in Arlington, I met a lot of people and made many friends. My memories of all of them are good!  Throughout this website I continue to write names of people I once knew…and you should know, I miss them all because every single one of them taught me something and perhaps, I may never know exactly how, changed the course of my life or even their own just because we met along the path of life.
Aside from immediate neighbors, and after starting 6th grade, one of the first people I met who would became a friend was Keith Wall.  Keith, along with his sister Melissa Wall, lived on N. 24th St., a short 4 minute walk from our house.
Keith Wall and I kept in touch in the past, although it has been several years since we last talked.  I think he aspired to be a chef back in the Arlington days.  He made a baked Alaska for dessert at one of the many dinners at his house.  I was positvely impressed...still am!
Junior High School Year Book Photo
Keith Wall - 1968 Jr. High School Photo
This is the only photo I have of Keith from his 1968 class photo - Williamsburg Junior High - (click for full size)
Keith would soon introduce me to his friend Chuck Ramsburg.  The three of us could be found hanging out together frequently, from 6th grade and beyond.
Melissa Wall, Keiths sister, became a dental ceramist or dental technician and manufactured crowns for dentists around Northern Virginia.
At one point she had a lab in the basement of the house she grew up in where she expertly crafted these crowns.
To this day, a few crowns that she made for me (through my dentist of course) remain in excellent condition in my mouth.
Obviously she did great work considering they've lasted some 40 plus years!.
photo melissa with fred the dog
Melissa Wall with "Fred"
(click for full-size)
TipToe to:
Garden State Parkway
Stretches the north–south length of eastern New Jersey from the state's southernmost tip near Cape May to the New York state line at Montvale. Its name refers to New Jersey's nickname, the "Garden State".
New Jersey Turnpike
A 117.20-mile (188.62 km) roadway from the Lincoln Tunnel in NY to the Delaware Memorial Bridge, today a part of I-95 and one of the most heavily traveled highways in the US.
Delaware Memorial Bridge
Today, a dual-span suspension bridge and one of only two crossings of the Delaware River. The toll bridge is the link between Delaware and New Jersey. Only a single span in 1963
Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway
The 1.4 mile Baltimore Harbor Tunnel opened on November 29, 1957. Crossing under the Patapsco River the tunnel ended the need to use Baltimore streets, avoiding 51 traffic signals. - Thank Goodness!
Baltimore Washington Parkway
Running between the eastern boundary of the District of Columbia and Baltimore, Maryland, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway is a 29-mile route that opened for traffic in October 1954.
Francis Scott Key Bridge
The Francis Scott Key Bridge, spans the Potomac River between Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Virginia. Nathan C. Wyeth designed it in 1916; construction was completed in 1923.
The Eagle Has Landed
On July 20, 1969, at 4:17 p.m EDT, with only 30 seconds of fuel remaining, Neil Armstrong radios "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."
banner image for williamsburg junior high school class of 1968
Junior High School
7th - 9th Grade - 1966-1968
Somewhere between a 25 and 30 minute walk, about 1.4 miles away from our house is Williamsburg Junior High School, (now Williamsburg Middle School) home of the Williamsburg Patriots.
If you lived less than 1.5 miles away, you walked to school.  The nearest bus stop was one block away from the house and it didn't take me long to figure out I wasn't walking anymore! 
Faculty & Staff
Throughout the 3 years at WJHS I attended many classes and have memories of several teachers.  I met many of the administrative staff as well, some of which I met for all the wrong reasons.
I'll start with just a few that stick out in my mind for whatever reason. Certainly there were many more but I'm not here to write a biography of the staff of the school.
William R. O'Meara - Principal - I would see him once in a while.  He always had the apperance of an "administrator" and I don't recall, with a few excpetions speaking on the PA or in the cafeteria, Mr. O'Meara being active in day-to-day student activities.  I had no idea that he served in Europe during World War II and was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He died of emphysema at his home in Vienna on February 20, 1999.
Joseph G. Guter - Vice Principal - Of all of the faces that are vivid in my mind, this assistant principal, and might I add, enforcer of the school codes, I remember the most and not for all the right reasons.  (An article was published about "discipline at WJHS" in 1964.  Click HERE to see the article). "Your hair is on your collar; come to my office and get the Crew Cut Wax!" "Don't even think about bringing those cigarettes in here"!  "You're late - Detention"!  "You can't wear that shirt to school, it dosen't have a collar!" Holy crap, my mom even had to come in one day for something I did, or didn't, do, don't remember the reason. He died of cancer on October 3, 1988 at Arlington Hospital. Click HERE for his obituary
Jean Marcotte - Speaking of people who may have changed ones life, Jean Marcotte was one of them.  I don't know what she did but the impact on my life has been, so far, life long.  Is it because I found out, many years later, she was married to a man, Alex Marcotte, who it turns out is actually, very distantly, related to me?  Or, maybe it was simply the affiable personality she had that forced me to actually learn something?  Alex, who was born on August 26, 1932, unfortunately, passed away March 19, 2022. His obituary was posted to Legacy.com - Washington Post - click link to view
Walter Taylor - Ahhh, Mr. Taylor...  If EVER I was going to learn something about math, this would be the man who would teach me!  But alas, I was (and I still am) quite hard-headed and stubbornly refused to try to learn anything in those days!  It's not that he didn't try...  He was very animated during class, forcing you, in a good way to "pay attention"!  He once did a hand stand on a dare from the class.  Amazing!  I think I may still have marks on my head from when the flying erasers or pieces of chalk smacked me in the head to wake me up!  Nah, just joking, no marks.  To this day, I truly admire his methods and determination to teach me! He passed away on November 27, 2006.  Click HERE for his obituary
Next - some photos taken by me - way back when
Joseph G. Guter
Photo of Joe Guter at Williamsburg Junior High School
(click for full-size)
Jean Marcotte
Photo of Jean Marcotte at Williamsburg Junior High School
(click for full-size)
Walter Taylor
Photo of Walt Taylor at Williamsburg Junior High School
(click for full-size)
Ken Bumgardner
Photo of Ken Bumgardner at Williamsburg Junior High School
(click for full-size)
And There Were Others
Tom Hawkins
Mr. Hawkins, if I remember correctly, worked in his early years as a bellman, at the Marriott Key Bridge.  I met him there while visiting my mom who also worked there well before WJHS.  Then he starts to follow me through my life, first as a gym teacher at WJHS, then a few years later as a gym teacher again while attending Oakton High in Vienna, and yet again as an instructor at NVCC in my Fire Science program and even again, years later as a course instructor in the Fire Department.  All by coincidence but you have to admit, a strange one!
Leroy Murphy and Ellsworth Cottom
Shop teachers - metal and wood shop respectively. Mr. Murphy was also a neighbor, just a couple blocks down the street from us.  I still have a poured metal eagle that I made in metal shop, displayed on a wood plaque that I made in wood shop.  Mr. Cottom didn't say much but he did carry a "big stick" actually a wooden paddle with holes in it...and I was on the receving end of it more than once!  Then again, it might have been Murphy that had the paddle...at any rate, yeah yeah yeah, I wasn't exactly the model student in my school years.
Alphonsus McCafferty
Yet another memorable teacher from days past.  Mr. McCafferty was a kinder, gentler version of Mr. Guter - my opinion anyway.
And then there's a handful of others  -Jule Clark, Karen Kraus, Edna Boulware, Ken Bumgardner, (photo above), Mr. Hyers and I'm sure if something triggers my brain there are more memories buried down there someplace.
In 2009 while on a trip to Washington, DC with my mom, we stopped to visit with Alex and Jean MARCOTTE at their condo at Watergate.  It was a pleasant visit.  We talked about family and reminisced about the school days at WJHS.
photo of Ann Lachance, Alex Marcotte, Jean Reid Marcotte
(click for full-size)
While no longer in pristine condition, I still have the Williamsburg Junior High School - Class Photo from 1968.  Looking through this brings back many, mostly good, memories. (See viewing guide below photo)
Williamsburg Junior High School - Class of 1968 - Logo
Williamsburg Junior High School - Class of 1968 - School Photo
(click on the image for larger size - hover over the opened image to enlarge and move through the photos - move your mouse away from the magnifcation and click the RED "X", or just click outside the image to close)
header for article about what happened to people I knew
Interestingly enough, the TV show "Lost in Space" aired from 1965 to 1968, almost perfectly coinciding with the years on North George Mason Drive.
TIME PASSES, PEOPLE WE MEET COME AND GO (reminiscent of a line from “The Wizard of Oz”), SOME MEMORIES REMAIN AS OTHERS FADE AWAY...
Junior high school takes place at the beginning of our teenage years.  Personally, this was a time when real memories began to form.  It was also a time of invincibility, peer pressure, desires to “fit in”, vanity, uncertainty, worry, angst, and sometimes just complete disorder and confusion.  This was the beginning of the makings of who I have become.
Seems like most of the people we meet in our lives are "just visitors" on the journey of aging.  We can't control who stays or who leaves.  Thinking back, I met a great number of people during these five years in Arlington.  There are, most likely, hundreds of words that could be used to describe them.  For a handful I was in awe, some were admired, others respected, a few idolized, others liked or disliked and even one or two that I might have wished I’d never met. For the most part though, these were happy times, where the woes of the world didn’t matter much.  After all, my entire world was home, school, family and friends, not necessarily in that order.
And then one day, you realize that many of those you once knew have simply vanished from your memory, lost to the passing of time, while others remain.  Why is that?  I could hope that ONLY the good memories remained.  But alas, while I’ve sometimes experienced a desire to re-live some of these moments, there are other times where mistakes were made that I wish I could go back and change. There are even times when the best memories I have, I simply can’t tell anybody about.
I have to say that even if I could go back, with hindsight, I don’t believe I’d do anything differently.  The trials and tribulations of my youth are what got me where I am today and while I’m not rich or famous, I am happy, and I believe that’s what counts. Age (and mellowing) allows one to realize that those past moments became memories and all of those people became life lessons. 

Perhaps a line credited to the Dalai Lama sums it up best…
“Time passes unhindered. When we make mistakes, we cannot turn the clock back and try again. All we can do is use the present well.”
In spite of my complaining throughout this website about how much I’ve forgotten, I still have many memories of people, places and things.  Some are good, some not so good and still others I wish would simply go away. Too bad there’s not a switch to turn off the ones I don’t want anymore!
header for people I knew article
Images above from 3 cartoons that first aired in 1967
Super Chicken | Space Ghost | Spiderman
There are far too many to name here but of those that are, some are as clear in my mind as if I saw them today, some I remember very well, and others are slowly fading. Aside from those already mentioned, these are some of the names that I remember.
Friends and Acquaintances - Ross RICHMOND, Sam HOUGHTON, Norman ANDERSON, Derik GALVIN, Richard WHITLOW, Chris REYNOLDS, Glen DOUGLAS, Doug GILLAM, Paul TENORIO, Paul ZALUSKI, Jim KOUTOULAKOS, Bruce COX, Karen DROLLER, Pam PHILIPS, Caroline HARRIS, Andy CROSBY, David DUGGAN, Bill DEERING, Bob LEHNER, Mark NACHMAN, Rob CASTRO, Cynthia THURSBY, George TOWNSEND, Bruce BOATRIGHT, Steve DRYDEN, Gary BONNER, Pam HATTIN, Craig GINTHER, Jean LICHTY, David LACKEY, Richard MOON, Gary HERSHNER, Colin PLEASE, Willie MUSE, Bill SHORT, David TOBER, Tom WARD, Mike YATES, Charlie CLARK, Charlene GARDNER, David McKITTRICK, Rusty WRAY, Craig DAVIS, Gregg HOAGLAND.
Some I met, were well-known or famous - as in the image below, Danny Thomas visited Yorktown High School in 1964. 
pictures of danny thomas at Yorktown High School in 1964
(click for full-size)
And then there's Walt Disney (December 5, 1901 - December 15, 1966) who once stayed at the Marriott Key Bridge where mom was working as the catering secretary.  I still have the $1 bill that he autographed for me.
Ted Williams,  (August 30, 1918 - July 5, 2002) of the Boston Red Sox actually visited the house in Arlington for a date with my mom.  He left us an autographed baseball but that has long since disappeared.  I only wish I knew what happened to it.
J. Willard Marriott Sr.,  (September 17, 1900 - August 13, 1985) and both his wife Alice and son, Bill Marriott. I once met the entire family at a company picnic.
image of a dog in surprise
banner for my stories from arlington
Ok, so these may not be great stories but they are memories that remain all these years later.  
GREAT STORIES DON'T WRITE THEMSELVES
photo of 7-11 from arlington now
"The One With The Budweiser"
There was a 7-11 at the corner of Lee Hwy. and Geo. Mason Dr. was just a short walk away from home.  It is a source of far too many memories; the first Slurpee I ever had when it was introduced in 1966, the first pack of cigarettes I ever purchased on my own, “True” blue (yuck), and the site of several clandestine purchases of Budweiser with Keith WALL; we were pretty much best friends for 4-years.  We would lie in wait on weekends hoping for likely candidates to buy us a 6-pack. (Should I mention that  we were 13-14 years old)?  Once in hand, we'd take a 15-minute walk to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on Glebe Rd and sit in the cellar stairwell and drink away. Mom suspected one night when both of us tried to sneak home…but we held our own and survived to drink again another day. Not that this is important but I started smoking when I won a pack of "stop smoking" cigarettes at Palisades Amusment Park for a nickel in one of those crazy "push-a-button claw/digger" machines in 1964 or 65.
compiled image of Walker Chapel and Cemetery with Ghosts
"The One With The Corpse Bride"
One night there was a sponsered dance nearby Walker Chapel.  With music from Cream and Vanilla Fudge, among others, there was also a "psychedelic light show" a la "shining a overhead projector through a bowl of goldfish"...which, incidently, somebody fished out and swallowed ! NOT me!  I went to this dance along with a friend at whose house I would spend the night and who lived nearby. For the life of me I don't remember WHO this friend was. 

As we walked home, by way of a shortcut through the cemetery behind the church, we looked up, in shock, to see a bride and groom standing over a  headstone...it was after 2 AM!!! - I think we both peed in our pants first, then we ran like hell - Maybe it was a rehersal for a Tim Burton movie? I'll never know if they were real people or something out of the "Twilight Zone". I do believe in ghosts!
image of 1959 ford galaxie convertible with machete and portable bar
"The One With Brothers Backseat Bar"
With someone, again I don't remember who, on our bikes, we had just left our house and barely made it around the corner, (less than 45 seconds away) heading up to the 7-11 (smirk) -when we were stopped by a group who, apparently, were going to steal our bikes.  It was my lucky day as my brother Paul just happened to be driving by in his 1959 Ford Galaxie convertible. I don't know where he was going or why he had his portable bar in the trunk and machete in the back seat...but he did!  He immediately stopped the car, got out, grabbed a machete from the back seat and walked toward us. He said something to the perpetrators, what I don't know, flashed this rather large machete, and with their tails between their legs, off they went to destinations unknown.  I note that I didn't care where they went either; I still had my bike! And this is the story of the day my brother saved my ass, not to mention my Schwinn Varsity 10-speed bicycle!
compiled image of bicycle theft on the c and o canal
"The One With The Mugging"
One day, we were riding our 10-speeds on the C & O canal tow path on the Virginia side. (I believe I was with Glen DOUGLAS this day - but once again - memories ARE fleeting).  We started our ride near "Chain  Bridge" and had almost made it down to "Key Bridge".  

What I do remember is that it seemed like "out of nowhere" appeared a group of 4-5 older boys who surrounded us, demanding we stop.  Really there was little choice but to comply with their demands. There was also no choice when they demanded I turn over my Purple Schwinn Varsity that had replaced the gold one stolen not long before from the shopping center up the street.  Apparently everybody who couldn't afford one, wanted the one I had!!!  I believe this was the beginnings of my disdain for people who steal from others, not to mention at least part of the reason for entering "public safety" as a career in the future.
picture of a 1960s shelby cobra convertible
"The One Where Ross Needs A Ride"
Ross RICHMOND and I had some type of connection that allowed us to remain friends throughout Jr. High school. I remember him as being charismatic as he had a way with people, always calm and level-headed. On one winter evening we went to the home of Caroline HARRIS, his girlfriend at the time.  While there, snow began to fall and as the night wore on, it continued. We ignored it. The weather worsened and we realized we needed to find a way back to his house.  A friend of Ross’, Andy CROSBY came to our aid in his 1960's era Shelby Cobra convertible.  I don’t’ know how we fit 3 into this tiny 2-seater but we managed. Andy driving, Ross in the passenger seat and me, most precariously perched, on the forward edge of the rear deck.  I don’t know the reason for my “Kodak Moment” memory without a photo.   Maybe we got stuck, hit something, or maybe just slid on ice. Whatever the reason, I can see the intersection of Little Falls Rd. and Harrison St., in the dark, in the snow, sittin on the car as clearly as if it happened yesterday. What a ride though! Haven't been in a Shelby since.
image the dangers of wiping your butt with poison ivy
"The One With The Rosy Cheeks"
It had to be the first camping trip with the Boy Scouts because I can't imagine any other possibility!  This time I was ALONE! While out in the woods with no latrine or other facilities and absolutely no place to go except hidden amongst the trees...that is exactly what I did! 

Much to my dismay I did not bring along any "huggable Charmin" or "the quicker picker upper", let alone spare t-shirts or other clothing.  So what do I do...I reach for the nearest available greenery - a decision that I would seriously regret by morning.  OMG comes to mind.  Following a rather uncomfortable recovery and then for the next 3 summers, at least 8-weeks of each, I would walk up to the doctors office where I would be told "drop your drawers and bend over"!   It MUST have worked because I've not had ANY severe reaction to poison ivy since...oh happy days!
collage of music titiles from 1966-1968
“Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything”
This quote is alledged to have been said by Plato...I don't believe it!  I seem to recall this to have been proven NOT to be a Plato quote, BUT the essence of the quote does ring true.
I’ve been told I have a “radio voice”.  Maybe I missed my calling!  This, by no means implies that I can sing in the least bit.  I sure as hell can’t dance either, not with the proverbial “two left feet”.  I do regret that I never learned; I envied Fred Astaire and always wanted Larry "Bullfrog" Hooper's voice from The Lawrence Welk show but that was not to be.  I “sort of” learned to play the accordion (a la Myron Floren, also from the Lawrence Welk show) when we lived in Arlington but the instrument went into the storage box one day and never came back out.  Years later it was sold at a fraction of the original cost.
I do, however, LOVE music and I mean I like everything from Abba to ZZ Top, from all eras past and present and pretty much all genres.  I do, however, tend to shy away from opera and  avoid most rap and/or hip-hop although some is good and I DO like it.  Dr. Dre instrumental version is most excellent! (check out Archive.org this album)
The man after whom I was named, my grandfather, Lawrence Joseph McKenna, was an extremely talented musician in his own right.  Never reading a note of music he played the saxophone, clarinet and the piano and was a member of one of the New York Big Bands in the 1930’s. Spending a great deal of the first 10 years of my life with my grandparents, I grew up listening to the music of their generation, the big bands and swing.  With my parents I was exposed to and enjoyed the 40’s and 50’s with the Mills Brothers and the Ink Spots as well as Cab Calloway and Floyd Cramer among others.  And then, having a brother 5 years older, I grew very accustomed to 50’s rock and roll with Elvis et al.  And then I came into my own at Williamsburg.  Personally, I believe the music produced from 1967-1968 is some of the best ever recorded.
Coincidentally enough, there's ANOTHER Larry McKenna AND he plays the saxaphone as well.  Found him on YouTube - here's the link to Larry Mckenna (not my grandfather) on

We listened to 45 RPM and 33 RPM LP’s – yes, all vinyl – and it was ALL good.  Being in the DC area didn’t hurt either.  Radio,  mostly AM radio but emerging FM as well, was readily available and broadcasting all kinds of music.   I tend to think that most of us from those school days were listening to WEAM or WPGC.  They played music we all liked.

From Psychedelic to Metal to Rock and Roll to Bubble Gum and heading for Disco we had a great three years of music at Williamsburg. With my thoughts of 1967 being the best of the three years, I started Browsing Songs released in 1967 at Songfacts.com.  There are 5 pages of music in the “pop” genre alone!  Country, folk, gospel, jazz or any other genres aren’t even in the mix yet there were so many great songs there as well.  Yes it WAS a VERY GOOD year for music!
Below are the Billboard Top Ten Rock'n'Roll Hits for all three years of junior high.  Links to wiki Billboard Year-End Hot 100 Year End Singles for each year are provided at the bottom of each list. If you see one you like, just copy and paste it to YouTube so you can listen.
billboard top 10 hits 1966
1. "California Dreamin'" - The Mamas & the Papas
2. "96 Tears" - ? and the Mysterians
3. "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" - Jimmy Ruffin
4. "Last Train to Clarksville" - The Monkees
5 . "Reach Out I'll Be There" - Four Tops
6. "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" - Nancy Sinatra
7. "Cherish" - The Association
8. "Strangers in the Night" - Frank Sinatra
9. "Kicks" - Paul Revere & the Raiders
10. "The Ballad of the Green Berets" - SSgt Barry Sadler
HOT 100 for 1966 - Click Here
billboard topo 10 hits 1967
1. To Sir With Love - Lulu
2. The Letter - The Box Tops
3. Ode to Billie Joe - Bobby Gentry
4. Windy - The Association
5. I'm a Believer - The Monkees
6. Light My Fire - The Doors
7. Somethin' Stupid - Nancy Sinatra and Frank Sinatra
8. Happy Together - The Turtles
9. Groovin' - The Young Rascals
10. Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Frankie Valli
HOT 100 for 1967 - Click Here
billboard to 10 hits 1968
1. "Hey Jude" - The Beatles
2. "Love is Blue" - Paul Mauriat
3. "Honey" - Bobby Goldsboro
4. "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay"- Otis Redding
5. "People Got to Be Free" - The Rascals
6. "Sunshine of Your Love"- Cream
7. "This Guy's in Love With You" - Herb Alpert
8. "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" - Hugo Montenegro
9. "Mrs. Robinson" - Simon & Garfunkel
10. "Tighten Up" - Archie Bell & the Drells
HOT 100 for 1968 - Click Here
page banner of places i remember
What's interesting about getting older, is that you realize your relationship with the past is always negotiable. There is a lot of freedom in that, because you realize you can go back to what you did such a long time ago; you can talk with the dead or talk with your lost self and you can visit those places again, and understand it differently. That makes a huge difference.”
paraphrased from Jeanette Winterson - English author
The FIRST place immediately remembered!
photo of McDonalds from the 1950's
The photo IS NOT the McDonald's in Hall's Hill (Arlington on Lee Hwy) but one very much like it - image found on pinterest
The Back Story
As I was working on putting this mess together I wanted a picture of the McDonald's on Lee Highway in Arlington, (specifically the one in Hall's Hill across from the Firehouse)!  This was probably the first establishment I would patronize.  Only about 1/2 mile from the house it was way too convenient!  The sign was still in the "100's of thousands sold" although I don't remember specifically the number.
Hamburgers were 15 cents but I preferred cheeseburgers for a few pennies more.  There was no place to sit, no drive-thru but damn it was still good!
Click the link to open an old McDonald's menu | advertisement titiled "MCDONALD'S 1965 GOLDEN ARCHES - All American 3-COURSE Meal for 52¢" posted by Olivia Ashcraft on Pinterest.
Fire Station 8 - Hall's Hill - Lee Highway
image from arlington county va - fire station 8
Image from the Arlington County archives
I did find this photo of the firehouse in Hall's Hill, Station # 8 in which is appears amost exactly as I remember it. The apparatus you see inside is the exception to my memory as it is considerably newer.
I have not yet found anybody with pictures of the McDonalds (IF you have one PLEASE send it to me so I can post it here). In my search for photos, I continued to come across this guy who was a journalist at the Falls Church News Press (FCNP) and who carried the moniker "Our Man In Arlington".
After reading several FCNP articles, written by Charlie CLARK, about Arlington (all excellent) history and stories, it finally hit me.  I KNOW THIS GUY! We were in the same class at Williamsburg Junior High!
Our Man In Arlington
collage of images with charlie clark - our man in arlington
FCNP photo with image of  a book written by Charlie Clark AND his 1968 class photo colorized by me. Click on the image a full-size Charlie 1968!
Of course, I had to try to track down Charlie Clark in hopes he may have a photo stashed away in his, apparently life long, archives in his basement.  We had a brief but excellent conversation. We talked about the, now past, 50th Yorktown High School Reunion for the class of 1971 that had been postponed due to Covid.
I never made it to Yorktown because we moved on to Fairfax after 9th grade but the class list for this reunion was reminiscent of the entire 9th grade class at Williamsburg.  Surely this would have been a highlight to have attended but alas, it was not to be.
Charlie has written a few books, one of which is "LOST Arlington County".  (<-- Link to Charlie's book).

I found it at Amazon (of course) and bought a hardcover copy.  After all, Arlington was lost to me when we left in 1968.  If you are interested in Arlington and can get your hands on a copy of this book, I highly recommend it!
Another Place - Another Story
Typical Slot Car Track
slot car track black and white generic
photo source unkown
One of the more familiar places that we frequently visited was the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center. As an aside, I can only assume it has been "renamed" in light of the renaming of  "Lee Highway" to "Langston Boulevard".  Here we would shop, get gas, sometimes eat, and even play a bit.  I say "play" because you could find me at the "slot car track" quite often in it's heyday.  Drug Fair was there, along with Dart Drug, Safeway and A&P food stores.  The Sunoco station and Flying A were very close by as well.   This shopping center recalls another, hopefully once in a lifetime, memory.  It begins with somebody just a couple of blocks down the street from our house on George Mason Dr. He owned a beautiful, I believe 1963, orange Corvette Stingray fastback.  It was always clean and if my memory serves me, had a hot, custom, black and white tuck and roll interior.  I don't think I ever knew who the owner was BUT... it had always been assumed that he was a member of "The Avengers Motorcycle Club" which gets us to the story.  I will breifly digress... ever since I layed eyes on this car I dreamed of owning one.  It hasn't happened yet but if anyone is up for a donation, I'd gladly accept and be extremly happy to get one ... (have you ever seen a hog in slop?)
Love This Car!
image of 1963 corvette
photo of an orange corvette - not the one down the street
WASHINGTON STAR - HEADLINE - JUNE 15, 1966
Image of the front page header of the Washington Star June 15 1966
It was late on a Tuesday night, June 14, 1966 (I had to look that up because I didn't remember the date) when all hell broke loose.  I quickly ran out of the house and up the street (about 600 feet away) and ran into Bob LEHNER, (more about Bob later) a schoomate from Williamsburg who lived on N. Granada St., just two houses behind the A&P at Lee-Harrison shopping center and maybe 600 feet from the parking lot where all the commotion was taking place.  Who knew...  This was the night the Pagans from Maryland and the Avengers from Arlington "went to the mattresses".  The war was on and 100 shots were fired.  Amazingly nobody got hurt! thankfully we were behind the buildings where all the action was taking place.
The Arlington Historical Society has a video on YouTube with Charlie Clark hosting a talk about this event.  Both Charlie and I were at the end of our 7th grade year at Williamsburg Jr. High.  The video is about an hour long with the first half devoted to the shootout while the second to the story of George Lincoln Rockwell, the leader of the American Nazi Party headquartered in Arlington. Those interested in Arlington would like this presentation I'm sure.
While living there, along with friends, I would ride my bike to the entrance to one of the headquarters houses that sat up a winding road and wonder what goes on there.  Personally, I didn't want to stop to find out.  I experienced a bit of fear as to what could happen at a place like this, especially as it concerned ME!  As it turned out, in a somewhat unlikely turn of events, George Lincoln Rockwell was "assasinated" by one of his own group members on Aug 25th 1967.    All of this and more in Charlie Clarks discussion.
collage of logos from arlington va businesses
"Oh the places you'll go says Dr. Seuss"!  And, it looks like I have been to one hell of a lot of places in Arlington in just 5 short years!  Restaurants, stores, streets, parks, trails, paths, even bus stops! "Oh Too Many Places" (banner above) pays homage to just a handful, simply because there's just not enough room to list every single place I've been in Arlington on this page.  Heck I'm not even 18 years old yet!!!  I have, however, hand picked several to add just because they are so permanently etched in my mind. 
In the category of "Too Many Places" I'll start with Our Front Yard on George Mason Drive!  Certainly this deserves some recognition as a "place", along with many other front yards and front doors around town!  It was, after all, the ONLY "place" you could get Charles Chips!  They had to be delivered to your door (or yard in this case).  Surely everyone around back then remembers Charles Chips in a can - I believe they may very well be the tastiest potato chip in the land!  And they had great cookies too!!  Were pretzels any good?? I've never tried them so I really don't know.
Charles Chips delivery image with cans
I photoshoped the image above from a photos found online.  I do not know who to credit the photos to, because each can be found in so many places, Flikr, Pinterest, Facebook, etc., so I just made my own!
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Rita's Place (the place) as well as Rita (the person). Rita, whose last name I have forgotten, once dated my brother.  She lived along the route to school and I would stop by on the way home every now and then (meaning, when I walked and didn't take the bus).  Once old enough, I would visit her place, sip on a beer and have a Gyro (one of the best ever), and simply talk.  Rita was once of those people who loved everyone and everyone loved her.  I'll always remember her and the gyros too!
collage photoshopped image of what used to be Ritas Place in Arlington, VA
Photoshoped image above - google maps background image, Doine Chicacu and Allyson Jones, problaby toasting Rita with a beer from the W&L 1980 Yearbook.  Door, sign and crying kid added by me.
As an aside, from payphone-project.com, I found the pay phone out front may be gone but the phone number for that phone (703) 527-9746, has been preserved for posterity.
TOPS DRIVE-INN
photo of Tops Drive-Inn on Lee Highway in Arlington
Tops Drive-Inn, later Ginos & KFC and then Roy Rogers - right up the street across from the 7-11.  Once upon a time, the place to be if you were an "Avenger"!

See "Another Place | Another Story" above.

(The B&W photo from The Fairfax County Public Library Photographic Archive.  The color image at wikimapia.)
THE HECHT COMPANY | PARKINGTON
photo of parkington shopping center
Shopping for clothes for school, among other things, took place in several places.  Parkington, "The Hecht Company" or "Kann's" not far away, or even 7-Corners.
BOB PECK CHEVROLET
popular image of Bob Peck Chevrolet in Arlington, VA
Directly across from Parkington was Bob Peck Chevrolet.  Seems like it was always there.  Years later, in the mid-1980's it was the place of choice to purchase a brand new Chevy S-10 pickup truck.
Bob Peck photo from the Alden Jewel Collection on Flickr -  aldenjewell@ya...o.com
CHICKEN DELIGHT - Don't Cook Tonight!
composite image of chicken delight
Chicken Delight Image of my own concoction - various sources
GIFFORD'S ICE CREAM
Giffords was an institution while we were in Arlington.  Even if it was, as some claim, just basic ice cream, it was always good. A story of Gifford's can be found HERE.
photo of the giffords ice cream store on lee highway in Arlington, VA
Old photo of Giffords which i believe is actually from the Gifford family and can be found in multiple places online.
This almost rounds out many of the places I once knew.  There are so many more places, too many to list!  I amaze myself sometimes with what I actually DO remember.  It was a good 5 years in Arlington, in spite of all of the things that seemed to be going in the wrong direction in the world.  Some of the top news events of the Junior High School Years are next.
Lawrence "Bullfrog" Hooper
American musician and vocalist best known from The Lawrence Welk Show as a featured singer and pianist in Welk's orchestra.  He joined the Welk band in 1948 when they were doing evening performances at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. His popularity was largely due to his basso profundo voice and his sense of humor.
July 22, 1917 ~ June 10, 1983
Image from Lawrence Welk Larry Hooper
Myron Floren
Best known as the accordionist on The Lawrence Welk Show between 1950 and 1980. Floren had regular appearances on the show.  Floren functioned as Welk's principal assistant and second-in-command. Prior to his death, he hosted some of the repeats of The Lawrence Welk Show on PBS.
November 5, 1919 – July 23, 2005
Myron Floren on YouTube - Click To View
Click on the image to open the YouTube video.
Click the Red 'X' to Close
header for top stories of 1966
3 GOOD YEARS AND THEN ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE!
1965
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Link to "Timelines of History" for the Year 1965
1966
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Link to "Timelines of History" for the Year 1966
1967
mouse over to stop scrolling
Link to "Timelines of History" for the Year 1967
collage of images representing the Newark riots of 1967
Image from NJ.com - 50 years ago Newark burned - Click to Visit
I took a few pictures during the daylight hours. I've posted my  photos to the Arlington Gallery on this site.
1967 Family Vacation Turns Into Hell Upon Return!
8th grade ended in June of 1967 and my grandparents, Larry and Val MCKENNA, drove down from NJ to pick me up for a short vacation at Virginia Beach.  I would go back to Newark with them to spend a few weeks at their apartment on the 19th floor of the Colonnade Apartments, 25 Clifton Avenue in Newark.
At the Newark City limits, we were stopped by a National Guard jeep with MP's on board (and a large gun mounted to the back) whereupon our car was escorted to the front door of the apartment building.  My grandmother and I (I was 13 years old) were let out of the car and then, accompanied by an armed soldier, escorted to the apartment on the 19th floor.  My grandfather would be escorted to the building parking lot and then walked back to the apartment with an armed escort.
Shortly after our return to the aparment, a state trooper, taking a dip in the public pool next door to cool off, was shot by (we always believed) a sniper.  We all sat at the window and watched as the city burned.  In my mind, I can still see the fires at night and the smoke rising above during the day .
We DID NOT leave the apartment until the "all clear" signal was received.
July, 12-17, 1967
The Final Numbers
The Newark riots began on July 12 when a black cab driver was beaten by two white police officers for a minor traffic offense. The five days of rioting and looting that followed concluded with the following:
  • 26 people died during the riot
  • More than 700 people were injured
  • The city suffered $10 million in damage
  • 1,465 people were arrested
  • 7,917 law enforcement officers were deployed
  • More than 12,000 shots were fired
banner image for the news of the year 1968
1968 was the year that the world seemed to be falling apart!  I, along with many others, would become a graduate of the 9th grade class of Williamsburg Jr. High School.  The LACHANCE family would be upended this year as well. Paul, my brother, would receive his letter “Greetings from the President” notifying him of unsolicited induction into the military by way of the draft; our family would, once again, pack up our belongings and move; the rent at the house had increased to the point where mom could no longer afford to stay; our grandmother, May Eshleman BUSSELL, was in declining health; and the most traumatic incident of my life, to this point in time, would take place. (more on this at the end of this chapter).
There was a huge amount of “bad news” this year, some I highlight below.  For a complete list of news of the year, 1968, see this link to “Timelines of History” for the Year 1968.
Hover over the image for more on the story and links to outside sites for more information.
USS Pueblo Captured | JAN 23, 1968<p>
USS Pueblo Captured | JAN 23, 1968

On January 23, 1968, North Korea captured the USS Pueblo, an unarmed US Navy intelligence vessel, in international waters. The North Koreans held the 83-man crew hostage for 11 months. The crew was released in December 23, 1968. The Pueblo remains moored on the Taedong River in Pyongyang, part of North Korea's Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum.


More information at History.com
January 23, 1968
Tet Offensive | JAN 30-31, 1968<p>
Tet Offensive | JAN 30-31, 1968

On January 30, 1968, during the lunar new year (or “Tet”) holiday, North Vietnamese and communist Viet Cong forces launched a coordinated series of attacks on more than 100 cities and outposts in South Vietnam. The U.S. and South Vietnamese militaries sustained heavy losses before finally repelling the communist assault.
In the end, both sides had endured losses, and both sides claimed victory.


More information at History.com
January 30-31, 1968
My Lai Massacre | MAR 16, 1968<p>
My Lai Massacre | MAR 16, 1968

On the heels of Tet and the execution of a Viet Cong prisoner by Nguyen Ngoc Loan, chief of the South Vietnamese National Police comes a massacre led by Lt. William Calley. More than 500 people were slaughtered including young girls and women raped before being killed. Calley was found guilty of personally murdering 22 civilians and sentenced to life in prison. There is nothing GOOD about war!


More information at History.com
March 16, 1968
LBJ Won't Run | MAR 31, 1968<p>
LBJ Won't Run | MAR 31, 1968

Lyndon B. Johnson appeared on live national television and announced that he was partially halting the U.S. bombing of Vietnam.

He then says that he had decided not to seek his party’s nomination for president with the statement; “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”


More information at History.com
March 31, 1968
MLK Assassinated | APR 4, 1968<p>
MLK Assassinated | APR 4, 1968

Thursday at 6:05 p.m., Martin Luther King Jr., was standing on the second-floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where he and his associates were staying, when a sniper’s bullet struck him in the neck.
He was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later, at the age of 39.


More information at History.com
April 4, 1968
Kennedy Assassinated | JUN 5, 1968<p>
Kennedy Assassinated | JUN 5, 1968

Robert F. Kennedy was shot by Sirhan Sirhan shortly after midnight at the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, after addressing his campaign supporters. He was exiting through a kitchen hallway when multiple shots were fired.
Kennedy died at Good Samaritan Hospital nearly 26 hours later at 1:44 a.m. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery near his brother John F. Kennedy's grave.


More information at History.com
June 5, 1968
Nixon Wins Election | NOV 5, 1968<p>
Nixon Wins Election | NOV 5, 1968

Richard Nixon wins the Electoral College, dominating several regions in the Western United States, Midwest, Upland South, and portions of the Northeast, while winning the popular vote by a relatively small 511,944 votes.
Nixon defeated Democrat Hubert H. Humphrey and American Independent Party nominee, former Alabama governor George Wallace to be elected President of the United States.


More information at History.com
November 5, 1968
Good News | DEC 21-27, 1968<p>
Good News | DEC 21-27, 1968

Apollo 8 was the first crewed spacecraft to leave low Earth orbit and the first human spaceflight to reach the Moon. They orbited the Moon ten times without landing, and then departed safely back to Earth.
The three astronauts—Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders—were the first humans to personally witness and photograph the far side of the Moon and an Earthrise.


More information at nasa.gov
December 21-27, 1968
image of poster for graduation from 9th grade
I remade "The Graduate" movie poster in my own image
Time to Graduate and Move On
Our time in Arlington is drawing to a close.  In December 1967, the movie "The Graduate" was released.  This just 6 short months before my 9th grade graduation.  Similar to me in one way but certainly not in others. 
In the movie, Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) has just finished college and, back at his parents' house, he's trying to avoid the one question everyone keeps asking: What does he want to do with his life?   I just finished 9th grade and haven't left my moms' house but the question was the similar.  Even my aunt, Cecile BUSSELL (RIDGELY | MASON) was asking..."when are you gonna get married?"
In the movie, an "unexpected diversion" crops up when he is seduced by Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), a bored housewife and friend of his parents. But what begins as a fun tryst turns complicated when Benjamin falls for the one woman Mrs. Robinson demanded he stay away from, her daughter, Elaine (Katharine Ross).
In my "real life", I had never encountered any "unexpected diversions", and didn't even dream of being seduced by anybody's mother, although I did have some pretty tempting thoughts of my own in mind!  And, in a few short years, my own personal "unexpected diversion" would become my reality.
I just figured that one day I'd figure it all out and know who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life.
For the moment however, Life Is Good!
The Junior High School Prom
Did we have an actual graduation ceremony?  Honestly can’t tell you because, as usual, I can’t remember. I would think we must have had one, right?  We must have had a prom as well because I have photos to prove it but alas, I don’t remember going to that either.  I did, however, have a date with Pam PHILLIPS, one of the handful girls in school that I thought was truly a good person.  We doubled with Bruce COX and Karen DROLLER.  I do remember the “after prom” dinner event. (see next section)
larry lachance - pam phillips - bruce cox - karen droller
Larry, Pam Phillips, Bruce Cox, Karen Droller - 1968 Prom
(click for full-size)

The Prom Dinner and The Sirloin and Saddle at the Fairfied Inn

The colors above come from the original drapes hung at the Marriott Key Bridge "Motor Hotel" before the first tower was erected
Marriot Motor Hotel - Key Bridge - Rosslyn, VA
and Fairfield Inn | Sirloin & Saddle Restaurant
While I don't remember much, I know that we (Larry, Pam, Bruce, Karen) all had dinner at the Sirloin & Saddle at the Marriott Key Bridge.  Mom, who was working at the hotel at the time, made the arrangements for us.  I can't tell you what we ate and I'm fairly certain we didn't have anything "alcohol" to drink <smirk>.  I do, however, remember the hotel!  I would think as often as I visited, I certainly SHOULD remember it.
Image of the Fairfield Inn and Sirloin and Saddle Restaurant Rosslyn VA
The Key Bridge Marriott, the second Marriott hotel ever built, opened in Rosslyn in 1959.  It looked pretty much as it does in the photo above.  The rest of the photo is compiled images I found online about the hotel.  The Sirloin and Saddle image if from one of the Marriott Annual reports from back in the day.
Our dinner was sometime around June 1968 (of course this was graduation month) and two years later, our restaurant (not to mention a landmark of the time) was gone forever!
ARLINGTON - “On July 14, 1970, at 9 p.m., the doors to the orange roofed Fairfield Inn of the Key Bridge Marriott closed and a new Fairfield Inn promptly and simultaneously opened on the lobby level of the Key Bridge Marriott’s Tower addition.” ( source: Virginia Chronicle )
The original “motor hotel” was partially demolished and a, planned, new 14-story “tower” later known as the “Capital Tower” was under construction the year after our graduation in June of 1969.  As built, it ended up being just 12-stories.
Memories and Mementos
Mom was still working at the property and while I don't know who did this, somebody at the hotel took the wine list from the Sirloin & Saddle and permanently mounted it to a "slice" of wood.
photo of the wine menu from the sirloin and saddle restaurant
(click for full-size)
I know it was in our kitchen when I was living with mom in Fairfax and at some point, I believe in the mid-80's, she asked me if I wanted it.  Of course I did!! 
It's a work of art that hangs in my own kitchen to this day!
The Drapery Tie, Vintage 1969
composite image of tie made of draperies and Marriott color scheme of the 1900s
The two photos of the Marriott hotel, NOT Key Bridge, are from one of the Marriott Corporation Annual Reports.  Decorations were basically the same throughout the chain and if you look closely at the drapes as well as on the bedspreads in the rooms photos, you can see the color scheme.
Somebody made ties out of the old drapes that used to hang in the rooms at the old motor hotel.  I was gifted a tie (above) and, quite incredibly, I still have it, now 52 years later and it remains in great shape! I even wear it for fun every once in a while!
Arlington Ends with Real Life Heartache
Our time in Arlington is over, it's time to move on. My brother Paul would be married to Kathy EISENBRAUN (1948-2020) in July, I would be in New Jersey during July and August and then by September of 1968, Paul would be away in the Army and mom and I would be in Fairfax County, living in a 2-bedroom apartment at Bedford Village on Gallows Road and I would begin my high school years at Oakton High School in Vienna, VA.
I was aware of our pending relocation in the early part of the year.  This is evidenced by what others wrote in my 1968 Jr. High yearbook where some were wishing me well in our new home in Fairfax.  BUT, there is one more task to complete before we could move; one that brings back feelings of guilt and sadness to this day!  
What began in Oakland with happiness and exhilaration comes to an end here with heartbreak, sorrow and guilt!  It was a given that we had to move out of our house and we had to find someplace less expensive.  After all, a single mom with an ailing mother and a pay scale below any man in the same capacity must have had a difficult time making ends meet.  To find a place that would accept animals was, apparently, very difficult and our move meant Trixie, the dog I loved, had to go; the only question was where would she go.  I was the one tasked with "finding a home" for a pet I wanted desperately to keep. Alas, this was not to be.
Bob LEHNER, lived up the street and was classmate. His dad was either the vet or otherwise associated with Falls Church Animal Hospital, not all that far from home.  When all hope was gone of ever finding somebody who would rescue my 7-year-old dog, I was the one who had to get a taxi cab and ride with the dog to turn her over to the vet...to be put to sleep.  She wasn't sick!  We had no choice I was told!  I regret this decision to this day and it pains me to think that I actually did what I did.  There had to be another way but I was unable to find it ... Trixie was the first dog in my life and she was one of the very few "constants" at this time in my life, in fact, maybe the ONLY constant.  I was devastated!
picture of my dog Trixie in December 1967
Trixie - last Christmas together - December 1967
And Thus - Arlington is Behind us!
Yorktown High School | Class of 1971
IF WE HAD STAYED in Arlington, I would have attended Yorktown High School. In June 2022 (a year late) Yorktown held the Class of 1971 50th Reunion.  The list of attendees may well have been the Williamsburg 9th Grade Class of '68.  I wish I could have attended.

Information about this reunion, with photos, as well as upcoming reunions can be found at YHS 1971 Reunions.  Check it out.
We Did NOT Stay So - Time To Move On
We moved to Fairfax County, about 7 miles away from our home in Arlington.  From a house to a 2-bedroom, garden, apartment in a development known then as:
Bedford Village
A simple drive out Lee Highway (Rt. 29/211) to Gallows Rd., hang a left, cross over Arlington Blvd. (Rt. 50) and arrive.

Of course I have no memory of this move either!
Image of Bedford Village Clubhouse and Leasing Office
Bedford Village | Clubhouse, Leasing Office
As A Conclusion To The Arlington Years - Just An Observation
I couldn't help but notice fast changing Arlington in July 2021 with the announcement of the renaming of "Lee Highway" to "Langston Blvd".  It seems this is "the way of the world" today! The first thing that comes to mind is from the book "1984" by George Orwell.  Then I find, in 2022, an article about Hong Kong.  I continue to both dislike what is happening in the world and distrust the future.  You be the judge of what's to come. 
FROM 1984: “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”  ― George Orwell, 1984
BEIJING – Hong Kong (2022) is preparing to introduce new middle school textbooks that will deny the Chinese territory was ever a British colony. China's Communist rulers say the semi-autonomous city and the nearby former Portuguese colony of Macao were merely occupied by foreign powers and that China never relinquished sovereignty over them.
“The Communist Party has a monopoly of the truth and of history in China,” said Steve Tsang, a Chinese politics specialist at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. “In the Xi approach to history, facts are merely incidental. Only interpretation matters. And only one interpretation is allowed.”
George Lincoln Rockwell
Arlington was once home to the headquarters of the American Nazi Party and its founder and leader, George Lincoln Rockwell until he was assassinated at Dominion Hills Shopping Center in 1967. He had gone to the laundromat to wash his clothes.
March 9, 1918 – August 25, 1967
The shooter was one of  his own.  His influence has, even today in 2022 and most unfortunately, only increased since his death.
More Photos and Postcards
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