Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Favorite Baldwyn Business - The Ritz Grill






Co-located with the Ritz theater, this little snack bar was a great place not only to get a good hot dog and "soda", but to meet and greet friends. It was a little too small to dance to the music of the big juke box near the front (most of us weren't allowed to dance in public) but it was a cozy place anyway.

Photos above show some of the lovely ladies that frequented the Grill. Maureen became a server and worked there for a long time.

Also pictured is Mrs. Gladys Gentry and the famous popcorn machine at the theater. What a terrific aroma came out of that popper....

Guess you will know most of the folks, if not we have the names.

I can still see Harold Murley putting those "dogs" away, one or more a minute!
_____________________

Photos courtesy of Ellen Mink and others

35 comments:

  1. Carl, I love the photo of Miss Gladys. Recently I ran across a postcard she sent me from a trip to Disneyland back in the late 50s and realized I didn't have a single photo of her. I worked for Mr. Claude and Miss Gladys for 3 or 4 years when I was in high school, selling tickets at the Lyric Theater, and both tickets and popcorn at the Ritz Theater.

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  2. When was that grill established? I don't remember it so it must have been after 1952. I'm so happy to see the picture of Miss Gladys. I don't recognize any of the other folks.

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  3. 2nd photo
    Juanita and Lottie Heavener standing outside the grill.

    3rd photo
    Ellen Ann Mink and Gloria Jean Cooper sitting in the window.

    All class of 1960

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  4. You couldn't have put on a better photo of Gloria Cooper. That dress she has on made her look so pretty walking down the street in Baldwyn on a Saturday summer day!

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  5. Myra Conwill behind the Heaveners?

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  6. In the photo of Ellen and Gloria, isn't that a reflection of McGee's Grocery sign in the window?

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  7. Carl, do you remember how many "picture shows" were shown in a week's time at the Ritz? Just the main shows, not counting previews, newsreels, serials, and cartoons.

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  8. Cyn, one feature ran on Mon-Tues night. One lesser one on Wednesday night. Another major feature on Thurs-Friday night. The Wednesday was bargain night, a lesser admission cost. B westerns ran all day Saturday, and a late show at 10:30 on Saturday night closed out the week.
    The Lyric only ran B westerns on Friday night and all day Saturday.
    The Ritz showed the weekday features twice at night.

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  9. The girl behind the Heaveners also resembles Carolyn Rutherford

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  10. Correction:

    A vision came to me a short while ago.

    The sign read:

    GRO McGEE'S MKT

    I'm pretty sure of that...

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  11. Cynthia is that you inside the Grill in photo secont from the top, on the left?

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  12. Jo Carolyn, the Ritz Grill was there as far back in the 1950's as I remember. When I see Billy Roberson (Claude's son in law)I'll see if he knows.

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  13. Carl, again your memory receives an A+ for the picture show lineup. The jury is still out on the McGee grocery sign.

    ----

    No, Anon, that's not me in the window. I must have been at home studying that day!

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  15. What memories!!! Our gang HAD to figure out how to raise some change before Saturday. If no jobs were found, a "so-called allowance" was enough to make the rounds: Tom's or Houston's Drugs, a few games of pool, and lunch at the Ritz Grill or a bonus meal of a "slug burger" and RC ($.35?) at Scram's/Al's Cafe (a little increase in cost?---$.50? big plate of fries with Orange Crush). BUT, the Ritz or Lyric cost $.15 (increased to $.25?), and what we ate had to be carefully planned. The DEAL was a bunless weiner coated in mustard for a dime at the Ritz Grill. Miz Jane might give out a bag of unpopped popcorn (sifted below the good stuff) and "take" what you had left over for a coke. Most of the time, we watched the same western or jungle twice. A litle grief plauged us: no change left over for Pool, supper, or the late show. This is where we really got creative! What did you ALL do? I don't ever recall being issued a one-dollar bill for any job attempted on Saturday mornings?











    4

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  16. Hey gang,
    Here's what I did -- got up early Saturday mornings, walked to the cotton field,(past the present football field)--picked cotton for Mr R.V. Coggins til the first weigh in-- this would net approx 85 cents to a dollar,(depending on how much work I was willing to do)--then head home and jump in a hot tub of bath water in the back yard that was solar heated--then off to the show til dark--sometimes my uncle Ralph would come to town and this allowed us to stay for the late show, then a walk home in the dark--we lived on Latimer St across from the aforementioned "football" field, it was a good life!!

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  17. I just remembered, after the "late" show there were many times we would go to the cotton gin by Cunninghams Gro and jump on the cotton bales, sometimes there would be 10-12 of us, I remember Charles Mathis and Darrell being there as they lived just across the tracks--one night my mom got worried and came after us, I didn't do that anymore---

    John M

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  18. Nope, I don't remember the Grill. It looks like it's in the location where the stairs were that went up to the "balcony" and the projection room. Mr. Claude took Mother and me up there one time to watch a sold-out movie. Wonder what it was.

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  19. The stairs were between the Grill and Epting's, the store next door. Always..

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  20. That is Sandra Putt(inside Grill) between Lottie and Juantia Heavner

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  21. J Melvin discovered lots of stuff like the culvert under the football field and the huge building full of cotton seeds at Lewellen Gin. That must have been dangerous to play on.

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  22. Yes, I do remember the cottonseed times -- Yes I did that many times, -- sure wish I knew who else remembers this and I do remember going thru the pipe under the school ground and football field and I do remember Mr Baker at the exit one day when I came out, it was a big ole hand that grabbed me and pulled, I didn't do that again----------

    J Melvin

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  23. John M,

    Playing in the cottonseed house was lots of fun but thinking back now it seems it would have been dangerous - possibility of ending up on the bottom of the pile but I guess God sometimes takes care of young people. As far as the football field pipe, there had to be snakes in there. I didn't realize Mr Baker intercepted you in the pipe. That would make it less appealing after that.

    I'm sure you were a better cotton picker than me if you could make 85 cents by the first weigh in. Of course getting there early and getting the benefit of the early morning dew weight was important. Also, you only need to swipe at a boll one time to get maximum weight and that put you in conflict with the farmers who wanted it picked clean. I keep thinking someone will come up with some cotton picking photos and stories.

    Joe C.

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  24. Hey Joe

    Well regarding the tunnel, there was a big round hole near the white house by the gym, when I came up, I shouldn't have, cause there he was--someone else was with me, I dont remember who, boy were we a mess, there were holes in there and sometimes you would step in them and "good clean water would fill your shoe" but you know, God watches over children and I'm lucky I can remember a few things like this, did you ever hear about the time we went camping in a barn somewhere around Lebannon Mt?? Me,Red,David,Arch and ????? Hint, we slept on goat pellets, not the food kind!

    JMD

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  25. I don't remember that camping trip JM but I'm betting Wallis would. It sounds like a monumental outing. I would love to see your recollections on it.

    JC

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  26. Maybe Red will join in and help --first--Arch had a gas motor we removed from a washing machine--we used a 6v genarator from a model A car, hooked up auto sealed beam lights -- packed all this up for lights at night, I can't remember where the barn was, on someone's property that was with us -- turned out this was where the goats lived and we discovered 8-10 inches of little round goat pellets (poop) covering the ground inside the barn, well we spread our blankets out and slept on it anyway--again I hope David or Red will help out cause I sure there's a lot more to be said about this

    JMD

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  27. I think the camping trip was at Red's relatives. I remember the motor driven generator. It worked pretty slick. I also remember the goat poo. I think it must have been old or something as it didn't smell.

    Don't remember all who were with us but Wallis, Arch and Melvin were there.

    Herb

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  28. Herb, your right, it was Red's relatives, and he says Turtle, Bobby McCarly, Frog Pruitt was with us,along with you,me Arch, I think David and I may be missing a few---Anyway, what was the purpose of going, I forget :o)
    John M

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  29. Sunset's visit isn't coming back to me? I have a foggy memory of riding with a group over to Oxford in order to watch some filming INTRUDERS IN THE DUST (a so-so Falkner story). Does that trip come back? While we were there, Lash La Rue and maybe(?) Sunset Carson perform tricks in a tent in Oxford. The movie scenes we watched was a grave digging event and a '50 Ford being filmed without a driver going east on the "Tooth Paste" Road. Carl, you have referred to a Lash La Rue Show at the Tupeo Fair.

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  30. Hi Dave
    The day that Elvis was at the fair as we have the videos link to, Lash was performing at the fair also. I had never had the opportunity to see and meet him. I went to see him instead of the afternoon Elvis show. He was an excellent act, also. The "stunts" he did with the bullwhip were REAL. He could do everything you saw him do on film except use the whip to grab a gun and retrieve it. He popped buttons off shirts, cigarettes from mouths, etc.
    But I did go to the later show Elvis had and can say I was there...

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  31. Carl, were you living in Memphis when Lash LaRue came to town for a show - wish I could remember the details - and was arrested later that night for shooting out streetlights? I don't think he actually served any time in jail, but there was a hefty fine. Lash was repeating the stunt that Hank Williams (the first and only) pulled many years before.

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  32. Cynthia, I cannot recall him being in Baldwyn. I was a loyal fan from the late 40s till.... If I knew he was in town I would have gone to see him.
    Maybe Billy Bob can remember it and enlighten us.

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  33. Sorry Carl, I didn't make myself clear. Lash LaRue was in Memphis, not Baldwyn.

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  34. What recalls! I can only add a few bits to the camping saga--I think 2 trips were involved, or at least 2 locations. Once we did camp in an abandoned barn on Red's uncle's property. The second time we hung out in a house-like place that was probably less clean than the barn. This was when Frog and Mac were along in Frog's 51 Ford.
    Re Lash, I remember him in the street in front of the Ritz doing his whip demonstrations. A guy nicknamed "Army", kept driving by holding a cigarette out the window and Lash would whip it from 10-15ft away--and didn't miss!
    JMD and Herb I think you got the campers pretty well listed. I would have guessed Tom was probably along. Also, was Wallis' uncle named Jesse James or am I having another senior moment?
    David

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  35. I have never heard about Lash LaRue being arrested for shooting out the lights in Memphis. What I have always heard was, he was arrested for stealing type writers in Tupelo when he was at the fair.
    Later he became a preacher.

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