Social Circle: "What childhood memories do life-long Milwaukeeans share?"
Welcome to a new weekly segment called "Social Circle." It's OnMilwaukee.com's first article that's truly a group effort between readers, social networkers and the OnMilwaukee.com editors.
Every Monday, we will ask a question via Facebook and Twitter and then post the responses from our Facebook "likers" and Twitter followers in the Thursday column. Well-known Milwaukee movers-and-shakers will contribute as well.
This week, we asked the question "What childhood memories do all lifelong Milwaukeeans share?" and the responses were fast and furious. We received almost 100 responses in a 24-hour period.
The responses are posted in the order they were received and we did not post repeats. Some of these will trigger memories long forgotten, some will introduce you to a piece of Milwaukee history and all of them are important to the collective Milwaukeee experience.
Thanks, life-long Milwaukeeans. And readers, feel free to add your childhood Milwaukee memories via the Talkback feature!
The ice rink at Mayfair Mall.
Samson. Getting those wax molds at the zoo.
Going to Summerfest practically every day from age 14 to 16 to get in free with the gold pin.
The park at the Milwaukee County Hospital grounds before Froedert moved in. We fished in ponds, flew kites and pretended we were in the woods.
The glass bottom gazebo at Mayfair Mall with all the goldfish. Also, Mainstream Records on 76th Street.
People putting soap in the fountain on Downer Avenue.
Going to see Ali Baba & The 40 Thieves at the Pabst, Old Word Wisconsin and the Public Museum.
Uncle Paul took us to the record store in the basement of the Plankinton Arcade, where we recorded a record of us kids singing and laughing.
Going to Farrell's for birthday parties at Northridge and ordering something called "the zoo." Also, going to Atwater Beach and taking the tram down the hill to get there, smelt fishing at Big Bay Beach and going to see all of the racy clothing at Merry Go Round at Southridge and Northridge.
Long, summer days at Hoyt Pool in Tosa and Bradford Beach. Anybody remember a train on the ceiling at Gimbel's?
Burgers and frozen custard at Al's, bowling at Red Carpet Lanes, ice cream at Boy Blue, skating at Rollero and movies at the Avalon.
I remember the train. I think they called it a Monorail. Also, Tasty Town at Gimbel's.
1812 Overture (record shop) and the Bugle American (free newspaper.) Also, Century Hall, Murray Tap and the Gordon Park Pub.
The Red Barn on Oakland where the Goodwill now stands.
Around 27th and College we pursued our degrees in coolness at Wisconsin Skate University (with Professor Wheelie!) Also, field trips to The Domes and Albert the Alley Cat announcing the weather on TV.
Sweet Doomed Angel, Earwax, Tobacco Road.
The dunking of Bo Bo The Clown at the State Fair Midway. "High and dry."
The treasure chest at the Captain's Steak Joint at Mayfair Mall.
I've only been living here 15 years and I miss the drive-in movie theater, Chocolate Factory on Prospect Avenue, Schwartz Bookshop downtown and the Gas Light Pub on Jackson.
The Oriental Drug Store lunch counter, Packers games at County Stadium, Johnson's Park Mini Golf. I could go on and on about these and other long-lost treasures.
Buying wax figures at the Zoo! I will never forget that smell!
The "Love" rock in Lake Michigan and the swimming pool at Gordon Park. Dick Bacon.
Going to the Downtown office buildings at Christmas to look at the decorations.
The stack of onion rings at the counter inside the funny little store on Mitchell Street. Century Hall. Peaches Records.
The white tiger at the zoo. Winterfest. The Candy Wagon on Downer Avenue. The Boardwalk (even though I was too young to got there.) Also, the old Beans and Barley, before it burned down.
Climbing on Old Smokey. He was on the Bay View side of the harbor, before the bridge.
Anyone else hooked on Oriental Drugs?
Echo Bowl, the IHOP on Oakland Avenue, County Stadium, Lixx, "little" Winkie's on Hampton and going to that sausage factory by the Humboldt Street bridge with my mom and getting a free slice of bologna every time.
Laura Hoffmann Stratte
Remember when Boston Shore at Bayshore had a diner upstairs with pinball machines in it? When the First Wisconsin was in the old building on Water and Wisconsin? My father had an office in there, and everything was wood paneling and black leather, even on the walls.
And how about The Norman, the big old flophouse apartment building by the Greyhound station that burned to the ground in 45 minutes?
Turning 18 and going to the Safe House because I could legally drink!
Samson flipping the bird.
Brewster's, the Potato Brothers shop, being able to write down requests for old movies to be shown at the Oriental in that big book they kept at the counter and climbing on top of the Coffee Trader with Kendall and Jason and watching the people below through the skylights.
Club Marilym. The Attic West. The Chi Chi's at Northridge. Nino's Steakhouse. The video game arcade at Northridge. Roller skating at Starlite. TA Vern's. Buzzdom's.
I may be dating myself, but anyone remember Feats? Also, Funland and Video Starr on Oakland.
Webster's Cafe and bookstore. I was one of those who started the bubbles in the fountain on Downer Avenue. One of my fondest memories!
The Unicorn, The Globe East and Wilson Park parade.
Waiting in line with trepidation to visit Santa Claus at the Kooky Cookie Haus at Capitol Court.
The tightrope-balancing bear at The Grand Avenue.
Southgate Mall and Treasure Island.
Dutchland Dairy, Farmer Vick's, Howard and Rosemary's "Dialing for Dollars." And the old lady in the rocking chair in the "Streets of Old Milwaukee" at the museum.
The junkyard exhibit at the museum.
I remember a lot of these places, also the beautiful RR station at the east end of Wisconsin Ave, now a parking lot, I think (nod to Joni Mitchell), got to meet my favorite aunt, later got to take the train to the Twin Cities to spend weekend with her when I was older. An amazing building, walking in from the Avenue, the large waiting area was visible below entry, so arrivals and those they were to meet could easily see each other. L. Michigan in this also, but memory a bit hazy on that visual. Thanks for this topic.
1812 Overture, Dirty Jack's Record Racks, The Moon Fun Shop and Chet's Variety Store. Strong memories from my adolescence are mostly about buying records, comic books and fake dog poop.
Going to the Avalon! Went on my first date there to see Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
The Ambrosia Chocolate factory story next to MECCA, reading the Green Sheet in the Journal. the "Two-fisted Slopper" at County Stadium.
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