Memories of Maysville…
Maysville, Kentucky founded 1788 as the city of Limestone.
Birthplace of Rosemary Clooney.
A stop on the Underground Railroad.
A hunting ground once controlled by the Iroquois Nation (from which I am a descendant).
The Big Town of my childhood.
My Dad and I used to go to Maysville every Saturday morning. We would go to the State National Bank, then to the Sport Shop, where Dad would shoot the breeze with his buddies, sometimes buying something, sometimes trading for something… Other times, we would walk out of the shop with nothing but the artificial worm that Paul Faris would give me every Saturday. As my Dad would hang out, I would play in this huge bin of artificial fishing worms. I would be the only girl in the shop and the only weird kid playing amongst the bait.
What can I say? As an only child, you have to learn how to entertain yourself.
After the Sport Shop, we would sometimes stop in the G.C. Murphy store, a small department store on Second Street, and I could usually talk my Dad into springing for a Matchbox car or a new outfit for my Barbie doll. My first job was at the G.C. Murphy store, in the Bluegrass Shopping center. What great times I had there. The entire evening/weekend staff was high school kids, which, in hindsight, probably wasn’t the wisest management decision. However, we did do our work, amid toy gun fights and battles with armloads of what I think were rosin bags… good times, good times.
If we didn’t have to stop at Everett’s Ace Hardware, we’d then head up to the The White Light for a couple of little burgers cooked on the grill right in front of the counter. The White Light was a staple of my Dad’s childhood, as he ate lunch there often when he went to school in Maysville.
He even told me a story of someone getting a roach on their burger, that the cook said he wouldn’t even charge extra for!! I wonder if that story was just told to shock and weird me out, because he continued to eat there until it closed. Come to think of it, I didn’t mind eating there either… but maybe in my little-girl mind, I didn’t think it was true, or hoped that it wasn’t.
Sometimes, we would go to a movie at the Russell Theater.
Aahhhhhh the Russell… it was so beautiful and fantastical to a little girl. Its Spanish/Mediterranean architecture always made me feel like I’d been transported into a fairy tale. I can remember the excitement as we stood in line at the ticket booth…
At the Russell, I saw the most memorable movies of my childhood. ET, Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark are prominent in my memories.
Sadly, the theater closed in 1983 and has suffered many indignities since, from the loss of part of its roof during a storm to subsequent water damage. Some repairs have been made and she still stands, grand and beautiful on East 3rd Street…
Here is an article about the opening of the Russell: http://www.nkyviews.com/mason/text/russell_opening.htm