This photo of our display of Clancy's artifacts has generated some chatter on our Facebook page. I know many of you aren't Facebook users, so I'll include it here for you. Feel free to pass it along to your friends and recall old times at one of the most popular hangouts in Edina. Please share your memories by commenting here (or on Facebook) or emailing me.
I love opening the mail (both USPS and electronic) these days because I get to read all the great stories and photos submitted for our upcoming "Growing Up in Edina" exhibit. Here's a fun one from Sherry Ott Buffington, who went to elementary school in the 1950s. She and her family lived at three different Edina addresses over the years: 5524 Brookview Avenue, 5809 Kellogg Avenue and 4431 West 52nd Street.
The official deadline has passed for submissions to the exhibit, but I will continue to take stories and artifacts for loan or donation with the disclaimer that I can't promise I'll process everything by the Oct. 29 grand opening date (especially if it all comes in the week before.) I will get them in the exhibit as soon as I can, however. For the sake of my sanity and a successful exhibit, please contact me as soon as possible.
Perhaps this story will prompt some memories...
Sherry Ott with her sister Bonnie and their beloved Ginny dolls.
By Sherry (Ott) Buffington
Summers growing up in Edina were wonderfully - busy or lazy days, whatever you wanted them to be.
My friend Miriam Anderson and I would ride our bikes from 52nd and Wooddale to the hub of Edina, 50th and France, at least once a week and sometimes more often. First stop was the Edina Library, located in an old house on a hill. Both avid readers, Miriam and I turned in our books and checked out a new batch for the next few days of reading. (Later, in high school, we would both work at the Edina Library - our first jobs.)
Paper dolls provided hours of fun for a quarter.
Then on to Clancy Drugs for a cherry or lime coke at the counter. Clancy's Toyland in the basement was a fun place to browse. We occasionally bought paper doll books for about a quarter and later would spend hours on Miriam's breezeway cutting out the clothes - hours of fun for only a quarter.
After our stop at Clancy's we would walk through James Hager Women's Clothing store and Hove's/Lund's, stopping to drool at the pastries in the bakery. Occasionally we might stop at the Edina Cafeteria for a snack.
Our next destinations were the dime stores - Ben Franklin on one side of the street and another on the other side. Around the corner was Nelson's Dry Goods where we checked out Betty's latest doll fashions with her trademark ribbon and lace. Ginny (by Vogue) was a popular doll, and my Ginny doll had a pretty large wardrobe. I must have really liked the color pink as most of the doll clothes from Nelson's were that color. (See photo below.)
Doll clothes sewn by Betty Gustafson of Nelson's Dry Goods.
I remember walking past the Dance Studio and the Brown Derby bar (which we were told by our parents not ever to go in), catching a glimpse of grown-up activities.
When younger, I remember going with my dad to the freezer lockers at 44th and France. On hot days that cold freezer air was a real treat. The freezer compartment in our refrigerator was so small we had to store meat at the locker and make trips there to pick up our meat for dinner. Of course no trip to 44tha and France was complete without a stop at Carlson's Odd Shop - a child's delight with so many toys crammed in little spaces. You could hardly walk in the aisles.
I also remember when we lived on Kellogg Avenue, walking up to Valley View Road with my sister Bonnie and a group of neighbor kids. We would make the long hike (really only a few blocks!) for a treat of candy or ice cream at Emma's (Tedman's). We felt so grown up!
Later when when lived on West 52nd Street, Ray's Dairy Store on 54th and France had the best selection of penny candy in town. If you were lucky, you might hear the sounds of Ray's daughter, Suzanne, playing piano upstairs.
All in all, it was a great childhood - picnics and birthday parties in the backyard, swimming at the Edina pool, riding bikes all over, playing badminton at dusk under the street light, ice skating in the park, and sliding down the hills at the Edina Country Club.
Susan Hawthorne Plank recently ordered our 2010 Christmas ornament of Clancy Drug, and she liked it so much she posted a photo of it on her Edina Class of 1959 web site.
She wrote: "Merry Christmas to All! Here's this year's Edina Historical Society Christmas ornament - Clancy Drug. How many memories does that bring back, including last-minute Christmas shopping or picking up some Cheracol cough syrup to make you feel better from a nasty holiday cold. This ornament, along with others from past years, is available through the Edina Historical Society. Look for their link at the lower right of this page. Only thing missing from this ornament is our dog Rover, who used to lounge in Clancy's lobby every day - until he walked over to the Edina Theater to enjoy both shows and the attention of the cashier, who loved him!"
Thanks to Susan for spreading the word. We truly appreciate our "fans" telling others about the Edina Historical Society. Click on the "Share" button below to connect to Facebook, Twitter or other social media.
Or please join us! The Edina Historical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that depends on memberships - along with merchandise sales, a $5,000 city grant, and field trip programs - to fund our activities, like this web site.
You would have thought that last Thursday was Christmas at the Edina History Museum if you had heard the soundtrack to our conversation with Marlin Ramler, who brought in a box of Clancy Drug photographs. Yes, I admit, I reacted with as much delight as a youngster unwrapping his favorite toy on Christmas morning.
Ramler, a pharmacist with Clancy's for more than 30 years, donated many great photographs taken by commercial photographers Norton & Peel and local studio Peterson Portraits as well as snapshots taken of employees throughout the years.
Although the little drug store at 50th and Halifax was famous for its small town charm and 79 cent breakfast, it was also a big player in the Twin Cities. The store's basement housed the largest toy selection in the metro area during its heyday.
I'm working on a story for our membership newsletter on the history of the store, which began as Keller Drug in 1947. Roy Clancy purchased the store two years later. Ramler, who joined the staff in 1950 and eventually became owner, wanted to give the collection to some place that would appreciate the impact Clancy Drugs had in Edina.
Tell us your favorite Clancy Drug memories to include in the story. Perhaps you were one of the many customers who took photos of their kids sitting at the counter when it closed in 1982. Or maybe you waited in line to visit Santa after making your wish list walking up and down Clancy's Toy Land aisles.
Many employees worked at Clancy Drugs for decades. As one customer described it to the local newspaper in 1982: "I look at it as the 'Cheers' of Edina" -- a place like the famous sitcom bar where "everyone knows your name."
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Jennifer Adam is the Executive Director of the Edina Historical Society. She welcomes your contributions. Comment on a post or send an email (see below). Traditional mail, of course, can also be sent to:
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