We survived the Boulevard ride: Part II

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 19, 2016

Let’s plunge back in time to one of those far away memories… although, one that might hit a little closer to home.
Do you remember those old scary tales about “The Lights” outside of town? Then, finally making that late night trip to Texas Flat Road to see those mysterious lights firsthand? They appeared out of nowhere and drifted across by that small bridge and then… suddenly disappeared. And what about how we perpetuated history with the embellished ghost stories we told to the kids that would follow us in that very same rite of passage?
Such wonderful phases in our lives, such happy times… I only wish my children could go back and experience some of these far-away days, and now, not-so-distant memories.
Those were “Happy Days,” weren’t they? How did we survive? I wouldn’t trade a minute of that time for anything.
Did you ever walk home from high school on the boulevard, carrying a girl’s books while she walked with you? And do you remember the book covers made from Mama’s brown grocery bags? It’s time we pause, rewind, then flashback to our hometown of Picayune, as we reminisce with more memories of this ole’ town.
Does anyone remember attending one of Charlie Neuman’s famous half-time shows at Picayune Memorial High School football games?
Did you ever frequent the Dairy Dream, Frost Top, or Old Colonel Dixie? Or maybe you ate one of Zesto’s famous chili burgers?
Let’s jog your memory a little more, remember Carp’s Boston’s Store and Salloums?
Remember bagging groceries at Jitney Jungle?
Or what about those Sunday afternoons playing football next to the Catholic Church on the Boulevard?
Do you remember when your PMHS class reunion rolled around and some classmates had passed on, some divorced and remarried, and others were lost, without a trace, to parts unknown?
Do you remember doing a cannonball off the high dive at the “Y”?
Remember passing love letters in school and those innocent days of, “Do you like me, please mark yes or no!?” Good memories for sure!
It’s coming back so clearly now.
Chili buns at Zesto’s, stew at Seal’s Café, some of that great broasted chicken from Hank’s Snack Bar, or how about Danny’s Fried Chicken… Mmm, Mmm, Good!
Let’s peer back in time to where the boulevard ends, at the Boulevard Inn hamburger joint, listening to the jukebox.
Or even further back in time to the Old Street Car Café, with all those cool cars lined up on the boulevard in front of the high school. Can you still see it? Fender-skirts, dual exhaust and jacked up in the back.
Graves five and dime on West Canal. . .
Isn’t it funny how so many people move away from their hometown as they age? It’s such an essential part of coming into your own. Yet, it never fails that one day… years later, they’re drawn back, like two magnets that can’t be kept away. Except now, as they come back, even though it still feels just like home, it’s all a bit askew — everything looks smaller than it did growing up.
Pause and try to take it all in — the cherished memories of driving by the house you grew up in, passing by your old elementary school, or the high school where you graduated.
Now, slowly driving down Goodyear Boulevard while, for just a minute, you relive all those joyful memories of yesteryear, and when it’s time to leave town again, everything just seems to fade into the shadows of those happy Picayune memories — a safe place where they will be tucked away, forgotten in time once again. Yet, only for a short period until something sparks a return trip to one of those nostalgic and magical moments of times past.

By Jim Luke, City Manager for the city of Picayune.

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