Let's go down memory lane....Remember "Soul Night Saturdays" at Silver Wings Roller rink? The place opened at 8 but the party didn't get "crunk" until 10:30. My cousin, "Mooney" was on the 1's and 2's and if there was a dance contest you were guaranteed to find the two Tasha's on the floor. Tasha Pace made the "Roger Rabbit," look effortless while Tasha Ross made every move from Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation," her staple. Closing time was midnight but the festivities didn't end there, the parking lot was just as crunk with people showing off their latest rides. If a car had a decent sound system then you heard thumping and booming coming from its speakers . People didn't know when to go home so of course "Johnny Lawman," is called to send the young and restless away.
Sunday morning was church...Greater Zion...St. Luke....St. Paul...New Zion Missionary Baptist Church (home of Holy Smoke barbecue), First Baptist, Friendship Baptist, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist, Little Bethel Holiness Church...the list goes on. Wal-Mart was the place where folk "made groceries." You literally saw everybody and his mama there buying chicken and potato salad, cole slaw, Miss Schubert's rolls, and red soda for Sunday Dinner. I remember spending Sunday afternoons bowling at the Huntsville Lanes with my friend, Bnard, his cousin, Byron, my sister, Punkin, and their other cousin, Remar. Late Sunday afternoons were spent at Emancipation Park, chilling and watching people floss their latest rides, the guys would be peeping out the girls, and the girls would actually buy an outfit and get their hair done just for the occasion.
Monday started the daily grind. When I lived in Huntsville ( 1990 pop. 25,000) There were only four major employers: TDCJ, Sam Houston State University, the City of Huntsville, and HISD. If you worked eight hour days and got an hour for lunch you could grab a quick bite at the Sonic, you could enjoy the $2.50 Chinese Buffett at Imperial Garden, or if you wanted to go a little on the high end you ate at the Junction.
The courthouse was in the middle of the square and every morning around 6:30 am you could here the whistle from the old "Walls Unit" signaling that the inmate count had cleared. I had my first real kiss at the overlook near the old Sam Houston Elementary when I was 16. High school proms took place at the Lowman Student Center on the campus of SHSU. Who could forget the activities after prom?
And how about those Hornets back when the football team really had it going on. Friday nights the bleachers were so jammed packed that sometimes the fans had to sit across the field on the visitor's side. Basketball was just as exciting. Eathan O'Bryant, Kirby Roundtree, Eric Holcombe, Mike O'Brien, Keith Hooper, Coach Daniels, Coach Fountain. Wow I can't stop.... Pep rallies in the gym, each class making sure they yell the loudest in order to get the spirit stick.
Remember Cinema Three? I can't forget the first time "Boomerang" came out. It was the summer of 1992 and I went with my good friend, Ceasar O'Neal (God rest his soul). Remember the Jolly Fox? Remember the parties at the fairgrounds? Remember Cedar Wood being so bad it was on FOX's "City Under Siege?" Remember the prison rodeo? People from all over the world ventured to Huntsville to see inmates ride bulls and broncos.
I could go on and on talking about the place where I was born and where I called home the first 22 years of my life. I moved away in 1997. Do I miss it? Not really but every now and then I like to reminisce about the 'ville.