Bill Wood ‘65 got to thinking about an establishment on the north side of University, about a block east of Euclid, where kids used to go to dance. "It was like a dance studio on the second floor", recalls Bill. I figured he was talking about Uptown Hall, which — except for the fact that it was on the south side of Meade Avenue, a half block west of 30th St — fit the bill perfectly. PS -- Don't go looking in your Centaur for Bill. He left San Diego after 9th Grade at Horace Mann. Bill is currently an Oklahoma resident. I made him an Honorary Member of the Class of 1965. (Photos taken by Nancy Watson Wingo on August 28, 2009)

History of the Tower Bar
(Courtesy of Robert Laudy '73)

I am an architect who is beginning work on the restoration of the Silverado Ballroom. We came across your website and the many comments about the Tower Bar and the Silverado. By the way, we were the architects for the newly restored tower.
We have not been able to find any photos of the ballroom on the second floor of the Silverado. These photos could help us in our work to fully restore the ballroom. All of that which the original drawings show is gone but any photos that would show dancers in the space may give us pictorial evidence of the original ballroom. FYI, while I am from Colorado my wife -- Marti Simon -- is a Horace Mann alumnus and a 1963 graduate of Crawford -- Dick Bundy

Absolutely amazing. I can't thank you enough for sharing this. Memories from 50 years ago are quite precious. Please relay my sincere thanks to everyone who responded. One of my only regrets has been that I didn't get to attend Crawford (although my high school in Oklahoma City was terrific). There was something very special about those years in East San Diego. And thank you for the pictures also. You and your readers have really brought me some treasured memories -- Bill Wood

Doesn't anyone remember when the Silverado Ballroom was, for a short time, the United Fruit Ballroom -- our local version of the Fillmore? I'm pretty sure I saw the Burrito Brothers and another band there -- Timothy W Tierney ’69

I have some further information on the Silverado Ballroom. My sister and I took tap and acrobatic lessons there in the late ‘40s. One of the instructors name was Ms. Fielding. One of the male instructors went to trail for child molesting. I don't know if he was convicted or not but the business suffered because of it. My mother worked for Totten dance studios-Art Linkletter from the early ‘50s through the ‘60s. They had two sites, one on Popular Street in San Diego and one in La Mesa. Terry Walker ’62 and his sister were shinning stars from that studio. Dancing was in its glory in those days. We also enjoyed ballroom dancing in the ‘50s at the Central Ballroom on University. Turned out it helped my sister Barbara Johnson Boren ‘59 become head of the flag team and me become a song leader --
Dottie Johnson Vargas ‘60

Totten Dance Studio was on the northeast side of College and University. I took lessons there as a child -- ballet and tap. The van would pick up several of the girls from the neighborhood just up the hill: Linda West Wilken '63, Ronda Parker '63, maybe Loanne deHaven Haataja '62. I think we also picked up Linda Hebert Terrien '62 in another area. Good memories of long ago --
Cheryl (Cheri Carry) Marassi '64.

I can't thank you enough for doing all of this. It definitely brings back lots of memories. I too went to Totten Dance Studios and the van picked me up on Saturday. That is all that I remember also. And yes, I too was around 10 years old --
Cherryl Crofoot Zook, ‘67

I remember the Tower bar and the Silverado Ballroom. My sister's best friends mother was a barmaid in that bar for years. Her first name was Ruby. My sister also used to take ballet lessons at the Silverado Ballroom, and I remember on many occasions peeking thru the door watching all the dancers. Although I showed an interest in taking lessons there, I never did. But my Mother took me over to Ozzie's Music Studio on El Cajon Blvd. and signed me up for baton lessons. I am a 1972 alumni and my sister was a 1969 alumni from Crawford High. We also went to Euclid Elementary, and Horace Mann. We grew up on 49th and Trojan Avenue, and I lived there until I was 18 years old --
Lorna Longerbeam Odegaard ‘72

The Silverado Ballroom building was owned by Walt and Gunda Richardson. They put on the ballroom dances in the evening seven nights a week. My sister Cheryl Walker '64 and I started taking dance lessons in 1952 from Bonnie Joy, who rented the ballroom during the day for her Joy Dance Studio. In 1954 my mother, Kay Walker, took over the dance studio and taught there until 1958-59, when she became the head teacher for the eight Linkletter-Totten dance studios located throughout San Diego County. My sister and I went to many of the adult dances during the week, but really looked forward to the teenage dances on Thursday night. As a 10-year old I could get a 30-minute private lesson in ballroom from a "hot" high school girl who belonged to Junior Achievement -- Terry Walker ‘62

The dance hall was on the upper floor of the building located at the northeast corner of Euclid and University Avenues. I was never inside the upstairs area, but knew friends who were. Across the street was a local landmark, the Tower. During my years there was always the Tower Bar located in the building. Many people my age do not know the history of The Tower. It was built in the '20s or ‘30s as a real estate office. The East San Diego area was sparsely populated and prospective land buyers would come to the Tower, and climb to the top to view various land parcels to buy. The Tower now sports a radical paint job compared to the '50s -- Don Christofferson '68

Bill Wood is right! That second floor kids’ dance studio was on the south side of University a bit east of Euclid and very near the tower. I took dance lessons there for a short while. I was maybe 5 or 6, so that would be 1959 or so. I believe the lessons were VERY inexpensive. I was supposed to be taking ballet, but the instructors thought the best way to teach ballet was to start with tap! So there was a little tap dance for beginners that they taught. About the time we were to progress to something else a new kid would join the class and we would start again with the same dance. For years I remembered the name of the dance, but my brain is not pulling that datum up any more. We did get to a point of having a dance recital for our families (who else?). I had told my mother that one of the friends I'd made in the class was named Barrel. "Haw, haw, haw. No little girl would be named Barrel." "Yes, her name is Barrel!" So at the recital my mother, never one for tact, says to the woman sitting next to her, "Haw, haw, haw. My little girl says there is a girl in her class named Barrel!" The lady replies, "Yes, that's my daughter, Beryl. How would you pronounce it?" --
Susan Wilkerson McCasland '71

(Actually, here in Pacific Beach they pronounce Beryl Street "Burl". And don't get me started on Chalcedony -- JF)

The dance place was not Uptown Hall. My mom made me take tap dance lessons there with a little girl down the street when I was about five. I can't remember the name but it's right across from where the Tower used to be. My mom and dad danced there in the ‘40s. The streetcar ended there and it was very popular amongst service personnel during WWII -- Bob Zito ‘64

I know the dancehall. It had a romantic-sounding name that I don't remember -- something like Starlight Ballroom -- although it wasn't particularly elegant. I went ballroom dancing there a few times with John Schey ’64 --
Bonnie Mosse Funk ’65

The dance hall on University was the Silverado Ballroom. All the 6th graders from Euclid Elementary School would go there every Thursday night for dance lessons and dancing. It's where I first heard Little Richard and learned the "Bop" -- Mike Roberts ‘62

The dance place was the Silverado Dance Studio. Lots of us who attended Euclid School went there on Thursday night (I think) to dance. They played popular music and we would "bop" all around the floor. Good memories --
Candy Parry Tickson '64

The dance hall was the Silverado Ballroom. It was a great place and I have a lot of good memories of it --
Jerry G Muncrief '63

I used to go to dances at the Silverado Ballroom when I was in junior high. It was located on the second floor at the corner of Euclid and University. We paid 50 cents for dance lessons --
Marilyn Moellinger Lane ‘60

The Silverado Ballroom was on the northeast corner of University and Euclid. I took tap dance lessons there when I went to Euclid school. They also had teenage dance parties there that I went to when going to Horace Mann --
Lynn Elliott Townsend ’62

Bill Wood had it right. It was just a few doors east of Euclid, upstairs on the second floor, on the north side of the street. I went there many times, and it was called something with "silver" in the name, but my memory is not so good. A large beautiful ballroom with an expanse of hardwood floor and, as was the tradition at the time, the boys sat on one side and the girls on the other, crossing the dance floor to request a dance. The owners of the establishment were adamant about promoting ballroom dancing. There was always an old dame that would give a group lesson on some aspect of ballroom dancing at every dance. Good memories from that place – -
Harold Gee ‘66

The dance studio that Bill was referring to was Silverado Ballroom. It was located at Euclid and University Ave. I took dance lessons there for many years --
Cyndi Racz Clarke '66

There were two dance halls: Silverado Ballroom on University and Central Ballroom at University and Central. I danced at both places, but mostly Central --
Jeannine Berger Passenheim '60

The dance place you mentioned was called the "Silverado Ballroom". I went there and danced with Greg Burch –
Donna Johnson ’62

There was a place a block or two west of Euclid on the south side of University. In my time (1962-63) a dude by the name of Mr. Benjamin ran a young teen dance studio several evenings a week there teaching basic dance steps and good behavior. Next time I'm down that way I will take a peek and see if the building still exists --
Philip Abbey ‘66

There was a dance place at Euclid and University Ave. It was called the Silverado Ballroom. It was on the northeast corner upstairs above the Summer grocery store. Danced there for years –
George “Pinky” Laxson ‘61

It was called the Silverado Ballroom and sat on the upper floor of the building at the northeast corner of University and Euclid. They had dances there and they also taught tap-dancing and acrobatic dancing along with ballroom. I spent many a klutzy hour there with my brother and cousins when we were in elementary school --
Jeff Bennett '62

At one time there was a dance studio called "The Bonnie Joy Dance Studio" that was located upstairs in the building that Bill spoke about. The building is still standing. I know that there was also another name, which escapes me right now. Gotta love those senior moments –
Terilynn Hunter Burg ’64

I believe that dance studio that Bill Wood was talking about, was the Silverado Ballroom. I believe it was across the street from the Euclid Tower, which was at Euclid and University –
Susan Cone Milow ‘68

It was called the "Silverado Ballroom" and I used to go there every Friday night and dance. We used to do the (I think) 'The Bop' and Eugene Raper was the quintessential Dance King. Hey, Elliott, I bet you remember –
Penny Bobrof ‘’62

I remember going to the Silverado Ballroom as a teen. It was on the north side of University Avenue, just east of Euclid. It was on the second story with an interior stairway. Across the street was The Tower bar. I can't remember the function, but it was a landmark for many years. I think the tower is gone now, but maybe ten years ago the building was still there --
Cheryl Marassi '64, now Cheri Carry in Highlands Ranch, Colorado

I'm 100% sure Bill is speaking of the Silverado Ballroom. The Twilighters played there in 1960. The band members were Wayne Abernathy '63, Jack Abernathy '64, Larry Cates, Randy Cates, Johnny Long, and George Fogelman. Thanks for bringing those memories back --
Paul Sloan '64

I think the dance place was a ballroom, maybe the Silverado Ballroom? It was across the street from the Egyptian gas station
that my dad operated for few years --
Barbara Earley Powell '64

The name of the dance hall was the Silverado Ballroom. It was at the corner of Euclid and University. It was however on the North East corner. My parents in the ‘30s used to go there on a dates. It is still there but they have divided it into office space --
Vic Whitaker ’61

It was University Ball Room, north on University, but just west of Euclid, directly across from the famous "Tower" bar --
Conrad Davis '65

I grew up on Auburn Drive, which is a half block south of University, on the East side of Euclid. I can’t remember the name of the place, but what he is talking about was about 3 doors East of Euclid, on the North side of University. You went in the doors, and up the stairs to a dance place --
Steve Franklin '73

I lived one block south of the Ball Room on Euclid. The hall was upstairs and took about the whole half block. Silverado Ball Room sets in my mind. It was on the northeast corner of Euclid and University. I can remember waiting for my sister to get done with her dancing lessons there, right across the street from the old Tower restaurant and bar --
Colin Cole ’62

I remember a place called “The Tower” that my sister – Sherry Narron ’68 -- would go dancing at. It was on the second floor and was on the corner of University and Euclid Ave. The building was white and did actually look like a tower --
Terry Narron ‘75

There was an Arthur Murray's studio on the north side of University at Mead. I used to walk past it on the way to Euclid Elementary. It was upstairs and the entry was next to a small grocery store on the corner --
Dennis Mullican '64



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