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If you ask me, the Shreveport-Bossier City area is God's country, but I might be biased. My family was stationed at Barksdale AFB during the summer of 1980 and we transferred here from K. I. Sawyer AFB in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. Talk about culture shock, but I wouldn't change a thing! Personally, I grew up in Dogwood Park in the Haughton area and we ran wild all over the place.

What do you remember about growing up in Shreveport-Bossier that’s unique to our area… like birthday parties at Hamel’s, Short Stop hamburgers, and field trips to the Revel? When I posted this question on social media, I didn't realize I'd be opening Pandora's box!

Courtesy of Pamela Kennedy
Courtesy of Pamela Kennedy
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Pamela Kennedy sent me this picture of her via Facebook at the State Fair of Louisiana back in 1975. I don't know about you, but I spent more time in the horse barns at the Fair than on the midway, but I rode my fair share of rides as well!

I had totally forgotten about the Putt-Putt joint that used to be on Mansfield Road back in the day which is crazy because I even had a birthday party there!  Here's the picture Susan Jackomin sent in of her and a group of her friends after a round of mini-golf.

Courtesy of Susan Jackomin
Courtesy of Susan Jackomin
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It seems like quite a few people had those little plastic ball cap ice cream dishes in their cabinets from going to Shreveport Captains games. And let's not forget to original Chuck E. Cheese on 70th in Shreveport. Does anyone else remember there being a ShowBiz or Showtime Pizza, too?

Chuck E. Cheese Sold To Private Equity Firm Apollo For 1.3 Billion
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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Several people commented about going to Joy Cinema for $1 movies and even talked about some of our area's other old drive-in movie theaters. If you want to check out vintage photos of those, click here. 

LSUS Archives and Special Collections Noel Memorial Library Researched by Twin Blends Photography
LSUS Archives and Special Collections Noel Memorial Library Researched by Twin Blends Photography
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Jean Johnson says she remembers cruising the square in downtown Shreveport every weekend. Kelli Mims remembers doing the same thing adding, 'And then they ran us off and we went "Up Top" at the amphitheater right below the VA. Then they kicked us out of there and we went "Down Bottom" to the parking lot on Clyde Fant by the frisbee golf course. Lots of fun memories.'

Tina Barnes reminisced about the Mardi Gras parades when they rolled in Bossier. If you weren't around for the beginning of Mardi Gras in our area, Gemini was the first krewe to parade in years when they took to the streets in 1989. You can check out pictures from 'year one' of Gemini here.

Krewe of Gemini Archive
Krewe of Gemini Archive
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Of course, I was a huge fan of the Teddy Bear Den on Barksdale Boulevard in Bossier. I also loved going as a family to eat at the Hayride Kitchen on Benton Road. Several people mentioned having great childhood memories at Pizza King, Shakey's Pizza, Mr. Gatti's, and Mazzios Pizza. And (of course), who can forget raising the flag at Pancho's?!?!?

Google Maps/Google Streetview
Google Maps/Google Streetview
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My family also spent a lot of Saturdays strolling Pierre Bossier Mall and I know a lot of people remember doing that whether it was at Pierre Bossier, Mall St. Vincent, or the old South Park Mall. Our parents also used to drop us off at the skating rink for the evening. Who can forget the old Crystal Palace or Hot Wheels?

I could go on for days about things that are unique to growing up here in the Shreveport-Bossier area. Obviously, I couldn't include everyone's memories here, but I'd love to post a follow-up to this piece, so feel free to shoot me an email to share your stories or add your comments to the post below.


I’m working on a nostalgia piece about growing up in the Shreveport-Bossier specifically. What do you remember about...

Posted by Erin Bristol on Monday, April 4, 2022

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