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digger

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2011 :  17:53:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

While digging a new garden spot in my yard on the 7300 block or Monroe Avenue my shovel hit a glass bottle marked Hammond Dairy Co. It suffered a small fracture, but is otherwise in perfect condition. Our house was the first on the block from what I understand. It was built in 1930. I was looking for information on the Hammond Dairy Co. and came to this forum.

Like many people I like things that are old. I was born in Hammond at St. Margaret Hospital in 1959 and grew up in Munster. I remember Christmas shopping downtown Hammond, the snow falling, the store windows displays, riding the elevators, my parents complaining about the trains holding us up... I loved all of it. That had to be the most exciting part of Christmas for me besides decorating the tree with lead tinsel and big bulb lights. I also remember my first trip via bus from Munster to Hammond. I was about three and the thrill of the downtown shopping area never left me. The place that impressed me the most, I think it was Woolworths, a five and ten store on Hohman Avenue. It had ceiling fans, wood floors, and lunch counter grill in the front. As a teen I was allowed to ride the bus with a friend and go to my favorite hangouts like Teen Bears, JC Penny, the Golden Eagle, Walgreen’s diner, Gean's restaurant, and one of those shiny trailer grills on one of the streets off of Hohman were you could get a great grilled cheese sandwiches and a coke for under a dollar.

I often dream of the sights and smells of that time. The bolts of fabrics in Minas sewing department, the ladies hats and gloves displays in the small windows on the stairway landings, and the bins of ribbons, kitchen towels, and assorted accessories. I often wonder if there is any merchandise or displays left, perhaps forgotten in some dark corner of a basement or attic storage space in the buildings that remain. If there is, I would love to see it, touch it, smell it.

My mother grew up in East Chicago. One of my favorite story she would tell was when she and her friend would go to Queen Ann Candy factory and get a whole bag of broken candy pieces for a nickel.

My father born in 1923 is now 88 years old. He lived in East Chicago and Hessville and is a Graduate of Hammond Highschool. He was neighbors with Jean and Randy Shepard. I guess it was Randy he hung with. I love to pick dad's brain about the Shepherd's. I like to joke with him and tell him he was probably one of the boys in Jean's stories. He told me last year he was at Jewel in Munster on his weekly grocery run when he ran into Randy. I don't know how they recognized each other, but it is so nice that they did. Dad's one of those guys that kind of keeps to himself, but for a few people and family, he doesn't socialize much. He seemed very pleased to have seem Randy. I can tell by the smile on his face when we talk about it. I think dad would love to see him again if he could.


digger

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2011 :  22:25:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just talked to my dad today about the Hammond Dairy Co. and coming to this site. He told me Jean and Randy Shepherd's father worked at that dairy when Borden took it over.
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Bill Bucko

USA
359 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2011 :  02:59:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You're very welcome here!

It so happens that 99% of the activity on the Forum seems to take place under the "Hammond" forum. So may I suggest you post/repost there, and I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people would be delighted to talk with you!

Bill

Warren G. Harding Class of '63
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