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seejay2

USA
676 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  11:12:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim

OK, OK, I’m busted. I have never been in a bar in Hessville and never knew I was even allowed in them. I don’t deserve to be called a “Region Rat”. There, I feel much better now. About the closest I ever got to a bar in my 20 years in Hessville was walking by Toomey’s on the way to Morton. But, I did enjoy their carryout fish dinners. As I remember we had either smelt or lake perch about once every other month on Fridays. That is, until the mercury levels got too high! These were my 2nd favorite carry-outs next to Hot Dog John’s.

During the early to mid 60’s my high school chemistry teacher Howard Besch lived in the apartment above Porter’s on the second floor in the back. Even though I visited there several times, I never went into the bar. I guess I will never know what I missed.

I may not be a Region Rat anymore, but I will always remain a “Mighty, Mighty Governor !!!!

Jim



Sorry Pal! Once a Region Rat, always a Region Rat. It is now a matter of 'Active' or 'Retired' status. Being a "Mighty, Mighty Governor" will earn you an extra stripe though........CJ
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seejay2

USA
676 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  12:48:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by duane

Although I never knew about the Sip and Bite, I've had a long history with the Kennedy Cafe. This may be sacriledge, but perhaps not all changes (like the conversion of the Kennedy Cafe from the Sip and Bite)are for the worse. I moved away from the Region in 1978, and at some point after that, when I returned to visit the folks, they would always take me to Kennedy Cafe for lunch. The Cafe was run by a very nice Greek man and his wife. Their meals were very good, lots of variety, VERY reasonable prices and to top it off, you always got a dessert included in your meal for no extra charge. During the late 1990's my dad became ill, but would still go to the Cafe when I came to visit. About 6 years ago, he died and my mom died a few years after that. When I've been back, I've gone to the Kennedy, and that nice Greek couple still remembers my folks and talks to me about them. These are the kinds of people and memories that you won't get at a Perkins, McDonalds, or any chain restaraunt. So, while I realize that the Kennedy Cafe may not harken back to the golden days of our youth, it still holds fond memories for me. And thanks for the great pics of Hessville.


I don't think Sip & Bite was put up there for the ambiance. Some of those characters stunbling out of Hessville Tap and Pioneer saw it as a place for breakfast at 3 AM. This is basic survival. Change can be good. When I still lived near there, I went in Kennedy Cafe several times.

http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u250/seejay2_photos/SipBite.jpg

You're right, two people could have a decent breakfast in there for less than ten bucks! Ask for two eggs, they gave you three.
But there are some places that have not changed at all. Oh yeah, the business has changed hands, but the buildings have remained virtually unchanged. Case in point: back in 1950, there was a little restaurant called "The Soda Pump". Here is a photo of that place:

http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u250/seejay2_photos/SodaPump2.jpg

Now here is a photo of the same building just taken this January.

http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u250/seejay2_photos/SodaPump07.jpg

Here is another view:

http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u250/seejay2_photos/PumpEast.jpg

This place is on the SE corner of 164th & Kennedy. Hessville Cleaners has occupied the north half of the duplex forever.
Now here is a little bonus. South of that is the place we knew as Dick's Grocery or Pop's. Remember when Flick's had that sign that hung out that simply said "BOOZE"?

http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u250/seejay2_photos/Pops.jpg

Just for the record, I didn't take all of these pix because of any real panache connected with these places, but rather I have family still there and I go there from time to time and someone wanted certain pix and I just started snapping at everything........CJ



Edited by - seejay2 on 04/11/2007 12:50:38
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svea3

USA
223 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  17:50:49  Show Profile  Send svea3 an ICQ Message  Click to see svea3's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
SUPER PIX
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S C Jones

USA
448 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  19:43:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello from Tennessee. This is a great site and one I have been longing to find.
---I was born at St. Margarets in 1940. My dad, a tin-roll builder at Youngstown Sheet and Tube, raised me and my brothers as a single parent in Grand Park subdivision of Hessville.

Mr. Fifield of the Rexall Drug Store called us and our neighborhood friends, "The kids from the boondocks." Grand Avenue at that time was almost the city limit before you hit Black Oak at Cline Avenue. (Black Oak was without a city--unincorporated and serviced by Gary.

I attended 6th grade ( -1952) at Morton elementary because I lived with a sister and her family on 169th just west of Kennedy Ave. between the Pow Wow Drive In and Ferris Standard Oil Service Station. The house we lived in there was rented to us by Ferris. That house had been a dance hall in the 30's and 40's called The Rendevous---It was a long shaped stucco sided building with rounded ends that had around 12 windows in each end.

The Bluebird Tap/Tavern across from Ferris' Station was Boland's Tap. As a 5 year old, I lived with the Boland's in the back of that Tavern--My dad had to take me back home to live when I walked out into the bar area to take a nickel offered by one of the Grand Park neighbor men and someone reported the incident to Child Welfare!

BTW-anyone remember the quaint little Conoco station on 169th just east of Kennedy? The last I knew, it had an addition and was a sandwich place.

I moved back to Grand Park to live with my father and brothers in 1953 and attended Oliver Perry Morton High School until graduation in 1958.

My 2nd grade (1947) was spent in the Parish School on Parish and 173rd (Where now stands Caldwell Elementary). Parish was a wooden school house and probably was built around the same time as the original Harding--perhaps a bit later, because the neighborhood I lived in began to build up around 1940--my dad helped to build our house. That school burned sometime before 1951 or 2 and the students from Parish had to attend Harding elementary for sometime.

One of you wrote:One subject I haven't seen broached is teachers. At Morton High Albert Clark was the principle. 9th hour dicipinarian was named Ruff and he taught Latin. Miss Virden taught English. Mr. Flansburg taught algebra. Maury Zlotnik was the football coach. Other names: Chidester, Hand, Groves, Melton.

My mother, an american born to Russian immigrants, had Albert Clark as her principal, as did I. I had Chidester for math and Virden for English. I remember Zlotnick and Melton--Morton had award-winning bands under his direction.

The Emporium was the place to go for those big pretzels and the candy Kits as well as your paper and pencils. The Hitching Post had a great hamburger, since the Pow Wow was not open in the winter and you couldn't get their best of the best Tomato Burger.

Do any of you remember the Stouts--She substitute taught bookkeeping, and he may have been a track coach or science teacher? Oh, and Mr HarperÑBiology teacher, Miss CobleÑEnglish, Miss LockhartÑGeography, and Mrs Byers was my high school homeroom teacher.
I think she taught History.

Hansen Library, I can still remember the smell of that place. I started getting books there in 1952. My bike had to have a basket so I could check out books at the library.

Was Gregory's an IGA? on the corner of 173rd and Kennedy? My dad called it the Iggy!

I did not discover Cande's Pizza until it had moved to 165th--and after I left "Da Region"
to attend college, I always went back to Cande's for an Itallian Beef---no one nowwhere, at no time has made a more delicious Italian Beef.

My first job out of high school was in Hessville at Girman and Glegg Realty, on the West side and North a bit of the Ace Theater. Then I took a job with Graybar Electric Company on the north end of Indianapolis Blvd.

I worked one summer at Kelly's Drive In (Indianapolis and 169th) owned by Nicholas Kikolas; his brother, Peter Kikolas owned a restaurant on Kennedy Ave. I think.
After my freshman year in college, I worked a summer at the PowWow!--Somehow the glamor it had held when I was younger, had faded by then--not the food, the position as a car hop!!!

Does anyone remember the Nehi Bottiling Co. Building that was just North (it set back from Kennedy and was across the vacant lot behind the Dairy Queen.

Does anyone know anyone from the 1958 graduating class of OPMH? I would like to be included in any up-coming Fiftieth Reunion.... GOVENORS RULE!

I'm gonna stop for now--anyone who begins reading this will need some time.




Grand Park Subdivision 1940-1961 Boondocks of Hessville!

Edited by - S C Jones on 04/11/2007 19:57:28
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S C Jones

USA
448 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  20:22:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dr. Ramker--he must have been the only Dr. in Hessville in the 50's! Around 1955, My nephew contracted polio--He lived in the then "new housing" across 165th on one of the state named streets. Dr Ramker came to the house--actually he came to my house in Grand Park before that, when my sister and her family lived with us for a few months.

Dr. Ramker paid for my sister and her family to move to Arizona to be in a warm climate which was supposed to be beneficial to persons with polio.

Can any of you imagine a Dr. doing that today--coming to you home; assisting you financially to move for your health?

Shouldn't there be a statue of Ramker in Hessville? Wasn't the clinic in Hessville named Ramker Clinic?

Grand Park Subdivision 1940-1961 Boondocks of Hessville!
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seejay2

USA
676 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  21:10:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How Do, SC! Enjoy your stay with us. Here is a little bonus for joining. Hansen is no longer the library. It is some kind of learning center, but as you can see, the beautiful building still remains..........CJ

http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u250/seejay2_photos/Hansen.jpg

Edited by - seejay2 on 04/11/2007 21:10:57
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wvcogs

USA
564 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  23:22:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been waiting to see that one!!!

Ken...
Former Hessvillite
Morton Graduate 1960
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S C Jones

USA
448 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2007 :  23:32:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, seejay--It looks the same, probably looks a bit smaller than it did in my childhood!



Grand Park Subdivision 1940-1961 Boondocks of Hessville!

Edited by - S C Jones on 04/11/2007 23:34:29
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Bill Bucko

USA
359 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  02:10:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the photos, especially of the Hansen Branch Library. I was in their Summer Vacation Reading Program during the '50s. The head librarian was Mrs. Harriet Pinkerton, who sponsored a book discussion group for Morton students in the '60s. We read "To Kill a Mockingbird," "Cry the Beloved Country," "Generation of Vipers," "1984," etc.

Someone posted a sketch of the interior circa 1958 on Classmates.com.

According to a former classmate, the building is now a YMCA office. To their shame, the current Hammond Public Library website makes no mention whatever of this wonderful place (at least, the last time I checked).

Bill

Warren G. Harding Class of '63
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Bill Bucko

USA
359 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  03:26:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's that sketch I mentioned, posted to Classmates.com by a Morton graduate:

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w292/billbucko/HessvilleLibrary1958.jpg

Bill

Warren G. Harding Class of '63
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wvcogs

USA
564 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  09:26:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
S C -- The presence of another Mighty Governor on this Forum gives me the opportunity to post the links to these photos that will bring back memories for you and others. I hope you enjoy them.

Here is one of our beloved OPMHS.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g268/wvcogs72/MHS.jpg

And, here is beautiful downtown Hessville in the 1950s.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g268/wvcogs72/KennedyAve.jpg

Ken...
Former Hessvillite
Morton Graduate 1960
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seejay2

USA
676 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  11:46:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bill Bucko

Here's that sketch I mentioned, posted to Classmates.com by a Morton graduate:

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w292/billbucko/HessvilleLibrary1958.jpg

Bill

Warren G. Harding Class of '63


That's how I remember the place! Thanks for the sketch. One good thing can be said, at least they didn't knock the building down and stick in another &$%#*@ McDonald's!

Edited by - seejay2 on 04/12/2007 11:50:24
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svea3

USA
223 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  13:05:59  Show Profile  Send svea3 an ICQ Message  Click to see svea3's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I wonder if it has a dedicated property title.. My Father's map of 1912 Hessville has it so noted. In Michigan, for example, the 16 section of every county is dedicated to education. Michigan should have become a state earlier. much more in line with Indiana and Ohio but there was the Toledo WAR! MI got the Upper Peninsula and Toledo went to Ohio.!
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Jim

46 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  16:05:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's an inside view of the Hansen Branch about 1960.

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wvcogs

USA
564 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  16:37:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jim,

Please check. That looks more like the third floor of 7040 Marshall Avenue to me.

Ken...
Former Hessvillite
Morton Graduate 1960
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S C Jones

USA
448 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  19:00:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim

Here's an inside view of the Hansen Branch about 1960.





I agree with Ken, look at the brick. In fact, I'd like to enlarge the pic to see the studious students--one looks like it could be me?????

Grand Park Subdivision 1940-1961 Boondocks of Hessville!
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S C Jones

USA
448 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  19:20:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wvcogs

S C -- The presence of another Mighty Governor on this Forum gives me the opportunity to post the links to these photos that will bring back memories for you and others. I hope you enjoy them.

Here is one of our beloved OPMHS.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g268/wvcogs72/MHS.jpg

And, here is beautiful downtown Hessville in the 1950s.
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g268/wvcogs72/KennedyAve.jpg

Ken...
Former Hessvillite
Morton Graduate 1960



Oh, yes. I had my first checking account at that bank. Vierks Furniture is where I bought the first Christmas present for my dad after I had worked at Kelly's Drive-In for the summer. Bought a recliner "on time" which meant you paid for it a little at a time for a given length of time--not that you were saddled with interest.
Great picture of OPMH--a beautiful building--they do not make them that architecturally interesting anymore. I have memories of standing on the steps waiting for school to open after having walked 2 mi with neighbor kids through the Farmers Field (property that on the West of Grand Park owned by a man named Scottie who farmed the land--bordered by the Nickel Plate RR tracks on the South and Parish Avenue on the West. Over the tracks about 1/2 block we took 172nd past OLPH and over Kennedy to Marshall and OPMH.



Grand Park Subdivision 1940-1961 Boondocks of Hessville!
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wvcogs

USA
564 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  19:38:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Is that Ms. Allman standing in the background?

Ken...
Former Hessvillite
Morton Graduate 1960
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svea3

USA
223 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  22:30:11  Show Profile  Send svea3 an ICQ Message  Click to see svea3's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
YES KEN! She gave me an old world almanac one year and I thought that was the greatest thing ever. Knowing me and the keeping of old things, I probably still have it. The picture is inaccurate, because there was always a lot of note passing.

I do believe that she had worked in other Hammond Schools, because of what my mother had once said.
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Jim

46 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2007 :  22:57:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You guys are correct. The archive where I found the picture has it identified incorrectly. I used their reference and uploaded without looking at it or thoroughly checking. When I get back in town I will upload a 'real' inside view of Hansen with Mrs. Pinkerton and the Summer Reading Program.

Sorry for the mistake. Still a good picture.
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seejay2

USA
676 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2007 :  12:13:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is what happens, Jim, when you have been on "Retired Region Rat" status for too long. We may have to remand you a "Rat Refresher Course" to avoid mislabeling a photo like that in the future.
Ken will be your instructor.
I wonder what Hansen looks like inside now? I guess I'll have to put that on my "To Do" list next trip.....CJ

Edited by - seejay2 on 04/13/2007 12:22:31
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wvcogs

USA
564 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2007 :  13:07:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Okay you Rats from the mid-1960s, take a look at this photo that appeared in a Chamber of Commerce publication that was published in 1966. It looks like the picture was taken in Hessville Park in front of the shelter. Can you identify any of the kids here?
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g268/wvcogs72/Hammond%20Scenes/HessvillePark.jpg

Ken...
Former Hessvillite
Morton Graduate 1960
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seejay2

USA
676 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2007 :  20:42:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Regarding your Hessville Park photo Ken, I can give you two of them. The blond at the right, Lois Hopp and the guy to the right of her, Mickey Gibson. Both are Morton prople. I will scan the proof and have it up tomorrow. I think I can do two more, too..........CJ

Edited by - seejay2 on 04/14/2007 13:35:08
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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2007 :  21:24:43  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Question for you Hessvillites... did you guys go to Downtown Hammond much? Or, did you find pretty much all you needed right on Kennedy Avenue? Did you feel like you were really part of Hammond, or did you feel like Hessville was a a town of its own?

It seems to me that Hessville was a pretty cool little place from all you guys are talking about, and it makes me wonder how attached you guys really were to the rest of Hammond. Sounds to me like you could shop, eat, and go to the show without leaving Hessville.

What were the "official" boundaries of Hessville, or what were the generally accepted boundaries, if there were no official boundaries? Would Woodmar Shopping Center be considered part of Hessville?

I sure enjoy reading all of your posts about Hessville. I grew up not all that far from you guys, over on Woodward Avenue, which is off of 165th Street two blocks east of Calumet.

Tom

A 1967 Graduate of Hammond High who cherishes his memories of growing up in the Hammond of the 1950's and 1960's. Bring back those days!
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svea3

USA
223 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2007 :  23:23:11  Show Profile  Send svea3 an ICQ Message  Click to see svea3's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote

I was always told that I was from Hessville. The Saloon on165th and Kennedy is where the battle of the name Hammond and Hessville was resolved as the result of an all night poker game. My father drew a map of Hessville in 1912 of which I am giving a copy to the Little Red School House Museum and the Hammond Public Library.... plus Ken O'Neal. My dad also drew a map of all the farms in Hammond and Hessville. I am going to make a copy of these too as soon as I figure out how to get it out of the binding .

According to my father's map it went as far East as a home of the Senzigs which was past Illinois. The center street was Kennedy and went as far South as the Little Calumet. My Great Grandfather Bernhardt Lohse was known as the "River Rat" according to my Grandmother Elfrieda Helen, Bernhardt's 5th child born in 1880. My dad shows even the Greek Cemetery & the Hessville Cemetery. The Interurban was on 165th and is where my dad went to ride to High School, in Hammond.

Back to the poker game...my Great Great Grandfather FAH Lohse"s best friend was George Hammond. They were instrumental in beginning the Masonic Temple. All the men in my family were 32nd degree Masons.

[FAH = Friederich August Heinrich] Lohse was shot and that murder was never solved. He was married three times and always to a woman with the name Johanna! Now there is a STORY!

My father graduatedfrom HTS '25 and my mother graduated from HHS '29 and so I was a product of a mixed marriage. My older brother also graduated from HHS.
For our Eighth Graduation Mr Albert Clark asked my grandfather Wesley Johnson to speak about the olden times of Hessville. And, I attended Morton from beginning to graduation. Mr Clark was the Principal all the way!
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svea3

USA
223 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  09:00:13  Show Profile  Send svea3 an ICQ Message  Click to see svea3's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
My Father also has the houses with the names attached. [Boland, Atrim and Hess for example] The Hopp's were cousins. I still communicate with the Dedelow & Vanes kids. The Vanes owned the property at the SE corner of Black Oak Road and Kennedy.

Everyone had someone in the family who stoked the furnace. The house was either 40 degrees or 90 . Just like Shep's story, it was the man's job to go downstairs and perform the magic.

As to whom was the fellow who stuck his tongue on the telephone pole, well it was just another my relatives on the CS&I railroad track!!!! That's the tracks by McCook which runs South to North. They had to bring out the Hammond Fire Department to get him off! My Dad was apart of the gang who taunted him.

This part of my family came here in the 1840's from Altenburg, Saxony [Germany] not Alsace Loraine as was so often romantically rumored. Who managed Minas' Department store?... my Mother's first cousin. I even have colored movies of the Thanksgiving parade which I transferred to video tape.

I know more stories and now you know the rest of this story or some of the reasons why I truly love this movie.

Hessville is my home town.

Linda
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seejay2

USA
676 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  09:28:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wvcogs

Okay you Rats from the mid-1960s, take a look at this photo that appeared in a Chamber of Commerce publication that was published in 1966. It looks like the picture was taken in Hessville Park in front of the shelter. Can you identify any of the kids here?
http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g268/wvcogs72/Hammond%20Scenes/HessvillePark.jpg

Ken...
Former Hessvillite
Morton Graduate 1960



Here is the blond on the right and the guy to the right of her on the end

Lois Hopp
http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u250/seejay2_photos/Lois.jpg

Mickey Gibson
http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u250/seejay2_photos/Gibson.jpg

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wvcogs

USA
564 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  10:05:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey Jim -- An ARCHIVE!!! Does that mean there are more old photos we would be interested in?

Ken...
Former Hessvillite
Morton Graduate 1960
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seejay2

USA
676 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  11:20:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tom J

Question for you Hessvillites... did you guys go to Downtown Hammond much? Or, did you find pretty much all you needed right on Kennedy Avenue? Did you feel like you were really part of Hammond, or did you feel like Hessville was a a town of its own?

It seems to me that Hessville was a pretty cool little place from all you guys are talking about, and it makes me wonder how attached you guys really were to the rest of Hammond. Sounds to me like you could shop, eat, and go to the show without leaving Hessville.

What were the "official" boundaries of Hessville, or what were the generally accepted boundaries, if there were no official boundaries? Would Woodmar Shopping Center be considered part of Hessville?

I sure enjoy reading all of your posts about Hessville. I grew up not all that far from you guys, over on Woodward Avenue, which is off of 165th Street two blocks east of Calumet.

Tom

A 1967 Graduate of Hammond High who cherishes his memories of growing up in the Hammond of the 1950's and 1960's. Bring back those days!



Tom, you ask some very good questions I've never heard anyone ask before and you deserve an answer, at least from my viewpoint.
This can get lengthy, but I will try to keep it down. I will have to take your questions a little out of order though. First of all I am a 67 grad of Morton, just to develop a timeline of sorts.

You make the statement:
It seems to me that Hessville was a pretty cool little place from all you guys are talking about, and it makes me wonder how attached you guys really were to the rest of Hammond. Sounds to me like you could shop, eat, and go to the show without leaving Hessville.

All of the above were true. I didn't realize it then , but Hessville wasn't a town as much as it was a clique. We had all of the shops one could think of. Hobby shops, dime store, pets, groceries and you name it, albeit at a small 'mom & pop' level. I still think that is the best way to fly. The Ace Theater, later to become the Kennedy, was there. 25 cents got you 2 feature movies, cartoons in between and a shot at instant stardom! They did a gig called "Saturday At The Ace" where, in between the movies, Jack Hennessey (owner at the time) and a guy by the name of Rick, would randomly pick out about ten kids to answer hodgepodge questions. If you answered correctly, you won a bag of candy that would have taken you a month of grass cutting to buy. Here's the good part: the whole thing was taped and then broadcast over WJOB later that evening.
We have always heard that you should never stay in the place where you grew up. Well, aside from job opportunities and finding that "dreamhouse", I never saw the advantage just in the act alone of leaving Hessville. I can still go back there after all these years and look at somebody, young or old, and have them look back at me and make a connection, as though we have lived on the same block all our lives.

Did you guys go to Downtown Hammond much?
Lord,yes! After completing your basic training in Hessville, you began to hear bits and pieces of a place called 'Hammond' where they had all the things Hessville had, and more! There were a couple of HUGE theaters there! There was this place called Goldblatts where virtually everything manufactured in the world found its way there. It was so huge, they had elevators! Woolworths! Dildines!
But the greatest discovery since King Tut's tomb: Wayne's Trick Shop! You could find every magic trick, mask and costume on the planet there, plus some serious screw-your-buddy gags guaranteed to get your butt kicked. For a thin dime you could jump on the #2 bus, in front of Hill's Hammond Times agency, and go to this Oz-like land.

What were the "official" boundaries of Hessville, or what were the generally accepted boundaries, if there were no official boundaries?
Oh yes, there were boundries. First you had to understand the concept of boundries. You learned this very quickly at the hand of you parents when, as a small kid, you made the mistake of stepping off of your block, with a member of the "Mommy CIA" seeing you. At the time, it was literally impossible to do something like that undetected.
When we got older, the bounderies had expanded a bit. I'm sure everyone had their own Lines of Demarcation. This was my version:

To the north was East Chicago. This was pretty much uncharted territory on anyone's map and had no special significance until around the age of 18, but that is a whole different story.

To the west, Hammond. Open season. We just talked about that.

To the south was Highland. As kids, Highland extended no further than the area where Homestead Park is today. Way back when there was nothing there but the river and a dirt road to it, we would ride our bicycles, with fishing poles, and spend all day back in there fishing blue gills, carps and whatever garbage would bite the worms. We had the most fun ever back in there. It was like nobody, absolutely nobody knew about that place, except for a couple of old men that would be fishing there too. We were convinced that these old men had been orphans at one time that must have gotten lost and found their way there. This is where they remained for the rest of their lives. They of course survived on the fish they caught.
When we got older, the Highland boundry extended further south to Johnsen's Blue Top, which incidentally I'm sorry to report is going to close. More on that at another time. Other than that, the police force there was probably the most feared and hated in the United States. They were like trying to cut a deal with The Terminator, can't be done. I learned this firsthand years later. Stay away!

To the east, Gary. You are on your own at this point. There is a spot on 165th St where Cline Ave. crosses over it that is blocked off by an earthen burm ordered up by local Hessville politicians. Before that was put up, one could drive straight through to Downtown Gary; just do not stop along the way for anything until you get there, or you may not get there. Nuff said there.

There was one area though, to the south-east that was completely, barbed-wire and Claymore mines OFF LIMITS to everyone. You did not cross Cline Ave. via 177th into Black Oak under any circumstances whatsoever! There was absolutely no conceivable reason to go there. Nothing to do, nothing to see. Pulling a burning log out of a fire with your bare hands made more sense than to venture into Black Oak.

Would Woodmar Shopping Center be considered part of Hessville?

No. Woodmar was Woodmar. This is where we lost track of our vigilance though. While we were digging on Hammond and eventually making our way into the Chicago Experience, the mall concept, Woodmar, River Oaks, Century Mall, Southlake (now Westfield) robbed Hammond of everything it had. There was no reason to go downtown anymore. The malls had everything contained in a temperature controlled indoor biosphere. But Hessville survived. Oh there are those that will argue differently. Of course the face of the businesses have changed, but for the older people who are still there, they have everything they need right there without having to drive or bus to the malls. They still have the groceries, hardware store, shoe repair, churches, theater and even a tavern within walking distance of every neighborhood there.

Edited by - seejay2 on 04/14/2007 13:36:19
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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  12:22:39  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Blue Top closing??? NO! PLEASE, tell me it ain't so!!!!

One of the few bright bright spots in my recent trips to The Region after being away for many, many years was finding the good old Blue Top still operating. Now you tell me it's closing. That is AWFUL news.

Is there any hope that they will keep it open, or that some new owners might keep come along and keep it going?

Tom



A 1967 Graduate of Hammond High who cherishes his memories of growing up in the Hammond of the 1950's and 1960's. Bring back those days!
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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  12:28:14  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
CJ, thanks for your reply to my post.

One thing I should have made clearer is that I wanted to know the boundary between Hessville and "the rest of Hammond." I knew where the boundaries were between Hessville and neighboring towns, but I was not clear on where the line would be between Hessville and the rest of Hammond. What would be the western boundary of Hessville, I guess, is the question? Is the Purdue Calumet campus in Hessville?

Tom

A 1967 Graduate of Hammond High who cherishes his memories of growing up in the Hammond of the 1950's and 1960's. Bring back those days!
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Jim

46 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  12:42:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wvcogs

Hey Jim -- An ARCHIVE!!! Does that mean there are more old photos we would be interested in?

Ken...
Former Hessvillite
Morton Graduate 1960



Archive? ARCHIVE?? Did someone say ARCHIVE???

YES, there is a photo archive at the following site:

http://library.calumet.purdue.edu/Archhtmlfin/photo_gallery_main/archives_photo_gallery_Main.htm

There are many old photos of Hessville and the surrounding areas from the 1950-1960's. They are in the Special Collections Photos.

ENJOY !!!!!!!!!!!

PS. If you look at photo SCP337 you will see that the Morton library is misidentified as the Hansen Library. Hence my mistake.
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svea3

USA
223 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  12:44:48  Show Profile  Send svea3 an ICQ Message  Click to see svea3's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
SO CONCISELY STATED ...WITH HUMOR

I went to Hammond almost daily. Ditto about Goldblatts. I took dance/piano lessons there and many of my relatives lived there. Now where I live now, I have only my immediate family.

Woodmar is Woodmar. The Solon's Teegartern's and Byrnes' were major families. Lucian Heacox, whose dad was magazine publisher in Chicago lived there also. I hardly knew about Woodmar until they joined our class in Junior High.

Linda
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svea3

USA
223 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  12:46:16  Show Profile  Send svea3 an ICQ Message  Click to see svea3's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Purdue Campus is in Woodmar.
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wvcogs

USA
564 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  13:01:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
CJ... With that dissertation you have just elected yourself chairman of the Region Rats. That was very well stated.

Some of us really felt walled in by the railroad tracks to the west. Were those guys on the other side part of Hessville, or were they closer to Woodmar? I never could really figure that one out.

By the way, remember the time before Cline was an expressway and Kennedy Avenue was a thoroughfare for the guys driving to and from the mills and other industries in East Chicago?

Ken...
Former Hessvillite
Morton Graduate 1960
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seejay2

USA
676 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  13:08:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tom J

Blue Top closing??? NO! PLEASE, tell me it ain't so!!!!

One of the few bright bright spots in my recent trips to The Region after being away for many, many years was finding the good old Blue Top still operating. Now you tell me it's closing. That is AWFUL news.

Is there any hope that they will keep it open, or that some new owners might keep come along and keep it going?

Tom






A 1967 Graduate of Hammond High who cherishes his memories of growing up in the Hammond of the 1950's and 1960's. Bring back those days!




There were two articles just yesterday about it. I don't know how long these links will stay alive, so I would look at them rather quickly.

http://nwitimes.com/articles/2007/04/13/columnists/mark_kiesling/doc7a916acef26dd596862572bc00033407.txt

http://nwitimes.com/articles/2007/04/13/news/lake_county/doc016c5c9a2016fbfb862572bc000335df.txt

CJ
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seejay2

USA
676 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  13:32:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wvcogs

CJ... With that dissertation you have just elected yourself chairman of the Region Rats. That was very well stated.

Some of us really felt walled in by the railroad tracks to the west. Were those guys on the other side part of Hessville, or were they closer to Woodmar? I never could really figure that one out.

By the way, remember the time before Cline was an expressway and Kennedy Avenue was a thoroughfare for the guys driving to and from the mills and other industries in East Chicago?

Ken...
Former Hessvillite
Morton Graduate 1960


Not speaking officially as chairman, I really don't remember anybody pointing out any "hard" boundaries at the time, but it probably would be safe to say that we considered the Gibson area to be a territory of Hessville making Michigan St. (20) the North boundary;
Cline Ave the undisputed east boundary;
80-94 to the south;
and probably the tracks, you mention Ken, that ran alongside McCook to the west. That would make Summer St. "No Man's Land", but who wanted it anyway unless you wanted to cultivate yet another junkyard?....CJ
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S C Jones

USA
448 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  14:10:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Okay, Guys!

I never heard of the Blue Top--since I was just inside the Eastern border of Hessville--but Kelly's and the PowWow--I worked a summer each as carhop at those Drive Ins--had no rollerskating carhops. Did the Blue Top really have rollerskaters? I am teased all the time because I was a teenage carhop--summer of 1957 and summer of 1960 or 61. I always say, "no, I was not on rollerskates".

As for Black Oak being off-limits---I agree it was. However, as a child of a Kentucky born father, the people with southern heritage always seemed to find each other--Probably all related in some fashion. I went to church in Black Oak where the pastor was a childhood friend of my dads. anyway. just love your chatter.

Grand Park Subdivision 1940-1961 Boondocks of Hessville!
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svea3

USA
223 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  14:27:45  Show Profile  Send svea3 an ICQ Message  Click to see svea3's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
SCJ:

Great to have a female amongst us. The"story" I heard was that there were 'Indians' living out on Black Oak Road! That was true maybe in the 1700's. hahaha

Linda
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seejay2

USA
676 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  14:32:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by svea3

IF THERE IS A DIFFERENCE, HERE'S THE SECOND ARTICLE!

Blue Top to close, but not fade away
Friday, April 13, 2007 2:58 AM CDT
Post a Comment | Email this story | Print this story

BY MARK KIESLING
Times Columnist

Shoo-bop, shoo-bop, the Blue Top is but a dream, shoo-bop, shoo-bop.

The Highland drive-in, one of the last of the holdovers from the days when the automobile was still a relative novelty, is for sale, and Indianapolis Boulevard is never going to be the same when its doors close.

Generations of high school girls worked there as roller-skating carhops, a cultural icon most people in America could only experience by viewing "American Graffiti," the 1973 George Lucas film set in small-town California in 1962.

Time was, everybody cruised the Blue Top.

But that time was when the pace of life was slower. When you actually talked to friends on Friday nights over the front seat of dad's DeSoto Firedome instead of text messaging them on your Blackberry.

When you had a cheeseburger, fries and a shake on a tray set on the halfway rolled-down window rather than ate and ran from a food court in a shopping mall.

The widening of Indianapolis Boulevard slashed into the traffic at Blue Top, a cut from which it never recovered. Competition for the food dollar became fierce along that stretch of road, which was once dominated by Blue Top.

The time was when kids would cruise the Boulevard from Blue Top to Art's Drive-In in Hammond, then back again.

It's ironic that earlier this year, the founder of Art's Drive-In, Art Lukowski, passed away at the age of 79. The two icons of region drive-in culture, gone within months of each other.

Art's closed in the early 1980s, shortly after Lukowski opened his Oil Express business. But Blue Top hung on, fueled by nostalgia and loaded to the gills every Friday and Saturday night with cars from the 1950s driven by men who had been high schoolers then -- and now had the money to buy that dream vehicle they'd always wanted.

The Johnsen family, which owns the Blue Top, gave those people much more than they got in return. The amount of money the guys dropped was negligible in comparison to the thrill they got back.

But by the 1990s, the old cars began to dwindle. In their place were the modern muscle cars out of "The Fast and the Furious," cars that began to attract unwanted attention from police and neighbors. It became more difficult for the Johnsens to be good neighbors and successful business people.

And in the end, the times had just changed too much. The Blue Top could not change, because it was what it was and nothing else.

Like Art's, Hannon's in Valparaiso, the Dog 'n' Suds in Highland and the other drive-ins that have closed in recent years, it will soon be gone, never to be replaced.

Can I get one final "shoo-bop," please?

The opinions are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at markk@nwitimes.com or (219) 933-4170.



There is a difference. Two different authors. You posted the same article twice..........CJ
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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  14:49:31  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by S C Jones

Okay, Guys!

I never heard of the Blue Top--since I was just inside the Eastern border of Hessville--but Kelly's and the PowWow--I worked a summer each as carhop at those Drive Ins--had no rollerskating carhops. Did the Blue Top really have rollerskaters? I am teased all the time because I was a teenage carhop--summer of 1957 and summer of 1960 or 61. I always say, "no, I was not on rollerskates".

As for Black Oak being off-limits---I agree it was. However, as a child of a Kentucky born father, the people with southern heritage always seemed to find each other--Probably all related in some fashion. I went to church in Black Oak where the pastor was a childhood friend of my dads. anyway. just love your chatter.

Grand Park Subdivision 1940-1961 Boondocks of Hessville!




Never heard of the Blue Top???? I thought EVERY Region Rat knew about the Blue Top and had probably been there a few times.

My best friend and fellow member of the Hammond High Class of '67 drove a brand new silver gray 1966 GTO, and we made many trips to Blue Top. Heck, every once in a while we actually BOUGHT something. :) Blue Top was THE place to show off your car, and, believe me, that 66 Goat was worthy of being shown off; she was a beauty!

Here's a picture of the Blue Top.

Tom






A 1967 Graduate of Hammond High who cherishes his memories of growing up in the Hammond of the 1950's and 1960's. Bring back those days!
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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  15:10:50  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I just checked Mapquest, and I can see that those railroad tracks running parallel to Mc Cook and a little to the west would have made a logical line of demarcation between Hessville and the main part of Hammond. Would the rest of you Hessvillites agree that Hessville extended no further west than those tracks?
Tom

A 1967 Graduate of Hammond High who cherishes his memories of growing up in the Hammond of the 1950's and 1960's. Bring back those days!
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seejay2

USA
676 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  15:27:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Use Google, Tom. It goes into much more detail and if you zoom all the way in and switch to Satellite view, you can almost see the beer cans laying on those tracks.
I agree. How can you be from the region and not hear of Blue Top?....CJ
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Jim

46 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  15:46:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mrs. Pinkerton in the Hansen Library - 1962

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Jim

46 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  15:53:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As promised:

Hansen Library, Martha St. and Alabama St., 1962

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seejay2

USA
676 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  15:59:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
God Bless you!
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Jim

46 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  16:55:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's one I just found - the stage at the 'Portables'. I remember winning the 7th Grade spelling contest on that stage a few years back.

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Jim

46 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  16:59:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just found a new source for Hessville photos. I'll keep uploading until you tell me to stop.


Edited by - Jim on 04/14/2007 17:04:04
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Jim

46 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  17:09:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is a letter from Dr. Becker to the Class of 1960 for their 45th Reunion in 2005. I thought you might enjoy reading his words.

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seejay2

USA
676 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2007 :  17:18:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The only problem we may have, Jim, as it was pointed out to me, if there are people on the forum with dial-up connections, these pages with the pix may take an awful long time to load up....CJ
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