The Boundaries of Mosquito Flats
ASHS Column for 10 12 06
Jerry Simmons

    I sat down to write this column the other night and the phone rang. It was a gentleman who’s called me before about one thing or another. This time, he wanted to know just where Mosquito Flats is. Not how to get there, but sorta how far it was from the river and "things like that."
    Well, I don’t know if one can really put restrictions on the boundaries of a community such as Mosquito Flats, but from my limited life experience, I’d say that its boundary on the east is the Escambia River, on the south is Highway 4, and the north is Big Escambia Creek. I think the west boundary is Fannie Road and the Old Flomaton Road.
    Now that boundary lines are mentioned, what about boundaries for Fannie? Byrneville? Walnut Hill and Bratt? Where does Bogia start and McDavid end? Sardis is another name that comes to mind. Canoe has a couple of road signs on the north and south directions of Highway 31, but surely people other than those residing between the signs believe they live in Canoe, too.
    Well, if you have any answers to those and other earth-shaking questions, be sure to let me know.
    Since this is supposed to be about history, here are some memories about Pensacola I discovered on the Internet. Maybe it’s not your hometown, but I bet you can conjure up memories a lot like this:
    I remember going to three individual movie theaters. In fact, one of my worst
"groundings" took place from an incident at the Saenger. My parents dropped
me off with a friend to see "Love Me Tender". I know, it was not a classic but
I was only 15 or16 years old. Anyway, we went to the 7 o'clock show and liked it so much we stayed for the 9 o'clock one. That was well before the time of
cell phones so my parents waited outside the movie a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggg time. Needless to say, they were none too happy. They never would have found us in a theater full of screaming teenage girls.
    I also remember going to the Isis Theatre every Saturday morning for a dime to see Hopalong Cassidy movies. My older sister remembers seeing The Green Lantern. There was always had a cartoon before the feature and a NEWS short.
    Sometimes we would go to the soda fountain at Woolworth on Saturday. We lived on Barcelona Street so we would walk past the USO on Spring Street (I can still see the wall of morning glories in my mind) and Delchamps on Garden Street.
    BG's Grocery was on the corner of Government and Barcelona across the street from St. Josephs Church. My siblings and I were always looking for an excuse to go there for our penny candy purchases. They had big washtubs outside with "gophers" which were actually snapping turtles. My great grandmother made gopher gumbo -- I have no idea how she killed, cleaned, and cooked the critters but the gumbo was delicious.
    My sister reminded me of how amazed we were with the pneumatic tubes at Penny's where they sent papers to the second floor.
    We had unpenned chickens in our yard in the 1940s and I remember how my great grandma killed them and was she ever proficient in her slinging style. We got the joy of plucking them. YUK.
    Margarine was white colored and had a little container of yellow coloring to be stirred into white. 
    We cruised around the Drive Ins to see who else was cruising, We’d go to the B& B Restaurant on Palafox for dinner or to Felton's for a night of bowling and Lord help you if you ever went to the end of Palafox where Trader Jon’s was located. Bartel’s was another date place for dinner when anyone was craving fried chicken. Pensacola Dairy Bar was the place to head for any ice cream concoction you could ever want.
    Our family did not eat out much. We had a specific time for dinner every night and knew when to come in from playing. We had the run of the neighborhood. Rode bikes, skated, played hopscotch, jacks, pick up sticks, read books. We played dodgeball, kickball, red rover, mother may I. 
    If you have memories like this, of the Jackson Theatre or other parts of your youth, I’m sure there are lots of folk here that would love to read about them. We’d like to hear about them.

Y’all come!

To return to previous page, use the BACK button

This page last modified on Monday, October 30, 2006