Column: Shoe’s Mailbag is Almost Always Full
By Tim “Shoe” Sullivan
And they just keep on coming.
A few weeks ago, we did a couple of columns about good old Stevens Point. Or to be more specific, they were about what Point USED to be before everything got torn down.
We must’ve listed a hundred buildings and businesses that were here one year and gone the next. Some of the places only lasted a year or two. Others remained in the same place for 50 years. Be that as it may, you would think about a hundred places would just about cover the topic. Hoo boy — it doesn’t look like it.
You see, in the past two weeks, the readers decided to chip in here. I got some dandy online comments from you, the faithful reader. Also had about one phone call a day. For Pete’s sake, five or six people even sent letters.
Well, I’d like to share these memories with you. Just about all of the places mentioned haven’t been listed before.
Were you around Stevens Point and the surrounding areas when Gary Cisewski enjoyed eating at the Main Street Café? Hans Viertel mentioned Weber’s. That was a factory just off of Arlington. Tom Hering remembered the Dixon Street Grocery which later became a laundromat.
Morey Adams misses the old Post Office with the huge pillars in front. Wayne Giese really took a stroll down memory lane by recalling Weller’s Hardware, Putney Electric, Jacobs/Raabe downtown, Kuhl’s, Food Exchange, Breitenstein’s, Boston Furniture with a funeral home in the back, Moeschler’s on the Southside (not sure about the spelling), and next to it was Noble Hatchery with the baby chicks in the front window.
Roy’s Bar had the union meetings, and Pete’s Barber Shop gave good haircuts. Weller’s Hardware became Dave’s True Value. You could play pinball machines in the Sugar Bowl somewhere around Porter’s. And who could forget Taylor’s Drugs and Noah’s Ark?
Sandy “Zippity” Duda Roth recalled shopping downtown at Fairway on Friday nights. It was just east of Woolworth’s. She also remembered the Peacock Bar and Bon-Ton Beauty Shop. Ken Wnuk chimed in with Paul’s Bar which became Mickey’s and now is a parking lot.
Chris Lee Chiapuzio enjoyed going to Rainbow Falls, and Jim Braga liked to buy HO race cars at Park’s Toy Store when he wasn’t playing baseball by West Dairy in Park Ridge. Oh, Tom Hering also brought up the Eternal Hunt of the Sun coffee house on Strongs Avenue. All of these are gone — but not forgotten.
Marge Ceplina and Sherman Rudnick remembered almost everything. Cheryl Starry Bulman talked about Burger Chef, Common House Records, and Tempo. Teresa Grap-Johnson reminded us of Gary’s Tap. Derek McKnight recalled the days of Lenny’s Grocery Store. Their slogan was “Save pennies at Lenny’s”. Derek also mentioned the Tea Shop and Clark’s Corner (which should not be confused with Cooper’s Corner.
And speaking of Coopers, my great dentist Bob Cooper, now retired, talked for quite some time about his paper route as a kid in Point. There were 45 deliveries on his route, and he made $4.50 a day and worked six days a week. Bob, a star on the Medics of Little League fame, also recalled many of the Little League players of his day.
And like I said, they just kept on coming. John Eckendorf, the Trivia guy, wrote about the Blueberry Muffin, Northside Bar (great fish fries), Nitty Gritty, Sorenson’s Floral, and the College Avenue Grocery. My long-time buddy Jack Mrozinski noted that he bought his peas and peashooters at Zia’s Grocery on Jefferson Street.
Cheryl Pelot misses Sadie & Jerry’s. Mike Zakrzewski let us know about the Wing Bar on Highway 66, and Kelly Slusarski Frank mentioned Togo’s Subs, Ponderosa, and the Wizard Arcade. Ken Piotrowski explained that he used to work at the old Northside IGA. So did Bob “Ma” Pesch. Ma said he enjoyed eating at Eve & Otto’s, a small diner, in 1969. I was there with him but don’t feel bad if you never ate there because it was in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Some guy at the Final Score (which used to be Romie’s Rendezvous next to The Flame), seemed to remember a small A&W root beer stand named Keel’s which was close to Robby’s. Marion Skibba talked about Vetter’s. Dan Eiden enjoyed going to the Fox Theatre and watching the bats fly around in the balcony.
Tom Hering also misses the Fox and said some of the movies he watched there were “Alakazam the Great”, “Dr. No””, “From Russia With Love” (those last two were James Bond movies with Sean Connery), “The Nutty Professor”, “ The Dark Old House”,” The Sword in The Stone”, “Crack In The World”, “Planet of The Vampires”, “Fantastic Voyage”, and “Easy Rider”.
Audrey Somers sent a beautiful card with a handwritten note. She loved being carried back to the more simple fun-filled years in Point. As a teen, she enjoyed going to Dan’s Ice Cream Parlor and a beer bar named Sharkey’s. Audrey also liked to walk downtown with friends past Rudnick’s which had several iron railings. The boys would sit on the railings and whistle at the girls. The chicks enjoyed the attention.
Audrey closed by saying that she grew up on the Polish North Side and wouldn’t trade a day, month, or year for the wonderful neighbors, friends, and great times filled with great memories. (That kind of card pleases me to no end).
Patty (Glodosky) Geis mailed a nice letter. She loved growing up in Stevens Point and walking down memory lane. Patty particularly enjoyed mention of Clark Electric, Soik Plumbing, and Roska’s Pharmacy since she worked at the latter two. She remembered how I saved Kingsbury labels for coupons and once baked a frozen pizza with the plastic wrapper still on it. Patty also reminded us of the Glowton Funeral Home, a fake funeral parlor “invented” by her and Patty Clayton. They sponsored a men’s softball team, had a story written about them in the Milwaukee Sentinel in 1972, and would bring their pitcher out to the mound in a pine box. What a crazy team THAT was.`
Richard Dehlinger sent an email that covered places back in the 50s. He went to Pacelli when the high school first opened and joined the Christian Brothers in 1959. Richard taught at Appleton Xavier from 1965 to 1969. Mr. Dehlinger recalled going to Jurgella’s Market on the square and talking to “Fuzzy” and Syl Jurgella (that’s short for Sylvester like in “Tweety & Sylvester”). He wrote about $0.65 haircuts at Berens Barber Shop under the Sport Shop and he played in Little League with Rick Reichardt, Wayne Jinske, and Jim Shuda.
Local legend “Nubbs” Miller was Richard’s history teacher, and Richard enjoyed going to Malarkey’s Drive Inn and having a blast at Maria High’s “Harvest Hop” in 1957 (♫ Let’s go to the hop oh baby let’s go to the hop ♪). By the way, Jurgella’s became Buffy’s Lampoon.
When you really get down to it, the feedback from you the readers has been awesome! Tom Razner, the Hall of Fame basketball player from P.J.s, sent a black and white photo from the 60’s showing stock car driver Morlin “Shoes” Walbeck of Rib Lake, Wisconsin. The front of his hauler says “Shoes”.
Perhaps the strangest phone call was a message left by Mr. Tom Koss. He liked reading about Point history stuff and also had a suggestion. Tom thought a story should be done on all the folks who had hole-in-ones in area golf. Or is it “holes-in-one”?
Problem is, how the hell would you find out who did it? I asked one guy who golfs a lot if he ever made a hole-in-one. He said he made one. I asked him to tell me the whole story. He said, “Well, I hit the ball on my first swing and it went into the hole. Then I walked over and picked the ball out of the hole and hit it again.”
I should tell you that my buddy Doogie Berry golfs a lot.
He said, “I wear two pair of underwear when I golf”.
“Why?” I asked.
He said, “Just in case I get a hole in one”.