A likely date for this noontime parade on Capitol Hill is late 1951 or early '52. If I have researched Studebaker convertibles correctly, that is a 1951...

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A likely date for this noontime parade on Capitol Hill is late 1951 or early ’52. If I have researched Studebaker convertibles correctly, that is a 1951 Champion Regal model on the right, crossing the Thomas Street intersection with Broadway Avenue.

It may well be on loan from the neighborhood’s Belcourt dealership at 12th Avenue and Pine Street, which advertised itself then as “Seattle’s oldest and largest Studebaker dealer.”

The two convertibles — a Stude’ and a Chevy — carry, in all, five women sitting high in the cars’ backseats. I prefer to think these are honored coeds (rather than Seafair royalty) celebrating some part of Seattle University’s 1951-52 basketball season when the records set by their O’Brien twins, Johnny and Eddie, brought national fame to the Catholic school, which, like its phenomenal guards, was small.

The photograph was taken from Ivar’s on Broadway, which opened in 1951 in a gas station converted for serving an ambitious menu of fish and chips, Mexican and Chinese cuisine, and hamburgers, because the students insisted on them. This original print for the scene also comes from Ivar’s archive. It is grouped with other student rally subjects including ones taken in Ivar’s parking lot appointed with a stage for dancing cheerleaders, the basketball stars and proud priests posing above a swarm of fans.

Across the street at the northeast corner of Thomas and Broadway is the long-lived Checkerboard Café and Cocktail Lounge. From my years on Capitol Hill in the early 1970s I remember it as Ernie Steele’s Restaurant, with its dark bar, sportsman’s murals stained by decades of nicotine and deep frying, and that special smell that such places share and which no scented evergreen can cover.

Now that red brick corner has been opened to sunlight, as Julia’s on Broadway.

“Washington Then and Now,” by Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard, can be purchased through www.washingtonthenandnow.com ($45) or through Tartu Publications at P.O. Box 85208, Seattle, WA 98145.