Time for a second trip down Memory Lane, better known as Vaughn Boulevard, the Middle-Class Mile (see Part 1).
Vaughn Boulevard in the 1957 city directory.
Most of the residential streets that intersect Vaughn Boulevard have alleys. This aerial photo shows the alley between Avenues L and M.
Although most of the alleys have been sealed off at the ends of each block, the alley between Avenues L and M is still open. Adults, of course, laid out alleys to accommodate utilities and garbage trucks. But when we were kids, alleys—no matter how forbidding, no matter how goathead-carpeted or broken glass-littered, no matter how barking dog-infested—were our expressways. We took short-cuts down alleys, climbed over fences, and cut across the front and back yards of all neighbors, even Mr. Garrett the grouch. And lived to tell about it.
At Thannisch Avenue, this yoostabe the café of Raymond and Juanita Duke. Daughter Dianne Duke Robinett attended D. McRae, William James, and Poly schools. She died at age thirty-nine, outliving her father by thirteen years, her mother by only two years.
Back when watches were not disposable, John Crum had a repair shop next to Duke’s café.
At Strong Avenue, this church yoostabe Poly Serval Drugstore. The combined smells of this store’s varied stock gave it, like the Mott’s on Rosedale, a composite scent like no other.
Worth Food Store was next to Poly Drug.
At Strong Avenue, on this lot yoostabe the Westerner drive-in restaurant.
At Fitzhugh Avenue, this yoostabe Lyles Dairy.
Across Vaughn from Lyles was Jimmy Quinn’s TV repair shop. The current owner told me that when he bought the building, the attic was filled with old new television sets.
At Crenshaw Avenue, this slab yoostabe the Dairy Queen, home of that addictive soft serve ice cream. And see the white car parked on Crenshaw? Where that contemporary brick house is yoostabe the frame house of the family of Luke Aunquoe.
Luke and I were buddies in junior high and tramped many a mile together. Once we walked to a dry cleaners on Forest Park Boulevard to sell coat hangers for spending money. Luke, a member of the Kiowa tribe, died in 1999 and is buried in the family cemetery in Kiowa County, Oklahoma.
Across Crenshaw Avenue from Dairy Queen was Manning’s Surplus Store.
The storm drain tunnel in the bend of Vaughn at Ada Avenue. Ah, but that will be a topic of the third and final post on the Middle-Class Mile: Cowtown Yoostabes, Vaughn Boulevard Edition: Don’t Be Afraid of . . . The Dark.
Do you know what this building yoostabe?
That’s a trick question. This is not a yoostabe. This is a still-is. A real rarity on the Middle-Class Mile. In fact, it is perhaps the only still-is on Vaughn Boulevard. After almost sixty years Poly Hardware still is operated by the Robbins family. The store has passed from brothers Joe and Bill to son Terry to grandson Robert. As a kid I bought fishing tackle and BBs for my Daisy air rifle at Poly Hardware.
Duane has been a sales clerk at Poly Hardware for forty years. He told me that, alas, the store no longer sells fishing tackle and BBs. Just as well, I guess. I’d probably just put some bluegill’s eye out.
Want to take a narrated video tour of the Middle-Class Mile from Poly Freeway to Rosedale and back? Then buckle up and please keep your head and arms inside the vehicle at all times: