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July 6, 2013

RAY DAY: Recalling our city's square

My memo-ries take me back to that time when most things were good.

We went to the movie houses to see our cowboy hero’s like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry; their horses, Trigger and Champion; and their sidekicks, Andy Devine, Gabby Hayes and Pat Butram. We saw great singers like The Sons of the Pioneers and Dale Evans.

You did not see much, if any, kissing going on, but the shows were great to enjoy with your friends. Boy, those horses got a lot of hugs and taking care of. The movie houses back then were the Fox, Wood, Sipe, Indiana, Isis, and The Colonial.

A young fellow and his friends could go downtown and, before going to one of the movie shows, buy a large bag of popcorn at McClelland’s or popcorn and peanuts at the wagon, just north of the Indiana movie house. And after the show, you could go to Hill’s Snappy Service to get the best fries and hamburgers, and top it off with a frosted malt only found at Hill’s.

They just are no more, except in our memory banks, and hopefully we will remember it all till that time when God calls us home.

One place that is still downtown is the Kokomo Tribune, where this column is printed and in the same spot and still going strong.

The stores that were downtown have either gone out of business or out to the malls to get every customer they can. One of the best places for me to spend time in was the Walt Moss Barber Shop. Walt was about as nice a guy as there ever was, and he cut my hair until that time when the forehead started meeting the back of my neck.

John Palumbo at Engle’s was another person everyone liked and from whom you could get a good deal on that special gift for the pretty lady on your arm. And I can’t forget Charles Sullivan at Victory Bike Shop, who was the man to see anytime you had a problem with that bike. Just knowing him was a blessing because he was and is a person who will treat you with respect.

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