By Kay Conklin
When I ended my last article, I mentioned looking up some more of my old articles and writing a review of them. When I saw the title “Life on East Central Ave.” (in Delaware City, Ohio), it fit that description. So, in reading it over, I find that we lived there during the late 1940s. Part of it was that our oldest sister’s husband (who had just gotten home from the Navy) thought I needed something done about my mop of hair. So, he took up a collection from everyone in the family to pay for me to go to a real beauty salon and get my hair cut and curled. Thanks to him for doing that!
I have only one picture of all of us kids sitting on the back step of our house on East Central Avenue, but our mom isn’t in it. I remember she was standing just inside the screen door, and I wish she had stepped out to be in the picture with us. Also, the memories of sitting on the front steps and seeing the few cars that passed by. Now, there is no end of constant “bumper to bumper” traffic on Central Ave., from the very east to the very west ends of town.
The next article I found was the one when a young woman asked me for money when I had just stepped outside the door of the bank downtown. She told me she needed $25 so she and her two children (who were waiting in a car) could stay in a motel that cold night. And, if I didn’t give it to her, they would have to sleep in her car. So I gave it to her. But after I gave it to her, she followed me on down the street and into an antique store, but never checked on her children. I never knew if her story was true or not, and a lot of people told me later that I should never have given her the money. We’ll never know for sure, but if her story was true, I’m glad they didn’t have to sleep in her car on that cold December night.
Another article was about going with my siblings to Graceland to see Elvis’ home. We also saw the little drug store that was turned into “Sun Records” where Elvis recorded his very first song. And also, when all seven of us ate at a nice restaurant, and after we all had ordered our food, my brother told us to trade seats to see how the waitress would handle that situation. When she came back with our food, she never said a word and proceeded to put the correct plate in front of each one of us. Good job. Big tip.
Another article was about spending a whole day on an airboat in Florida. It was our daughter Cathy’s 40th birthday, and we had plans to go out in an airboat for the day. We left before daylight and didn’t get back home until after dark on that January day. We were picked up at Cathy’s home and went to the house of one of the boat owners. We had a huge breakfast there. From the time we left, we didn’t see civilization for the next many hours, stopping only on a small island to take some pictures. We didn’t get back to land until dark. Then we were taken to that same house for a big supper (and finally a bathroom). Cathy loved every minute of her birthday adventure. No matter what the age, isn’t that what all parents want to have for their child?
Another article was about the children’s home in the 50s in Delaware. A friend of mine, who grew up living there, invited me to join her at the reunion of all the children who had been there when she was. It had not been a good experience for her, so she wrote a book about it. I think she gave a copy to the Delaware library if anyone is interested in reading it. The book is titled “When Times Were Young,” and it was written by LaFern Hamlin Melton.
My last article for today is when I wrote about the mysterious death of one of the participants on the TV show “What’s My Line?” Back in the 50s, my family watched the show every Sunday evening from 10:30 until 11 p.m. I liked one of the participants by the name of Dorothy Kilgallen. On one of the last shows, they announced that Dorothy may have been murdered. It was supposed that she “knew too much about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.” She herself had written, “If the wrong people know what I know, it could cost me my life.” I have often wondered if the mystery of her death has ever been solved.
I have enjoyed going back to read a lot of my old articles. I have enough more to go back again at another time and write a review of more of them. But for now, it’s time to begin my eighth year of thinking up new things to write about. Thanks for reading!
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.