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Old 02-15-2008, 03:50 PM
 
4 posts, read 17,113 times
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Default Old time memories

My Dad keeps reminding me of some of the old-old memories (i.e. 1940's, 50's, and 60's). Here are some of the things he's told me about over the years:

- his Mom used to warn him about riding his bike around the area where the Renton Cinema is now. There were entrances to the various coal mines and a lot of them were smoltering from fires that had not gone out yet.

- delivering parts and tanks (military) from Paccar to the 'Dunlap Canyon', which is the area on Cemetary Road where the dump is now. I guess they used to test tanks in the sand pits below the dump where a bunch of new houses were recently built.

- An old dairy farmer (I forget the name) who would herd the last of his cows through the area that is now an intersection where Rainier Ave and Hwy 167 are. This guy would then head directly to the local bar and get fairly plastered.

- The tiny overpass behind the small shopping center on Rainier Ave where Baskin n Robins currently is. The overpass is just big enough for one car. The story is that a farmer (Anderson?) owned ALL of that land and they wanted to put a railroad through his property. He gave permission as long as there was a place where at least 3 cows could pass through at the same time. I think that overpass was recently removed though.

- one of his buddy's (now passed away) had a picture of himself at age 7 wearing overalls, with a cigarette in his mouth, standing in what is now downtown Renton. The area was all farmland at the time. Pretty cool picture to see. Boeing, and now the new shopping center sit in that same area.

- the old jail used to be on Wells Ave. My aunt had a beauty shop in that building for about 40 years before retiring. He even showed me the spot where he was locked up once.

- across the street on Wells Ave, there was a drug store and in the 40's and 50's, they served soft ice cream and had pictures behind the counter of all the local kids who were in the war (WW II). I think that place closed in the mid 70's because I can remember it to some degree.

- I'll stop at this point. Sorry for rambling...
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:39 PM
 
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That's not rambling, it's good stuff. Thanks for posting.
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:01 AM
 
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Not having grown up here, I hadn't known until recently about all the Sherman tanks that Paccar produced in Renton way back when. Some of the old industries, like coal, have disappeared, but Paccar's Kenworth truck plant and of course the Boeing factory certainly still provide a lot of high quality, blue collar jobs for Renton and the surrounding area.
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:37 PM
 
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Default Renton 1985

I graduated from Hazen High School in 1985. Hazen is in the Renton Highlands. "The Highlands" is the common vernacular.

Fri and Sat nights were mostly spent in Renton proper ("downtown" if there were one) - and the "loop" was definitely thriving. I don't recall any cops following us but there were probably signs by then, which we ignored.

By the mid-80's teen dance clubs were popping up. "Encore" is the one I remember being in Renton. We spent a lot of friday and saturday nights there.

We never went into Seattle. Going into Seattle was a Big Deal. We went maybe twice - for specific reasons - like prom night dinner or something.

I remember the drive-in movie theater in Kent. We went there in the summers a lot.

The McDonald's in the Highlands was a popular Hazen hang out, as was the nearby Burger King.

"Devil's Elbow" is another road I remember. I think I heard it's long since been closed now.

Football games at Renton stadium are still fond memories. I think the poplar trees that surround it are still there, standing tall in the valley that is "downtown" Renton and not far from Boeing.

Most Renton teenagers learned to drive at some point in the Boeing parking lots.

Thanks for providing a reason to stroll down memory lane - good luck with your book!
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:45 PM
 
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Clint Eastwood lived in Renton as a young man before he became famous and tended bar at the Melrose Tavern, now an upscale steakhouse. At one point the Melrose was owned by Boone Kirkman, who was a top heavyweight boxing contender( fought Muhammad Ali and lost).
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Old 03-01-2008, 11:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ira500 View Post
Clint Eastwood lived in Renton as a young man before he became famous and tended bar at the Melrose Tavern, now an upscale steakhouse. At one point the Melrose was owned by Boone Kirkman, who was a top heavyweight boxing contender( fought Muhammad Ali and lost).
That's cool. I didn't realize Melrose has been around that long.
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Old 03-01-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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That's interesting. Other longtime Renton residents who I work with have told me the same thing.

Regarding the Melrose, the old picture on the place's site shows that it once had three stories:

Home

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetpennyp View Post
We never went into Seattle. Going into Seattle was a Big Deal. We went maybe twice - for specific reasons - like prom night dinner or something.
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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The Melrose was an old rough and tumble bar from the days Renton was a coal town.
Not quite as old is McLendon's Hardware, which is now in the old K-Mart store.
I used to love going across the street from the old McLendon's on 2nd into the Lande Feed sore, which supplied all the feed for Longacres Racetrack...had those old creeky wooden floors.
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:18 PM
 
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Actually, I don't think Boone Kirkman ever faught Muhamed Ali. According to my source (my Dad). I double checked and it looks like Boone actually faught Ken Norton on June 25, 1974 at the Colliseum (Boone Kirkman). There's a picture of him on the cover of a boxing magazine here (Boone Kirkman - Boxrec Boxing Encyclopaedia).

As far as Clint Eastwood, I don't think he ever tended bar at the Melrose. He did, however, work as a lifeguard at Kennydale Beach for a short time. I actually confirmed this in a book once but I don't recall the name of the book.

Side note: When I was asking my Dad about these two things, he gave me some extra info on the history of the Melrose. It used to be two stories tall and was owned by Jerome Fall's grandfather (of Fall's Funeral Home). Apparently the upper floor was used as a house of ilrepute (not sure of how to spell that but basically there were 'working women' upstairs). I guess it burned down at some point (possibly in the early 1940's). Also, McClendon's Hardware used to be located across the street from there.
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Old 03-16-2008, 09:25 PM
 
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I stand corrected: Kirkman didn't fight Ali, but he did fight Ken Norton and Jimmy Ellis and George Foreman, all big names. My info on Clint Eastwood working at the Melrose came from a bartender there a couple of years ago: I just took him for his word.
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