All these places had their moments…
I smiled as I read Rita’s email. The February column had her remembering her prom at Panciteria Far East, which was glitz and glamour. It was massive and intriguing. Nestled in a corner of Tamuning, it was where all the big events were celebrated.
A couple of other folks also chimed in about their memories. So, I decided to write more about the places we remember that helped create our life stories.
Continuing in Tamuning, near to Panciteria was Tommy’s Bakery. Gosh! Their glazed donuts were the best. Tommy’s Barber Shop remains open.
Across the street was Yakitori. That is where one of the many successful Infusion outlets is now located. Yakitori served delicious Japanese cuisine.
At the corner was a steakhouse but I cannot remember the name. In the same area was Lights, a huge nightclub. Luis Montinola always knew how to throw a great party. The music and dancing were full of life and laughter.
In Tumon, there was Captain's Table. Great fun there, too. Everybody loved to dance.
Live music was usually found at the top of the ITC. Huge, silver globes twirled from the ceiling.
In Asan, there was Jo and Flo’s. Always crowded with a gazillion people dancing the cha-cha.
For those of you who do not recall, dog racing used to occur at the track down the road from St. Anthony's church. Duty-Free once operated in the building that now houses MicroPac.
There was Swenson’s Ice Cream in Tumon and in Agana. I have always wondered why the dessert places do not last. It was delightful stopping in for ice cream sundaes.
There was a time when VHS tapes were the rave. Blockbusters operated in a few locations. Technology transformed that industry. Before that, vinyl records were a treasure and we found them at Mad Mel’s.
We used to have a skating rink in Dededo. Loud music echoed as we roller-skated with friends.
For our grandparents, there was the Recreation Center in Anigua. Every Sunday, we would take grandma to play Bingo. She would giggle as she shared how she hit the jackpot.
Some places have simply evolved, like the House of Chin Fe. You can still find Chinese dinners there. But Connie Jo has added local dishes and they are now open for breakfast. The place is huge and clean as tasty food and smiles are served.
Cool Spot in Barrigada had great hamburgers. Now, we find Happy Mart in that area. Around the corner was Chesa but lately, the signage has been taken down and the windows are shuttered. I am sure that many Untalan Middle School Wildcats will remember before and after school snacks there.
Kinney's was a great family restaurant found in the back road headed to Anderson. It operated for a while at Red Carpet and then, I understood recipes were found at Chesa.
In Sinajana, there was Fjord’s Smorgette. Buffet style, the interior was decorated like a huge ship. That transformed into Ace Hardware and now, the Public Defender’s office.
Many miss Carmen’s, the Mexican restaurant across the Cathedral. Its private section hosted many lunch meetings. Chuckie Cheese hosted many happy celebrations. Red Lobster graced our presence in the blink of an eye.
Then, there are property transformations. Our airport was once a Quonset hut with a soda machine in front. A huge celebration accompanied the opening of a new terminal, where we checked in on the right and then boarded on the left across a walkway.
The Blue Marlin was a restaurant where we cheered our departing family and friends. That facility now houses offices, I believe. The parking lots look small but at the time, everything seemed so massive.
Of course, now, the A.B. Won Pat International Airport is to the right and continues to improve its services as it welcomes millions of travelers.
Aline Yamashita is a mom, a teacher and former senator. She served in the 31st and 32nd Guam Legislatures. You may write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.