A personal letter from Leona HelmsleyPublished 8:28pm Thursday, September 19, 2013
I don’t know if folks remember the name of Leona Helmsley. She was the wife of the man who owned all the big hotels. She was in the news because of a problem with the IRS at one time.
Our traveling friends from Niles, Gilbert and Bonnie Calder and Peg and I had a mishap at our dinner one night and it was taken care of by the hostess who gave the four of us royal treatment.
I sent a form in our room back to the hotel of how nice Fran the hostess took care of us.
To my surprise, I shortly received a nice letter Leona sent saying that Fran would be commended for what she did for us.
I still have that personal letter from Leona.
Remember those old below-ground dugouts on the baseball field?
There was a cinder running track around the football field and a six-inch cement curb separating the grass from the cinder track.
There were long benches in front of those old wooden bleachers where the players sat, waiting to go into the game.
At the north end of the field was the long jump, high jump and pole vault.
How did we old folks survive in those days? We rode our bikes with no helmets, cars had no seatbelts or air bags and there were no childproof lids on medicine bottles.
I never thought I’d see people buying water in a store like nowadays and we kids didn’t think anything of giving a friend a sip of our big 12-ounce Pepsi because we didn’t know what germs were in my younger days.
Seventy long years ago we kids used to go to houses and pick up old newspapers and old magazines and take them over to Spock’s junkyard on West Railroad Street.
I suppose we probably only made 10 or 15 cents, but it was enough to go to the old Century for a Saturday matinee.
Many a time did John, Jim Luthringer and I ride our bikes out M-40 North to the little gas station by the creek — now both gone.
An old crippled man, Fred Isenminger, ran the station. He had an old Model A coupe with a rumble seat.
We would visit, eat New Era potato chips and drink a big bottle of ice-cold pop from his cooler.
Of course, this was giving us the energy to ride back to Dowagiac before dark.
Oh to go back to the old days, which are now just memories of my past.
We boys used to play cops and robbers over at Ralph Tice’s welding shop buildings.
We kids played in the big pile of dirt and the hole made when Dee Carney built his house in the 600 block of Orchard Street.
Things I wish I could do once again, like go downtown for an ice-cold drink from one of those white porcelain fountains.
Tags: Cardinal Charlie Gill