Fond memories of Suffolk’s shot houses

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 24, 2004

Editor, the News-Herald:

I really enjoyed Andy Prutsok’s column Sunday, and it brought back a lot of memories of my days growing up in Suffolk. You see my wife and I live the Baltimore area now (23 years), so we check the Suffolk News Herald often to see what’s going on in our old hometown.

I remember going to places like Frogs, and Little Charles for fried chicken, cubed fried potatoes, and a beer, or maybe a shot of something stronger. These places were a gathering place for people who looked for some place to socialize once the city of Suffolk closed down. We called these places shot houses, and it was a great place to go after a football game on Friday nights, and good place to spend time with associates on Saturday night to talk about work at Planters.

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While much of Mr. Prutsok’s column was obviously in jest, I totally agree with his assessment of the Suffolk nip joints situation, legalize these little places. The proprietor would be required to purchase a license to operate a nip joint/shot house, and meet all health and safety codes before a permit is granted. To avoid being a nuisance in the neighborhood, the city could lease some of the empty buildings down Suffolk where you have parking and lights for safety. Having the joints downtown could also generate other jobs like private security companies in Suffolk to patrol the area.

You have an excellent idea, Mr. Prutsok. However, Suffolk does not have the vision. Do you remember the Suffolk Raceway, that was a great attraction, also did you know Suffolk was offered Kings Dominion, and the Chesapeake Mall was planned for Suffolk! I thought the old Planters Peanut building would have made a great museum. I am giving Suffolk three years to implement your idea for the nip joint/shot house. If the city hasn’t started this plan after this time, I will.

Sammie Clark (JFK class of 69)

Perry Hall Maryland