Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Poco in concert

Richie Furay

A million thanks to Gary Adkins for sending these photos.  You could tell that Gary was already a professional grade photographer by the quality of these pictures.

This is the band Poco in concert at Cassell Coliseum in 1971.  My roommate had turned me on to these guys only months before they came to play at Virginia Tech.

Rusty Young
It was such a great show, the crowd was pumped and rowdy.  At one point the "authorities" stopped the music, turned on the overhead lights, and told the crowd to get off the basketball floor or the show would not go on.  When we returned to our seats the show commenced.  What a great night.

The first album I bought was simply entitled POCO and consisted of band members Rusty Young, Richie Furay, Jim Messina, Timothy B. Schmit, and George Grantham.

The crowd groovin' to Poco

Gables Shopping Center revisited

A nice picture here of the old Gables Shopping center in the 1970's..  It's hard to make out in this photo but I think at the far left end was Mick-or-Mack and then the Sears catalogue store (with some merchandise in the store).  Leggett was the center anchor store and near the far right (not in the photo) was High's Ice Cream .... went there a lot in the summertime.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Books - From Woodstock To Eternity / White Cat

Just got an email from John D. Cooper who was a singer with the popular band Andromeda.   John has written a book entitled "From Woodstock To Eternity" and it is for sale through Amazon.

If you want to wait to get an autographed copy, John will be doing a book signing at Gillies during this year's Steppin' Out festival on August 5 and 6.

I have not read this book but it seems to have very good reviews.


Also, an old acquaintance of mine wrote a fantastic book about his life (somewhat fictionalized as he changed the names of people and places) in Blacksburg and beyond.  The old-timers around town might have known this author as Tom Thumb, but his real name is Will Sarvis.  The book is "White Cat" and is also available on Amazon.  A big part of the enjoyment (for me) was figuring out what individuals he was talking about.  A very gut-wrenching part of the book dealt with the tragic loss of a friend who was run down and killed while riding his motorcycle.  All-in-all it is extremely well written and I enjoyed it so much I was sorry when the book ended .... I wanted more!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Water Closet

The Water Closet                           209 College Avenue

I kept hoping to find a good street scene photo of this place but never could.  The Water Closet came along sometime in the mid-70s and was located to the right of Little Doc's on College Avenue.  It was a pretty cool store that sold water beds (all the rage back then .... and yes, I had one).

They also sold beanbag chairs, "head" gear, and black lights.  There was an upstairs and a downstairs section and carried some stereo equipment as well.

Looking at this ad I wondered what constituted a true Bong emergency, but I don't doubt that it might have happened from time to time.  I assume the Collegiate Times wouldn't be able to post an ad like this today!

A blog reader sent me this photo of his ash tray some time ago.  At least someone still has a souvenir of the joint.  Anyone else have a memory of The Water Closet?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

117 South Main (South Main Cafe)

117 South Main  -  Photo courtesy of Linda Ruth Schwab

Not long after this former church building housed the New River Trading Company, it transformed into what many people consider to be the best bar and music venue Blacksburg ever had.

If I have the story right, three business fellows (Bob "Bullwinkle" Summerell, Al Freeman, and Fred Blake) shifted from Levi's to Budweisers around 1973, and over the next couple of years the partnerships changed to include Steve McBroom and most importantly Mike Schwab.

By 1975 or 76, Mike Schwab became the sole owner of the establishment which eventually included wife Linda Ruth.  They enjoyed a 20-year run, and the number of little known and well known musical acts that graced the stage is countless.  In the latter years (1984 to 1995) the joint was known as South Main Cafe, but everyone I knew just called it "117".

If you're too young to remember this place, that's a shame because it was definitely the primary gathering place for cowboys, hippies, and everything in between.  I remember the long neck Buds, pinball machines, pool tables, and a balcony above.  It was rustic, but that's the way we liked it.  Today it is home to Cabo Fish Taco.

I know this post is going to fill up with comments.  Looking forward to the reader's own memories of drunkenness, debauchery, and ass-kicking music.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Here is a nice old picture of Hardees when it was up next to the old high school on South Main.  Thanks to Brian MacInnis for sending.

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.