Eugene Lyddane

Eugene “Toddy” Lyddane was born at the old Georgetown University Hospital on 35th and N Streets in 1911. Toddy grew up on Hall Place, in Glover Park just north of Georgetown, and worked in his father’s grocery store, which had been opened a generation earlier by Toddy’s grandfather, on 1408 Wisconsin Avenue. He pulled a little wagon full of groceries to different customers’ houses; people rarely went to grocery stores and just called in orders. After moving into Georgetown in 1929, just before becoming a teenager, Toddy has remained a steady figure in the community. In his interview with Alec McKaye, Toddy Lyddane reminisces about old Georgetown: cowboy movies at Dumbarton theater, frequenting Connecticut Lunch for sandwiches on Wisconsin and O Streets, and the spaghetti dinners at Heon’s Restaurant. Visit Georgetown through the vivid recollections of a long-time Georgetowner and enter a small town made up of groceries, pharmacies, bakeries, and streets so empty you could play baseball on them.

Interview Date:
Monday, March 10, 2014
Alec MacKaye

Alec: Connected to your name was that picture that I guess was found by…

Eugene: On Hall Place.

Alec: On Hall Place.

Eugene: That’s right.

Alec: You and the gang.

Eugene: With two other young fellows.

Alec: Yeah it was a whole little gang of you guys.

Eugene: Yeah that’s right.

Alec: “Heavy” somebody and ah.

Eugene: When I lived on Hall Place only a few people had automobiles and we played baseball right in the street.

Alec: Good times.

Eugene: Yeah. We had a lot of fun playing it.

Mary‑Lee: We tried parking cars in their yard.

Eugene: The lamp lighters would come up and light the gas lights at night. We didn’t have electricity outside. The gas people came and they lighted the lights.

Alec: Oh my gosh, now did you move to Glover Park? You were born in that neighborhood?

Eugene: I was born there around that neighborhood in around 1911. I lived there over my high school days and grammar school days and part of my college days, right in there.

Alec: Right in the same [clanging noise] The paparazzi are gathering [laughter] . Now this thing I’m doing is for the Georgetown citizens. I’m Glover Park citizen I was born and raised on Beecher Street.

Eugene: Beecher Street, oh yeah Beecher.

Alec: Didn’t exist when you were there but I’m thrilled to learn more about Glover Park but I’m going to have to resist [laughter] and a…

Eugene: From Georgetown.

Alec: Stick with Georgetown because that’s what they’re going to want to hear about I think.

Eugene: Well my Grandfather opened a store. He came from Rockville and he opened a store way in the 1950’s and then my father succeeded him. I used to help my father on Saturdays delivering groceries to nearby people. Instead of the trucks, I would cart them their foods.

Alec: Really? That’s exactly the kind of thing that fascinates me. Just let me make sure that I’m getting all this before we even… yep we’re looking good. Let me start in the beginning though, first off your name is pronounced Lyddane.

Eugene: L-Y-D-D-A-N-E, Eugene T. the third.

Alec: Yes, all right [laughter] and you were born in 1911. Do you remember what hospital?

Eugene: Georgetown, the old Georgetown University Hospital at 35th and N Street.

Alec: Which is now part of the…

Eugene: 35th and N.

Alec: I think it’s called Loyola Hall I think.

Eugene: They have students who live there. It’s Georgetown University students live at that hall.

Alec: Right and your family didn’t end up working for the university though?

Eugene: No, my brother became a doctor from the university.

Alec: Oh really, he went to Georgetown.

Eugene: Yeah he went there in the old, on Q Street. After we left the Hall Place we moved to 3068 Q Street. After he opened an office there, then he bought the building next door and had his main office there at 3066 Q.

Alec: Ah, so he stayed there for a long time?

Eugene: He had a large medical practice.

Alec: And you lived right next door?

Eugene: I lived right next door.

Alec: That’s great.

Eugene: I went to the University of Maryland and Western High School.

Alec: You went to Western?

Eugene: Yes, did you go to Western?

Alec: You know, I didn’t. My family, I was supposed to, we were going to do Stoddert, Gordon…

Eugene: Stoddert.

Alec: Yea, Stoddert, Gordon, Western. That was supposed to be our track. By the time I came along they switched the schools all around. I ended up going to Wilson.

Eugene: Oh that’s a nice school that Wilson High.

Alec: A little farther than I wanted to go, up a hill too. [laughter]

Eugene: Yeah, that’s a nice school.

Alec: Yeah it was a good experience for me. But both of my older sisters graduated from Western, and then my mother’s best friend…. I’m fifth generation Washingtonian.

Eugene: Oh, that’s great.

Alec: So my mother knew people who went to Western many years ago, so she’s familiar. That’s another thing that’s going to be hard for me to resist is trying to connect to all these different things that I’m interested in, but we’ll try to stay on point a little bit. But the. So you graduated from Western.

Eugene: 1931. I graduated from the University of Maryland in 1935.

Alec: What did you do after that?

Eugene: I worked for a Commerce Clearing House. Have you ever heard of that?

Alec: No.

Eugene: It’s a loose leaf publishing company. They publish all kinds of services; tax service, the bankruptcy service, the pre court service, all services. Loose leaf was always up to date, you see. The text books were being final, they were stopped. They were always the latest thing, like forms and so forth. Commerce Clearing House.

Alec: Oh my God.

Eugene: It’s a very good institution.

Alec: Yeah, yeah, it was complete…

Eugene: They’re located in Chicago. And, we had competition from Prentice Hall. You’ve heard of Prentice Hall.

Alec: That I have heard of. I’ve seen them.

Eugene: So, Prentice Hall, they had a lead on us, because they were in New York City. And our company was in Chicago.

Alec: That’s eight more hours away.

Eugene: So what we had to do when the Supreme Court opinions came down, we had to give them to a porter on the train, give him a couple dollars. And they’d be picked up in Chicago. We’d be the same as Prentice Hall. That’s the only way we could do it. Airplanes weren’t running in those days.

Alec: Right. Oh my god. Well, that’s how you do it. You figure it out and you got to make your choice.

Eugene: Yeah, that’s right.

Alec: You got to make it work. Now when you worked in your dad’s grocery store.

Eugene: Yes.

Alec: That would be a great thing. That could be really useful to talk about Georgetown as a whole, just using the grocery store, and then we go on from that.

Eugene: That’s right. My father had a grocery store there…

Alec: Where was it?

Eugene: 1408 Wisconsin Avenue. Right. Do you know where the Dumbarton Theater is?

Alec: Well, yeah, I used to work at the Georgetown Theater. Many years after. 1351.

Eugene: It’s right across Wisconsin on the west side.

Alec: So across the street from “Doc” Dalinksy’s little spot.

Eugene: Yeah. That’s right. Do you know Doc Dalinsky?

Alec: A little bit. Yeah.

Eugene: He was quite a guy.

Alec: Yeah, he was. Yeah.

Eugene: His brother there worked with him.

Alec: Yeah. So, then I guess your brother must have sent all his prescriptions over there.

Eugene: Yeah, they filled them there. He was from Baltimore originally.

Alec: “Doc” Dalinksy was?

Eugene: Yeah. Dalinsky. Donahue’s drug store was there before that, and he bought him out. He opened a store there. Dalinksy.

Alec: Is that right? So it was a pharmacy even before he came along.

Eugene: Yeah, that’s right.

Alec: How often did you work there? Around what age were you working there?

Eugene: When I was working there, I was in late grade school, early high school age. I would carry the groceries around for nearby people. That way they wouldn’t take the truck around. They would take me around sent with some groceries. Help them out.

Alec: Do you remember all your different customers?

Eugene: Yes I do.

Alec: Who were some of the people you delivered to?

Eugene: Frank Jelleff. Have you ever heard of Frank Jelleff? Of the Boys Club?

Alec: Yes.

Eugene: He was a patient of my father’s.

Alec: Is that right.

Eugene: Every time Mrs. Jelleff would go to Europe, she sent my father a birthday card and also a card of over in Europe. She was a very nice woman.

Alec: Yeah. I can tell. That is thoughtful. I know them only in that I used to go to the Jelleff Boys Club all the time. I, basically, was raised by that place.

Eugene: That’s right.

Alec: And my mother in law was a cashier at the Jelleff department store downtown.

Eugene: Oh yeah, down on 13th street.

Alec: She just did the cash register at Jelleff.

Eugene: That’s unusual.

Alec: But I’ve never met anybody that actually knew Mr. Jelleff I just know him as…

Eugene: Mr. Jelleff was a nice man. He opened that Jelleff’s for the boys, you know?

Alec: Yeah. It’s an amazing place. It still is.

Eugene: Did you ever go there?

Alec: All the time, all the time.

Eugene: That was nice, wasn’t it?

Alec: Yeah. It’s still there. I take my daughter there. We go roller skating in the basketball court sometimes.

Eugene: That’s nice, yes.

Alec: It’s a great, great place.

Eugene: Yeah.

Alec: It meant a lot to a lot of people. So that’s an amazing person to have known. Who were some other customers you delivered to?

Eugene: Well, there was the chief of the police. He delivered at the store. Also the fire chief named Sullivan. I would take the groceries to him. He lived right up on Wisconsin Avenue, right across… Do you know where Little Caledonia is? The store…Right across from store there. And I would take groceries there. They used me as a footman.

Alec: Yeah. Did you have a little cart? Or did you carry them in bundles?

Eugene: I had a little cart, a little station wagon. I mean a little wagon.

Alec: Yeah, a little wagon. A pull wagon.

Eugene: Also I’ll tell you, when I started an evening store up on Wisconsin Avenue across from the cathedral on Lowell Street near John Eaton school. I started the paper there for one whole year. The Evening Star. It was Sunday in mornings, the morning paper.

Alec: That’s a far way to go for your route.

Eugene: I know, it was.

Alec: You couldn’t get any closer?

Eugene: But Mr. Quinn, he had a big truck he would take my paper and my wagon all the way up there to Lowell Street and Woodley Road and then I would deliver the paper from there. Then I would ride home on my truck to Hall Place.

Alec: After you’d empty all the papers out, you would get onboard and ride it on down. That’s great. He had a truck load of papers he distributed.

Eugene: Yes, that’s right.

Alec: Wow, that must have been fun just to ride. I had the Washington Star, not the Evening Star, that I delivered. But the same thing, I rode around and threw all the bundles down.

Eugene: Oh, yeah.

Alec: Then did you have to collect from people?

Eugene: No. No, that’s one thing we didn’t have to do. We didn’t have to collect. They collected. They had a certain man that did the collection.

Alec: Good, good.

Eugene: But we did the delivery of all the papers.

Alec: Wow. But you never served… You went uphill, I guess. So then you moved to Georgetown when you were‑

Eugene: We moved to Georgetown from Hall Place in 1938.

Alec: 1938.

Mary‑Lee: 1929.

Eugene: 1929, that’s right.

Alec: ’29, OK. So then you were… 12? You moved to Georgetown before you became a teenager, right?

Eugene: Yeah, that’s right. A teenager, I was a teenager when I graduated from Holy Trinity School in 1926. Then I went on to the Western High School and graduated from there. Then I went to University of Maryland.

Alec: Now, I’m really interested in you being a teenager in Georgetown. What was the neighborhood like then? What was maybe, the rough place, or the quiet place to get away? How was Georgetown as a neighborhood at that time?

Eugene: Well, they had to Connecticut Lunch right across the street, and they were open all night long. The merchants and all would go in there and get coffee and small meals everyday. Connecticut Lunch. You know where the Connecticut Pie Bakery was? That was right across the street on O Street from Connecticut Lunch. They served pies. They were in southern Maryland. A man would fill up his truck with pies and go all the way to southern Maryland and dispense and sell the pies.

Alec: Wow.

Mary‑Lee: That was Wisconsin and O?

Eugene: Wisconsin and O. There’s People’s Drug Store there now. Big drug store.

Alec: It was probably a whole different building. That building…

Eugene: Whole different building, you’re correct.

Alec: Do you remember when they tore that down?

Eugene: Yes, I do. I remember they tore it down. Yes, I do remember that. That was a big change with Georgetown. A lot of the small drug stores had to go out of business. That old Diamonds drug store was Wisconsin and O Street, I mean, Wisconsin and P Street. They had to go out of business because they couldn’t compete with People’s Drug Store.

Alec: Was People’s the first big chain to do that? Was that the first?

Eugene: Yes. That was the biggest change, yes it was, in Georgetown. Georgetown was a quiet little place until People’s Drug Store came.

Alec: As a teenager, did you spend much time on the waterfront? Did you swim?

Eugene: No, I didn’t do it. I couldn’t swim very well. No, I didn’t spend much time.

Alec: Good thing you didn’t try.

Eugene: Also, the Georgetown Pool, I couldn’t swim much, but later on, when I got to be an older man and went to her place, she had a pool up in New Jersey. I could swim better.

Alec: All right [chuckles] . You didn’t spend much time on the waterfront, then?

Eugene: No, I didn’t.

Alec: Nothing down there. That’s another area I’m always curious about, was how that was in those days.

Eugene: Yeah, yeah.

Alec: Did you, for your father’s grocery store, did you go out to the Central Market to get…

Eugene: No. My father would get up at 4:00 in the morning and pick out his fruits and vegetables and all and bring them in. Then they would send the truck down, and then the boy would bring them in, and he’d put them in the store. We’d sell them from there. He would have to get up early in the morning. I helped him later on.

Alec: The truck would arrive, and you’d just get them off the truck and send them up into the market?

Eugene: Yeah, that’s right. Right.

Alec: Did you go to the Dumbarton Theatre?

Eugene: Yeah, I like the Dumbarton. Did you ever see any cowboy shows there?

Alec: I don’t think I did. I’m trying to remember what kind… We showed more modern things. I was up there in the ’80s, but we didn’t show any cowboy films the whole time I was there. I worked for the Heons. Gus Heon was…

Eugene: Oh. Heon! Wisconsin and M Street. Heon! That restaurant, I know that. They had a restaurant there a long time. Right good food, wasn’t it?

Alec: Nathan’s was there for a long time.

Eugene: Yeah, there a long time. Heon’s.

Alec: They owned that property. They still do. The family does.

Eugene: Family still owns it?

Alec: Yeah, but Gus, my boss, he grew up on the second floor of that building.

Eugene: He did? That’s remarkable.

Alec: Yeah. Yeah it is.

Eugene: Yeah it is.

Alec: Do you remember any people down from that part of Georgetown?

Eugene: No. I used to go down there once in a while and get a meal. But I would eat my meal at the Connecticut; close-up.

Alec: Yeah.

Eugene: Yes.

Alec: So what was your main…? Connecticut… Bakery, is that the word? Oh, Connecticut Lunch.

Eugene: Connecticut Lunch. It was across the street from my father’s grocery store.

Alec: And that was your hangout when you were a teenager?

Eugene: Yeah, that was a hangout when I wanted meals. Right.

Alec: What were some other things around Georgetown that you really loved to do in those days?

Eugene: Well, I’d go up to the library and look at the books, and so forth. And where Georgetown was at, at that time, they had two or three different schools down there and I went around and watched people. People would be very nice to me and talk to me. Once in a while, I would sell papers on Wisconsin and O Street. I thought that was a big deal. Three cents a paper.

Alec: [laughs] Well, I’m sure it was, yeah. What was the… I don’t know if it was restaurant… What kind of store was at ‑ Is that Dunbar Avenue? What’s the next block down?

Eugene: They had an Olympia Pharmacy right down on block that sold ice cream and candies and so forth.

Alec: Another pharmacy.

Eugene: You remember Fussell Young Ice Cream People?

Alec: I’ve only heard of it. Yeah, I was going to ask you…

Eugene: They were right there. There’s a big department store there now.

Alec: Georgetown Inn, is that where Fussell…?

Eugene: Yeah, that’s right. That’s where Fussell was.

Alec: And what about…

Eugene: You’ve got a good memory.

Alec: Well, I’m only learning things. These are other people’s memories. But, what was across the street from that on the corner where it has the big awning? In my day, it was a French restaurant. But I’m wondering what it was in your day.

Eugene: Across the street the street from Fussell’s?

Alec: You know, there’s the bank at Wisconsin. If you were to come out of the Dunbar Theater and turn left, walk down Wisconsin, there’s a bank.

Eugene: There was a bank, yeah. American Security Bank was there.

Alec: Right. And then you cross the street.

Eugene: And then down a little farther was Barker’s Bakery. They made a small bakery there. They made rolls and pies and things. A small bakery.

Alec: Barker’s?

Eugene: Yeah, Barker’s.

Alec: Wow. You guys had a lot of bakers and a lot of pharmacies. [laughs]

Eugene: Yeah, right.

Alec: What about if you were to walk up Wisconsin Avenue coming out of your dad’s grocery and you were going to walk up to the library, what were some of the shops on the way? What would you see?

Eugene: Well, there would be several plumbing people’s houses, plumbers, all the way up to the library.

Alec: Really?

Eugene: Yeah. And a couple of small Collins, little grocery store named Collins, up there.

Alec: Collins?

Eugene: Yeah, on Wisconsin. Just a small grocery.

Alec: Were you competitive with them? Or they were different?

Eugene: Oh no, they weren’t competition, too small.

Alec: OK. Good. And so, you lived on Q.

Eugene: 3068 Q.

Alec: Right. So who were your nearest neighbors, like next door to you and nearby.

Eugene: We had…

Alec: Do you remember?

Eugene: We had a Mr. Quinn who was in charge of the papers. He lived next door to us. And Mr. Freeman lived next door. They ran Freeman’s store.

Mary‑Lee: Honey, wasn’t that on Hall Place?

Eugene: Yeah, Hall Place.

Alec: Oh, on Hall.

Mary‑Lee: How about on Q? How about Q Street? Who were your neighbors on Q Street?

Eugene: The people next to us we had the fire you know?

Mary‑Lee: Oh Yes.

Alec: There was a fire?

Eugene: Yeah next to us.

Alec: Do you remember around when that was?

Eugene: We went to her husband’s house and we came back there was a fire. 3066 Q Street.

Mary‑Lee: Oh it wasn’t 66, and it’s on the other side. I had forgotten their names too…

Alec: When did that happen?

Mary‑Lee: maybe 15 years ago or something.

Alec: I remember that, Yeah.

Eugene: That was many years ago.

Alec: Yeah, I even remember that.

Mary‑Lee: I can’t think of the name.

Alec: When you were younger? Do you remember your neighbors names? When you were in high school, College?

Eugene: I remember Mr. Fletcher. The Fletchers. I remember Bob Freeman. He went to University of Pennsylvania he was a star basketball player. Me and Billy Freeman, and Mr. Quinn.

Mary‑Lee: Yeah. But that was Hall Place.

Eugene: Yeah. Hall Place.

Mary‑Lee: What about Q street? When you moved there 1929? Do you remember your neighbors around…

Eugene: Yeah. There was a young doctor and his wife and child. I can’t remember the name.

Alec: Did you ever get to know the Peter Family? Is that right?

Mary‑Lee: Peter Family. Yes.

Eugene: I knew of them.

Alec: They kept to themselves?

Eugene: Big place they had on Q Street. Big mansion. That was a beautiful home.

Alec: When I was a boy scout one of my friends, his dad was the groundskeeper there.

Eugene: They had lovely grounds.

Alec: Yeah. But that was about as much as I knew ever knew about them. I didn’t that maybe since you were just down the road from them if you ever saw them? I guess they never came into the grocery store?

Eugene: No. They never came in. They would call on the telephone. But they wouldn’t come in. Not many people came in grocery stores those days. There was no Safeways and things. No chain stores. People would order by telephone, and it would be delivered by truck. Those were the days.

Alec: That’s so interesting. It seems like that’s what’s happening again nowadays. It’s coming around.

Mary‑Lee: What else was delivered by truck at home by truck at home in those days. The ice man would come would he not.

Eugene: Oh, Yes. When my father had the grocery store. He didn’t have electricity so he had to bring ice cubes in the truck. The ice man would come and fill up the top of the ice box. He would take about a week and then fill it up again. Later on he got them all electricity. Another thing. When beer came in we couldn’t sell beer because the back of that store was right next to a school. They wouldn’t let us sell any beer and things like that. Am I talking too loud?

Alec: I don’t think so. That is interesting. The Ice came from?

Eugene: Ice man. He would drag the ice through the floor, and then put it up on top of the ice box.

Alec: Wow. How was Georgetown then, as far as…did it have? I guess it was full electric…No, It did not have electric… you’re saying it was full electric…

Eugene: We had electricity then.

Alec: Just not refrigeration.

Eugene: Yeah.

Alec: Did they still have gas light outside?

Eugene: No. No more gas in the whole place. They cut that out.

Alec: What about trolleys?

Eugene: We had trolleys. We would take those down to Hall Place. Then get on the trolley and go downtown. At that age the Naval observatory was open on Hall place. You could go down, all the way down. Two sides to the observatory. Naval observatory, Naval Observatory. We had also Mount Alto Hospital after World War I and we’d go up there once in a while to see moving pictures and also they had the Army band and the Navy band at Mount Alto.

Alec: Yeah, and that’s where the Russian Embassy is now. Yeah.

Eugene: Yeah, that’s right. You’ve got a good memory.

Alec: Yeah. Before they built that, that was my playground was the grounds of the Mount Alto Hospital. But there was nothing left but the basement by the time I came along.

Eugene: That’s right, yeah.

Alec: Do you remember… somebody told me that General Patton’s widow lived nearby. Do you remember any of that?

Eugene: Patton.

Alec: Yeah, I don’t…

Eugene: Oh, no. General Patton when I grew up he was the chief man over at Fort Myer in Virginia.

Alec: In Fort Myer?

Eugene: His daughter came to Western High and she was in my class in Latin class.

Alec: Is that right?

Eugene: Yes. Miss Mary Patton.

Alec: Was she nice?

Eugene: She was a nice girl.

Alec: She wasn’t as tough as he was alleged to be?

Eugene: Yeah. Right. Right.

Alec: Wow. That’s pretty cool. Did you meet him or did you ever see him?

Eugene: No, I never, no, I didn’t. He stayed to himself. Never saw him in person.

Alec: Yeah.

Eugene: But, I use to go over to Fort Myer once in a while to moving pictures.  It had a good moving picture over there and it was reasonable. Because you could see movies, but you had to go all the way to Arlington. Drive over there by automobile.

Alec: That’s a big drive actually just for that.

Eugene: Yeah. Right.

Alec: Did you know people over there? Did you get to know any of the service men?

Eugene: Not many people. A couple of people went to high school I knew over there. Went to Western High. Yes.

Alec: Do you remember kind of what years you would have been doing that? I guess it was before the war.

Eugene: Yeah, before World War II. Right. You’re correct.

Alec: Do you remember when they took the trolleys out of Georgetown? How did you feel about that?

Eugene: I remember that. They put it in buses. They put it in buses that went to Burleith and Glover Park.

Eugene: They put those in and that helped the people because they had crossed the way if you went to the trolleys. They did away with the trolleys.

Alec: And you thought that was an improvement?

Eugene: Yes, I did.

Alec: Did you go the Car Barn down there when it was still…

Eugene: Yeah. I went down to the Car Barn because I went to Trinity School. It was right close to it. And they tore that Car Barn down and they gave us a lot of extra tickets, coupons, and so forth. But they were no good but just gave them to the kids.

Alec: That’s pretty neat. Wow. Do you have like a little… did you save stuff? I mean do you…

Eugene: Yeah. I save some of it. Yes.

Alec: Yeah. That’s really neat. Let’s see. I’m going to consult… I try to come up with nothing too complicated. Just want to consult some questions so I don’t miss anything good. Let’s see where I… looks like I shuffled them in here… ah, there it is. Here, I made a photocopy of that. That’s you. I know that you have a copy already but I just…

Eugene: Oh, I love that picture. Can I keep this?

Alec: Oh, absolutely, yeah.

Eugene: Thank you very much. That’s nice. My father, and Mr. Quinn. Oh, man, this is great. This is great. And the Japanese boy, Ken Murikama. They made him go to Japan after the war was started. This is a great picture. Billy, you see, Mary Lee?

Mary‑Lee: No, I haven’t seen that. Thank you very much.

Alec: You can have your own copy.

Mary‑Lee: Thank you.

Eugene: Thank you very much. This is wonderful. Yeah.

Alec: So, that kid had to go back to Japan, huh?

Mary‑Lee: Did he ever come back, Toddy?

Eugene: I never heard. I imagine he was killed. A nice fellow, but some of the people didn’t like him because he was Japanese. They were critical of him. Man, this is a good picture. I love this.

Alec: Which one is your dad?

Eugene: My father is on the left hand side. He’s the tall man on the left‑hand side.

Alec: Do you remember when that picture was taken?

Eugene: I think it was probably taken around the early ’30.

Alec: But you don’t remember hanging out or something on that day? That would be a long shot.

Eugene: No. This boy on the right, named Eby.

Mary‑Lee: Buck Eby?

Eugene: Yeah, Buck Eby, during the war he got married, and then his wife left him, and he committed suicide. Awful.

Alec: Oh, you’re kidding.

Eugene: Yeah, on the right. He was a very nice fellow. But he couldn’t take it, because he loved his wife, and she left him. That’s awful, isn’t it?

Alec: That’s a sad story. That’s him right in the front? Tall guy, leaning over.

Eugene: Right. This picture’s great.

Alec: I thought so. And this was the one, see it said Carlton Fletcher found that from somewhere.

Eugene: That’s wonderful. Tell Carlton Fletcher thank you.

Alec: Oh, thank you. He said he spoke to you guys.

Eugene: He gave me a small picture of this, not the whole picture. Just a small part.

Mary‑Lee: There’s another one of you with the goat cart or whatever. You have that one, don’t you, with the goat cart?

I’ll get you all of this stuff. That’s actually one I thought you were referring to. It’s a riot. I will get you a copy of it.

Alec: That would be great. Let’s see. Do you remember who else worked for your father at the store?

Eugene: We had a butcher ‑ a meat cutter. My father didn’t cut meats. He was a grocer. He waited on people for groceries and packaged goods, but we had a meat cutter that cut steaks, legs of lamb, hamburgers, and things like that.

Alec: And is that something that was typical? A butcher is like a specialized trade, right? So people always had a different butcher. Do you remember who that was?

Eugene: Yeah. His name was Mr. John Baden. He was a butcher there. He worked full‑time.

Alec: Do you remember where he lived?

Eugene: Yeah, he lived on 33rd street. You know where the old Wise Dairy was on 33rd and P Street? He lived right around the corner.

Alec: What was the name of the dairy nearby?

Eugene: Wise Brothers. We bought milk from Wise Brothers. The other big dairy was Chevy Chase Dairy. There were three big dairies. There was Wise Dairy, there was Chevy Chase Dairy, and over a town there was Thompson’s Dairies.

Alec: Whose cows were they milking? Do you know where they got their milk from?

Eugene: There were different farms that would bring the milk in.

Alec: Then I guess the farms were starting to get further and further out at that point.

Eugene: That’s right. You’re right.

Alec: Do you remember the truck? Did your dad have an actual truck for the…?

Eugene: Yeah, open air truck. He didn’t have a closed truck, open air. But then later he closed it up.

Alec: Had the name of the store on the store.

Eugene: Yeah, E.T. Lyddane, Jr.

Alec: That’s pretty cool.

Eugene: Right.

Alec: In Georgetown, when you wanted to go somewhere just to get away, was there a little quiet spot that you liked to go in Georgetown that was like a…?

Eugene: I used to go to Olympia Confectionery, because they had good ice cream, and chocolate sundaes. I would go there. That was right across from Georgetown Pharmacy. Just walk four or five blocks up and you get it. You get nice ice cream and candies and so forth.

Alec: Where was that? That was on Wisconsin?

Eugene: Wisconsin Avenue.

Alec: At what…

Eugene: Down the street from the pharmacy. Yeah.

Alec: And what were the stores, do you remember what was at Wisconsin and M in those days?

Eugene: Well, there was Heon’s and there was a Potomac Savings Bank, and also Heon’s, and also Rigg’s National Bank, wonderful place.

Alec: So there’s two different Heon’s.

Eugene: Yeah, Heon’s.

Alec: But you didn’t know any of the people from that family?

Eugene: No, I didn’t. But once in a while I would have a meal there at Heon’s. They had good spaghetti.

Alec: Oh really?

Eugene: Do you like spaghetti?

Alec: I love spaghetti.

Eugene: Yeah.

Alec: I hope to talk to some Heons. I’m now related to them through my wife.

Eugene: Is that right?

Alec: Yeah. She’s a cousin of the Heons. So I’m going to talk to them. I’m going to tell them that you enjoyed their spaghetti.

Eugene: Tell them I enjoyed the meal.

Alec: I will. They’ll be delighted. What were some other just, I guess, what were all the different stores you remember besides them?

Eugene: Well, up the street from my father was Freeman’s Dry Goods store. They sold everything. Dry goods. All kinds of dry goods, men’s shirts and things. Right up the street, three doors up. And there was a barbershop next to my father’s. Charlie Parker, he was a black man. But he was there for many years and he had a special cup for each customer when he shaved them.

Alec: Really?

Eugene: Yeah.

Alec: Charlie Parker the barber.

Eugene: Right.

Alec: And he was on Wisconsin just up the street.

Eugene: Yeah, right.

Alec: I’m trying to picture which building he was in.

Eugene: Next to 140810. Next to it. Right above, yeah.

Alec: And you went there? Did you get your haircut by him?

Eugene: Yeah, I went there. Later on I went to another barbershop down the street, when he got older.

Alec: Yeah. Do you remember, what was the other barbershop called?

Eugene: Cannon’s.

Alec: Cannon’s.

Eugene: You ever heard of Cannon’s barbershop?

Alec: Uh‑huh. I heard of Cannon’s seafood.

Eugene: Where did you get your hair cut?

Alec: I used to go to a guy named Joe Maggi who was on Hall Place. Do you know the Maggis?

Mary‑Lee: He goes to my place.

Eugene: Joe Maggi. I remember Joe Maggi.

Alec: I spent hours and hours and hours with Joe Maggi talking about everything. Because his dad had a shop right down in Georgetown right by the University.

Eugene: Yeah, Joe Maggi right there on 36th Street. Yeah, Joe Maggi.

Alec: That’s right.

Eugene: Do you remember a Georgetown clothing shop run be Steve Barrabas? Right on the corner of O Street and 36th.

Alec: It kind of rings a bell but it is not something I went to.

Eugene: Yeah. But Joe Maggi he cut my hair a long time.

Alec: Really?

Eugene: Yeah.

Mary‑Lee: That’s called Georgetown University Shop.

Eugene: Yeah.

Alec: Yes.

Mary‑Lee: Right across from the mall.

Alec: Exactly, yeah. OK. Thank you. Yeah. I do know that. I’ve never been in there. But then, maybe it was Joe. It might have been his dad. The guy that I went to was a Korean War veteran. He’d be in his… He died about 10 years ago. Well, I don’t know, five or ten years ago.

Eugene: Yeah, he was the father, Joe Maggi.

Alec: OK, yeah.

Eugene: That’s right.

Alec: So that’s who I went to. I also know that the Tropias… I don’t know if you knew any of the Tropia family. They were in Glover Park, but they had another barbershop.

Eugene: I didn’t know them, no.

Alec: They’re still around. They had a place on Connecticut Avenue for many years. That’s really interesting. Do you remember your classmates at Western? Who were some…?

Eugene: Yes, I do remember several of them. Several of them went to Maryland with me. Yeah, that was a nice school. Western High school.

Mary‑Lee: Pa, do you remember the names of any of those people in your class from Western?

Eugene: Yeah, a few of them.

Mary‑Lee: Well, you talked about Mary Patton.

Eugene: Yeah.

Mary‑Lee: Anyone else that was local that you remember?

Eugene: I can’t remember their names. They’ll come to me, but right now I can’t remember.

Alec: How did you get to? When you went out to Maryland you were living still on Q Street and going out…

Eugene: Well, for two years I lived with my aunt on campus in Maryland. But two other years we drove out in an old Ford car. My sister Mary Katherine and Frank Seeley we all went to Maryland and we drove out in an old Ford car. But two other years I lived on campus out there.

Alec: What kind of car did you have? Do you remember that?

Eugene: A Ford.

Alec: Ford.

Eugene: An old Ford.

Alec: That must have been a longer drive then than it is now, I suppose.

Eugene: Yes, it was.

Alec: I’m trying to think of a… Well, I guess, in Georgetown. Now did you spend much time on the campus at Georgetown University or…?

Eugene: A little bit. I worked part‑time at Georgetown University Law School when they gave examinations. I helped them at the examination time at Georgetown University. But it only happened twice during the year, in the spring and in the fall. Just two times I worked there.

Alec: And then east of Wisconsin, how far did… Did you go to Dupont Circle, as far as that?

Eugene: I didn’t go up to Dupont. There’s some nice restaurants just before you get to Dupont Circle. A lot of restaurants on the right, on P Street on the right hand side as you get to Dupont Circle. But I didn’t go over there very much. I stayed home.

Alec: That’s pretty good. I think I’m… It’s possible that you may have exhausted me here. I don’t want to over do it and I’m sort of stretching around for different answers. I mean coming up with…

Eugene: Yeah. It’s nice of you to come and talk to me.

Alec: It was my distinct pleasure. I really mean that.

Eugene: I’ll tell you what, this is a lovely card.

Alec: I’m going to try to get you an even better one. This is a photocopy and if I can I’ll get you a better picture, a bigger one.

Eugene: Well, this is nice. I want to thank you for this. It really is wonderful.

Alec: It is the least I can do for your trouble.

Eugene: Yeah. Thank you very, very much.

Alec: All right, great. I think, if it’s OK, I am going to look through. They have a little prompt list you folks…

Eugene: Anything you want, you can call me now and I’ll tell you, if you forget something.

Alec: OK. OK. Maybe that’s the way to do it, you’re right. OK. Great. All right.

Eugene: Thank you very much.

Alec: Thank you.

Added On:

Eugene: When I grew up, started there at 1850.

Alec: 1850, your grandfather.

Eugene: Then my father moved in, and he kept it up until 1935. Then, he retired.

Alec: And that was the end of the store.  1935

Eugene: Yeah, I think so.  Right.

Alec: But your father stayed in Georgetown from there.

Eugene: Yeah. He retired in 1930. He died in 1966 of the cancer of the lung.

Mary Lee: 1948.

Eugene: Yeah. OK.

Alec: All right, all right. [laughs]