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Streator Past

       Published c. 2000 

Special to the Times Press 

 

Working for the Nagles

 

ByRichard O’Hara

 

In the days before “Oogies” and its famous strawberry pie, there was a little place everyone called “Nagles,” where you could buy a glass of root beer for just 5¢.

 

I attended St. Mary School, right across the street.  We eagerly awaited the opening of Nagles in the springtime.  We would watch for telltale signs, such as a fresh coat of orange paint, boxes of supplies stacked by the door, and new stripes on the parking lot.  We would pester Bev Nagle for days, asking when she would be opening.  On the big day, kids with money to spare would run across Kent Street at noon, competing to grab one of the stools at the counter, and place their order first.  Those stools had wooden seats and steel legs, and I can still hear the sound of those legs scraping on the concrete. 

 

I had money because I had a newspaper route, so I ate lunch at Nagles a couple times a week.  The tenderloins were my choice.  I ate them plain.  I couldn’t stand onions, ketchup, mustard, or relish.  Sometimes I would just eat french fries, but usually it was just a tenderloin, plain.  The whole lunch cost about 50¢.

 

In high school, I started working for Jack Nagle in the summer of ‘63, selling ice cream and popsicles from a three-wheeled cart.  These were cumbersome vehicles, subject to tipping over when turned at high speeds.  They had one speed, big balloon tires, and a bulky aluminum cooler mounted on the two front wheels.  A set of bells hung near the handle bar.  I developed some good leg muscles pedaling these hulks all over town.  The ice cream was kept cold with packs of dry ice, tied by Jack in brown paper.

 

Four kids usually worked each shift, pedaling routes which covered about a quarter of Streator’s area.  I think there were two shifts a day.  We made 2¢ on each bar we sold, and everything sold for 10¢.  On a very good day, we made about $10.  For holidays, extra carts would be sent out to parade routes and parks. 

 

I certainly got to know Streator well; I traveled nearly every street in town at least ten times that summer.  My first route started in Riverside.  Bob Dieken, one of Jack’s senior employees (Bob was then 18), showed me the route on the first day.  A little girl on Carroll Street was my most faithful customer.  I always waited at her house, ringing the bells until she came out.  The least favorite part of that route was those kids on Livingston Street who would lie in wait and throw green apples.

 

The ice cream carts operated out of a garage attached to the dry cleaners across the street from Nagles.  Jack was in charge of the ice cream operation, and would schedule the kids, and get things started each morning.  Working the ice cream carts was considered to be the best way to get a job at the root beer stand because you couldn’t work there until you were 15.   It was important to prove to Jack that you were honest, dependable, and hard working.

 

The Nagles were very cool people.  They had the first Thunderbird, a V-8 convertible, white with a red interior, that the kids said would go 120 miles an hour.  They also had a cool house, with little touches of irreverence, such as Michelangelo’s statue of David with a tiny jock strap.  Their sons were adventuresome boys.  David Nagle was big and boisterous, full of good humor and jokes. Oogie was the opposite; tiny, wry, and, as it turned out, brainy.  Everyone liked the Nagles.

 

In the summer of ’64, I asked Bev if I could work at the root beer stand.  She hired me, and I started working 40 hours a week at the Silverfross.  Lester Elias and I worked inside on the day shift.  Les was a good partner; smart, talkative, and able to work hard.  Our pay was 55¢ per hour.  The kids who worked outside; taking orders and delivering food, got 50¢ per hour because they also got tips.  My weekly paycheck was about $18 dollars, after taxes.  The newspaper route was actually a better paying job, but I was tired of that kind of work.

 

Nagle’s Silverfross, circa 1960

 

Our day started about 8:00 a.m.  First, we would clean up the counter area, put TSP in the rinse basins, and open up the shutters, which ran along the counter area.  Business was slow in the morning; no one really came there for breakfast.  Lunchtimes were busier, and everyone would be hopping.  Afternoons were quiet, except on holidays and weekends.

 

My primary job was drawing drinks and shakes to fill out orders coming from the kitchen.  I also collected the money from the carhops, and cleaned off trays and rinsed glasses.  Carhops had to be especially careful to return all the glassware.  Everyone’s favorite trophy was the baby root beer mug.  Nagles never sold them, and the only way you could get one was to steal it.

 

The Animals released “House of the Rising Sun” that summer, and it became a number one record.  I remember turning up the transistor radio so Bev could hear the song.  She said, “What do you do to that?”  I think I said something like, “You just exist and enjoy it, it’s not meant to be danced to.”  It was the start of the English Invasion; Rock & Roll and old Blues tunes brought back to America by English bands.  It was also the start of something else; the culture of the 60’s contrasting with the adults of another generation.

 

Employees could drink all the root beer they wanted, but you had to pay for food.  I think there was a 5¢ employee discount on sandwiches.  I never ate anything but plain tenderloins, and I couldn’t afford choices like the shrimp basket.  I often rode my bike home for lunch, just for the variety.

 

A well-aged, gray-haired lady put the famous tenderloins together.  She worked in a garage in an alley behind the Nagles’ house. Bev’s dad, a butcher from Grand Ridge, supplied the tenderloin slices.  We must have been his best customer.  He would deliver a supply every few days.  The slices were laid out in aluminum pans, and kept in the cooler.  Every day we would deliver a few pans to the gray-haired lady for her work.  She mashed the tenderloin slices together using a piece of 1” galvanized pipe, threaded on each end.  I remember that the pipe had masking tape on one end to protect her hands from the pipe threads.  When the slices were amalgamated, she would bread the tenderloin, and lay it in the pan, separating each layer by wax paper.  These were taken back to the coolers until needed.

 

Rose was the cook on the day shift.  I don’t think she got along well with the gray- haired lady.  Maybe that’s why they were separated.  It was hot in the kitchen, but the coolers were heavenly.  The root beer was contained in deep aluminum vats, covered with linen cloth.  The smell permeated the room, mixed with the aroma of the breaded tenderloins.  Jack mixed the root beer every night; that was one of his specialties.

 

I wasn’t the best employee.  I was perhaps most famous for the blunders I made.  My worst blunder was adding chocolate ice cream to the machine used to make vanilla shakes.  This was bad news because vanilla was much more versatile and more in demand than chocolate.  You couldn’t make a black cow or a strawberry shake with chocolate ice cream.  The only solution was to clean out the machine and waste the whole mixture.  I must have made this mistake three times, and Bev became more furious each time. It always seemed to happen just as the shift was changing, and customers would have to be told they couldn’t have their vanilla shakes or black cows.  She would get so mad that she would even yell at Les Elias after she was done yelling at me. What a mess!

 

The night shift came on about 4:30 p.m.  Jack Nagle took over then, and Andy Katchmar sometimes ran the night shift alone.  He was definitely the best employee of that time; reliable, witty, resourceful, and capable.  He and Bev got along very well.  They loved talking together because they both had such quick minds.  Night shift workers were older kids, who could work evenings.  Nagles was often open late, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.  The night shift kids never knew when they would come home.

 

In early 1965, I got a job at Kroger’s.  The pay was great, and I didn’t go back to Nagles, but it was still part of my life.  In later years, I often stopped for lunch when I was in town.  For old time’s sake, I always took tray service in the parking lot.  I’d pull under the canopy and say, “Give me a large root beer and a tenderloin, plain.”  Thanks to the tradition the Nagles created, it was always the same, and always delicious.

 

 

Rich O’Hara was born in Streator in 1948, and lived for the next 17 years with the rest of the O’Hara family at the end of Water Street.  He graduated from Streator Township High School in 1966, and enrolled at the University of Illinois.  Upon graduation, he served as a navigator in the U.S. Air Force.  He subsequently received a Masters Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and worked for several years for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

 

 How many of the below can you remember?....Doesn't seem that long ago...Good old Streator , Illinois             

                                 Streator Past 
 
 The candy aisle at Wayside Drugs.
 
Putting a dime in the restroom at Murphy's.
 
The huge barrel in City Park that had windows on the side, the front door and sand inside (whatever happened to that thing)?
 
The bale of hay that was hung from the barn behind the Super Dairy.
 
The sign on George's Candy Store that was small, but effective.
 
The big bird that was on display in the Penney's store when it was downtown. The big bird was right by the stairs.
 
The bicycle that hung from VanLoon's Sporting Goods on Main Street.
 
The clock in front of Kerr's Jewelry Store on Main Street .
 
Oldenberg's Bait Shop.
 
Scott's Health Foods (where Casey's is now).
 
The goofy golf that was where the YMCA stands today.
 
The small lunch counter at Top Save.
 
Lick-it-e-split (where Taco Bell was).
 
Little Red Hen.
 
The "good" concession stand that was always across the street from the city park carnivals in the service station parking lot...and Don's Music Supply (where Family Dollar is today).
 
Byerly Music in Illini plaza.
 
Tenderloins at Woolworths!
 
Church park ball diamond on Richards St.
 
The Roller Rink.
 
A quart of Silverfross root beer in those strange looking orange and white containers.

The sound of an Amtrak train rolling though town.

The Norfolk and Western switch engine sitting on Bridge street , chugging away.

The clown in Super Dairy that would inflate and deflate by the front door.
 
Merle Graff’s record shop in the Vermillion arcade.

The electronic sign that would flash $-$-$-$'s above the old SACI building, now the sign is for TOMkAT Roofing.

Spudnut Shop.

Dog 'N Suds.

Killer Hill.

The Super Dairy French Fries that they squeezed out of a large bottle.
 
The pedal ice cream carts. 

Friday night dances at "The Hub".

Hills Bros soda fountain.
 
The men's clothing store had a big scale outside in the entrance that you could put a penny in and weigh yourself.
 
Going to the Granada theatre downtown on Saturdays to watch a movie.
 
The bunnies in the window of Curran's that they dressed in clothing.
 
Hi-Lo Gas Station workers dressed for work!
Instead of dialing "672" you could dial "4" instead of "67", then the two or three to go with the four.
 
Putting a card from a deck of cards just right in your cable box so you could get all the pay channels like Cinemax, HBO and Showtime for free.
 
Ace Hardware's window decorated for Christmas.

Being on a party telephone line
 
The Granada was the place to go on weekends, always a Hercules movie on. Then once they had a dance contest on the stage.
 
Klever’s Market.
 
The balcony at the old Montgomery Ward’s store where kids could go up to and drop paper on people.

Stacy's Pool Room.
 
How about in the 80's when Streator had 3-arcades in the downtown area. One was in the same "building" as Jodie's Cigar Store; another was next to Cali's East in that block and the other was next to the old Book Shelf, just south of Yuhas flooring. All were filled with junior high and high school kids who smoked, but it was great fun while it lasted.

The ice cream truck that used to drive around Streator.
 
Murphy's lunch counter.

Vanilla or cherry cokes at Hills.
 
PEA Patch Road.
 
Top Save and Hornsby's.
 
The mechanical pony outside Hornsby’s.
 
Leo's Fine Food's, or Big Betty's, Lick-a-Dee-Split.
 
The Majestic.
 
The Roller Rink.
 
The candy counter in Murphy’s.

The fish in every department store pet area.

Jupiter’s.

The music section in Top Save (sinful!).

The mynah bird at Top Save.

The wood floors in Ace Hardware.

The smell of Owen's Illinois though the little windows along the alley.

Thompson's Food basket.

Klevers

Dog-n-Suds smells: fries, ketchup and root beer combined. Awesome!

Katchewan Lake

Pitsticks !!!!

Banana seat bikes.

Church bells (kept curfew for me).

The original Silverfross on the corner.

All the shoe stores on Main Street.

The bikers at Squints Zoo.

Collecting beer bottles on Sunday to cash in at Owen's.

Marx's for fireworks (an IDPH favorite).

The driving range just north of Rhema.

The driving range on Oakley Ave.

The miniature golf course at Westgate Plaza .

The tavern and junk yard across Main St. from the Westgate Plaza entrance where the canoe launch is now.

The Streator Armory at the SE corner of Main & Bloomington where Dick's is now.

The roller skating rink upstairs at the same corner.

Annie's Whore House
 
The traffic on Main Street going in both directions.

Watching a movie at the Drive-In.
 
Midget Race Cars in Streator. Had to hand push them to start them. RACER? I think his name was Bruce Middleton, and he
raced on the 3rd St track.

The corner of Johnson and Bronson had Korals store, Tutkos groc, Lou and Dan’s and Bernard Sapecey (Not sure of the spelling) all on the same corner.

Rizzo's Motorcycle Shop by the Fire Station.

Sip N' Bite (Marshmallow Cokes that fizzed all over when stirred).

Jim's Cellar (Coffee Shop on East Main)

The Pumpkin wagons going to the Canning Factory (Where you would sneak behind the Wagon and Steal Pumpkins of the
Back).

Sweet Shop where Chef Tom's is located now.

Novotneys Cigar Store (Next to Cali "s East.) Smitty's Tavern on Main & Sterling.

Fishing Rodeos at Fekins Pond, where they tagged the fish on the tail and gave prizes to the kids for different categories.

Flip, “The most famous bartender". I remember him in the Stork Club, Paddocks, and where the south side Super Dairy was
located. Plus he probably worked at many more that I can't think of now.

The Church where Bulldog's is now located. High School Kids Used to eat their lunch on the steps.

Some tavern was located on Hawthorn Road (Hole in the Wall) and I heard there was one on Spring Lake road???? 

The go kart track out on East Livingston Rd. at the corner of Smith Douglas Rd.
 
The swimming hole at the very west end of First St.
 
The lumber yard on Baker Street. It was called "Quality Lumber Yard".

Squint's Zoo (a tavern, not a fish store) and next to that was that record store. I don't remember the name but I bought tons of 45s there. On the corner of Bloomington and Hickory was Betty's Cafe. To the south of that was a doctor's office and then the infamous "Grandma's Lounge" , a strip joint.

The bus station at the Schultz Hotel and the Montgomery Ward tire store on Hickory St.
 
The Food Locker behind Palko's Amoco.
 
Remember when IFP was on Iowa Ave?
 
Art's Record's.
 
The Plum Theater. You could save the metal tops of the Super Dairy milk bottles and get in free on Saturdays when you had 12 of them. You saved all year for an auction and whoever had the most caps would get a bike.

How about Rokey's?

The Indian Acres too.

Raids at the Grove and the Indian Acres.

Does anyone else remember Streator's “Woodstock "?

Opdyke's, Krystal's and Esther Kirk's if you had the money.

They use to block off Park Street in the winter for sledding.

The Granada Theatre on S. Monroe St.

Sears catalog and Hills Bros.
 
 Matthews IT Book Store (office/school supply store)
were at one time where Union Bank is parking is now.

How about the Woolworth’s food counter and
Murphy’s dime store food counter. It was
always a tradition to go shopping on a
Saturday and stop at either food counter for
a burger, fries and a soda or cup of coffee.

Hamburger Inn on Bloomington
St. where Times Press parking lot is now.

Going to J.C. Murphy's getting fresh candy from the center candy island in the store and then going to the Majestic.
 
TG&Y.

The gas station north of Streator Lanes where a guy was murdered.

Oliver's Tavern.

Del Monte Tavern.

Dixie's (Yum) Pizza.

Big Boppers.

The little gas station at the four mile corner.

The Sinclair station.

Moon Creek Stories.

The flashing neon sign above the building on the SW corner of Bloomington and Hickory. It flashed alternately: "Need Cash Quick" "See Citizen Loan".

Skeet shooting out at the Pines.
 
City busses,
 
Harcharik Bottling Soda.
 
Shides (sp) Ice on Hickory.
 
Root beer stand and toy shop on North Bloomington where the mail box place is now.
 
The soda fountain on Circle Drive.
 
The Broadway Sweet Shop with a Soda Fountain on the corner of Broadway and Otter Creek.
 
A quart of Silverfross root beer in those strange looking orange and white containers.

The sound of an Amtrak train rolling though town.

The Norfolk and Western switch engine sitting on Bridge Street, chugging away.

The clown in Super Dairy that would inflate and deflate by the front door.

The electronic sign that would flash $-$-$-$'s above the old SACI building, now the sign is for TOMkAT Roofing.

Remember the Spudnut Shop?

Dog 'N Suds?

Killer Hill?

The Super Dairy French Fries that they squeezed out of a large bottle?

The pedal ice cream carts?

Circle Dairy.
 
Ice Cream truck green and rang bells.
 
Norris Hall. Now that was the place to go on a Friday and Saturday night!
 
Popcorn vender on Main St. In the summer they would set up a popcorn wagon in between JC Penny's and the old Streator Nat. Bank Building.
 
Clock on Main in front of Kerr's Jewelry.
 
 Wooden Indian that was outside in front of the old Van Loons.
 
And what about the popsicle vendors that would ride those white cooler bike contraptions.
 
The hippy section at Top Save back in the corner where they had the black lights and posters and the incense and candles.
 
Top Save, Jupiter and Murphy’s.
 
When I was a kid we used to go to Murphy's Store and buy candy by the pound. We had such a hard time deciding what to get. Then we would take it to the show and hide it in our pockets as we went in, they didn't want you to take in your own candy or pop.

Another Top Save memory was the cameras on the posts. They were like these Beta Panasonic M1's, automated to cover a section of the store. They would go side to side like "big brother" was watching you to make sure wouldn’t steal 8-tracks or something.
 
Old Dr. Barton's office that was next door to Murphy’s. You had to climb up these old wooden stairs and it was just very creepy up there. It smelled like some kind of medicine.

Harvest, Kosley, and Federal Bakeries.

2 tailor shops, one in Westgate Plaza, and the other on Sterling St.

Buelers Market (the best polish ham).

Grakos Market.

Eisenbart, Goslin, and Hudachko Drugstores
(for cinnamon oil to make toothpicks for school).

Trapps Bar and Dutch’s (great beef sandwiches).

Smitty’s tap, Arthurs Lounge, the Crescent Lounge, Rokey’s (that Freida thing).

Plumb, Grant, and Greeley Schools.

Ice skating at Marilla and Oakland Park.

Playing tennis in the city park.

The Polish picnics in Oakland Park.

The old bun haired head librarian @ the public library.... (mean... mean)!

Van Loons.
 
Stacy's.
 
The Flame Room.
 
The House of Magic.
 
Bowl-More Lanes. They had this cool restaurant in the there called the Lamp Lighter Room.
 
Bowl-Mor when they were on S. Sterling St .
 
Hill Brother’s.
 
Arthur’s Lounge.
 
Club Grove at the west end of 2nd St.
 
Hennan Department Store.
 
Plumb mansion that was located where St. Paul’s church is.
 
 White House Restaurant. It used to be next to Woody's.
 
Calling the Union Bank for time and temp.
 
Uncle Larz's.
 
Phone Booths.
 
Parking meters.
 
Columbia Hotel.
 
Fireworks at Southside Diamond.
 
Road Construction oil burners. They looked like round bombs.
 
ILL. Valley Vans/Hippy Vans.
 
Flower gardens on the west side of the city park.
 
Sign at the end of Bridge St. that read "End of Street".
 
Gura's Market.
 
Put puts on the tracks.
 
Hanging out at the old Kroger parking lot.
 
Drag racing on the old Kernan Road.
 
How about the cable system? Before CATV Ch. 4, it was on Ch.10 and had this automated surveillance camera on a bank of clocks that gave temp/barometer/time/wind. Where the hell it originated from, I don’t know, but I remember when they switched it to Ch 4 where it is today and it became a DOS Graphic system from SAMMONS Communications. How about the cable channels only to 13? It was 2-WBBM/3-WCIA/4-WRAU/5-WMAQ/6-WEEK/7-WLS-TV/8-WMBD/9-WGN/10-CATV/11-WTTW/12-WSNS/13-WFLD.
 
Zwang Used Furniture. Streator Decorators was downstairs.
 
The Bookshelf.
 
Ace Hardware’s gift dept. on the other side of Shabs.

Rizzo's Barber Shop.
 
Body Shop.
 
Foremost Liquors.
 
The root beer tree at Silverfross.

Airplanes pulling advertisement banners flying over Streator.
 
Daredevil airplane pilots practicing their stunts above the outskirts of Streator. One of them crashed & burned in a cornfield northeast of town.
 
Snyder’s tap.
 
Retoff liquors.
 
That small cafe that was west of where Time Out ice cream is now.
 
The Super Dairy (north).
 
Super Dairy Cash & Carry.
 
Thatcher's and Owen's company picnics.
 
Go Go girls.
 
Streator Cab and Checker cabs with the fold down stools in the rear.
 
Swim class at S.H.S. When they made you attend in the nude.
 
Fred's drive up window with the loud buzzer. 
 
You could pull into HI-LO or Owens, and make them check the oil and wash the windows too. For a couple bucks worth of gas and cruise around all night.

S&H Green stamps.
 
Virl Z. Hill selling O.K. used cars. 
 
When they built the "NEW" pool, and we used to go swimming there all day long. We would go over to Dog and Suds for frozen Milkshake candy bars.

“Green River “soda fountain pop.
 
Clark Stations.
 
Railroads crisscrossing all over town.
 
Rudy's.
 
Washko's Hobby Shop.
 
Right at the corner of Bloomington and First was a Cities Service Gas Station. It was where the computer store is now. Directly to the north was an ice cream stand (Dairy Queen I believe). The ice cream stand was moved and a restaurant built there called The Little Red Schoolhouse. That building was torn down and the Western Gas Station was built.

Snyder's Tavern that was at the SE corner of Hickory and Wasson.
 
The bunnies in the window of Curran's that they dressed in clothing.
Hi-Lo Gas Station workers dressed for work!... instead of dialing "672" you could dial "4" instead of "67", then the two or three to go with the four... putting a card from a deck of cards just right in your cable box so you could get all the pay channels like Cinemax, HBO and Showtime for free... Ace Hardware's window decorated for Christmas.
The church where Bulldogs Restaurant is now
The gas station north of Streator Lanes where a guy was murdered.

Oliver's Tavern

Del Monte Tavern

Dixie's (Yum) Pizza

Big Boppers

The little gas station at the four mile corner.

The Sinclair station.
 
 Rokey's Flame Room and also the big hotel on the north side of Main Street.
 
 Dutch's Tap.
 
The Stork Club was a bar at 111 W. Main St.
 
The police station where Canale's is with the round "police" sign.
 
The pet store on Illinois St. across from St.Stephen’s.
 
Miller’s Cigar Store.
 
The Streator Grill on Bloomington St.
 
Proud’s and Millers Cigar.
 
Montgomery Wards.
 
A&P on Bloomington.
 
Tot-n-Teens on Main St.
 
Baskin Robins.
 
Savoia's.
 
Chalkey's.
 
There was a tavern and a junkyard across Main St. from Westgate Plaza where the canoe launch is now.

 The beauty school in the back of the Plumb Hotel.
 
The Piggly Wiggly.
 
Duis Electric.
 
Okraski TV and appliances (I bought my first stereo there on time payments).
 
Tom's Boots and Western Wear.
 
Dittman's (I think paint store and horse tac).
 
Fredman's Furniture.
 
The Beer Garden on the parking lot of the bowling alley north of town.
 
The Country School chicken joint where Western gas station is.
 
The Little Red Hen.
 
Mother Goose Garden near Starved Rock.

The place where people went shooting opposite the dam. Man that place was FULL of shell casings and lead.

The flashing stars at Rudy's Supermarket.

The old Christmas decorations on Main Street which were green with all color lights and reached all the way across the street. They replaced them with horrible gaudy gold tinsel things. I think cheap looking candy canes were next.

Picking asparagus at Boznick's on First Street afterschool each day.

Going to Yeck's on Fuller Avenue and picking Pumpkins and throwing them on the Hay Racks for the canning factory. And
sneaking behind the wagons to steal a few pumpkins on the way to the canning factory.

Bowling Alleys had kids do Pin Setting, before the automatic Pin Setters were made.

Theaters had people wearing uniforms as ushers with the flashlight to seat you.

Sneaking Ice off the Ice delivery wagons.

Illinois Valley Milk delivery trucks.

When paper routes consisted of 150 or more papers , where it covered sections of the town rather than just a few blocks.

When Streator used to have Harvest Feasts.

When the railroad had towers or sheds for the men who operated the Gates.

The Morris Hotel by the train Depot and the bar.

Watching the fireworks and Circus at the Owen's Diamond. Rodeos at the south side diamond area.
 
Blackhawk beach in Ottawa.

Ace Hardware building near Spring Lake Road where they stored dynamite.

Marble tournaments at the school on Charles Street.
 
Sandy's.
 
Penney's.
 
The Barr brick streets.
 
Joe's Tap.
 
Gura's
 
Flying airplanes at the north end of Anderson Fields.
 
Chris', Dorothy's and Bonnie's flower shops.
 
The Gingerbread Players.
 
The flashing stars on the Rudy's sign.
The letters would light up one at a time to spell RUDYS, and then the star would twinkle! Rudy's also had a very cool way of bagging your groceries. They'd bag em at the checkout and number the sacks, then give you a number card. They'd put your groceries on one of those conveyers made of roller bearings. The groceries went to a delivery area under a car port. You then drove your car under the port with your number card displayed in your windshield and the bag boys would load your groceries into your car.
 
Christmas decorations that spanned from one side of the street to the other with a big 5 point star in the middle.
A&W on North Bloomington.
 
The "White House" restaurant next door to it.
Spiegel's catalogue center.
 
Kenny's Shoe Store where you could x-ray your feet.
 
National Tea Store NW corner Vermilion & Main.
 
Streator National Bank at SW corner of above
 
Williams Hardware Bldg.
 
Ames Lumber yard on Main St.
 
Lipton Tea Co. Main St. Where you could get tea cartons for free & put skates on them.
 
Cafe/greasy spoon in the Columbia Hotel.
 
Watching the Santa Fe's "Super Chief" come to town every day at about 7:30 or 8 PM.
 
Steam locomotives on the C.B. & Q.
 
Ice skating @ Marilla Park's "Lake".
 
Cart on Main St. that sold hot tamales.
 
Curran’s Men's store.
 
Franks Jewelry store.
 
Goslin's lunch counter & mini post office.
 
J.C. Penny's invoice & change containers riding all over the ceiling on wires.
 
Oakley Inn Bar & Restaurant and next door to...
International Harvester (Oakley & Bloomington).
 
Medical Bldg. at Westgate Plaza.
 
Hobby Show @ Bridge St. National Armory.
 
Purina Hatchery on N. Bloomington.
 
Jerry's Fruit Stand where Mr. John's Cleaners is now.
 
Don Rose's Barber Shop (across from Williams Hardware.)
 
Ford-Hopkins Drug Store.
 
Plumb, McKinley, Grant, Greeley & Garfield grade schools.
 
Arties Diner (vet occupied bldg. near Bloomington & Sumner.)
 
Charles St. Fair grounds.
 
Reeds Salad Dressing Plant.
 
Sweet Sue's Brand canning factory.
 
PNA Hall weddings!
 
Camp KI-SHU-WA (sp) Boy Scout camp.
 
Model Paris Dry Cleaners on Hickory St.
 
Chuck's Giacinto's Barber Shop.
 
Armstrong Lumber Co. Rt 23 by the Drive-in.
 
Union National Bank at NE corner Main & Park.
Remember the smell of the horehound drops in Theidore's Drugs?
The Illinois Valley Ice Cream store?
Limeades at Hill's?
Adele's Dress Shop?
Fashionaire where they made sure no repeats of prom formals were sold?
Jack 'N' Jill store?
Pic-aPac?
Homecoming bonfires?
Fourth of July parades with lots of marching bands?
Circus near Oakland Park School?

The train that ran to Chicago called the Doodle Bug?
Ice-skating on Marilla Park pond?
Halloween when neighbors made treats like taffy apples and you had to sing a song or tell a poem to get a treat?
Birthday parties where you wore your best dress?

What was the name of the hardware store that exploded from a natural gas leak?  (Williams" Hardware)

Bomb shelters?
Civil defense drills in school and in the neighborhoods?
When Streator traffic didn't need one-way streets?
Christmas savings accounts?
Sponge hair rollers?
Boys who carried your books home from school?
Ken's fried chicken?
Ginny's Italian beef sandwiches?
The change system in Penney's--a pneumatic tube that carried change from the main register to the upstairs?

Scarratt's Deep Rock gas station at the corner of Bridge and Bloomington Street.  Remember the revolving sign that they had on the corner? 
Ice Cream Socials on the lawn of Sherman School.
The Barn Dance they would have once a year at Sherman School, It was a Country Music Show held in the gym on the stage...remember? 
Walking down main street at Christmas time shopping with my $12.50 Christmas Club and buying something for my whole family, Christmas music playing as you walked down the street and lots of snow!
The Owens Illinois Christmas Party for the kids at the Plumb Theatre. 
 
Neighborhood grocery stores? (my family owned one).
 
Gotch's record store.
 
Ginny's pizza.
 
 The booths at Hills with the little juke boxes?