Memories of ST Elmo


 "The Popsicle Man" by ST Elmo resident Tim McDonald

     I never knew the gentleman's name but, an older man used to push a cart through ST Elmo selling ice cream and popsicles during the summer during the 1950's. He would come up Tennessee Ave. about 2pm in the afternoon, ringing a small bell that was attached to the cart and we could hear him coming for blocks. Ice cream cups were about 5 cents and fruit-flavored popsicles were 6 cents. I remember my mother standing in the front door supervising us as we bought ice cream at the curb from the "popsicle man". He would open his cart and then recite his "menu" which always began with "ice cream cups, ice cream sandwiches" and concluded with a litany of the flavors of popsicles he sold. My younger sister could never decide what she wanted and always asked the poor man to recite the "menu" at least three times before she would decide on the flavor. We always counted our money to see if we had the required "nickle and a penny". The cart was filled with the ice cream and dry ice and the cold air coming from it when he opened the top felt wonderful on a hot July day. The ice cream tasted good, was reasonable in price and we enjoyed the visit. Times were simpler and more innocent: the visit was a simple transaction of a kind older man making his living by selling ice cream that provided much enjoyment to children.

 My Life in ST Elmo by former St. Elmo resident Rodney Pierce

     When thinking about my life in ST Elmo as a young boy, a couple of thoughts cross my mind. The first is playing at the firehouse. My mother always restricted me to play in the backyard only. However, I took every chance I could to sneak out of the yard and go down to the firehouse. They had a fish pond in the back of the house and I loved to go down there as the firemen always let me come in and watch the fish. I found them fascinating, until of course my mother came looking for me. Another favorite memory is getting my hair cut as a young boy. My mother always took me to Pearl's Barber Shop in ST Elmo where most kids went during that time in the early 1950's. I loved Pearl and she was good to me. It always amazed me when kids would get in the chair and start crying about getting their hair cut. It was one of my favorite things to do. One of my best memories and ST Elmo activities was my Cub Scout Den. Mrs. McDonald (Tim's mother) was our den mother. I always looked forward to our den activities, which one year included a taping of the Bob Brandy Show. And finally, I truly loved going to ST Elmo Elementary from grades one through four. I can still remember all my teachers, the playground which included a sandbox and the hopscotch grids. My favorite teacher was Miss Nanny Gothard, who I learned later was a relation by marriage. 

“Showing off for the Neighbor Kids” by former ST Elmo resident Sharon Skipper Allen

     One Sunday in December 1961 has been burned into my mind. The day started like any other Sunday with me going to Thankful Memorial Episcopal Church where I sang in the choir. I had just gotten my drivers license and had taken my fathers DeSoto Sedan to church. After church I was eager to show off my driving skills to the other young people gathered on the church lawn, so at the bottom of the hill I turned the wheel to the left and firmly pressed the gas. The steering froze and made an immediate u-turn, jumped the curb in front of the Scholze house and crashed into the stone wall finally coming to rest halfway up the steps. I was not injured just a few scratches and bruises but, my dad’s DeSoto was totaled. Luckily we found an expert stone mason who was able to repair the damage so that it was barely noticeable. My own ego suffered the biggest blow that day.