Reliving the good old days


By Kay Conklin - Contributing columnist



This article consists of one-liners about subjects that were a part of living in Delaware County back in the “good old days.” There is no particular order.

1. Bun, himself, greeted everyone at the front door of Bun’s Restaurant with menu in hand. A favorite was the vegetable plate with all veggies and coffee, for 90 cents.

2. The city swimming pool was at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on Pennsylvania Avenue. Before being allowed in the pool, you had to walk through bleach to sterilize your feet.

3. All students in the Delaware city school system attended grades 7-12, that were all housed in one building. It was named for a man, Frank B. Willis.

4. The Brown Jug restaurant, that has been closed for too long now, was originally located in the middle of a block over on Sandusky Street. That was before the days of Red & Ed.

5. There was a shoe store on Sandusky Street, north of Winter Street, that had an X-ray machine to use to test to see if your shoes fit properly. Not knowing better, we X-rayed them for fun.

6. In the 50s, all OWU freshmen had to wear a red beanie to classes. If guys were caught without it on, they were dunked in Sulfur Springs. No dunking the women students though.

7. In 1952, when Dwight Eisenhower was campaigning for president and his train had stopped at the crossing on East Central Avenue, an OWU student tossed his red beanie up for him to wear.

8. When living on Union Street, the ice man delivered ice for our ice box. As all kids did, we went out, climbed up to the back of his truck and got slivers of ice to eat. Great on hot days!

9. TV did not come on the air until 4 p.m., and then went off the air by 11 p.m. or midnight. Most all shows were live, even hour-long comedies, musicals and dramatics.

10. Dr. Lauer made house calls back in 1945. I don’t remember what illnesses we had, but he came with his doctor’s bag in hand and took care of us.

11. When I heard that Woody Hayes was fired from coaching football at OSU, I was trying on dresses in the dressing room of Uhlmans. The football world has never been the same since.

12. While having dinner at the Branding Iron on Old Route 23, Stubby Bowen, wearing his red jacket, sat down at our table. I asked him if he worked there, and he said, “I own the place.”

13. There was a Rec Center at old North School, and for 5 cents an evening, all high school students had a chaperoned place to play games, dance, shoot pool or just hang out.

14. For nearly 40 years, the Delaware County Courthouse closed all offices at noon Monday through Thursday during fair week. Now they only close at noon on Thursday for the Little Brown Jug races.

15. When the newspaper listed students on the honor and merit rolls for each of the high schools, it used to take only a couple of paragraphs. Now, it takes a whole page.

16. When our nephew had a sporting event held at Olentangy Local Schools, all students from grades K-12 were located in one single building, on the south side of Shanahan Road.

17. Delaware County Library used to be in the Carnegie building, built for a library. But now, county commissioners’ offices are there, and the library is where an Albers store used to be.

18. People ate a lot of meat and rented meat lockers for storage of enough meat for a year. In the 50s, you could buy 3 pounds of freshly ground beef for $1.

19. Bun’s Restaurant had an upstairs banquet room in the original building that burned down. All seniors enjoyed a sit-down breakfast up there on their graduation day.

20. Sandusky Street divides the east from the west sides of town according to addresses, but the Olentangy River is the great divider of the east side from the west side.

21. A year ago I was told by an east side business owner that if you were a girl raised in the east side, “you had to be tough.” I was raised there for two years, so I guess that counts.

22. When you go in the bank building at the corner of North Sandusky and West Winter streets, there is an elevator to take you upstairs. There used to be an elevator operator there on duty at all times.

23. When my sister’s husband called home during WWII, he had to call the lady across the street, because most families didn’t have even one phone back then.

The above 23 lines could be considered the “Good Old Days” for any senior citizen. I could go on and on about the changes in the city of Delaware and Delaware County, because the changes never stop. If you don’t believe it, just pick up the Delaware Gazette and read the front pages. New subdivisions, more crime and more kinds of crime, new industry, lists of property transfers as well as births and deaths are happening every day. And just imagine, these times now will some day be the “Good Old Days” of the future.

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By Kay Conklin

Contributing columnist

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.

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.