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  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    You seriously lived around Fenkell-Greenfield and believe it is "not even close to Grandmont"?

    I suggest you consult a map. Grandmont is just off Grand River east of the Southfield Fwy, which is right by Fenkell-Greenfield.
    It's about 3/4 of a mile as the birds fly and over a mile walking or driving. I walked it every school day for 3 years.

    It's quite a bit further in terms of architecture and economics, or at least it was back then.

    There is/was no close comparison by any measure.

  2. #27

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    What a fascinating thread! I don't have any firsthand knowledge to contribute myself as I spent my early childhood in the late 70s and 80s in the Macomb County burbs and didn't really venture much into Detroit proper until the 90s. But seeing the effects of the crack epidemic made me wonder a lot about how things used to be proceeding it. And like most people I have a special nostalgia for the years I grew up in. So thanks for sharing everyone.

  3. #28

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    When my mom and dad move a three family flat in Lawton St. south of Six Mile Rd and north of Puritan St. in 1975. The hood was 80% black. But the rest of the hoods north of Six Mile Rd. was 77% white. Including Palmer Woods. Palmer Park and and its apts. was Mostly Jewish that is becuase Temple Israel was there. Six Mile and John R area. east of Woodward Ave. Near the Highland Park border was mostly White ( fewer poorer whites) 7 Mile Rd between Woodward and John Rd. was mostly Chaldean (Chaldeantown)

    Go further west pass Wyoming Ave to Five Points. ( Redford TWP.) That area was 80 to 90% white.

    Now African American communities in Detroit has grown pass 8 Mile Rd and I don't see no signs of slowing. After Dan Gilbert and folks bought all of Downtown Detroit and called 'Gilberttown" Black folks are quickly getting put out and push out the burbs.

    Detroit is changing for better or for worse. New development from Little Caesar's Area to the proposed Gilbert Tower at the old Hudson's Block. Detroit's first black Mayor Coleman Young is probably has did rollover is grave and see what his city become.

    So far as known:

    1. White folks are coming back

    2. Black folks are leaving

    That will ease the population growth.

    Detroit will be diversified by any means necessarily.

  4. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Király View Post
    The 8 Mile–Wyoming area was a black neighborhood long before the 1960s, it was settled by blacks in the early 20th century, when the surrounding area was still farmland.
    It actually started out as mixed, with a wall built (Birwood Wall) in the 40's, to separate whites and blacks. Here's a couple of articles documenting this. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detroit_Wall http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/n...-wall/2127165/
    Last edited by Cincinnati_Kid; March-07-17 at 08:49 AM.

  5. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny View Post
    When my mom and dad move a three family flat in Lawton St. south of Six Mile Rd and north of Puritan St. in 1975. The hood was 80% black. But the rest of the hoods north of Six Mile Rd. was 77% white. Including Palmer Woods. Palmer Park and and its apts. was Mostly Jewish that is becuase Temple Israel was there. Six Mile and John R area. east of Woodward Ave. Near the Highland Park border was mostly White ( fewer poorer whites) 7 Mile Rd between Woodward and John Rd. was mostly Chaldean (Chaldeantown)

    Go further west pass Wyoming Ave to Five Points. ( Redford TWP.) That area was 80 to 90% white.

    Now African American communities in Detroit has grown pass 8 Mile Rd and I don't see no signs of slowing. After Dan Gilbert and folks bought all of Downtown Detroit and called 'Gilberttown" Black folks are quickly getting put out and push out the burbs.

    Detroit is changing for better or for worse. New development from Little Caesar's Area to the proposed Gilbert Tower at the old Hudson's Block. Detroit's first black Mayor Coleman Young is probably has did rollover is grave and see what his city become.

    So far as known:

    1. White folks are coming back

    2. Black folks are leaving

    That will ease the population growth.

    Detroit will be diversified by any means necessarily.
    5,000 white hipsters moving into Detroit isn't exactly a flood of white folk. Detroit is changing...it's losing population every year. More blacks are moving back south, so unless there is another great migration north the overall black population of metro Detroit will continue to decrease.
    Detroit however will continue to be a majority (80%) black city regardless of the actual number of residents still living in the city.

  6. #31

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    I grew up in N.W. Detroit in the 70's, McNichols and Shaefer area.
    Neighbor hood was definitely more mixed after the riots, but I would argue well integrated.
    We had Mt. Carmel Hospital that provided housing to staff that included Dr.s from India and nurses from the Philipines. Had one Chinese heritage family, one Japanese heritage immigrant in an inter racial marriage with a mix of white and black families filling out the rest of the neighborhood round up. On a whole everybody was in the same boat, trying to make a living and get their kids a decent education. Everyone still went to church and kept their little part of the world clean.
    I would say that it was in the later 70's early 80's that the neighborhood declined. Break ins started and Suspicious fires happened to the neighborhood businesses. Drug use was noted in the alleyways with empty syringes and auto paint "buzz bombs" littering the landscape.
    City services like street sweeping and sewer cleanouts had stopped by the late 70's adding to the appearance of neglect and to get a street light repaired was an adventure in navigation through the city hall phone system usually followed by a hollow promise to get to it some time in the future.

    Once the local business's went out, we had to travel to nearby Redford for grocery shopping and other needs. My mom didn't drive and going to Northland involved an expensive (for us anyway) taxi ride or taking two busses.
    That combined with my dad falling victim to a daylight robbery attempt by a 13yr old with a gun looking for a victim so he could score some drugs put the nail in the coffin for us.
    Despite my dad being unemployed at the time he scored a rental in nearby Redford.
    Only look back with fondness though on my little part of the city.

  7. #32

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    Thanks for the photographs. Nice to see everyone together, have a nice rest of your day.

  8. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    You seriously lived around Fenkell-Greenfield and believe it is "not even close to Grandmont"?

    I suggest you consult a map. Grandmont is just off Grand River east of the Southfield Fwy, which is right by Fenkell-Greenfield.
    Oh, He-l-l naw. Not even close. Anything north of Montgomery Ward at Grand River and Greenfield was like going to the moon. And besides, Grand River was kind of a line we wudn't supposed to cross anyways. Grand River, by the way, was also the only way to get downtown then, because the Jeffries only went to Livernois, so we never even went past that neighborhood. Even those streets like Chalfonte or Ellsworth, which we shared Edison Elementary with, were so far out of the way, we never considered that anywhere close to Grandmont. In fact, Outer Drive and Grand River (Rosedale) was more allowable bike-riding wise than the other side of the "River."

    But I digress.....

    In the 1970s, Grandmont was Happy-Land, and Edison Elementary on Grand River and the pie-slice Ramsey Park behind it was our neighborhood ground-zero. A wonderful mix of black kids and white kids, and families that gave a shit about others people's kids. Yeah, there were a bunch of white kids whose families moved out due to red-lining, but for the most part they were replaced by working class black families. I was priveledged to grow up there, and it made me the person I am today. But even then, closer to Schoolcraft where we lived, we had a heroin-den next door, a weapons dealer across the street 5 houses down, and a few bad kids in that nasty-ass rental. Police helicopters frequently shined my bedroom windows at night, but at least I could hear the Funkadelics being blasted by the "herron-den."

    By the late 70s, most of us were paperboys, (the minimum age was 11). While our parents discouraged us from taking Schoolcraft to St. Marys to pick up papers, it was the fastest. That little paper station took care of the entire area bounded by Grand River and Greenfield down to Fullerton over to Southfield. We had the sweetest Schwinn Sting-Rays in the neighborhood, and we could out-run thugs or packs of wild-dogs, all with 50 lbs. or more of papers on our seats, handlebars, and shoulders. Several of us were station captains, and we would do the open routes, and some of those streets down by Fullerton closer to Greenfield were already showing their decline, and by the early 80s, this is where the boarded-up houses started to show.

    The other neighborhood Grandmont was bounded by was Rosedale Park, as we shared Edison Elementary with those kids south of Fenkell over to Faust. There was probably 60-40 black to white ratio for both of our neighborhoods by 77 or 78. Unfortunately, the Middle School that Edison fed into was Vetal over on Westwood, the Brightmoor border. Schoolcraft was even rougher over there, and I was only one of a fistful of white kids there. Socially, I had enough friends from Edison, but my parents yanked me outta there after 6th grade, mostly cuz the level of education seemed to be lacking, and fights involving baseball bats in gym class seemed frequent. I know, WTF? One of those kids, who was smart as hell, and was a classmate at Edison, would later go on to serve 15 on RICO charges along with 7 others for his involvement with Young Boys Incorporated. He was the one in the early 80's who would recruit kids, including several paperboys, by dropping off garbage bags of $5s and $1s at random backyard basketball games (usually around a thousand dollars, which most of us wouldn't touch), driving what we later found out was Butch Jones' gold Mercedes or black Jaguar. (We only found out in the last 15 years that Butch Jones was tight with our classmates mom, and kept all the YBI loot in her crib, on the next block on Archdale...she too would do 15 from the same RICO charges).

    By the 80s, YBI would wreak havoc on our neighborhood, as the element so many of the black working-class families tried to leave behind found its way to their children, many who were friends of ours. Add to that, by the time the Chambers Brothers (they mass- produced crack on a massive city-wide racket) moved into the crooked-cops house across the street from us on Archdale in 86, my parents had seen enough. My mom taught at Henry Ford High, and after working the truancy list for her week saw that all bad kids were coming from our neighborhood and over to Greenfield.

    But perhaps the single biggest factor that spelled disaster for a large chunk of the Grand River corridor was the final completion of the Jeffries (I-96). As I mentioned above, in 73, we had to take Grand River to Oakman to even get on the Jeffries. At that point, when you factored in "Left-turn-lane-control" (left turn lanes were rush hour driving lanes with no turns permitted), it was just as fast to drive downtown. When the Jeffries was completed in 75 to Schaefer, and finally to Livonia in 78 or 79, we could be downtown in 12 minutes as opposed to 30, with no lights. As I rode the Grand River bus (the freight) to high-school or other places, it was apparent that Grand River itself was dying. Slowly, the abandonment, boarded-up/burned houses crept closer and closer to Greenfield. By 85, it reached Greenfield and kinda stopped, but not really, as the inner-core east to downtown completely spiraled downward. When Montgomery Ward and Kresge closed by the late 80s, that was it. Grandmont was almost next, but the 10 blocks that shielded us west of Greenfield took most of the brunt, and has continued to somewhat hold on, although the closer you get to Schoolcraft the rougher it's always been.

    I stay in touch with a bunch of the kids I grew up with. On a recent gathering we spent a lot of time looking up childhood friends on the Offender Tracking website (OTIS). The irony was lost on none of us. Many are still incarcerated, some are "coming home" soon, others will never. Some were involved in media headline jail-breaks. Many more are dead. One of our "fathers" was murdered two years ago as he finished parking his car going into his house. Only a handful of us still have families there, but so many of us went on to have meaningful and productive lives despite the obstacles. I personally work in Detroit 8 months or longer every year, depending on the projects I'm working on, so I drive around daily. I drive down Grand River frequently, and cut thru Grandmont occasionally. It's still nice, a little rough by Schoolcraft.
    Last edited by Hamtragedy; March-10-17 at 12:09 AM. Reason: clarity

  9. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    I wasn't around, but there was little abandonment in the 1970's. The black neighborhoods were in the core, and the white neighborhoods were on the fringes. Crime and racial tension were high. The city was much busier and more vibrant than now, but everything was going downhill fast. The retail corridors were still all intact, but started suffering terminal decline.

    There was basically a "line" of black advancement outward, and so every year the black neighborhoods grew and white neighborhoods shrunk.

    In 1970 I think the West Side was mostly black south of say McNichols and east of the Southfield Fwy. Everything to the north and west was white. Just to illustrate I know someone who attended Henry Ford High on the NW side and I think the school was basically entirely white in the late 60's and entirely black by the mid 70's. Same thing happened to Mumford, but about five years earlier, and same thing happened to Redford, but about 10 years later.

    The East Side had less black "advancement". Unlike the generally higher income West Side, the working class East Side ethnics couldn't just pick up and move to the burbs. I think everything past City Airport was white until 1980 or so. I know the Far East Side high schools like Finney were mostly white in the 70's.

    Middle class blacks basically followed Jews in a Northwest direction. Poorer blacks went East or West. The Eastside had a reputation as being more racist, so this also contributed to slower turnover. People don't like to move where they aren't welcome.
    You should have stopped after the first three words.

  10. #35

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    I also remember going to visit family on the far east side ... Moross & something area and noticing how similar the houses were to the far west side. It almost seemed like the same builders, or at least the same architects.

  11. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by ct_alum View Post
    You should have stopped after the first three words.
    I don't doubt you believe such ridiculous nonsense. Your non-logic explains our country's dead-end current political environment perfectly.

    I mean, how could someone know about anything historical unless they were physically there, right? It isn't like there are libraries, govt. data sources or academic research.

    I'm sure the world's leading Egyptian scholars are all 3,000 years old, right?

  12. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    I don't doubt you believe such ridiculous nonsense. Your non-logic explains our country's dead-end current political environment perfectly.

    I mean, how could someone know about anything historical unless they were physically there, right? It isn't like there are libraries, govt. data sources or academic research.


    I'm sure the world's leading Egyptian scholars are all 3,000 years old, right?
    Please stop trying to defend yourself. The OP asked what Detroit neighborhoods were like in the 70's and at what times and where did certain downward trends occur. Giving generalizations on no specific demographic or geography only leads to general speculation of what happened with no insight other than to have read it on the inner-tube or in a book lacking the real mindset of what actually happened.

    As someone who was there, not just in Grandmont, but at Bewick and Jefferson and Mack and Chalmers, I can contradict nearly all of your generalizations. Did you know that the all- black congregation at Charlevoix and St. Jean was totally opposed to the Black Panthers holding breakfasts to feed hungry children, even though HUD provided the funding, and the white minister had to convince them that feeding hungry children was a good thing? Things aren't always what they seem.

    Attacking people "who never looked at a map" even though we did, in fact, live close by, but by geographical and cultural boundaries wouldn't even consider those areas local, is just arrogant. Yeah Greenfield and Fenkell was close to Grandmont, but so was Southfield and W. Chicago, which to me was much closer, as Cody High was my block's districted high school, (and in the 70s was full of burnouts). Three blocks west was districted Cooley, and four blocks north was Redford. But whodafuck cares where it rests on a map other than you? We sho' as hell didn't. We had our boundaries, and if we drifted from them we got in trouble, either by being there or by our parents.

    So please, stop trying to be such a damn know-it-all all the damn time, and then getting pissed off when you get called out on it. Learn something from being wrong instead of being all hard-headed about it.

    By the way, "whodafuck cares", "sho' as hell don't" and "hard-headed" are all classic Detroit terms, but you already know this because you're so well-read.
    Last edited by Hamtragedy; March-10-17 at 11:53 PM. Reason: poignancy

  13. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamtragedy View Post
    Please stop trying to defend yourself. The OP asked what Detroit neighborhoods were like in the 70's and at what times and where did certain downward trends occur. Giving generalizations on no specific demographic or geography only leads to general speculation of what happened with no insight other than to have read it on the inner-tube or in a book lacking the real mindset of what actually happened.

    As someone who was there, not just in Grandmont, but at Bewick and Jefferson and Mack and Chalmers, I can contradict nearly all of your generalizations. Did you know that the all- black congregation at Charlevoix and St. Jean was totally opposed to the Black Panthers holding breakfasts to feed hungry children, even though HUD provided the funding, and the white minister had to convince them that feeding hungry children was a good thing? Things aren't always what they seem.

    Attacking people "who never looked at a map" even though we did, in fact, live close by, but by geographical and cultural boundaries wouldn't even consider those areas local, is just arrogant. Yeah Greenfield and Fenkell was close to Grandmont, but so was Southfield and W. Chicago, which to me was much closer, as Cody High was my block's districted high school, (and in the 70s was full of burnouts). Three blocks west was districted Cooley, and four blocks north was Redford. But whodafuck cares where it rests on a map other than you? We sho' as hell didn't. We had our boundaries, and if we drifted from them we got in trouble, either by being there or by our parents.

    So please, stop trying to be such a damn know-it-all all the damn time, and then getting pissed off when you get called out on it. Learn something from being wrong instead of being all hard-headed about it.

    By the way, "whodafuck cares", "sho' as hell don't" and "hard-headed" are all classic Detroit terms, but you already know this because you're so well-read.
    Ah yes, "hard headed" - This first Mrs. Alum was very fond of that saying. Put me down for Jefferson & Alter, Chandler Park Drive & Dickerson, Mack & Sheridan and of course all points between there and Cass Tech (Class of 71). But of course, I couldn't know more than Bham about those areas and times because he probably read something in Wikipedia and looked at a map. Well, I guess that he is entitled to his "alternative facts", right?

  14. #39

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    Good point about black people migrating south. The ATL (Atlanta) has many former Detroiters, Las Vegas too. And it is still not clear what the so-called 'Hipsters' will do once they start to have children and I would imagine some will......

    Quote Originally Posted by Colombian Dan View Post
    5,000 white hipsters moving into Detroit isn't exactly a flood of white folk. Detroit is changing...it's losing population every year. More blacks are moving back south, so unless there is another great migration north the overall black population of metro Detroit will continue to decrease.

    Detroit however will continue to be a majority (80%) black city regardless of the actual number of residents still living in the city.
    Last edited by Zacha341; March-11-17 at 09:25 AM.

  15. #40

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    There's a WHOLE lot of former Michiganders what done gone south ag'in, or for the first time. Many of the families that went north to find work in the 50s and 60s have gone 'home', not to mention those of us who left for other reasons.

  16. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meddle View Post
    I also remember going to visit family on the far east side ... Moross & something area and noticing how similar the houses were to the far west side. It almost seemed like the same builders, or at least the same architects.
    Architecture tends to be time sensitive and not location sensitive. You can go through pictures of Detroit and say 1890s house, 1920s house, 1930s house, 1950s house, etc. Styles tend to come and go without regard to location. You see tri-level houses all over the US and pretty much date them as 60s or 70s.

  17. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zacha341 View Post
    Good point about black people migrating south. The ATL (Atlanta) has many former Detroiters, Las Vegas too. And it is still not clear what the so-called 'Hipsters' will do once they start to have children and I would imagine some will......
    I always jokingly say there are more Detroiters in Atlanta and Chicago these days than in Detroit.
    Last edited by 313WX; March-11-17 at 10:19 AM.

  18. #43

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    Hey, Mrs. CT, since you're in the house, could you please tell us more about the area around Jefferson Chalmers, as all I can recall is the Edison where we would get free light-bulbs and the Zentih TV repair, and of course the park at the foot of Lakewood, (where we would get free kites from McDonalds and fly them into the River.

    What happened there? I've worked on a few houses there in the last 15 years and this neighborhood to me has to be the most frustrating neighborhood in the entire city....lakefront access, even boat access, and just befuddlingly ef'd up in parts and overlooked in others. Any recollections?

  19. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zacha341 View Post
    Good point about black people migrating south. The ATL (Atlanta) has many former Detroiters, Las Vegas too. And it is still not clear what the so-called 'Hipsters' will do once they start to have children and I would imagine some will......
    I would imagine that they will probably either try to stick it out in the city (and put their kids through either parochial/private schools, or get them districted to "higher performing" DPS schools like Chrysler Elementary, Cass Tech, Renaissance High, etc) or move to suburbs with "better schools" like Grosse Pointe, Troy, Royal Oak, Birmingham/Bloomfield Hills, etc.
    Last edited by ArchNigel; March-12-17 at 11:21 AM.

  20. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamtragedy View Post
    Hey, Mrs. CT, since you're in the house, could you please tell us more about the area around Jefferson Chalmers, as all I can recall is the Edison where we would get free light-bulbs and the Zentih TV repair, and of course the park at the foot of Lakewood, (where we would get free kites from McDonalds and fly them into the River.



    What happened there? I've worked on a few houses there in the last 15 years and this neighborhood to me has to be the most frustrating neighborhood in the entire city....lakefront access, even boat access, and just befuddlingly ef'd up in parts and overlooked in others. Any recollections?
    That's Mr. Alum to you :-). I remember the Edison store also. Across Jefferson was a SS Kresge's on the corner of Lakewood with a Sanders next to it, then Harry's Hobby Shop with my church (Jefferson Avenue Methodist) on the corner of Marlborough. Sutton's Drugs was on the north side of Jefferson at Chalmers. There was an NBD branch on the same side of Jefferson at Phillip, my elementary school (Ives) was on Phillip between Jefferson & Kercheval. My grandmother lived on Phillip between Essex and Avondale; the block/area is an urban prairie now all the way down to Scripps.
    What happened? Predatory mortgage lending, drugs, and the other usual suspects. I agree, the demise of the area is very frustrating due to the proximity to the river and the Pointes. It has great potential but unfortunately, I don't see anything good happening there any time soon.

  21. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermod View Post
    Architecture tends to be time sensitive and not location sensitive. You can go through pictures of Detroit and say 1890s house, 1920s house, 1930s house, 1950s house, etc. Styles tend to come and go without regard to location. You see tri-level houses all over the US and pretty much date them as 60s or 70s.
    The far west side and the Moross area on the northeast side were both mostly built up pretty quickly right after WWII.

  22. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by ct_alum View Post
    That's Mr. Alum to you :-). I remember the Edison store also. Across Jefferson was a SS Kresge's on the corner of Lakewood with a Sanders next to it, then Harry's Hobby Shop with my church (Jefferson Avenue Methodist) on the corner of Marlborough. Sutton's Drugs was on the north side of Jefferson at Chalmers. There was an NBD branch on the same side of Jefferson at Phillip, my elementary school (Ives) was on Phillip between Jefferson & Kercheval. My grandmother lived on Phillip between Essex and Avondale; the block/area is an urban prairie now all the way down to Scripps.
    What happened? Predatory mortgage lending, drugs, and the other usual suspects. I agree, the demise of the area is very frustrating due to the proximity to the river and the Pointes. It has great potential but unfortunately, I don't see anything good happening there any time soon.
    Don't forget Bill's Bike Shop, where my grandmother bought me my first "real bike", a black Schwinn 3 speed, or that men's store at the corner (Hiller's?) where grandma bought me all my best little clip-on ties. And what was the name of that bar on Essex over near Newport where my grandfather spent so much of his time on his long "walks" with the dogs?

  23. #48

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    Yes, I remember Bills, I foggily remember it being further east on Jefferson at first before it moved to just west of the Sunoco (?) station that was on the corner of Jefferson and Lakewood. I remember the smell of the long rubber floor mats they had on the floor. Also Marv the Village Locksmith was on Jefferson before they moved to Mack/Warren intersection where they are today.

    Don't know about the bar on Essex, sorry.

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