Memories of Marlow Heights
Web site offers a look back
By Anna Bailey
Examiner Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, December 27, 2005 11:41 PM EST

Chuck Fraley displays his Web site on Dec. 21.
The site reminisces about '60s- and '70s-era Marlow Heights
in Prince George's County. Greg Whitesell/Examiner

Every community has its heyday - the era on which those who moved away look back and wax nostalgic. In Marlow Heights, a once-bustling suburb of the District, that time is now: a baby boomer's memory of greased-back hair and hot rods or flowered shirts and shaggy manes.

One local man has brought those memories crashing into the 21st century via a surprisingly popular Web site,

An inquiry about the Marlow Heights of the past elicited more than a dozen responses from the site's users almost instantly.

"It was just a different time, when you could go outside and play without fear," said site creator Chuck Fraley, who now lives in Bethesda. Fraley, 47, started the site about a year and a half ago.

"The Web site touches a lot of common ground in people because we all went to the same schools and hung out at Iverson Mall or Marlow Heights Shopping Center and went to Red Barn and Jr. Hot Shoppes," Fraley said.

The malls, fast-food joints and other memorable icons, as well as updates on long-lost friends, fill the site's gaudy yellow and orange pages.

"It kind of keeps me connected to home," said Greg Laxton, 42, who grew up in Clinton and retired to Florida two years ago.

Laxton's father remembered Jr. Hot Shoppes, known for its "Mighty Mo" hamburger. Jr. Hot Shoppes was the Marriott hotel chain's venture into fast food.

About two months ago, the Antietam Gallery in Washington County commissioned a painting honoring the fast-food hangout near Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, from which gallery owner Joe Kehoe graduated. Kehoe said he has sold about 100 copies.

Now Marlow Heights is a different place. Fraley drove through his old neighborhood not long ago and saw 10 police cruisers canvassing the area.

"I feel sad, and I also feel disappointed because in relocating back to Maryland recently, one of the places I considered was buying a house in Prince George's County," said Fraley, a computer programmer and a father of two. "We've been so far looking in Montgomery County."

Want to look back?

- Web site:

- "Do You Remember" looks back on the old hangouts, fashion and food that made Marlow Heights home.

- "Whatever Happened To" lists old friends‚ names with updates or inquiries for updates.