Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Joe's Jail

A balding and bearded older fellow named Joe Calloway had a little shop near Progress Street in which he created jewelry and leather goods, as well as other creations that he learned to make as a young boy growing up in India.

I don't know exactly how long Joe had this particular shop.  He eventually opened his studio in a room at the rear of his house.

Joe was a resident of Blacksburg for many years, and in 1976 he packed his bags and went to Colorado.  I heard a rumor recently that Joe may have perished in a swimming accident.  I hope it's not true.

My wife still has a leather hair piece that Joe made in the early 1970's, and she cherishes it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Humble Pie

If there ever was a cool head shop in town it was Humble Pie.  The newspaper ads, lifted straight from the pages of our favorite underground comix, were a clue in itself

Humble Pie was located at 102 Roanoke Street across from the National Bank in what they called the "ugly green building", and was above Burt's Photo shop.  The building today is red, in case you were wondering.

Personally I was hooked on R. Crumb, the artist, and his twisted tales that appeared in Zap Comix, the Furry Freak Brothers (and Fat Freddy's Cat), Yellow Dog, and many more.  Whenever I needed a comic fix I trucked on down to Humble Pie.

They also advertised contemporary gifts, posters, blacklites, headgear, incense, inflatable furniture, wall things, candy, empathy cards "and a smile".

I really truly miss shops like this.  Please come back, Humble Pie!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saturday Night Fever

Remember Disco?

It came boogeying into the American culture sometime in the mid Seventies and didn't let go until MTV finally saved us with the Eighties genre of music.

But as long as it was here, then "After Sundown" was the place to be .... with swinging skirts and open shirts and a glitter ball hanging above the dance floor.  "After Sundown" was in the back of the building adjacent to the National Bank, the place that in 1970 was the Kroger building that later became a sort of mini-mall.  Today you know it as the Tech Bookstore, across the street from Cabo Fish Taco.

For those of you who never heard of Bill Deal and the Rondells (in the ad above) they were a pretty big deal (pun intended) in the Seventies .... except I sort of remember them being more associated with beach music.