History Items of the Canal Zone

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Atlantic Side Lovers Leaps
cronicled by
Dale C. Clarke from Iguana

General Rambles Oct, 2003

What were the lover's "parking areas" and/or places couples would go to makeout on the Atlantic Side? Also the watering holes, too?

On the Pacific side, we had the Amador Causeway for smooching and the Amador Yacht Club for a watering hole. (I do realize that there were a bunch of places other than those mentioned above. Las Cruses trail, Miraflores jumps were my favorite places. I also liked any of the army "K" roads! Quite reclusive. :)

I would presume that that our Zonian brothers and sisters had similar places on the Atlantic side.

Thanks for the help!

Bobby Winford, Jr.

Bobbie, I sent your note on to my older brothers and sisters to see what they remember as the lovers leap on the Atlantic side and this is what I got in return.

Marcia Wheatley (Coffin)

>From my sister Lynne: From what I heard the place to go to park was on the hill up past the Union Church -right where we lived. The favored "watering hole" was across the bridge over the locks out toward the Tarpon Club, but before you got there!

>From my sister Honey speaking about my brother Bud: Buddy use to refer this to as "The Trees". There was a special reference made to this location in his yearbook by one of the Park sisters. Mary, Dawn and Diane had a riot with this one time when I was visiting. Apparently Buddy frequented this location with the rest of his school buddies.

>From my brother Tom: Ah, yes. The Trees. Spent many nights there. That was the place to go when I was in high school and at CZC. After a football game, you wouldn't believe how many cars were up there. Of course, Sid and I were always on our best behavior, saying "thank you, no" to those juveniles swilling beer.

on the pacific side there was always the causeway to go party. the "juicers" liked to have their parties at the observatory while we "heads" hung at contractor's hill listening to uncle trip band and the screams of the girls in the cars.
Kieth Olson

Bob don't forget the abandoned ammo bunkers just off K-9. One time was hunting in that area and had set up my camp in one of the bunkers. you know cot, sleeping bag mattress, and Mosquito and when i came back way after dark a young fellow and his girl were using my cot. They sure made a mess when I asked them what was going on. Never got an answer they just grabbed clothes and ran to jeep and left.
Terry Truxton

Okay, so here are a few Atlantic necking spots to scratch your memory. I'm sharing these with the understanding that I can neither confirm nor deny I have spent any time at any of these places....okay, Dad?

Margarita: Baseball scoreboard (or dugout, or bleachers) behind the Margarita Clubhouse. Okay, I'll admit to necking at the scoreboard. This site was good for watching when your parents picked you up after the movie, because you can see the car lights pulling into the clubhouse parking lot.......then you run through the bowling alley, through the clubhouse, and out the front door of the clubhouse. "How was the movie?" "Fine." End of inquisition.

Brazos Golf course……yes, w/buko mosquitoes, but oh, the stars shine bright.

Gatun: “Dead Man’s Step” down the railroad tracks from the Gatun Yacht Club towards Gatun train station. This was in the daytime when you were dropped off/drove to/hitchhiked to the Yacht club after church. You couldn’t be squeamish about the bats that were there, and of course, the ghost of the alleged “dead man”.

Even better, the Gatun “Hilton” the place canal pilots used when they had a layover. It was quite the place to (gently) break into and spook each other. Come to think of it, most places that one broke into were pretty easy…you know, not a lot of crime so not a lot of locks.

Of course there’s the “Push Button”, who’s name escapes me. Actually, it was more fun to “rent” the room ($7/hour?), gather some friends & a cooler full of Panamas, and go hang out and laugh at how foolish we were being. Hey, it had a bathroom……not an easy commodity when drinking on the sly.

Ft. Randolph…..next to Coco Solo. There was a tower there w/scary concrete stairs which zigzagged up to the top. The iron was gone so no handrails, etc. But the good news, while in the tower, oncoming cops were easy to see.

This is only a few….there are so many more. Anyone have any to add?


The Margarita Tennis Courts little "dugout" area. :O)

Pier 1 - Coco Solo
Ski Docks - Gatun
Pina Beach [far place to go]
The Push Button was always just called The Push Button
Out towards Galeta Pt.
Virginia Hirons

I have only been told about these places for "kissy face" you understand... ((-:

Ok! Just in Amador...

1. There was a really long pier that went out from the area of the civilian 12 family Amador quarters that had an abandoned house on the end. It was used this before we could drive.

2. Beams under the BYC pier -- except at really high tides. Also pre driving.

3. The boat house across from the pilot shack at the Mine dock (had to crawl around the barbed wire) at the end of the causeway.

4. The abandoned tunnels into the mountain above the Seal UDT center across from the Mine dock at the end of the causeway (you had to fit under the bars or walk up a hard trail to the top). It had quarters and bathrooms we fixed up to work.

5. The road that went past the Amador Beach and around the island.

6. The lifeguard room at the beach.

7. A flat rock on the Panama Bay (left going out) side of the second island on the causeway past the boat launch (hard to get to or back from after dark except I can see in the dark).

8. The beams under the corrosion pier (had a screen around it down into the water). Planks were up under the walkways where you could sit and watch the snapper, corbina, and snook swim around.

On the Cocoli side... K9 was full of abandoned WWII AA posts with overgrown roads. Guys first found them on cycles or scooters. Folks then cleared all but 10 feet or so covering the road and then just drove through when we went to play "kissy face" letting the branches close behind the car. MPs came and thought the road ended. Besides you could see them coming through the jungle with their lights on and could compose yourself... Once or twice there were tanks from Kobbe parked on the top and folks had to "beat feet".

Each town had places folks went to depending on where their young lady lived... One had to be able to get there and back in a time reasonable to getting her straight home... More later if the thought strikes me... Mind you this is all hearsay... ((-:


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