Memories of Growing Up....

 mem.gif (1316 bytes)

Running across stickers in your barefeet to see who wins ... waving at the guys in the ships as they go through the entry to the canal ... splashing at Goofy Lake ... attending Mass at the Golden Altar church ... dancing at the Hilton ... loving kinkajoos ... chasing the rain ... eating michas ... Carnival ... sliding down the hills on palm fronds ... riding the chivas with your friends ... a kiss under the palm trees at Rio Del Mar beach ... a picnic at Summit Gardens ... a drive thru the Forest Preserve ... fun and games at Contractor's Hill ... Saturday afternoon at Amador Beach ... riding the Panama Railroad ... wading in the Goethals Memorial ... sunrise from Gold Hill the morning after graduation ... the submarine races out on the causeway ... a "real" tropical rainstorm ... Sosa Hill burning ... Christmas tree burns ... dances at the Tivoli ... skinny dipping at Cocoli Lake ... walking the Las Cruces Trail ... weekends at Santa Clara ... French Fries and gravy ... the Owl Show at Diablo Theatre ... Ring-a-levio at dusk ... Going home when the streetlights turned on ... Sliding down Admin hill ... Sunset over the Caribbean ... warm water to swim in ... the sound of tropical birds flying over your head ... ships transiting thru the lock chambers and silently passing over the Gatun Lake ... tree stumps sticking up in the lake area, seen from the train window ... sunshine on your face ... the beach ... the Spillway with all gates open ... ginup season ... eating limes with sugar ... Lucho y su conjunto ... the sweet sleep with rain on a tin roof ... train rides to football games on the "Other Side" ... Albrook's "sneak preview ... Cayuco races ... Pina Beach ... Devil's Beach ... Fort San Lorenzo ... Ski Docks ... Gulick Heights ... Battleball at Margarita Gym ... hanging out in a hammock ... the "other side" being the opposite side of wherever you lived ... army deuce and a half's rumbling thru town ... jeeps full of G.I.'s whistling at the girls ... the beauty of blue skies and white clouds on a Dry Season day ... warm rain ... enjoying mango season, from green to ripe ... hearing the sounds of Colegio Abel Bravo's band floating across the bay from Colon ... the sound of Colon kids shuffle-step marching to school in the morning ... onion rings at the American Legion ... KC hamburgers ... the Auto Cine ... panning for gold in Pecora River ... the Squirt ... water gun fights in the halls of BHS ... Fourth of July celebrations at Balboa Stadium ... the majestic banyon trees on Roosevelt Avenue ... steak sandwiches at Gamboa Golf Club ... garbage cans rumbling down Diablo Hill ... an empty lock chamber ... swimming at K-9 ... the DDT truck ... Burning beans ... leaf cutter ants ... bull thorn bushes with fire ants in them ... Black Palm berries ... sticking Hibiscus buds on your face ... weekends at Taboga Island ... 25 cycle electricity ... the town of Rousseau ... camping out ... setting the jungle on fire ... Camp Chagres Boy Scout Camp ... meat on a stick ... the lottery ... mango fights ... Putting mustard on your straw cover and blowing it at the ceiling in the Balboa Clubhouse so it would stick there ... Balboa Police Station (enough said) ... green police cars ... Frank Rybicki ... Nancy trees ... Empire Range ... the Third Locks ... Far Fan Beach ... green mangos and salt ... Teen Clubs ... swimming in the ditches after a big rain ... Chorerra Falls ... Operation Banyon Tree ... BHS letters on Sosa Hill ... cases of soda delivered to your home for a dollar ... stalk of bananas hanging in the closet ... Chinese Gardens ... Cocoli Gun Club ... Rubber map of the Canal Zone at the Civil Affairs Building ... Draft Board Local #1 ... Mr. Knick's office ... getting overseas pay while stationed at Ft. Amador ... running away from home ... collecting snakes ... Dave Furlong and The Pub ... the Chicken Coop ... Trick or Treat till midnight ... Friday night at the skating rink, then walking fast to make the Owl Show ... Santa in the big sleigh at Mr. Townsend's garage on Santa Claus Lane ... the American Legion floor sinking with the music ... Saturday Speedboat Races at Cristobal Yacht Club and Miraflores Lake ... the Saturday afternoon matinee ... swimming races for movie tickets during summer vacation at Gatun Pool ... laying in the grass and gazing a the vast array of stars at night, feeling the earth spin ... walking the railroad tracks from the Aids Bldg. to the Gatun Yacht Club ... line-fishing with breadballs for crawdads at the police launch shed ... catching guppies at the pond ... eating c-rations ... fishing on the Chagres River ... climbing trees ... skydiving over CocoSolo/France Field ... ceviche at the Police Lodge ... 25 cent rum and cokes at the drive in theatre ... sneaking on board ships docked at Pier 1 ... visits to the Leper Colony ... Spaghetti night at Amador Officers' Club ... Chop Suey and wontons from the Balboa YMCA ... meatball sandwiches from the Napoli ... Friday nights at "El Rancho" ... Johnny Mazetti from the Clubhouse ... Salchicha in michas at the car wash ... skipping school to go to "carnavalito" ... Midnight Mass at St. Mary's ... drag races at France Field ... beer chugging contests ... Bobby "Bano" Engelke's moonshine ... sneaking into Balboa Theatre ... going to the Hilton to hear Leroy Lewis (and to gamble) ... toad hunting at night ... high test cigarettes at the Metropolitan ... Margarita's "Snob Hill" ... Tony Dyer at Margarita Gym ... Ft. Gulick swimming pool ... France Field crabs ... "Mighty Mo" at Diablo Gym ... the darkness of Kimbo's ... the Trans Isthmian Highway ... Jamboree parties at the Ski Docks ... riding mini-bikes through Gatun on the sidewalk through the jungle ... eating sweet and sour pork at the Elks' Club in Margarita ... eating fried wontons at the American Legion in Gatun ... riding horses through the back trails by Mindi Acres and Ft. Davis ... waiting for the tunnel to come up while taking the train to the football games ... fried corvina -- anywhere ... swimming parties at the Hotel Washington pool ... catching the ferry to Ft. Sherman ... all the animals running thru Balboa whenever Sosa Hill burned ... the Gap/Bridge in Balboa ... the old guy who walked around wearing a WWII Nazi uniform with swagger stick ... summer little league football -- the Balboa Rams ... the Blue Angels flying over Panama Bay ... the spiral slide at the Balboa Elementary School playground ... hanging out at the Causeway ... drinking cool cerveza Panamas at the beach .. hot feet on the black sand at San Carlos beach ... 5 cent ice cream cones at the YMCA ... the Canal Zone -- of course we all do! ... the Observatory ... Veterans of the Spanish American War at Memorial Day ceremonies ... low flying planes over BHS ... plantain chips ... rubber ball fights ... swimming in the "blue holes" ... blocks of ice delivered to your home for the refrigerator ... seaplanes taking off and landing behind the old CHS ... seeing the sun come up behind the Seventh Fleet lined up at the breakwater awaiting transit thru the canal ... chinese plums ... the Guardia Nacional flag-raising every morning on your way to school in Cristobal ... "gooey" cinnamon buns at Margarita Clubhouse ... salt-water pool at the Hotel Washington ... swimming lessons with Coach Palumbo ... teen club dances at Coco Solo... empanadas -- anywhere ... hanging out at the Drive-In ... having to drive up the Admin hill for your driver's license test ... listening to Johnny Mathis records at Charlie Belden's house ... drinking "Purple Passion" at the Drive-In ... throwing up "Purple Passion" on the way home ... locking car while driving thru "Hollywood" ... helping out at Diablo Clubhouse during the Riots of '64 ... looking at the sky at night ... watching ships transit the Canal while sitting on your front porch in Diablo ... $1.50 lobster dinners at Balboa Yacht Club ... bowling at Curundu (if you spot bowled, it could have been a roach) ... trips to Perlas ... Gathering round the " plaque" at BHS, trying not to step on it ... the "Little Theatre" plays ... football games in the rain ... many good friends and wonderful times ... plantain -- anytime, anywhere in any shape or form ... Saturdays and Sundays at Devil's Beach ... Parties at Gatun Yacht Club ... Beer and Pizza at Ft. Davis snack bar after Friday night football games ... putting pennies on the train tracks ...Waterfalls half way to Pina Beach, going down the s-curve hill ... Hidden beaches past Pina Beach ...Parties at (The Trees), west bank Gatun ... Mine Docks keg parties ... Sea wall parties, Coco Solo ... France Field car and bike races ... Summer night volley ball at Coco Solo gym ... Mindi Enduros ... Short Track Races at Mount Hope ... Moto Cross west bank of Gatun ... Getting lobster from the reefs outside break wall at night ... Cars and buses lined up from Ski Docks to Spill Way (Jamboree Party) ... Seeing people off on the SS Cristobal going on vacation ... The 'Snake Pit' in Curundu ... Clay Hill ... Christmas tree wars ... the 'Sombrero'and the 'Whiskey a Go Go' in Panama City ... UFOs over the Canal Zone in the late 1950s ... the natural slide at Goofy Falls ... weekends at Santa Clara ... the spider monkey at Rio Mar ... cuts ... camping at the Taboga cross ... camping on Gorgona Island ... fishing for Bluegill in Gatun Lake ... the Uncle Bob show ... movies at the Taboga R&R center ... steak and onions at the Hotel Chu on Taboga ... watching the flying fish on the Taboga launch ... tree frogs at El Valle ... looking for escaped pet kinkajoos ... riding horses at Santa Clara ... camping with the scouts at Rio Hato ... the rope swing at the top of the hill in Curundu ... watching the U2s take off from Albrook ... Mr. Wolf's 7th grade social studies class at Curundu JHS ... trips to Bocas Del Toro ... picking berries at Cerro Punta ... watching the dolphins swim in the pond at Summit Gardens ... cracker balls ... watching carnival parades on Via Espana in Panama City ... buying records at the PX for $2.25 ... learning to do a "can opener" at Curundu pool ... chasing iguanas in Curundu ... finding dead iguanas in the road in Curundu ... putting mangos in the road in Curundu so cars would run over them and the seeds would go flying out ... going inside a C5-A at Howard AFB ... the manual pinsetters at Balboa Bowling Alley ... eating "raspadilla" snow cones near the Canal Zone bus terminal ... the sound of a old palm branch falling from a palm tree ... the smell of over ripe mangos covering the ground ... the best pizza in the world from the "Napoli" ... protesting the TREATY at Goethals memorial ... my tennis buddies at Albrook AFB ... snorkling around Taboga ... eating monkey meat on a stick ... the sound of the approaching rain coming from the jungle ... the undefeated 1972 Albrook Jets ... the flats at Albrook AFB ... sound of the bullfrogs my first night in the Canal Zone ... the first day of 7th grade at Curundu Jr. High ... cruising the causeway at night ... night fishing with my Dad on the causeway -- thanks, Dad ... the sweet and sour delight of your first ginup ... old wooden Balboa Clubhouse ... the GAP later the BRIDGE clubhouse for Balboa teenagers ... watching the buzzards fly around Quarry Heights ... the view at night of the Thatcher Ferry bridge from Ancon Hill ... being able to rent "Smokey" and "King" (two retired CZ Police horses) for only $1.00 a day ... Jungle Survival School in Curundu ... The boa behind the drinking fountain there ... The shark fence at Amador Beach ... Iron Beer ... Chicken in the basket at Ft. Clayton ... The parachute ride at the Ft. Clayton carnival ... The bathroom on the train, clear shot to the tracks ... Christmas in Curundu Heights ... Octopi under the rocks at the beach ... Digging for bottles around Ft. San Lorenzo ... The gold trail that went across the Isthmus ... The beer vending machines in the Balboa bowling alley ... The roller rink in Balboa ... Dredges in the Canal ... Getting cut by saw grass ... Movies at the Curundu movie theatre. Tether ball and dog piles at Balboa elementary ... Gorgas Hospital ... The model ships at the Balboa library ... Milk bottles delivered to your door ... The excitement of a real American fast food restaurant (Dairy Queen) being opened up ... Pepperoni pizza at the Capri and the "Florida" bar ... the Squirt ... el Auto Cine ...green grass and rain soaked days ... the whine of the mosquito truck late at nite ... the soft wind blowing thru your hair as you head out to Toboga Island ... driving golfballs from the Diablo Spinning Club trying to hit the sides of ships ... Jungle Survival School in Curundu ... the boa behind the drinking fountain there ... the shark net at Amador Beach ...  the Las Cruces Trail ...  ... the bomb shelter in Diablo ... digging for doodlebugs ...Ice cream beans ... first bite of a roseapple ... baskets of lobster at roadside stands at the beach ... San Carlos river ... Goofy Falls ... the smell of grass fires in the interior ... the catwalk under the Thatcher Ferry Bridge ... helicopter seeds on Plank St ... the nuns at St. Mary s ... view of the Pacific from Cerro Campana ... the haunted house on Cerro Campana ... the endless miles of headlights on the way back from the beach on Sunday night ... tamarindos ... pan de huevo ... jumping off cliffs at Rio Mar ... almost drowning in the surf at Rio Mar ... view of the canal from Cocoli Hill ... surfing down the slide ... moto-cross races at Miraflores ... jumping off the French Cut ... old canal digging machinery rusting in the sawgrass at the Cut ... the trail up Ancon Hill behind Balboa Elementary ... The Barn (Margarita) ...The Valley (Margarita) ... the mango trees along Amador Rd ... battleball at Los Rios Elementary ... the electric eel at the Jungle Survival School in Curundu ... matinees at Curundu Theatre ... the Christmas Tree in Curundu Heights ... drinking cold beer and rum and cokes at the Tropic Bar ... beer keg parties at Dynamite Dock ... bartender PARIS at the Cool Spot Bar in Colon ... Carnaval night at the Strangers Club ... fishing at Pier 1 in Coco Solo ... Spaghetti night at Amador Officers Club ... weekends on the Causeway ... the Pub ... the Chicken Coop ... the sound of rain all night long ... sound of venders trying to get you to buy something ... Chorrera Falls ... the sounds at the bullfights and the cock fights in the back of bars ... sound of everyone in the pool at Balboa Clubhouse ... ships all blowing their horns on New Year's Eve ... sound of the train as you traveled back and forth ... the squeaking of the coatimundis coming out of the jungle every evening looking for bread to eat ... 8th grade English class at Curundu Jr. High with Miss Moffet ... "Army surplus", soggy candy and the good pickins at the Diablo Dump in the war years ... Camp El Volcan with the Boy Scouts in the summer ... the trip to El Volcan in Army Duce and a Halfs which left from the Balboa train Station and the long ride on mattresses to El Volcan ... Climbing Mt. El Baru and putting your name on a list in a bottle ... the Swiss Colony and blackberry wine ... Dad fishing in rough water while I did what he called "chumming the fish" (sea-sick) ... walking on the Spanish Trail when Madden lake fell 50 ft in one dry season ... the smell of a herd of wild boars and then watching them cross the Piquini River ... collecting "tamoshanters" in El Valle (Dad's name for died cow-pies) for Mom's orchid collection ... snorkling off Pina Beach close to Ft. San Lorenzo ... going on the SS United States and SS France when Dad docked them in Cristobal ... Rainbow Girls ... walking Galeta reef on the "dark of the moon" and lobstering with Dad ... working with Dad at the Hobby Shop in Coco Solo ... opening day ceremonies for the Girl Scout Camp in Gatun ... and camping there as a Girl Scout ... Santa Clara beach and the guy who would "rent a horse" (we always went away from home -- so it was a good, long ride) then getting Dad to pay for it ... the College Boat as it pulled into the Cristobal pier after being away "so long" ... and the last look at Panama on the horizon as the "Boat" took us back to school ... the lights of Panama City flying into or away from Panama for the last time ... finding a "stinkey bean tree" and getting as many pods to squirt your little sister (or brother) before they smashed the pods in your pocket ... having a mud-ball ( red mud) fight with the neighbor kids and realizing you were standing in front of all the clean sheets the maid just hung out ... stealing one coconut from the guy as he is up a tree and trying to out run him as he comes after you with a machete ... honking the horn under the railroad bridge just before the turn off for Gamboa ... all the maids arriving on the buses early in the morning looking crisp and happy ... the carwash guy named "Junior" who had the biggest biceps and could get the cars shiny in no time -- even in the hot sun ... playing in the rain in the flooded streets of Coco Solo when the water was so high the streets and curbs were gone ... swimming off the rocks behind the Breakers Club in Coco Solo  ... the swampy area between Coco Solo and Ft. Randolph known only to Coco Solo kids as "Mahongy" ... climbing the fence and getting sugar cane in the restricted area of Ft. Randolpoh -- and getting caught by an M.P. wanting to know your name ... giving the "wrong (made up) name" so your Dad wouldn't get in trouble for your actions ... hanging out the window of the car at night while going through the Jungle Preserve on the way to the Atlantic (BEST) side and breathing in all the rich, sweet, moistness the jungle has to offer ... tar in the cracks of the street that is just like "play dough" ... eating the pollen off the Hibiscus flowers ... eating Mom's bamboo orchids (they were sweet) ... eating supper at El Rancho ... ordering a basket of popcorn shrimp and a Ron y Coco-cola for $2.00 at the Cristobal Yacht Club ... the meat won-tons at the Gun Club (can't be beat!) ... the crabs covering the road on the Coco Solo corridor by Cristobal High School -- and the smell after they got "run over" -- the sound of the palm trees during dry season when the trade winds blew ... the smell of the Caribbean ... Mindi Dairy chocolate ice cream -- sooooo creamy -- so good! ... Being a Coco Solo housewife ... Ladies golf tournaments at Brazos Brooks Golf Club.........Getting micha bread hot out of the oven at the bakery in Colon ... camping with the Girl Scouts at the old Gatun Golf Course ... driving through the forest preserve at night with no lights on ... diving into the rat hole near Santa Clara ... the jardines ... the Agewood Bohio ... the Estadio Restaurant ... Morrisons ... day & night vollyball at the end ( pt ) in Diablo ... water ballon & egg fights in Diablo ... the bump in the road by Albrook ... waiting at the Miraflores swing bridge ... the La Boca ferry ... the VFW ... the Elks Club ... the pipeline road in Gamboa ... Armed Forces Day ... the Ancon laundry ... the Las Cruces party boat ... Pedro Miguel Yacht Club ... Pacific Riding Stables ... the Morgans Garden festival ... the governor"s special train car ... the Arranque Bar ... the valley behind Empire Street ... Mr. Fraley"s motorcycle/ the Rathskeller Room (Continental Hotel ) ... dining at the Sky Chef ... los monsteros at the Arizona Bar ... Frijoles ... Barro Colorado Island ... waiting in the emergency room at Gorgas ... the YMCA ... Harnet & Dunn / the K of C / the Penn State Hilton ... Corozal Cemetary ... the "big house" with the fence around it in Corozal / football in the mud on the Prado ... Diablo Commissary / the huge abandoned battaries on the Causeway / charter flights for vacation to the States... Bocoon at Gamboa (the back road to the Ridge)... Officer Bill Hicks stealing the beer for the parties ... the long ride to and from Gamboa ... sitting on the rocks along the canal in Gamboa watching the ships go by ... the Gamboa theater with the bats flying around and the fans on the walls ... the 5-cent make your own cokes ... Stafford the waiter at Gamboa Golf Club and Prino the bartender ... most of all my friends from GAMBOA ... the way Gamboa was ... looking forward to the annual Santa Claus Lane treck (especially seeing Santa wearing a montuno and real Panama Hat in a cayuco pulled by a gator with a red nose) - the treck was done "religiously" every year even from "the other side" ... heckling Coach Palumbo as he brought up the rear at a pre-game snake dance ... horse back riding in El Valle ... praying like crazy while dad drove the very curvy road into El Valle after he had stopped to "tank up" at Arrajan, Chorerra(sp?) and San Carlos ...taking 2 minutes to get to school in the morning and 15 minutes to get home (lived on the hill near Gamboa Elementary) ... big bags of fried wontons from Gamboa Golf Club ... waving to "Uncle" Sam Devers a train engineer as I walked to school along the railroad tracks from the 12-family housing near Gatun Locks to Gatun Elementary School ... wading at lunch time at the old Cristobal Jr - Sr. High ... buying popcorn and sno-cones from the vender at the gates to the school ... getting out of class for ROTC reviews and being entertained by the Army band and the really good drill team ... watching Mr. (anti-sports) Bock playing basketball ... watching CHS players playing against a team of Navy officers while the enlisted men heckled them during the heightened military presence in '64 ... having African Tulip Tree squirter and stink bomb fights ... being entertained by "Leo" the Gatun Yacht Club bartender with paperfolding and lemon basketball ... being scared silly while Dad took me out with him on a stormy night when he had to adjust the lighting of a buoy out in the Cristobal Harbor ... friendly competitions at the swim pool to see how many bobby pins one could collect from the bottom of the pool ... having green hair before it was an "in" thing ... the documentary "Conquest of Mount Everest" in Coco Solo Theater before they adjusted the air conditioning (they actually had to open exit doors to warm the place) ... the French cookies at Balboa Clubhouse ... empanadas ... and the Jamaican meat patties/empanadas the vender used to bring by on the train ... my first complete Spanish sentence "Es prohibido estar en la plataforma quando el tren esta en marcha."  ... tutoring in the "Team" car riding to the basketball games in Balboa ... looking at the steps at the Admin Building and knowing there were idiots in my family who skated down them ... Jill Beech's stallion Prince (who was supposedly too old) siring a crop of foals over at the riding stable in Gatun (Jill is a veterinarian and teacher of veterinarians now) ... you went swimming at Goofy Falls ... you know what a Ping Ding is ... you know what banana paper is and that there is ANOTHER use for it ... you know that a "cut" is not just a skin laceration ... you remember getting in trouble as a kid outside the Balboa Commissary because you weren't allowed to go inside with your parents while they did the grocery shopping ... tasting the sun on your skin  ... hidden beach ... san lorenzo ... church island ... toboga ... El Valle ... top of the world  ... lighthouse ... ski docks ... tarpon club  ... dead mans curve ... skinny dipping ... sea wall ... phosphorescence ... Galeta ... barracudas ...cayucas ...ginnups ...seviche ... CERVEZA ... .good times ...YELLOW sunshine ...chivas ...rainrainrain ... limes ...Fort Randolph ...jungle ... iguanas ...butterflies ...devils ...Breakers ...heartofgold ...sweatin ... runrunrun ... nudetetherball ...calaprigian donkey...
 ...  ...


Send in Your Memory!!


Presented by CZBrats
Updated: August 17
, 2008

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000 by CZ Brats
funr.gif (1654 bytes)
MMr.gif (1718 bytes)