Thursday, January 23, 2014

Odds & Ends

Here's a few items from the archives, and from several of you readers (thanks for sending these).

A business card from the local band Andromeda.
I remember hearing them play a lot in the Squires Ballrooms, along with another popular local band called Happy.

Playing foozball in the back of Mr. Fooz.  This is me and "Old Man" taking on some unknown opponent.

A schedule of events for Deadwood Days 1979.

A night shot of Peoples Drug Store, in the early days of the University Mall.

Inside the bar called Spankys, located above what is now D.P. Dough on Main Street.  The spot was also home to the Campus Club, and then later (and the last thing to be there) the Ton 80 club.

A poster advertising a really cool place at 209 College Avenue called the Water Closet.

John's Camera Corner on Draper Road.  Even though we're in the digital age, John is still alive and well and still has a camera shop on Draper.


  1. Thanks for posting my poster of the water closet. I have it framed and hanging on the wall. Maybe someone has an interesting story to tell about being inside the water closet?

    1. My mom and dad owned the water closet. I would love to get a copy of that poster if possible. (

  2. I do believe that is my photograph of University Mall. I was on the publications photo staff and The Bugle received some extra funding for a color section that would also be a stand-alone publication to promote the campus and town. I'm thinking 1977, but I'll have to dig around at home to find which one it was for sure.

  3. That's pretty cool. Got any others of that time period you can share?

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  5. The picture of Old Man / Jimmy Burrows playing foozball reminds me of the famous Mid-Atlantic Foozball Championship, which was a spoof on the Mid-Atlantic (fake) Wrestling Championship as seen on TV. I think Old Man was the moving force behind creating this elaborate spoof; he was always so amused at all the fake antics on TV wrestling. Claudia Burrows and some of the ladies even made an imitation championship leather belt decorated with tinfoil and colored glass beads. Old Man used to grab it and hold it up, yelling “The Belt!” exactly as seen on TV.

    Anyway, the day of the big championship. George Gittinger was “The Masked Poo,” Old Man became “Alberto Sanchez,” and Mark Shapiro was “Mack the Knife.” They dressed up in costumes; George wore a mask, Old Man a cape, and Mark had some kind of fake knife made out of a stick covered in tin foil. He would grin and make stabbing gestures. I think he was wearing a mask also. I’ve forgotten the others’ “wrestling names,” but I’m pretty sure David Wade had to be in the championship, as he (along with George Gittinger) was one of the fastest foozball players I ever saw. Old Man was more like me (not so great), but was second to none in making the “elbow drop” on the foozball table when things went wrong. (Many a time a pinball machine received the same treatment, especially if he tilted it). Perhaps best of all, Gary Piggott grabbed the microphone and did a spot-on Howard Cosell imitation, calling the entire tournament spontaneously with such incredible wit that we were laughing until we cried. We called him “Howard Co-Piggott” forever afterward.

    One last note regarding the microphone: all of you remember how the tickets in Fooz were called out by their last two numbers. I remember Tom Ross used to put 69 aside and wait to use it for a pretty girl. He gave her her order number nonchalantly at the cash register, but when her order was ready he would call out “69” in the most (mock) lascivious manner, whistling, cat calling, and insinuating no end of lewdness. I remember at least one girl blushing scarlet red over that.

  6. Hey, it's me again, Bobby...yeah, that pesky drummer from Happy!
    I remember Andromeda well. They were very heavy and spacey. Their drummer George was very good. He had a huge set, double kick and plenty of cymbals. He had a little trailer built that his kit would fit in perfectly; he would tow it behind his car.
    Those guys had REAL long hair back then...down their backs!
    Speaking of Squires, I remember we opened for Looking Glass there, I think it was maybe 1971.
    I do want to say thanks to those who gave us props...I'll pass them along to my former band mates.
    And thanks to you Dennis for this very cool site!

    1. Hey Bobby - please contact me at, I need your help with an important project involving the new Blacksburg Museum (the old Victorian funeral home). I'm directly involved with this effort which will be opened soon, and in September we're planning a special exhibit that will run until Jan.2015 about the Blacksburg music scene - 1970's and 1980's. I'm very excited about this exhibit and need input from musicians.

  7. Hi. I worked at Mr. Fooz around 1975-1976. My roommate and buddy Marc was a manager. I mostly filled pitchers of beer and kept the kegs stocked. We sold a large pitcher of Heineken for $3.50 and nickel beer on Wednesdays. We sold so much Heineken that the distributors painted the Heineken symbol on the bottom of Ray's pool (the owner). It was a lot of fun hauling those kegs thru the crowd. Ray didn't care if we drank while working (with all that candy up his nose he probably didn't notice anyway) so I got pretty tipsy a lot of the time. We found we could control the mood of the crowd with the music. Played some Stones one time and some pushing, etc started to happen. Quickly put on the Eagles and it calmed right down. Changed from glass to plastic pitchers (less lethal). All in all a good time.

  8. This is John Cooper, the singer for Andromeda. I wrote a book called From Woodstock to Eternity which is based in the Blacksburg community. We are having a '70's reunion during the Steppin Out festival, and I would like to get in touch with you and your followers to put together more info. Go to:
    Facebook page From Woodstock To Eternity


    Please get in touch