Staff Writer

Retired lawyer Jack Sargent shared memories of growing up in Geneva-on-the-Lake on Wednesday with the crowd attending the Profiles of Ashtabula County Breakfast at the Kent State University-Ashtabula campus.

Sargent, 59, kept the group laughing with humorous stories of growing up in the lake community during the 1950s and 1960s. Sargent graduated from Geneva High School in 1964 and earned at law degree at University of Cincinnati.

Over the years he has became a collector of GOTL memorabilia. Some items Sargent said would be given to him; other items he found at local auctions.

"There was Joe's Fun House and the Penny Arcade when I grew up. For pennies, my friends and I could go into the arcade and get these girlie cards," he said joking.

Some of Sargent's collectible items were set out for the breakfast crowd to view, including the "girlie cards." Sargent spoke of many landmark businesses long gone but now replaced by new business enterprises or new owners.

The Pier Dance Hall at the lake was a popular place for couples during the 1950s through the late 1960s. The July 6, 1965, riots at GOTL made the headlines not only in the local papers, Sargent said, but also on TV news.

"The National Guard was called in. I was 19 at the time and walking home on the west end of the village. It was pandemonium. I remember getting home safe," Sargent said.

"There was the Castaways Bar, and it had a Kon-Tiki roof. Jimmy Brown ran it. There was this shower stall on the stage for the go- go dancers to dance in," Sargent said.

To teenage boys, it was the place to sneak into, if possible, and for Sargent and his buddies, they often tried. Other memories for Sargent included the stretch of sandy beaches at GOTL, across which one could walk the length of the village.

"The sand was hot (in summer), and then you waded in the lake," he joked.

Lodging places in the middle 20th century were abundant in GOTL, with cottages everywhere for people to rent by the week or month during the summers, Sargent told the group. ; ;

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