Reading old stories brings back memories


By Kay Conklin

Contributing columnist

It’s April of 2023 now, and I am reminded of the April of 2016 because that is when I began writing these articles for The Delaware Gazette. The first year I wrote one article each week, but during the next six years, I only wrote one every two weeks.

And as I sit here now, I wonder how I managed to find that much to write about in those 200 articles. So, today I decided to get my copies out and look them over to see what was going on back then.

The one that started the ball rolling was a story about George losing his billfold at the Orlando International Airport and what all happened to make it possible for us to fly home from Florida to Ohio without any identification.

The next two stories were about my memories of going to the Strand Theatre and also eating at the Brown Jug every weekday while working at Ohio Wesleyan University. That’s when at least eight of the secretaries and I got to have our own table every day so we didn’t have to wait in line to sit down. Lots of birthday parties were held during those happy days.

And for another topic, I wrote about liking to use both our Ashley and the Delaware libraries.

Of the next many articles, I chose to write about things I had lost like old friends; relatives; my car when it was totaled

while sitting inside our garage; my hearing; as well as my dark hair and good eyesight. I also wrote about the Rec Center

at the old North School. That was a great place for teens to go that only cost 5 cents an evening to play ping-pong, shoot pool, dance, sing when someone was there to play the piano, and play cards.

I wrote a lot about my husband’s horses and the kids who came to learn to ride. I liked knowing them and seeing them winning their blue ribbons at the Delaware County Fair.

His first horse’s name was Tango Tag. And Tango’s first foal was named “Sweet Georgia Kay.”

I’d like to explain about one of the horse medicines. The same medicine for our horse, which cost $37.50, costs $1,080 when it is purchased for humans. (The very same medicine.)

Back then I also wrote about George building a cabin in the woods. We had it for only four years. When it was all closed up for the winter months, someone broke into it and destroyed everything inside and then left the door open for animals to come in and destroy anything that was left. All we have left are pictures of it. (And an original drawing by one of the girls who came there to a party of the youth fellowship from our church).

To close, I would like to remind the residents of Delaware, who shopped downtown back in the 50s, of what the downtown was like then. We had Sandusky, Winter and William streets and Central Avenue. I shopped at Uhlmans for clothes and hats that we wore back then, the News Shop for cards and magazines, Barger’s Jewelry for gifts, Omar Bakery, the Delaware Hotel, a sheet music store and the Western Union. Walking south you would find “Wilson’s, CJ. of Course,” which had dressy clothes for men and women, and then there was the L & K restaurant. And in that same area, on the west side of the Sandusky, was the New Method Cleaners. Back north on Sandusky you would find Sell’s Stationary Store, and on up was Western Auto owned by Mr. Sullivan. Then down to Oller Appliances, the Boston Store, the U.S store and the Peoples Store. There was a Drug Store called Winter St. Drugs. And right next to it was Buns Restaurant. That was before it burned down. Buns didn’t have a patio, but they did have a full bakery, with the best chocolate cakes anywhere.

I don’t want to forget the three shoe stores on Sandusky Street. Believe it or not, one of these shoe stores had an x-ray machine to look at your feet when you were trying on new shoes. Except for Buns, all of the above places of business are gone now.

I have only looked through half of my pile of old articles, which is enough for this week. I think I’ll see what more I can find for the next time.

Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.

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