Nostalgia for Ladue Includes Friday Night at Rams Den
Take a visit down memory lane, back to the 1960s and beyond.
University City Patch editor Myra Lopez just wrote a brief about her city considering starting a teen community center once more. Ah, that took me all the way back to the 1960s where the University City Indians used to party on Friday night at Wigwam. They used the the Heman Park Community Center then Midland Avenue near Olive Street Road, perfect for weekend dances.
Guys from Ladue used to try and crash those dance parties, and once spotted, were politely escorted to the door.
That was OK. Ladue had Rams Den in the school cafeteria. Clayton High had Depot in its old community center on Mark Twain Circle Drive, where the Clayton School Board has its offices today.
Really, those were the good old days. There was plenty of fraternization between students of the three schools.
Each school had dining hangouts frequented by students from the other districts. U. City students hung out at Hamburger Heaven on Olive Street, though everyone just called it "H."
Clayton had Fitz's Rootbeer a popular outdoor drive in located on the northeast corner of Clayton Road and Brentwood Boulevard. Ladue students used to dine at the curbside of Schneithorst Restaurant (where Schneithorst Village is today).
Parkmoor in Clayton at Clayton and Hanley roads was on slightly more neutral territory. We used to go there all the time for pork tenderloins, (PTs), shakes and fries and shoot straws off the ceiling into the light fixtures--management just loved that.
None of these hangouts survived the test of time, though Fitz' sre-emerged years later in The Loop. My neighbor, Dan Dillon, scriptwriter and producer for KMOV wrote the book So Where Did You Go to High School? recounting many of these fond memories.
Back in our day, you could read all the coming and goings of Ladue, Clayton and University City students in the popular Prom Magazine. Prom had correspondents from each of the schools telling the juicy tidbits that were happening in the school halls and off campus.
Rock 'n' roll was emerging. Elvis was the premiere entertainer. The Beatles were our biggest import. The jitterbug was the dance rage.
These three towns of Ladue, Clayton and U. City were great places in which to grow up.
We would be thrilled to have your share your best memories of Rams Den, Depot and Wigwam. If you remember any of those golden olden days, chime in. We'd love to hear about your favorite things to do and places to go in the 1960s.