Tales of West Broadway, Part V

JerryHoganKasperek_Wby Jerry Kasperek

Tales of West Broadway, Part V:  Let’s use the old 1948-49 and 1953 City Directories as our guide once again and let’s start at the Broadway Cleaners and head toward West Second Street.

Who remembers Ottman’s Department Store? It was between Buell’s Drapery Shop and JR Sullivan’s furniture store. My classmate Joanne Bower Thompson said her father took her there at the beginning of each school year to buy her a pair of shoes.

What kid doesn’t like a new pair of shoes? Another good friend, Ellie Roach Pryor, remembers Ottman’s, too. “They sold Buster Browns!” she said.

My classmate Joanne Bower Thompson said her father took her there at the beginning of each school year to buy her a pair of shoes. Another good friend of mine, Ellie Roach Pryor, remembers getting shoes there, too.

“They sold Buster Browns!” she said.

Crossing West Second, who remembers the Polish Educational Society at 206 West Broadway? Or, that it would be replaced by the West Broadway Grill, to eventually become a carpet and tile store by the name of Litwak and Baker?

My friend Mary Czeriak West remembers it well; her sister Anna Burnett had her wedding reception in the Polish Educational Society Hall in 1946

“Or 47? Our memories aren’t always that good,” Mary chuckled.

It was Fulton’s original Polish Home before a “new” one was built in 1949 (or 1950) on West First Street. Many of us older citizens fondly remember that once-vacant lot on West First for the carnivals that were held during the summers of our youth.

And, who remembers Dick Wray’s Ice Cream Parlor in 1949 at 304 West Broadway? Or that it had become Chet’s (Dlugozima) Soda Spot by 1953?

And that Faucett’s Furniture Repair at 312 West Broadway in 1949 was gone four years later, to be filled up with new furniture and called Ward and Winchell’s warehouse?

Another surprise, at least to me, was that there was a funeral home on West Broadway — Boland’s Funeral Home at 506. I do, however, seem to remember the Co-operative GLF Services farther west on the 500 block, I think by the railroad tracks. (Does anyone know what GLF stood for back then? I looked it up on the internet and it says it has something to do with, well, the internet.)

Speaking of modern technology, I have a number of e-mails I’d like to share with you. Let’s begin with the one from Enid Yager Wahl, who remembers in particular Bill Myers’ Restaurant.

“He had a wonderful cook and baker. I think it was his wife. It was next to the corner building of West Broadway and West Second Street.”

Enid was married in 1953 and she and her husband both worked for her dad at Yager’s Plumbing and Heating, “Who, by the way,” she wrote, “had just moved from Second Street to North First Street – they have been across from Mimi’s for 40 years!”

The Wahl’s lived on West First Street across from Sieron’s grocery store, when the Sieron’s daughter, Jean (now Mrs. Bill Niver), was just a little girl.

“She used to come over and help with my babies,” Enid recalled.

“When I got pregnant for our first son, I quit working and told Bill Myers it was my last day to eat meals there and told him he was going to miss me, he said,‘Not as much as you’ll miss me!’”

She said she used to walk her baby in his stroller across the bridge when it was under repair in 1957 and sometimes stop to visit with Bob Tretch who had a gas station on East Broadway.

Bob was a good friend of her husband as was Earl Bartlett who worked for Bob. She also mentioned one of her own best friends, Nancy Greco White, who used to live in the house next to the CYO on West First Street.

I thank Enid so much for sharing her memories. Incidentally, Tony Gorea, our esteemed, retired Fire Chief, also remembers how good Bill’s Restaurant was.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397

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