Since last summer when I started writing this column I have been blessed with many emails and letters in the mail from past friends and several new folks who offer their ideas and suggestions about Conneaut and Ashtabula County.
This past week, someone named P.J. sent me a letter which I found very interesting. Since I don’t know if this person is a man or woman, I’ll just refer to this person as P.J.
P.J. is 81 years old and says there are many fond memories from over the years. P.J. says computers are not a part of his or her life and will never be. Hence, the letter in the mail.
Memories include the days of Teen Town, a dance hall for teenagers, located on Liberty Street across from the old Conneaut News-Herald. Dean Wible Motors was a prosperous car dealership for years. That building is now occupied by Burdick’s Plumbing and Heating on Harbor Street.
P.J remembers the days when a parking meter cop roamed downtown to see if any meters were expired. If you got a ticket, you had to pay a fine at city hall. The Ohio Theatre was located on State Street. Admission was 14 cents. The State Theatre admission was 16 cents.
A roller skating rink was located in a building located across from the post office and in the basement was a duck pin bowling alley. The Rec bowling alley was located beneath the American Legion on Broad Street. Before the subway was built on Broad Street, Pond Lumber was located by the railroad tracks. And a popular place to go was the Red Barn on Broad Street. North of Jackson Street was Gulick’s ice cream shop.
P.J. says people would flock to Ashtabula to buy homemade Vienna bread, shaped like a submarine, at the Balkan Bakery. To be honest, I don’t remember hardly any of this stuff.
The best ribs back in the 70’s and 80’s were at Captain Jack’s restaurant on Chestnut Street. The owner was a retired Navy cook.
If you had a family member who worked on the Nickel Plate Railroad, you had a free pass to ride the train. P.J. and family members would board a train on Mill Street and travel to Cleveland’s Terminal Tower to shop all day and then ride the train home that evening.
P.J. said there are so many wonderful memories of Conneaut — enough to fill a book. Many memories of fishing here, the many factories in the good old days, sports ... and ah yes UFOs. That would be an interesting column someday.
Thanks for the memories P. J.
PATRICK WILLIAMS writes a weekly column for The Star Beacon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.