Some call it a bedroom community, others the home of Ohio Weslyan University. Referred to as “The Big ‘D'” by me and my cohorts, those of us who grew up in surrounding smaller towns. Delaware, Ohio has always had a lot to offer.
My own love affair began with this big town/small city when my family moved to Ashley in 1970. I was ten years old. Ashley was a quaint lovely town at that time. Many of our needs were met there. Twice a week it was necessary to trek down U.S. 42 for recreation, services, or staples. “The Big ‘D’ ” was my parents town of choice to refuel our lives.
My favorite memories…
Every Thursday after school we made the trip. Mom and I walked “downtown” while my brother had Speech therapy on W. Central Avenue at The Delaware Speech and Hearing Center. To my delight we would “window shop” at Bauereis Shoes, The People’s Store, Gray’s Shoes and Barger Jewelry. Barger Jewelry is the only one of the four still remaining. We usually ended up at McLellans. I had the choice of spending my allowance there or later in the trip. “The Dime Store” as it was called back in the day is long gone: However the smell of the building remains the same, evoking sweet memories filled with nostalgia.
After “speech” it was off to a 1970’s favorite, Burger Chef, on S. Sandusky Street for supper. Then back to W. Central Ave. we would land, across from “the hospital.” The only other option in my childhood budget was the store Ben Franklin. I would buy a trinket there if nothing at McLellan’s had suited me. The final destination in the same plaza was Baskin Robbins. I ordered Pralines and Cream on a sugar cone, for probably four years worth of Thursdays. Roughly 200 cones.
The opportunity to share stories, my very relationship with Delaware for over 40 years is a gift. Living both “in town” and out for over a decade, and visiting the following two, watching my town undergo its many transitions has been fascinating. After thirty years away, I arrived home through the backdoor in 2010, moving smack in the middle of the Historic Northwest Neighborhood. The fresh perspective is exciting. What is old is new.
Blogging twice monthly for DelawareO, it is my goal is to share these memories once a month. The other contribution will be my experiences in current Delaware, from the perspective of a local consumer, market-driving Baby Boomer citizen. It is an honor to be involved in this community as a business owner, volunteer, and now a blogger.