Fab Fisher, writing in The Washington Informer, voices some fond memories of old Southwest Washington, with which many longtimers may empathize.
"Can you think back," Fab asks, "when we stood outside in line to get a 15-cent fish sandwich at Benny Bortnick's? Do you remember passing by Friendship Baptist Church with the only neon sign in Southwest saying 'Seek thee the Lord' in red? . . . Or maybe you can think back when Arthur Minor was the skating champion on Third Street SW . . . Fourth Street was cobblestoned and unskatable .
"Or better still: can you remember both Jewel theaters, the old and the new? The river boats--the Madison E. Hall, the Robert E. Lee, the Potomac and the Wilson Line? Perhaps you can recall the clubs and fun spots in old Southwest . . . the old Fisherman's Hall, the Star Dust, the Ritz, Harlem Hall, Mike's King Fish, Carioca or Cadillac's on the wharf?
"Maybe you can think back when Cunningham's Store at Third and G streets, with gas lights, was among the top spots . . . favorite stop-off spots included Hailstork's drug store at Second and H streets or Johnson's drug store at Third and F streets . . . and one remembers the then famous Rosalie Theatre, which was then located in . . . the 200 block of F Street in Southwest."
Fab is among the many who consider the displacement by urban renewal in the 1950s a fiasco. Much of the area was bad. But, as Fab recalls, there are memories such as his that are worth cherishing.