Old shops

JerryHoganKasperek_Wby Jerry Kasperek

Where to begin? The feedback on my article on West Broadway has been fun. And plentiful! I just hope I can do justice to what was shared with me, which I now put to print.

“You forgot Arcadi’s Jewelers!” I heard more than once. “It was Vick Arcadi’s store!” and so it went through phone call after phone call, which continue even as I write this new one.

Barbara Carrol was the first to accept my invitation to contact me to share memories and the first to remind me about Arcadi’s. She’s a lifelong resident of Phoenix who attended the old St. Mary’s School on Buffalo Street here in Fulton back in the late 1950s.

“It was delightful,” she said about the school. She also reminisced about our downtown and eating a Black and White sundae at Fosters and recalled the McDonald’s women’s shop where as a child she bought her aunt a gift of fine nylon stockings that came wrapped in tissue paper in a little thin box.

Alan Deline called to say that radio station WOSC made its first home upstairs over Putnam’s drugstore downtown on Oneida Street. It was back in the 1940s. his uncle, Jim Deline, was a popular radio announcer, and it was when Alan was a kid trying to overcome stuttering that he entered a contest to host a teen show at WOSC and won. He and his co-host Mary Lou Wasiko took phone calls and played records from 4:30 to 5 p.m. five days a week.

Alan’s parents ran the Red and White grocery store on Voorhees Street and back in the 1930s, his grandfather’s store, Wilcox and Deline Grocery, was located on West Broadway in end store, next to the driveway. There’s a little gift shop there now

Dave Munger has some great memories as well. His dad, the late Dominick “Moose” Munger, ran the Broadway Tire Shop, which was next to Ward and Winchell in the block between West Third and West Fourth.

The gas pumps were right to the curb – “Can you believe it!” – You didn’t even have to pull off the street to get gas, you just drove up to the curb.

Dave said he spent a lot of time there “helping his dad” and he learned how to pump gas and take in the money when he was just a little kid. Although he was only six or seven, his father would send him a couple doors up to bring back coffee from the Rainbow Restaurant. And, he’d stop at Ward and Winchell’s window to watch a new novelty just on the market, a color TV.

He said the Brick Hotel, or the Salem House, or what other name we’ve known it by, on the corner of West Fourth, was once Carmella’s Restaurant. She was a Vescio or a Vasho, Dave thought, variations of the same name, it would seem.

There was a fire in the upstairs back then, he said, but they repaired it and it still stand today, known by yet another name, but still a popular bar/hangout by any name.

Dave’s Dad went on to be appointed postmaster of our local Post Office in the 1960s. There was no background check, no FBI coming to call, or any other such thing at all. It was a political appointment and just how it was done back then.

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