Friday, April 13, 2012

Karen replies:
I think your idea of an "oral history" or whatever you call it is a good one. I've found some excellent things on-line for older material (Nebraskana 1940 and Andreas 1904 and earlier histories.) I am amazed at what you can find on-line, and it is increasing all the time. However, Midland Passages is the only thing I have found with facts of the second half of the
In the late 50s-early 60s "riding around" was our term for cruising about town on Sunday afternoons. The standard path was from the old Burlington railroad station (the south end of O Street) to the Courthouse, down the Boulevard, quick stop at the Midway Grocery, and on through town to Tiny's and then back again. When the Dairy Queen (later Dairy Chef) was open, that was another stop. Although we might take an occasional detour elsewhere, to see and be seen was on this standard route. Of course, we all remember Tiny himself. I'm not sure if you knew him or not. He was quite a character but also very interested in progress for Auburn. He was good friends with my dad.

Mr. Hutton to my generation was, in private obviously, was "Chops" or "Kenny." A few years earlier (my sister's classmates) called him "Porky" which did become "Pork Chops" and all those variations. People loved him (like I did and my brother Joe) or "not-so-much" like my older sister (Margene) and Anne. Despite his many idiosyncrasies, I felt that he truly wanted "the best" from
every student and nothing less. I'm sure that every student he ever had has a different, but lasting, memory!!
I was sorry to see on my last visit that the triangle where Courthouse Blvd meets J street has been blocked.... just seemed strange to me! Keep in touch, and I'd be glad to help you in any way. As I said, I have been collecting any old photos of Auburn that I can find. The quality varies, but fun to see the details on a big screen. I'm working on a family segment about J.W. Kerns coming to Auburn in 1871 (the lumber yard founder).

On Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 1:14 PM, McCormick, Sam A. wrote:

I got JC Penney’s right, but I missed out on the theater. It’s always been the State to me. Next
to the “Booth” sign is a soda fountain. I remember it as the Green Lantern. I suppose it was quite the hang out for kids in your day. My next door neighbor, Rita Eckart (a few years younger than you, I think) would take us their when she baby-sat for us.

I’m very interested in the social history of Auburn. What one might call the oral history of how
kids grew up (and out). For example, what was the “main drag” in your day? We went from just north of the “old” (your) high school (the spot now occupied by Wheeler Inn) down to Tiny’s, turned around and drove back. During the first Arab Oil Embargo in 1972 we shortened the route to go from Tiny’s to the “gas station triangle” at 13th and J, somehow convincing our parents we
were saving gas; Or, did you amuse yourselves by giving outrageous nicknames to your teachers (and kept them strictly secret so you wouldn’t get in trouble). I believe that Mr. Hutton was there when you were in school. Did he know his nickname (in my time) was “Chopper”. Where did that come from and when (PorkyPig through Pork Chop is what I’ve been told) and did it evolve further in later decades?


C. DeForest Switzer said...

Have not seen any posts for a while. I liked your historical piece about the small town. You might enjoy a story I did on North Sioux City and a road I puzzled over as a child. I hope you are well.

S. A. McCormick said...

Thanks, Cliff. I always enjoy Siouxland Observer. I read Siddhartha, once, in 1973. Didn't like it much so I never picked up Steppenwolf or Demian. I did have to hide Santana's Abraxas album cover from my mom.

My next post will be a choral reading of Beowulf. I have a few hundred more lines to translate.