31Knights of Columbus Hall
The two story Knights of Columbus building next to Mobil was on the corner of Leopard & Cleveland. It is a Catholic organization and I'm Catholic. This place was like La Terraza Ballroom farther up Leopard. Not bext shape, but clean, and welcoming to anyone.
Catholics drink, Baptists do too, just tell you they don't but take it from me, a bartender 30 years, they drink like Green Bay Packer fans. However, us Catholics can outdrink them, like New Orleans Saints fans. Well, this hall, had Bingo, also dances, and other festivities, meetings too, even BBQs. It was about 100 yards from front door of our house, could actually look from our yard and see most of building. When we would hear music at night, many times us kids would simply wander over to see what going on. You could DO THAT on Leopard street in 1960s.The bingo games were neat, as could check out blue hair old ladies sitting next to nuns, sitting next to sub commandante Marcos playing. There was 4 colored thin bingo sheets, red, yellow, blue, green, and at later date, found orange and purple. The bingo guy stood up on small stage. There was a thing similar to what you see with Texas Lotto now, spins and spins then ball pops out, he/she (sometimes a lady!) call the number. Some of the folks take this way too seriously and intensity shows on faces. But everyone seemed to have good time, don't recall Corpus Christi Police ever coming over to arrest anyone, as the police station was corner of Brownlee & I-37, just 2 blocks away. People parked their cars on Leopard, Cleveland, Mobil gas station, even Doss to go play. Rarely and I mean rarely, would we go inside though. didn't want to ruin welcome. So would play out front, or up and down stairs. The stairs. On this building there was a stairways to upper floor, on west side, brick steps on some kind of stuccoes type building, which was regular ACME type bricks in front and Cleveland side. Not sure if put in later date. The guardrail was also cement, and no one would slide down it like you could other places like Fedway's downtown between escalators. If you fell, 10-15 feet to cement.
Sunday morning. Leopard street back then deathly quiet on a Sunday morning.
And if I didn't have to serve Mass at Cathedral, would ride bike over the KC Hall & look for coins the drunks dropped. Also fun was going thru the trash, handful of worthless bingo cars like Venezuelan money. I mean LOTS of them.
I never saw any that WON, and guess that the winner cards torn in half. But the loser cards, again, really thin paper as a kid these things had all sorts of uses, even if trash. Sometimes a number of us get together on top steps and make paper airplanes and toss them to see who wins. Sometimes just grab handful and toss them in the stiff south CC wind from up there and watch them scatter wherever. Never got in trouble doing it, no one was there that time of morning. The sheets would fly into Mobil, also their locked back area, and if lucky flew into the Coca Cola 'baseball field' across from grandma DeAlcala's house 723 Doss, with some even making it to I-37 and Antelope!
Directly behind KC Hall on Cleveland Street was Mataquita's house. I don't know what Mataquita means, but this was a little old Mexican lady maybe 5 feet tall on a good day, with piercing brown eyes that would melt you, wanted to adopt her, just give her hug. Her little shotgun house was impeccably maintained since she was in her 80s. And in her yard, it was a real Garden of Eden, with potted plants beautifully taken care of, flowers, and for such a tiny yard, just whisk you away to another place & time seeing her work. She also had some damned parakeets that would talk to you. The reason I even mention her is out bingo fun many times blow into her yard.
She would never complain, but in a rare act of remorse for me, would, stop by and offer to clean yard for free, never letting her know I was uh, sort of responsible for it, she just assumed wind did it.
The KC Hall is long gone, as is Mataquita's house, and the other little shotgun house next to it, the white duplex still there. Also on east side of KC Hall, the black marble front building gone, Lucky Lady gone, hell, everything about gone from 1960s there. Even our old houses 2009 Antelope &
723 Doss. A lot of good memories of both places, am surprised the Mobil station is still there though. Wished I had some of the neat posters that used to be stapled to wood board on front of KC Hall for upcoming events!
Photos: Photo #1 This is a rare photo of me in front yard of 723 Doss washing my 68 AMC AMX. In background on upper right is back of Mobil station. If you can get past my big head of hair, directly behind it, is KC Hall, follow it to left upper corner that is whole building! My head, and ego blocking the steps though facing Mobil. The cars in fenced in area behind me, Coca Cola had bought that for employees to park. See here is a Dodge Polara a 74 Mustang. If you look above my car on right, that is Junior Rabago's 70 4 door green Impala parked facing me. Photo #2 Original 1960s bingo paper sheets. Besides the red, yellow, green, blue, and sometimes orange and purple, but here is brown, maroon, pink, and grey ones. Damn, these things can fly amazing distances! Photo #3. the benefit bar b ques at Knights of Columbus hall would smell up whole neighborhood. It was $3 whole chicken then. But only got to eat a plate or two thru years as well, poor! Not mentioned was next day after one of these, would take big box over to dig thru trash for chicken bones for out 6-10 dogs. So someone got some use from it.