Newmarket Shopping Center
Newport News, VA

Opened May 3, 1956

THEN: NOW:

Newport News:  A Centennial History. John V. Quarstein and Parke Rouse, Publisher-City of Newport News, 1996

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64)
of VA - 11/18/03
Thanks, Dave!

Image by Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 08/08/04
WOWZERS!!!  Thanks, Dave!
THEN: NOW:
Late 1950's Early 2006
I had been meaning to send you this for some time, but I misfiled it.  It matches this image,
which is already on the NSC page.  However, I did not have that image with me when I
set up the shot, so I had to do the best I could from memory.

Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64)
of VA - 08/15/05
Thanks, Dave!

Image by Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 04/02/06
WOW - I'd say you did quite well, Captain!!!  Thanks, Dave!

 

 



MY FIRST JOB

After I graduated from NNHS in 1964, I thought that I was going to have a leisurely summer. I was safely enlisted
in the Naval Reserve, so I was immune from registering for the draft in August when I turned 18. I had applied
for an appointment to Naval Academy to enter in June 1965 with the Class of 1969. Yep, nothing to do but go
to Buckroe and hang out with friends … just living La Vida Loca.

However, Uncle Sam had not been informed of my plans, so on July 6th I received a phone call from the Naval
Reserve telling me that I was supposed to be on plane to the Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut, that afternoon
to attend 10 weeks of Basic Enlisted Submarine School. While I was there, I thought that I had better do something
worthwhile for the next year to enhance my chances of getting into Annapolis, so I arranged to attend Christopher
Newport then-College part time. While my parents were pleased with all this preparation for my adult life, they were
not so pleased that they would subsidize the whole thing, so I was “encouraged” to find part-time employment.

Thus, my first real job began in September 1964 at Wornom’s Pharmacy at Newmarket Shopping Center, a mere
stone’s throw from my home on 72nd Street. It was located at the end of the building, just under the yellow sign
in the “Now” image. The Assistant Manager (my boss) was Mrs. Wilma Haney, mother of Ronnie (’65 )and Terry (’66).
As you might suspect for an entry level position for someone with no work experience, I was assigned restocking
shelves and general clean-up; I would wash out the trash cans from the lunch counter in the stock room deep sink,
sweep the floors, and wet mop them after closing time. Wellllll, not completely inexperienced. After 10 weeks of Navy
active duty as a lowly E-1 Seaman Recruit, I had become expert in swabbing decks. As I displayed this skill
at wielding a mop, my coworkers were impressed with my efficiency. Hey, this was a cake walk; I had stripped,
waxed, and buffed 150 foot long tiled passageways in an hour in Groton. Wornom’s was a postage stamp
by comparison.

Soon, I had graduated to prescription delivery. In the Wornom’s delivery car I was zipping all over the surrounding
area like a Pakistani taxi driver. I knew all the streets, all the shortcuts. It was great fun … until I got overconfident.
One night I backed out of the parking spot just under the left-most letter in the yellow sign and cut the wheels right
for a quick exit to the left over to Marshall Avenue. Unfortunately, that night I chose not to look to my right for any
cars, and one was backing out of the spot 2 spaces to the right. What could be worse? I dinged the company car
as well as the other car. I’ll tell you what could be worse. The other car was Mrs. Haney’s. On the bright side,
Wornom’s avoided what could have been an ugly civil lawsuit.

Needless to say, I was benched for several weeks and began my stint behind the register at the prescription counter.
And therein lie several more stories for another time. Mrs. Haney was very good to me, and I never thanked her
for giving me my first paying job. Too late now, as she passed away in 1997.

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 08/29/04
Thanks, Dave!


I also remember a summer cloudburst which flooded the Newmarket parking lot to a depth of maybe a foot.  I walked
home down Wickham Avenue to 72nd Street with the water deepening to maybe 4 feet around 73rd Street; that's where
Newmarket Creek crosses under Wickham. I swam the last block to my home.

Ahhh, the good old days .....
Cap'n Dave

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 03/03/05
Thanks, Dave!
 


(This page was created on 11/18/03.)


"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" midi courtesy of http://www.bravenet.com - 01/03/04

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