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Old 03-22-2011, 09:38 PM
152 posts, read 721,020 times
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Any oldtimers out there want to remenisce about Independence Square--how it used to be--traditional architecture--a place to purchase anything one could need or want?

I went to Chrisman in the early 50s, in the beautiful old building on W. Maple, and we bought our textbooks (new and used) at Sturges on Liberty. Every day after school I'd go upstairs at Bundschu's and drool over a blue suede jacket my folks couldn't afford at $39.95. I loved the stonework of the showcases out front. Was mortified to see all that gone or covered by unattraactive raw wood pieces when I last went back.

There was a tiny place just off the square at Main and Lexington where we could get a string of tiny pictures taken for a quarter . . . .

I loved the architecture of the old Chrisman-Sawyer Bank facing the corner of Liberty and Lexington back then. I dont understand why these structures werent preserved! It is now replaced by a very modern one that is NOT complementary to the "historic Indepencence square'.

My Grandpa got his groceries at Milgrams when I was little. Anyone remember that? And I have NEVER eaten a cheeseburger in all these decades that compared to Winsteads' juicy delectable ones! Do I hear an amen?

Of course there was the cigarstore Indian on Lexington, down from Penney's . . . please share with me and others your memories of the old-time courthouse square. Or any place in Indep. MO that is an old memory now . . . Gosh, I wish the Velvet Freeze was still there . . . a few blocks West on Maple I believe. And MADE-RITE on Lexington, on the way out to the Natatorium!

Please join me in looking back to when we were a really small town and everybody knew everybody!
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:13 PM
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I'm a bit too young, but I do wish I had known that square.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:52 PM
152 posts, read 721,020 times
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Yes, it was very Norman Rockwellesque and homey. Many awnings out over the sidewalks . . .Katz drugstore at n. Main and Maple where you could buy vinyl records for a quarter and it was the only place in town with refrigerated a/c. When you went outside in summer after being in therefor awhile you about fainted. The other place in town with a/c was the gorgeous Granada theater where my Mom took me as a tiny thing on hot summer days. Taystee's ice cream parlor was the BEST place for treats in the 30s on Liberty. My dentist was upstairs from it--my reward after a painful tooth-pulling!
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:26 PM
152 posts, read 721,020 times
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Gosh I was hoping for more responders . . . Remember the old Post Office a cple blocks west of square, a huge traditional bldg that has since been torn down for a parking lot !! This is unforgivable. Across the street is a new modern P.O. which is generic and doesn't at all reflect the town's historicity.

My Dad was Asst.Mgr. of Safeway in the early 30s, a brick bldg.west on Maple, I believe. I have a pic of him and Mr. Harrison the Mgr standing out front in their long white aprons.

Anyone recall the Electric Theater on N. Main down toward the old jail? I saw When Irish Eyes Are Smiling there when I was about eight, and others. It was kind of a "hole in the wall" but fun.

There was a candy store just No. of Bundschu's on the corner with rows and rows of candies. Low counters like the dimestore, and I specially recall the Life Savers. Was it called Save-More?

Please, y'all, put your thinking caps on. I don't want to be alone out here!
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:28 PM
152 posts, read 721,020 times
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I got my first job at Jones' Store on Liberty (Where Taystee's and my old dentist used to be) upstairs sellin ladies' dresses (ready-to-wear). I loved it and still miss the old cash registers when you had to figure out change with your BRAIN, not let the computer do it for you. My pay was .75 an hour; I worked Fri. night and Sat. and received about $13 for it. Whoopee!!

My mother sold dresses upstairs at Knoepker's on Maple when she was young...that was in the early 30s. I bought yardage on the 1st floor to make my clothes in Hi Sch. in the 50s. We were friends with the Knoepkers as they lived across the street from us when I was ages two to nine. I was playmates with their daughter Maryann even though she was older than I.

My grandparents were on a fixed income and used to get their Friday night entertainment by "parking up on the square and watching the people go by." The courtsquare streets were very busy then--from the 30s to the 60s--I would invariably run into my old kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Lentell, when I was in Hi Sch. or my first grade teacher. Ms. Booth (McCoy School). So fun talking with them again. Tell me some of YOUR memories . . .
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:44 PM
Location: SW MO
23,594 posts, read 35,575,288 times
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Preserve those memories, Sally. There may not be many who have them who are also on these boards but fond memories of times that were good are a true gift.

I posted something similar about my childhood home on the appropriate board for California (I now live in Missouri) and reaction was slow with only one or two sharing those same memories of people, places and things. Like you, i despair the loss of true, period architecture that has been replaced by the sterile glass and steel block and stucco of today.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:39 AM
216 posts, read 594,677 times
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I love reading this stuff Sally. I think what you are up against is that many of the folks who remember the time you refer to are not the same folks who feel comfortable using the technology you are using to communicate. This makes you someone special, with a lot to offer and share.
You should start a blog about this, and maybe others will chime in with their memories of their own hometowns?
I would enjoy reading it!

Unfortunately, I have only met Independence in its present incarnation...which is very nice, but not nearly as charming as what you describe!

Good luck!
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:34 PM
152 posts, read 721,020 times
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Thank you both for your response. I was thrilled, Curmudgeon and YKAMom. I know you're right- those who would share my experiences and feelings probably aren't "on the web" or have already "gone on," bless their souls. I don't even have a computer at home; I visit the library a cpl times a week. My son had to show me how to do this!

I've pined for years, decades, to connect with like-minded folks about times of yore before our small towns were urbanized. Just want someone to remenisce with. Thanks for your encouragement!

Over at 23rd and Noland where Big Lots is now there used to be a cluster of stores with old boardwalks! Craig's Grocery, a feed store, and Clark-Bernard Drugstore. Down a ways was Cairn's Nursery, and that was about ALL there was on Noland Rd going South!

On the opposite corner was Owens GRocery and across from them a Phillips 66 "filling" station where my Dad always gassed up and bought me a handful of Boston baked beans from the penney candy machine. I'll keep adding to this thread as long as somebody enjoys it. Your idea about a blog is an interesting one! I'll think on it!
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:04 PM
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,063 posts, read 30,374,982 times
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I'm too young to have anything to add, but I loved reading about your experiences as well!
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:29 PM
216 posts, read 594,677 times
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Something interesting to me, Sally, is how similar, and yet distinct, these small towns seem to be. I grew up in upstate New York, far away from Manhattan in a place where there are more cows than tall buildings! The town we lived in when we were first married was a small, rural village, and it is much like you describe Independence. When we got there in the late '80's they were only just losing their local bank! I'm talking about a dedicated bank for a town of 7.000 people! It was taken over by citigroup or one of those. And they still have the "variety store" where you can get toys, or t-shirts or pots and pans...you name it. Everyone still knows everyone else there. Being far away from an urban center it hasn't changed that much. The old photos and postcards from that town paint a picture of a place much like the one you describe.

However, they didn't have any boardwalks! That has got to be unique, or at least particular to this part of the country. Other than at the seashore (or in Venice during flood season! ) I have not experienced a town with boardwalks!

Try out the blog idea, Sally. You can set one up easily and free on Google Blog spot, and I bet you will find people from all over the country to share your memories. Maybe not of Independence particularly, but of that era and towns very much like it.

And if you do it, be sure to come back here and post a link so that we can follow your stories there.

Good luck!
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