Cary News: Opinion

Cary’s Heritage: Social clubs offered places to gather

Folks remember how, in the mid-20th century, there were a few social groups in Cary:

C.Y. Jordan: Raymond Matthews and some of the other men founded the famous Doghouse Club. The club got its name from when the men were in the doghouse with their wives. They would meet at the drugstore.

They had their little section back in the corner, and the old-timers would get together and have a lot of fun. Raymond, R.O. Heater and several others were regular members.

Ralph Ashworth: Mr. R.O. Heater was a fixture in the drugstore every morning. We had the Doghouse Club then, where a bunch of men would come and have coffee and meet and talk every morning. Then every night, a lot of them would come back. So I had Mr. Heater every morning and every evening after dinner.

Mildred Sanderford: We had to make our own entertainment. We used to dress up to go to the Friday night bridge club. Sometimes I wore a long dress. There wasn’t anywhere else to wear it. We just played dress-up at any opportunity.

Linda Evans: For 15 years in the 1950s and early 1960s, my daddy, Clyde Evans Jr., had a club in the basement of our house called the Pasadena Club. It was just on weekends. It wasn’t anything official, just a way for Daddy to make a living. He had eight kids to feed.

Family, friends, people in the area would come to be entertained, and they would jam. Daddy had live bands, and the food was magnificent. He had a bar down there with beer and liquor.

I remember the big jugs of hot sausages and pickles. He would have bags of potato chips hanging from those little metal things. Sometimes Mama would go down and cook fried chicken or whatever.

Of course, we kids would sneak down there sometimes and steal a pickle. It was a very popular club. Everybody came. It was packed out every weekend.

Daddy charged people to come in and for the food and drinks. The jukebox was a nickel for a song.

I wish we still had that jukebox. Sometimes the music would get loud, with us kids upstairs. Daddy said when it got too loud, “Just take the broom handle and hit the floor, boom, boom, boom three times,” and he would cut it down. And he did too, for awhile at least.

That club was really something. People still talk about it today.

Cary’s Heritage is taken from the book, “Just a Horse-Stopping Place, an Oral History of Cary, North Carolina,” first published in August, 2006. The book is a collection of oral history interviews conducted between local citizens and Friends of the Page-Walker Hotel.