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.
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