Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Lunch Hour

Swimming was scheduled from 11:20 to 12:10.  That class was followed by lunch and I had no obligation to be any particular where until my next class started at 1:00.  Choices for lunch were many and as I like variety I availed myself of various opportunities.

At the top of the list was the brown bag, for Mom would make the sandwiches and cookies, Dad would pay for the victuals, and David ate well, but on the cheap.   Sometimes in the fall and in the springtime this lunch was consumed as Roland and I sat at a chess table in Acacia Park which was just across the street from school. Some days, though, as this student was usually pretty flush for funds as he had a job he worked twenty-eight hours a week a different option would be selected.

Next choice was the school cafeteria.  I remember little about it except that it was on the top floor and a walk back from the Y, climbing the stairs and joining a vast mob was not always an appealing option.  But like clockwork, I am thinking on Thursdays, the staff made and served Spanish rice.  Now why exactly I found this appealing I don't remember, but I liked it a lot in those days and I could get the full meal including milk and dessert for thirty-five cents.

My next choice was the cafeteria at the YWCA.  The YW building was another block yet farther south than the YMCA.  The YWCA building was a five-story affair on the corner of Nevada and Kiowa.  It was probably the second-tallest building in town and today would be referred to as a "low rise."  It has since been placed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

I could easily walk the block from the YM to the YW, ascend the elevator to the cafeteria and enjoy a luscious meal, a gustatory delight to a boy, full meal, for example. a pork chop with potatoes and white gravy, green beans on the side, for sixty-five cents, coffee included.  Cherry pie, fifteen cents, twenty-five ala mode.  Change left over from my dollar for a Nehi Cream Soda after school.  Too, the girls with the smiling voices, that is, telephone operators, worked at the exchange next door and several of them had lunch at the Y.

A block and a half north of the school was a "corner grocery" where a certain element hung out, before school, after school, and at lunch time.  I think they dined on soda pop, moon pies or twinkies, and candy bars.  Most importantly to most of them, though, was the fact that they could get in a smoke or two before class.  I never went there, but you know.  Word gets around.

Across Nevada Avenue from the YMCA was a hoppin' soda shop.  I stopped a few times after school but never took lunch there.  Most of those students who did lived on upper Cascade Avenue or Wood Avenue, Culebra Drive.  You know, out of my social stratum.

Finally, of course, which I have already mentioned elsewhere, were the days that the lunch hour was spent shooting pool at the Y.  Candy bars and RC Cola.

Bon appetit!

 My Little World
Colorado Springs, Colorado
1951-1952

#11 Red Top Cafe.  I did not include it as a school lunch choice as I reserved this very special treat for my Saturday lunch.  Walked across the street from the office, #10, then thirty steps up the alley to the hole-in-the wall behind the theater.  The best burger in town ("one's a meal")--maybe anywhere--thirty-five cents.  Coffee, a nickel.
 #12 Shop mentioned on Bob's blog a few years ago. 
*Intersection of Pikes Peak and Tejon was known as "Busy Corner."  It was said you could meet up with anyone in town if you stood there long enough.  Second door east on north side of Pikes Peak, a broom closet-sized hot roasted nuts! shop.  A dime's worth of Spanish peanuts gave two boys an abundant snack!

4 comments:

Secondary Roads said...

Mostly my school lunches were carried there in a metal lunch bucket.

vanilla said...

Chuck, never had a lunch box until I went to work at Boeing; got a Grey Plastic Thermos with pint bottle.

Lin said...

I had a couple of thoughts reading this:

1. Ah, the good old days when you had an open campus
2. I remember our H.S. allowed seniors to smoke in the Senior Lounge
3. I can't believe you had both a YMCA AND a YWCA
4. I can't believe you could get such a meal at the YW or the YM!
5. Did you all swim in the nude back in H.S? I remember hearing that back in the day, the boys swam nekkid. This girl wants to know the important stuff.

vanilla said...

Lin, you missed the "swimming" post last week. You may never know.
http://vanilla-ststt.blogspot.com/2017/03/swimming-at-y.html

As you say, the good old days. Smoking on campus was introduced much later. Except for the sneaks, of course.
I, in a word, am much older than you.