Monday, February 25, 2013

Pat's West Side Lorain Memories

I received an email last month from a fellow Class of 1977 Admiral King Marching Band buddy, Pat Derrer Resor. (That's her at left holding her marching french horn. I'm the guy with a trombone sitting behind her on the left side of the photo.)

After seeing some of the early morning timestamps on my posts, Pat was concerned that I was staying up all hours of the night trying to come up with blog content. So, she volunteered some of her reminisces about growing up on W. 20th Street just west of Oberlin Avenue in the 60s and 70s to fill some space.

"I grew up on the west side of Lorain, close to the neighborhood where the author Toni Morrison writes about," said Pat. "I attended Barrett kindergarten near Central Park. The child that sat next to me in the Halloween group photo there was also my prom date thirteen plus years later."

(Incidentally, her prom date – my high school pal Jerry – is the guy holding a trombone sitting next to me. I guess Jerry was destined to forever be photographed sitting near Pat.)

Former Houff Pharmacy building –
currently for sale
Pat continued. "I was often sent to Houff Pharmacy (at 18th and Oberlin) to get a prescription. I did not have to cross many busy streets."

Sadly, the pharmacy is long closed and the building is currently for sale.

Businesses seemed to dominate Pat's memories. "Lawson’s and Lorain Creamery were close to home, " she said. "There also was a Texaco station on the corner of 21st and Oberlin Ave. at one time."

"When I walked to Harrison Elementary School (at 20th and Hamilton), I would often stop to pet the dog that lived behind the Bristow Myers Travel Bureau. I also had to regularly walk near the Dombrowski Funeral Home."

Former Bristow Myers Travel Bureau
"Hupp Heating and Air was on the northeast corner of 19th and Oberlin Ave. There was also a Nazarene church on the same corner before the congregation moved to Amherst."

Pat was able to witness one well-remembered Lorain historical event. "My grandfather took us to the river to watch the Roger Blough burn (in June 1971)," she said. "He said it was history being made."

Pat has memories of good Lorain food too. As she noted, "Sometimes, we would even get to eat at the Roman Room Restaurant." She added, "A major treat was donuts from Bob’s."

Pat did venture out of her neighborhood a little farther south down Oberlin Avenue once in a while. "The Meister Rd. shopping center had a Grant’s department store that gave out Green Stamps when purchases were made," she remembered.

Dombrowski-Riddle Funeral Home
(one of the few businesses in Pat's
old neighborhood that's still in operation)
It sounds like Pat has some nice memories of her old neighborhood, as well as the stores and businesses that played such a big part of Lorain's personality back then.

She summed it up very simply. "All of this in my very narrow view of the world growing up. We could even sit on the back steps and watch the fireworks from George Daniel Stadium without even leaving home."

Thanks for sharing your memories, Pat!


-Alan D Hopewell said...

My mother went to school with Toni Morrison, when she was still Chloe Wofford; Bristow C. Myers was our family doctor-he had an office on 19th Street, just west of Elyria Avenue, behind which was a tree that bore the best pears in town every year.

Linda Jean Limes Ellis said...

I lived on the East Side on Arizona Avenue and I was working on Broadway at HFC when the Roger Blough burned down. My mother called me at work and told me not to come home for lunch because she feared she would be evacuated. Also, the Houff Building you featured, I can remember for a time in the early 1970s upstairs my favorite doctor, Dr. Novello, set up his practice upstairs in that building. I remember going there to see him. I know back in the 1950s he was elsewhere, I think on Broadway. I mostly remember him coming to the house. My main West Side activity was trick or treating at Halloween!! I would go trick or treating with my cousin, Lenny Stitak, and our mothers walked with us after my dad would drop us off. We knew we could get better candy in the better neighborhoods on the westside like on Archwood Avenue, and so that is my recolletion of my West Side Lorain activity, and of course attending LHS which I consider, "West Side" too! (BTW, your security words are getting more difficult for me to read in my old age; and I'm not a robot!)

Dan Brady said...

I don't have anything to do with those security word codes that you have to input to leave a comment--sorry! I guess it's a necessary evil or something. The funny thing is, plenty of spam comments still slip through every once in a while.

John Carreon said...

I lived on the other side of W 20th between Oberlin and Hamilton across the street from Harrison Elementary and remember many of the same places Pat does. Lawson's for milk, chipped ham and comic books. I remember the gas station on the corner of 21st & Oberlin was run by a gruff old man named Andy. Also on 21st was a general store where neighborhood kids bought candy, the door was usually locked so you'd have to knock on the door and wait for the old woman to come down from the second level. Don't remember how the name was spelled something like Kusski's? Gallo's on 21st & Hamiltion was another store we went to when allowed to cross 21st St.