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The Blue Lite Club
417 - 29th Street
Newport News, VA 23607

03/07/06 03/07/06
Another little reminder of days gone by. Maybe this was a matchbook cover? Blue Lite, upscale, classy, yet friendly enough for us commoners. About 1978  
Courtesy of David Whitley
('67) of VA - 01/11/17
Thanks, David!
Image courtesy of Jean Lankes Toth
(HHS - '72) of VA - 02/20/05
Thanks, Jean!

Anyone remember The Blue Light........a club very close to NNHS?
Not sure when it opened, but I know I attended way after graduation.
Wow! What a great time to grow up in Hampton!

- Gloria Woolard Price (HHS - '65) of FL - 01/25/05
Thanks, Gloria!

Does anyone remember the “Blue Light” Club in Newport News?  I remember going there several times
after I graduated from NNHS in which case you would BYOB!  My memory is a little foggy but I know I went
to the club; perhaps I was under the influence... anyway it would be interesting to hear from others.

- Paul Dobie ('66) of CO - 02/04/05
Thanks, Paul!

If you create a page for The Blue Light Club, which was a private club and very mysterious
to those who could not enter, perhaps this would be the MIDI:

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 02/09/05
Ooooh - Perfect!  Thanks, Dave!

(For those of you who were blissfully unaware, sometime after leaving NNHS, David and I both became members
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This letter of his is going to require a concordance to understand,
so I'll try to interpret the terms.  The off-the-wall humor you're either going to catch or not.  I personally have spent
some time rolling on the floor...)

Carol ... oh Carol!!! Hey little baby duck, howsareya?

This is your favorite brother-in-saint, right here (still after lo these many years) in NN.
(In our church, we refer to each other as brother and sister.  Hence this is Brother Whitley addressing Sister Harty. 
Oh, it's just too good; I can barely stand it!)

If you're looking for someone who can relate stories of the (in)famous Blue Lite Club - I'm yer man.

When I returned home from Viet Nam in '72, my cousin Rickey Whitley, thought I needed to get back into the
swing of things, since I was quite the emotionally scarred/messed up & confused vet. So where does he take me?
To that grimy, low-lit, smelly, noisy den of iniquity - the Blue Light Club! I felt right at home. Just like Viet Nam,
dark, dangerous, occasional gunfire, incoming (though instead of rockets and mortars, there were beer
and wine bottles - remember Bali H'ai? Ripple will cripple?) Oh yes, the disclaimer, this was well
before Candy and I met the missionaries and joined the church.
(As Latter-day Saints, we covenant to refrain from alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, and illegal drugs.)

So, the BLC was run by John Lancaster, Joe Panuska and Monty Phillips ('62) (brother of the late, beloved NNHS
gal, Brenda Phillips - '67).(not to mention brother of Judy Phillips Allen - '66 - of VA - a member of our Mailing List:

I went there 3 or 4 nights a week, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays, from 9 or so on til ? Heck, I even
met Candy there, while trying to pick up her best friend, Pam Akers. Pam wouldn't talk to me and Candy
wouldn't stop. Besides, I always had a soft spot in my head, uh, heart, for a gal that could drink as much as me.

Bands that used to play there: the Royal 7, Danny & the Del-Notes (I think), Brian Bleakley's numerous bands, 
the Beatles
, Doc Severinsen, ABBA, and a Japanese group "Sushi Pavarotti". I may have some of those
wrong, but oh well, you know what they say, "time doth make a fool of no man, yet no man am I and a fooler man
never liveth" (huh?)
(I'm relatively certain those later groups never darkened the doors....)

Okay, back to the Blue Lite Club, no wait, I'll be excommunicated, because just thinking of it almost
makes me drunk and I stopped drinking in the early ' 80's.
(Actually, Bro. Whitley would not be excommunicated for drinking, but he would certainly be relieved of his church callings
and asked to relinquish his temple recommend!  That's a pretty stiff price for, you know, getting stiff...)
And another thing, the Blue Lite used to hold parties out at the Manor House of Strawberry Banks Motor Lodge,
out by the bay. I still have pictures of those goings-on. Still have a Blue Lite tee shirt too!

Alright, I suppose that's about it for now. I couldn't help but contribute to the discussion when I read some people
inquiring about the ol' BLC. Gotta go 4 now, so you take care of you 4 me, okey-dokey? Okey-doke.

Dave Whitley - survivor of the Blue Lite wars of the '70's. 

- David Whitley ('67) of VA - 02/09/05

David, I think you are very likely the funniest man I have ever known in my entire life!  And when I read this, I was still
in pain from laughing so hard from watching Napoleon Dynamite for the third time with (my 17-year old daughter)
Adrienne the night before.  Write back more often, David!  Three-fourths of our subscribers are probably
scratching their heads wondering what on earth you're talking about, but I haven't laughed so hard - well,
since I watched Napoleon Dynamite! Thanks for the fun!

Hi! My wife Jean Toth has been sending things to you.
I have a lot of stuff on the Blue-Light Club. Would you be interested?
Steve Toth

- Steve Toth (Menchville HS - '72) - 02/09/05
Oh, absolutely, Steve!  Thanks!

The BLUE LIGHT was a private club, located at 417 - 29th Street in Newport News. It was directly behind the
fire station and catty-cornered from the old Sears store. It was located in an old freight warehouse next to the
railroad tracks. The warehouse is gone now, replaced by a parking garage.

It was "bottle club" meaning you brought your own alcohol and bought setups and ice. It featured live bands, some
well-known entertainment (Tiny Tim once played there to an audience of THREE. Poor Tiny!), and the filthiest,
creepiest bathrooms in town. It usually got started late, around 11 p.m., and ended when the sun came up. They even
served breakfast, believe it or not! John Lancaster was the manager, and a matronly-looking woman named Ms.
Maddox worked the door. What it lacked in style & grace, it made up for in wild debauchery with high-spirited people
abounding. It was, for several years, THE PLACE to be on the Peninsula, if you were a young adult and in the
socializing-partying set. It closed its doors, I believe, in 1976.... and became an archery range and then a Corvette
parts mart. But alas, it fell prey to the wrecking ball - like everything else downtown - and all that's left is a parking
garage and memories of good times held there (with the possibility of an old DUI on your record!).  :-)



 March 15, 1974


Attached is a picture of some memorabilia from the BLUE LIGHT CLUB  -- my old membership card, a receipt
for membership payment, and a groovy pink ink pen! I want to clear my conscious and tell the world that I lied about
my age and used a fake I.D.  for that coveted membership. I was only 19 at the time... and as most of us know,
GUYS had to be 21 to drink in nightclubs.

- Steve Toth (Menchville HS - '72
) - 02/15/05
Thanks, Steve!

Hi, Carol. I certainly enjoy all the surprise and delight I get from the newsletters. I have to laugh every time I read
about the Blue Light. Jerry and I had some interesting times there. We love music and dancing, so we found
ourselves in all those clubs including the Original Club. I remember the disappointment when I saw the group
Looking Glass in person. I so loved the song "BRANDY" and the voice that sang it. Then I saw him. I saw him
in my mind every time from that time on and I did not like what I remembered each time I heard the song. YUK!
My brother, Monty (Phillips - '62), was on the board and a friend of John's. Several groups were
brought in. They really tried to keep it up. John has certainly done well with all his OUTER BANKS
ventures of restaurants, Barrier Island timeshares, etc. I see that I am taking up too much space.
Signing off! Love to all! Judy

- Judy Phillips Allen ('66) of VA - 02/17/05
Oh, not at all, Judy!  I'm getting such a kick out of this whole topic!  Thanks!

My husband Steve (Toth - Menchville HS - '72) dug up this treasure recently - a photo of the Blue Lite Club.
At this time the club had already closed, and the building was turned into an archery range.
But, as you can see, it still says "Blue Lite" on the wall. Photo was taken around 1978.

- Jean Lankes Toth (HHS - '72) of VA - 02/20/05

Thanks, Jean - and Steve!

More information on The Blue Lite.  Once you mention a place, there are always a lot
of stories that go with them, so this is a little on Blue Lite.

The Blue Lite Club was owned by four guys from Newport News.  The one Gary Fitzgerald
('61) of VA mentioned that owns the Black Pelican in The Outer Banks is Paul Shaver. 
Paul is the son of the late Mr. Shaver that owned Shaver Piano on Warwick Blvd that is
now Powers Business Machine.

William "Bill" Zehrbach from Hampton, membership's card number is number 5.  Paul went
to Warwick High School and graduated as he says with all the classes (1959, 1960, and 1962),
as he attends all the reunions.

I'm sure if you need more detailed information on The Blue Lite, I'm sure Paul would love
to sit down and give you information as to all the owners, dates and musicians.  Paul does
stay on the go quite a lot. He owns a Chalet in Switzerland, and a home in Utah, and his
new jet may be finished by now, so he could be off flying.

My husband and I attended many of the dances along with other alumni and locate folks. 
The dances there and at The Original Club were the best.  However; we also attended many
at the Rodef (Sholom) Temple in Hampton, as well as Stoneybrook. 

- Susie Overton Jones ('63) of VA - 02/24/05
Thanks, Susie!

... So, reading about Paul Shaver reminded me that he was a pretty good friend of Candy's and mine back then.
When we got hitched (in 1973), Paul had left the Blue Lite Club, and was doing stuff with real estate, and as a
wedding gift, gave us two or three days at a motel on top of a mountain somewhere in Virginia. Paul later went
on to buy up most of Nags Head, and in the process built the huge Barrier Island Condos & restaurant thingy,
and now owns everything from the beach to oh, Arkansas, I think. Maybe not that far. His brother owns
"Pigman's Bar BQ" there in Nags Head. Paul used to race cars, and I don't mean like the boys and I used to do
on Magruder Boulevard with our Mustangs and Barracudas and Chevelles, Paul was an honest to goodness
pro-driver, also flies his own plane, skis all over, all that stuff I only get to do on the week-ends. In my dreams.
So, there you have it. I saw Paul about four or five years ago.... Still a really nice guy, but I think he had like
three different deals going on three different cell phones, so our conversation was short. Oh well.
.... Plus, I remembered a little more:
1) the place we stayed on our honeymoon (Paul's wedding gift) was the Holiday Inn on Afton Mt.
2) I believe (after he left the Blue Lite) it was John Lancaster and Paul that opened
a big dance hall/night club/joint at Nags Head in the mid to late 70's.
3) the name of the place Paul built is Barrier Island Station,
and my disclaimer: I accept no responsibility for the accuracy of this info; I'm pulling memories up
from a brain that not only resembles, but functions like Patrick, Sponge Bob's semiconscious pal.

- David Whitley ('67) of VA - 02/26/05 and 02/28/05
Giggles!  Thanks, David!

THEN: Thursday, May 19, 1972  - Blue Lite Party at Manor House - Strawberry Banks
    Band that played at the Blue Lite all the time - Benn Rush?

The people in the Benn Rush pictures are from left to right: Art Insley (keyboards), R. B. Sharp (guitar), Tom Kalie (drums) Everett Hill
(HHS -'65)
(lead vocals), Peewee Watson (bass) and Dicky Dawes
on Conga drums (that’s right).

- Richard Dawes (NNHS/HHS - '62) of VA - 10/13/05
Thanks so much, Dicky!


On the ground:

Guy with sun glasses is Allen
Vance (Kecoughtan
), also a great
guitar player.
To Allen’s left is Mickey Seacrest
(with Fro) also a fine drummer.
Next to Mickey is
Jean Harrell
Combs (HHS 63).
Then the young lady with her back
to you is Allison DeHaven.
John Lancaster
is the guy in the
yellow shirt.

- Richard Dawes (NNHS/HHS - '62) of VA - 10/13/05
Thanks again, Dicky!

Monty Phillips ('62) of VA - used
to work part-time
at the Blue Lite Club
Blue Lite Beer Chuggin' Contest
John Lancaster in the back
on the right
David Whitley ('67) of VA
My beer mug at the Blue Lite Party - which was also my 24th Birthday
The Girls' Chuggin' Contest John Lancaster doing something Winners(s) of Mr. Blue Lite Contest
- Yep, they're in their skivvies
At another time....

Fishing in the Atlantic - waay out there.

John Lancaster announcing
Miss Blue Lite Winner
Miss Blue Lite
Odd... I don't think I ever saw her at the club...
  I'm wearing a Blue Lite T-shirt
that said:

- David Whitley ('67) of VA - 03/07/05
WOWZERS!  Thanks, David!

The Green Door

- Words by Marvin Moore and Music by Bob Davie

{music includes constant "tick-tock" clock sound}

(Jim Lowe)

- peak Billboard position #1 for 3 weeks in 1956

(Midnight, one more night without sleepin')
(Watchin' till the mornin' comes creepin')
(Green door, what's that secret you're keepin?)

There's an old piano
And they play it hot behind the green door
Don't know what they're doin'
But they laugh a lot behind the green door
Wish they'd let me in
So I could find out what's behind the green door

(Knocked once, tried to tell them I'd been there)
(Door slammed, hospitality's thin there)
(Wonder just what's goin' on in there)

Saw an eyeball peepin'
Through a smoky cloud behind the green door
When I said "Joe sent me"
Someone laughed out loud behind the green door
All I want to do is join the happy crowd behind the green door

(Midnight, one more night without sleepin')
(Watchin' till the mornin' comes creepin')
(Green door, what's that secret you're keepin?)

(Green door, what's that secret you're keepin?)

Green door!!

(This page created 02/05/05 at the suggestion of Gloria Woolard Price (HHS - '65 - of FL and Paul Dobie - '66 of CO.)

"Green Door" midi courtesy of
at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 02/09/05
Thanks, Dave!

"Green Door" lyrics courtesy (transcribed by Robin Hood) of

also at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 02/09/05
Thanks again, Dave!

Blue Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 02/11/05

Animated Blue Light Bulbs clip art courtesy of - 03/01/05

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