Gray's Grocery Store
25th Street and Oak Avenue
Newport News, VA 23607



I worked at Gray's Grocery on 25th and Oak across the street from Roger's and "Pop" Arnolds Esso (Hi, Dave!). Our uncle (Newton Savage) Sandi's (Bateman Chestnut - '65 - of VA) - and mine -  owned the store and we where held up on one Saturday night as we were preparing to close the store for the night.  My uncle was in the back putting up deposit bottles and I was scrapping the butcher block table which was a weekly thing. Well, the next thing I knew I looked up and a man with a hose pulled down over his face was staring at me with a chrome pearl handled .25 automatic. I'll never forget what he said, "Freeze! I can shoot this thing straight!" so I froze and while he held the gun pointed 6" inches from between my eyes one of them (3 robbers) went to the register and took all the bills and the other was at the front door of the store. A few minutes later my uncle came out of the back room, and the robber that was pointing the gun at me went over to my uncle and held the gun in his side. No one got hurt (thank God) and they took off with $119.00.
- Johnnie Bateman ('68) of VA - 05/16/07
YOWZERS! Thanks, Johnnie!


East Side, West Side

Words and Music by Lawlor and Blake - 1928

Down in front of Casey's
Old brown wooden stoop,
On a summer's evening,
We formed a merry group;
Boys and girls together,
We would sing and waltz,
While Tony played the organ on
The Sidewalks Of New York.

East side, West side,
All around the town,
The tots sang "ring a rosie,"
"London Bridge is falling down."
Boys and girls together,
Me and Mamie O' Rourke,
Tripped the light fantastic
On The Sidewalks Of New York.



(This page was created 05/18/07.)

Fruits and Vegetables clip art and Grapevine divider lines courtesy of - 06/09/04

"East Side, West Side" midi courtesy of - 06/09/04

"East Side, West Side" midi courtesy of
at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 11/12/03
Thanks, Dave!

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