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Downtown memoriesPosted Tuesday, October 12, 2010, at 3:04 PM
It was after hours ,and I was working late at the office.
It was a nice evening, so I decided to take a walk downtown. Since the businesses were closed, I took my time and looked in each window. It has been years since I have just strolled down the streets window shopping. As I approached each business and looked through the windows, my mind went back in time.
As I walked past what is now Your Hometown Channel, I thought of the times I went to the dentist in that building. Just around the corner was Baker''s Clothing. Across the street where Gregory's is now was P.N. Hirsch Department Store. I worked there my senior year and can remember some of the customer's faces even though I can't recall their names. I do remember a young gentleman who recently had moved to Dexter. We were having a side walk sale, and he purchased a straw hat from me. I remember his youthful smile and our fun at searching for just the right hat. Little did we know that in the near future he would become my cousin by marriage.
Jumping back across the street I could see Melvin Gainer's jewelry store. I could also visualize him crossing the street to P.N. Hirsch bringing me the class rings my class had chosen so he could get my ring size.
Ahh, the drug stores, one on each side of the street. That's where we went after school for that special soda or yummy butterscotch sundae. Then the infamous Thrower's Men's store. It later became a men's and women's shopping Mecca. Halls grocery. Oh, the memories there. Mom and Dad always bought our Christmas candy and fruit from Mr. and Mrs. Hall. I believe those bon bons were as big as Joe Frogger's cookies. I can still smell the wonderful aroma of the apples and oranges.
Skipping down the street to Weber's Ben Franklin. I was in the fifth grade at Central the first time I walked there. We called it the dime store back then. I remember the first time I ever saw Joe. He never knew it, but I had such a little girl crush on him. Morgan's Furniture. See that rocking chair sign? I'm, well, old and it was there when I was a child. Remember the moving Santa? To me, it seemed almost real.
The building across the street that in recent years housed Chrisman Wild Life was Hamra's Department Store. I have really fond memories there. The Hamra's, Kenneth, Katherine, and Frankie, gave each of my four siblings and me jobs as we each came of age to work. My most memorable times there were the Christmas shopping days. The store was filled with Christmas music and lots of light. It was during the time when wool skirts and sweaters were all the rage. I can still see snow falling and the people laughing as they came to do their Christmas shopping.
The building that is now Sister's Closet was Jay's Music. I worked there right before I got married. Our first stereo was purchased there.
I remember going to lunch one day and falling on the curb in front of the store right in front of God and everyone. How embarrassing.
To this day I am cautious at that curb. I loved working for and being with Alice and J.C.
Again, space won't permit me to go on. During my stroll that night it seemed I could almost hear every person's laughter, see the handshaking and hugs of people on the streets. I could see and hear the hustle and bustle of holiday and Saturday shopping.
I miss those days, but we still have a good downtown area. I believe our little downtown is one of the best around. We have a good group of people who work hard to keep our downtown going. I wish to take this moment to thank them for all their work. I'm proud of our past and thankful for our present "Historic Downtown Dexter".
See you next time in the Korner.
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Kathleen is a resident of Dexter. She was born in Indiana, but her parents moved their family back to the Dexter area when she was three. Other than three years she and her husband, Collin, lived in St. Charles, Mo. and ten years in Birmingham, Alabama, she has spent her life in Dexter. As you can tell, Kathleen is a people person and believes in giving credit to whom credit is due. Thus, the reason for her hero/heroine column every other week in Kathleen's Korner. As you can tell, she also like to have fun, most of the time at her own expense. Kathleen (Grubbs) is a 1964 graduate of Dexter High School and invites her friends to her "Korner."