With its 62-year history in Danville, it doesn’t come as a surprise that so many people remember the Colonial Parkway.
I guess I was remiss in last month’s column when I didn’t mention that some people called the restaurant, which used to be at 840 E. Main St., Greenie’s.
Tom Major said, “Colonial Parkway’s nickname was Greenie’s, which is what all of us called it when we were in high school.”
Dick Cheney — not the former vice president of the United States, but rather the longtime Danville Area Community College trustee — said he, too, remembers it being called Greenie’s when he was in high school in the late 1940s.
The Danville High School Class of 1949 graduate recalled that the restaurant was nicknamed Greenie’s after owner Clarence Green.
When I looked in the Danville city directories between 1944 and 1949, however, I didn’t see any listings for Colonial Parkway or for any business located at 840 E. Main St.
The 1941 and 1942 city directories list Leo C. Smith as the owner of the Colonial Parkway, and the 1953 directory names Henry Schroeder as the restaurant’s owner. So, was the eatery closed for a while in the mid- to late 1940s?
Betty (Cline) Bushue of Rankin said she worked at the Colonial Parkway as a carhop when Schroeder owned it.
“Back in 1954, I worked that summer to earn money to go to Gale Airline Institute in Minneapolis,” she said. “At that time, Hank Schroeder worked there; I think he was the owner. He was a wonderful boss. Also, John Downing was the inside guy for us curb hops.”
Bushue also shared a vivid memory of working as a carhop.
“I remember the time I put a tray on the car and as I reached for the money, it slipped, filling my apron pockets with a milkshake!” she said.