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Old 04-12-2010, 09:43 AM
 
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Just reminising on the old Nashville, old for me is the early 80's and 90's, but have heard stories of my parents from the 60's 70's and grandparents earlier than that. Though we are a growing city, with lots of newcomers from other areas of the country, which is a good thing, however, Nashville is just loosing its flavor, at least for the youth, seems like not as much to do now and all you hear about is crime amongt youth, gangs, or low test scores in the schools, rezoning etc.
What happen to the fun days of being a youth in Nashville?
Places like Opryland them park, Summer Lights downtown, Centennial Park paddle boat rides.
Skating Rinks at Charlotte, Hickory Hollow, Donelson, Harding Pl., now only one left in Davidson county and thats Rivegate Skate Center, heard there were even others.
Dancing in the District
Thursday Night Movie in the Centennial Park
Do people still go to the Old Hickory Dam Beach area or the Anderson Rd. Pennisula Beach on Priest Lake Pennisula?
Even had more malls that people actually shopped at, remember Harding Mall?
Donelson Plaza? Is Laser Quest still open?
Highschools were "cool", riveries were fierce- Games to be at were Maplewood vs. Whites Creek, McGavock vs. Overton, Overton vs. Antioch, Hillsboro vs. Hillwood, and before my time Cameron High vs. Pearl High, and many more city school rilveries that don't exist today..., and the game were fun..
Even Jr. High/Middle School riveries existed, Cameron Middle vs. Apollo, or Ewing Park vs. Heighland Heights, or Dupont Tyler vs. Two Rivers, just to name a few..
I was in the marching band in high school and during my day, and before my time Nashville was trully the Music City, almost every school had a pretty large marching band, especially McGavock and Overton bands, now every schools band is small, less than 60, with the excpetion of McGavock, who is still much smaller than previous decades..
Why does Nashville seem to be getting boring? Or is it just me? Even the State Fair is relocating.
Original Nashvillans please commint on this and post your memories of being a youth in Nashvile.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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Remember the Battle of the Halftimers that were just as popular as the football and basketball games held Saturdays during basketball season? McGavock, Glencliff, Whites Creek, Pearl Cohn and I think Riverdale in Murfreesboro, all hosted contest, other schools may have as well, but most schools had competing teams, and MTSU used to have like a city championship contest.
Remember the old/original farmers market? My parents used to go all the time and I hated it, though it was so dirty, but it used to be full of people and had everything from food to clothing to plants.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:49 PM
 
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I sometimes feel the same way, but I believe it's more a reflection of my age now (more responsibility ) and the fact that Nashville is a much bigger place now. Lots of things have changed for the better, but I do reminisce.

I can tell you it was so easy to get a drink at the bars in most restaurants in town. I was only 16 in 1980, and my date was 15! We were obviously dressed for a high school dance, and our hostess at a prominent Green Hills restaurant offered us something from the bar before we were even seated. Wow! Thankfully, it's not as easy today. There was the Southern Aire on Church which would cash your checks, but they better not bounce or else you'd hear from Mrs. Mize (who had her bodyguards working the front).

Opryland was a fun place to work, and thousands of kids did (including yours truly) thought of it as a great way to earn money and make friends. I even worked with some kids who were from Georgia (went to college in GA) and were living in Nashville for the summer just to work at O'land.

I remember how beautiful the Tennessee Theatre was... our school had a dance there once. The marquee lights were brilliant on that late winter evening with no cars on Church Street (mostly because of Fulton's folly... the zigzagging of the street with paving stones). There were lots of beautiful old midrise buildings downtown that are not there anymore... most of them were shabby looking by the late 70s. Such a shame that they could not have lasted until the big renovation wave of the 90s.

There was a buzz about the city as it started to grow in the early 80s. I cannot draw any direct link to the event, but some people believe the city started to boom when the old guard was ousted from the ownership of Nashville's largest insurance company National Life, which also owned WSM and the Grand Old Opry. Soon after that, the NLT real estate holdings were broken up, American General (the new owner) brought in their new management from Houston, Gaylord bought the Opry and O'land (of course that ultimately led to the closing of O'land), WSM was sold to George Gillette, who moved his company to Nashville from Wisconsin. Hmmm, lots of office buildings were proposed, and many were actually built. About five years later, American Airlines announced that BNA would be their new hub. Of course, the company mismanaged the whole operation (with duplicate services in relatively nearby Raleigh), and folded their hub operations at BNA nine years later.

Let's see, there were tons of locally owned stores. People believed that the hometown stores (Cain Sloan and Castner Knott) kept out better, higher-end department stores. I remember the three-laning of I-65 in the early 80s... before that, traffic was worse at rush hour than it's ever been (before or since). Nowadays, it seems that the traffic is always heavy but not like back then when almost everything flowed into and out of downtown at rush hour.

I remember there was an old path for an abandoned railroad that ran where I-440 is now. We used to walk that whole area... and go up to Love Circle late on Friday nights to smoke and chat with a view of Nashville's little skyline. Nashville was truly a big "small town"... and it was easy for a 16 year old to get around. I remember attempting to drive the full perimeter of Old Hickory Blvd. one night... and there was construction in several places where they were widening it from two lanes. Briley Pkwy was not connected from Gallatin Rd. to I-65 until the late 70s. I remember a drive-in movie at Dickerson Rd. and one on Gallatin Rd., in front of the Zayre center. I remember the McDonalds around town that still had the golden arches coming out of the building (and no place to sit inside) I bet I can still remember their locations (there was one on Gallatin Rd. across from St. Joseph School, and one on Hillsboro Rd in Green Hills. I remember when Green Hills Mall was little more than an enclosed strip shopping center. It was very small. Harding Mall was bigger... and almost everyone shopped at 100 Oaks. I remember the old Dairy King that sat on Murphy Rd. in Sylvan Park and Slaton's Market. I remember the old Knights of Columbus swimming pools behind St. Thomas hospital and near the airport where planes flew very low overhead. There was also a restaurant with a World War II theme (101st Airborne) near the airport, and it had headsets you could use to hear the air traffic control communications from BNA.

I remember REM playing the War Memorial Auditorium and just about every big band (Tull, Journey, Genesis, etc.) playing Municipal. That was a poor place (accoustically), but it was nice to be so close to the stage.

I remember lots of dives sprinkled all around town from West End to Gallatin Pike. There was the old cinder block Gerst House on Woodland. My favorite was $3 pitchers at West End sandwich shop... we were 17. There was a "hot spot" called Spats on 21st Ave. near Vandy Medical Center. And there was a place called Mardi Gras in the warehouses along the river... that had the strangest variation on the Long Island ice tea that would knock you flat on your backside after only one. I also remember a place in a metal roof building on the river in the mid-80s, but I forgot the name of that place (anyone remember?). I only went there once, but I remember that it had a nice view of the downtown skyline. I remember a local burger chain that was a rip-off of Wendy's (new in the 70s!). It was called Judy's, and the owners lost a copyright lawsuit. There was also a place called Burger Queen, but I never ate there. Before that, there was a chain with a canopied car-hop service in the rear. It was called Burger Boy. Then there was Minnie Pearl Chicken... Eddie Arnolds... Lums (there was one at the corner of 21st and Grand, where the Wendy's came in later. There was an IHOP at the opposite corner. There was a Roy Rogers at the corner of 21st and West End (opposite Vandy). I remember the old Governors mansion that sat on the opposite corner... it was demolished in the late 70s to build a Popeyes (love their chicken though). There was also a great spanish restaurant (Vizcaya) that was in the 1701 building on West End. TGI Friday's on Church St. was the second one opened by the chain (after the original in NYC, I think). It was outrageous looking, even by 1970s standards. Elliston Place was THE PLACE to get anything that you couldn't get in any other store in town... and the Record Shop at the corner of 22nd and Church (Elliston Place) across from Baptist Hospital had everything! Also, I still miss Houstons... and cannot believe Nashville does not have one now (the first one ever was in Nashville).

It seemed that all the kids back then knew just about all the kids from our same grade who went to other schools, either through churches or athletics competition or working at Opryland. We were still small enough of a city where that was possible. We had fraternities and sororities that were associated with the different high schools. Football games of course were as big as (if not bigger than) they are now.

Back then, Franklin and Hendersonville were so far out. When you reached the bend in I-65 before Concord Rd. you were advised to have a meal packed and overnight clothes (LOL). You couldn't even get to Hendersonville without getting off I-65 at Rivergate and travelling up congested Gallatin Pike for 10 more miles. I even remember when Madison Square SC was pretty much all that there was on the north side; and when Rivergate Mall under construction in 1971. I went to Hickory Hollow on its opening day in 1979. We thought it was amazing, and this is coming from a kid who hated shopping (HH had a dual-screen theatre and an arcade IN IT!).

Finally, it seemed that back then we saw a lot more country music stars out in the public. I remember seeing Minnie Pearl at Chester's. She was getting her hair done in the basement hair salon... and she was using the pay-phones at the bottom of the stairs with her hair in rollers and some weird looking net. I remember seeing Johnny Cash many times (at stores, in traffic, even church). I even saw George Jones kicking back in the backseat of black town car in front of Super D's. So many others. I even was friends with many of their children... and dated a certain "Streaker" singers daughter.

I remember local treats on TV like Sir Cecil Creep and late-night Twilight Zone reruns during the summer... Bozo the clown with the local host in the local franchise of that nationally known character... and (here's an oldie) Space Clown. Of course, there were the local wrestling "stars", which everyone has a favorite in. Mine was Tojo Yamamoto.

Last edited by shinestx; 04-12-2010 at 09:40 PM..
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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I remember the Caster Knotts being downtown as well as short lived Church Street Center mall downtown. I remember when Murfreesboro Rd. was 2 lanes and anything past the airport was the country, literally, Bell Rd. was 2 lanes by Hickoy Hollow and you passed by farms, remember when they widened it. I remeber when they put Briley Parkway through the Parkwood neighborhood connecting I-65 to 1-24. I remember when they widened it to 5 lanes where Opry Mills is, took forever to do, (what a waist of all those lanes considering you can only go 55), I took drivers ed. when they were doing the construction and it was so scary driving next to those concrete contructon barierrs.
I remember the roller coaster at the Fair Ground.
I remember people shopping at 100 Oaks and Harding Mall, even Donelson Plaza, all being nice malls, Used to love the Caster Knotts at Donelson plaza, as a young child in the early 80's I used to think it was so "nice" with the escalatrors as soon as you walked in.
I also remember the old buildings that linned the river front down town, and the old Shelby St. Bridge. (That scene coming in to the city was used on some TV show, but I can't remember the name of it, does anyone remember that show?)
I remember the show He Haw, even though I though it was so sterotypical of Nashvillians and ignorant, LOL.
I remember the awful smell as you traveled north on what used to be called I-265, on the North loop as you passed the sewer plant, so glad they fixed that so that it didnt' smell so bad as you passed, OMG, it was terrible.
I remember when you could see Mt. Juliet in the distance from Antioch and all you would see was like 4 lights they had from the gass stations off the interstate, now from any high point in Antioch, near Mboro rd, north you can see the Mega Growth of Mt. Juliet, mall, etc. Tons of lights., vs versus looking South West from Providence Mall area towards Antioch, used to see a few lights, now tons.
Didn't downtown Nashville used to have trolleys going arouind? Does it still? I don't go down there much but I think I remember it having trolleys and being cool to ride.
I remember when many went to like 4 or 5 schools before graduating due to grade configeration of the schools, some went to schools K-4, 5-6, 7-8, then 9-12, while others were zoned to, schools that were K,5-6, 1-6, 7-8, 9-12, or K-3, 3-6, 7-8, 9-12, and before my time, K-6, 7-8, 9, then 10-12. Most are now simply K-4, 5-8, 9-12.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:49 PM
 
Location: East Nashville, 37206
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I wasn't born until '84 but I am SO enjoying this thread! I hope others can contribute their trips down memory lane about Nashville.

Courtney
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:55 PM
 
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Briley Pkwy was awful. I knew a guy who died in a car crash in that construction mess on Briley. It was a single car crash... right into the new retaining wal. Pretty sure it was in the late 80s. The bend at Two Rivers was pretty bad too.

I escaped much of the school confusion, but I know what you're talking about. It seemed to happen after my time... and besides, after my parents' divorce, I lived with my mom in Hendersonville... and my dad was in West Nashville (hence, my memories of "both worlds").

I think the streetcars went out in the early 40s... but there were some trolley-buses that circulated downtown. I think one or two still roam the streets.

Also, do you guys remember the Stockyards restaurant... it had a very dark bar in the basement... where we used to go as a group of highschoolers and listen to unknown bands. Is Stockyards still there? Plus, there was Cantrell's which was in the old "Burger Boy" restaurant at 18th and Broadway. That's where I heard REM for the first time... and of course, the White Animals.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:27 PM
 
815 posts, read 2,017,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shinestx View Post
Briley Pkwy was awful. I knew a guy who died in a car crash in that construction mess on Briley. It was a single car crash... right into the new retaining wal. Pretty sure it was in the late 80s. The bend at Two Rivers was pretty bad too.

I escaped much of the school confusion, but I know what you're talking about. It seemed to happen after my time... and besides, after my parents' divorce, I lived with my mom in Hendersonville... and my dad was in West Nashville (hence, my memories of "both worlds").

I think the streetcars went out in the early 40s... but there were some trolley-buses that circulated downtown. I think one or two still roam the streets.

Also, do you guys remember the Stockyards restaurant... it had a very dark bar in the basement... where we used to go as a group of highschoolers and listen to unknown bands. Is Stockyards still there? Plus, there was Cantrell's which was in the old "Burger Boy" restaurant at 18th and Broadway. That's where I heard REM for the first time... and of course, the White Animals.
I think I went to Stockyard for prom, if u are talking about the one close to the Germantown area... I was on a group date that night, Jr. Year and wasn't incharge of making the eating arrangements so I don't really know where we went, LOL.
Rememer when the Tennessee Tower would spell out things at night using the lights and shades in the windows.. always thought it was so cool!
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:31 PM
 
815 posts, read 2,017,065 times
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Originally Posted by bluesky42day View Post
I wasn't born until '84 but I am SO enjoying this thread! I hope others can contribute their trips down memory lane about Nashville.

Courtney
Im sure you have some memories too being born in 84, Nashville didn't get boring until the early 2000's, after Opryland closed...
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:04 AM
 
Location: East Nashville, 37206
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I can't think of anything too noteworthy that hasn't already been mentioned besides Fountain Square in the now metro center area. Our family would watch movies there sometimes. And like all people my age I sorely miss Opryland :-(
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Houston
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My family moved to Nashville from Atlanta in '55 when I was 5. A really nice point in history to have landed there because literally within weeks, Elvis broke onto radio, and I remember walking up Love Circle (where we lived in a duplex which is still there) and hearing "Don't be Cruel" wafting out of a window. Our house had a view overlooking the VU campus and I remember seeing lights and hearing the crowd at football games, something I had never heard. The thing most amazing to me to think back on is how I became "hooked in" at a very young age into Nashville and Memphis creative juices, to the point where I knew in an instant what songs on radio had been penned or recorded in the two cities, without anyone having to inform me. Examples: Initial hits by The Everly Brothers, Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline, Ray Stevens, Roy Orbison, Floyd Cramer. From Memphis: The Mar-Keys ("Last Night") Booker T. & the M. G.'s ("Green Onions"). Not surprisingly I became a musician, so my formative years in Nashville are in my DNA. Means I'm sort of a Houston oddball among music friends (this my main hobby at present). If there are songs that for me define Nashville in the late '50's early '60's it would have to be Floyd Cramer's monster nationwide #1: "Last Date", Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces" and "Crazy" (written in Nashville by Willie Nelson), Brenda Lee's "I'm Sorry", or Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman". Any of these transport me back to a very different Nashville less than 1/3 its current size.
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