Friday, May 18, 2012

Rusine's Part 2

Did you know that, in addition to the bookstore, the Rusine family also operated a motel?

1950s phone book ad
As Robert Rusine explained, "Our motel was on Route 6 and 2. Motel Plaza, across the street from the Crystal Beach roller coaster. For ten years I mowed the lawn on our property, which was 11 acres.

"The sounds of the roller coaster which faced our property were enticing. Slowly the chain would pull the roller coaster to the top, and then it would make the curve before its long descent with people screaming at the top of their lungs.

"But I was mowing the lawn, which took all day."

Robert obviously inherited his father's strong work ethic.

"Coming from an ethnic Russian background," he explained, "my dad was born poor, did not speak English when he started school, but worked tirelessly all his life, and when he died all his properties were fully paid as was our custom."

Motel Plaza is still there out on Route 6 in Vermilion. As Robert notes, "Still in business. Same name and same rooms after fifty years."

"My dad worked both of those businesses each day, every day of the year for almost his entire adult life," said Robert. "Never a vacation."

Michael Rusine passed away on June 20, 1989. He had owned and operated his bookstore for more than 6o years. He was also a former Lorain Jaycees Man of the Year, and was a state award winner for selling bonds during World War II.

Robert Rusine sums up his father simply and lovingly.

"My dad was a good guy."

Special thanks to Robert Rusine for sharing his memories.

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