View Full Version : I remember the day Frog Milhouse came to town.
09-30-2007, 08:07 PM
During the late forties and early fifties in Neosho, every kid in town would find himself forking over his dime at the Band Box or the Orphium to spend the afternoon watching Gene Autry, Roy Rogers. Lash LaRue, Bob Steele or any number of other Cowboys enforce justice throughout the West, a Tarzan movie and the Serial of the Day. It was just what you did on a Saturday if you were a kid in Neosho. Then one day in 1952, Frog Milhouse came to town. He had a trailer set up right outside the door of the Orphium and every kid who had a dollar left could get his picture taken on Frog's lap. It made the year for some of us but I am damned if I could find that picture later. A milestone of my youth got pitched with my baseball cards when my mother got tired of my messy room and I guess I just never recovered from that.
09-30-2007, 08:19 PM
Mothers are like that. Yeah, they are.
10-01-2007, 01:21 AM
Just curious, Scutter
Just Exactly what were you drinking (or smoking :D ) tonight that caused you to think about Frog Milhouse?
Ya gotta admit, that ain't an everyday topic.
10-01-2007, 09:23 AM
I just happened to be watching "Gene Autry, a Century in the Saddle" which had some long ago filmed clips by Smiley Burnett. I had not even thought about the photograph session for almost sixty years until last night. I guess it is just a function of old age.
10-02-2007, 02:01 AM
My brother and sister often talk about the dime movie days and the serials at the Bandbox. There was one other theater on the square at the time, but I can't recall the name.
I don't remember Froggie Milhouse at all, so I just have to chalk it up to a deprived childhood...:-))
We have lots of fond memories of Neosho as it was then and really enjoy the time we get to spend there at class reunions, but it is really a change from what it was that's for sure like the drawings for cash at the courthouse on Saturdays to help bring in the people for shopping.
I think we were really living in a Mayberry World then, unfortunately without enough money to barely survive.
10-03-2007, 04:31 PM
I have heard that once upon a time Neosho had four theaters on the square and one slightly off the square. I personally can only recall one on the East Side which I cannot remember the name, one on the South Side named the Lux, one on the West Side named the Bandbox and one off the SW Corner of the Square named the Orphium. I also remember that during this time Goodman also had a theater that drew a large segment of Neosho folks because it was never as crowded as the Neosho theaters. The demise of every theater except the Orphium came with the opening of Edgewood Drive Inn Theater.
10-05-2007, 07:08 PM
I can remember Gabby Hayes, eating his Hat, at the Orpheum.
10-11-2007, 06:39 PM
I had forgotten that until your post Didfit but I too sat through Gabby's hat eating exercise. Guess ole Gabby did not make as much of an impression on me as Frog did.
04-14-2010, 01:30 PM
And just maybe it is time for some business person who can see dollar signs to put in a theater on the square to show old movies and Saturday afternoon matinees for the kids. I suspect there is enough used equipment on the seconds market to set it up without too much of an initial investment. Actually if somebody developed a business plan for such, I might even be tempted to invest a few of my very limited dollars in it.
04-14-2010, 06:23 PM
By the time I came along, the Orpheum was all that was left downtown and the Edgewood south of town. I've heard about the other movie theaters, though.
I liked the Orpheum, went to tons of movies there in the 1970's and into the 1980's. It was a big thing to do on Friday and Saturday nights - the line to get in stretched around in front of the Municipal Auditorium most of the time.
I've taken my kids out to the Neosho Six or whatever it is called a few times but most of the time I forget it's even there. It has no character or hsitory like the Orpheum which if I'm not mistaken, was built as an opera house in about 1917 or so.
04-14-2010, 07:50 PM
My wife (ex) & I used to go to the dollar movies at the Orpheum in the mid to late 80's. As I recall it was near the end of it's life & only had 1/2 of a screen & the roof leaked. But we didn't really care.
Scutter youd have to evict a law firm to open up a movie house.
04-14-2010, 08:00 PM
OT, Once in a while, my parents would take us to the Fox theater in Joplin. Man, that was a theater. Just being nostalgic.
04-19-2010, 10:47 AM
When I was very young, Neosho had 3 movie houses on the square and one just off. On Saturdays, The family would drive into Neosho to get the weekly things that we needed. Father would give me $0.50 and I had my twin brothers and we would go to the Movies. We could get in and get three bags of popcorn and have a dime left. We would meet Mother and Father outside the moviehouse at about 5:00 for the trip back to the farm. Father worked at the camp then. The town was loaded with solders on day passes. A lot of the older boys made shoe shine kits and had stands set up outside of each of the Movie houses and would shine the soldiers shoes for a nickel. I remember the soldiers wanted only Oxblood polish. I can remember when Gene Autry came to our house with Frog and the Sons of the Pioneers to spend the night. Gene lived with my family before he went to Chicago to start his Radio show. He worked at the Fricso Railroad station and that is where he got his start. He eat many meals at our house when I was a very small boy.
The Good Old Days are long gone but not forgotten by the few of us still around.
04-19-2010, 06:13 PM
Bill that has to be a memory you will forever treasure. As an aside, my Grandfather's first new automobile, a 1914 model was involved in an accident in either 1917 or 1918 when he was hit by an inattentive driver off the Neosho Square. The driver of that pickup was Gene Autry and my Grandfather held a grudge for the remainder of his days.
06-13-2010, 11:29 AM
I forgot to mention that the worst part of the Saturday routine was having to go the Barbershop for a haircut before you would be allowed to go the movies.
05-16-2011, 10:20 AM
I remember when Gene Autry came to Neosho. He lived with my parents for several year before he became a Radio Star. He worked at a telegraph operator for the Railroad. He also lived in a small one room building behind Mr Lands home across the street from Field School. He and his band group eat dinner with my folks before he went on to Springfield. They travelled in a (at the time) GREAT BIG Touring car and had a truck that carried their props and "Champ". (That was his horses name). I also work as a projectionist at all four of the theatres on the square area. This was during my High School years. (1946-1949). Great times, NO MONEY, Only jobs was farming, or working for Pet Milk, or Big Smith. I tried college for one semester. No Good for me at the time. Enlisted in the Air Force. 22 years later, Got my degree and taught school for 27 years. Not in Neosho, But Texas.
05-16-2011, 10:28 AM
I have been told that Gene Autry was a "Pilot Officer" (their designation of a Warrent Officer) in the Air Force in World War Two, and flew a C-46 over the Hump in the CBI Theatre.
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