Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hidden Park


View Larger Map

UPDATE: Here's the satellite map of Hidden Park, which unbeknownst to me is officially known as Dougherty Park. It's bordered by West Patterson, Milbourne, North Chevrolet and Welch Blvd. It's still listed on the city's official park list, but that doesn't mean much these days in terms of upkeep. Readers confirm there was an entrance on Patterson and another on Chevrolet, which was just a short walk to Welch Blvd. Pharmacy and Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlor.

I'll offer up a free, very lightly used, Semi-Pro souvenir headband to anyone foolish, I mean, brave enough to head on over and get some current photos of the park.


ORIGINAL POST: Can anyone provide an exact location on Hidden Park, located somewhere near Welch, Dupont and Patterson? The two entrances were hard to find, and the park itself was small and abutted the back yards of the surrounding houses, pretty much invisible from the street. Better yet, anyone been there lately? I had my first illicit beer there with my pal, Mark Rudolph, who lived on Delmar Street.

19 comments:

  1. I'm not 100% sure, but could it be (or was it) in the block of houses between Chevrolet, Stockdale, Mt. Elliott and Paterson? I came across a list of what looks like bids from lawn care companies for handling the lawn care at public parks/green areas in that part of the city. (P.S. We used to know Howard and Violet Foster over on Delmar. Howard had this bright red-orange sportscar.)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmmm, I seem to remember exiting one side of the park, walking down the street, and Welch Blvd. Pharmacy being on the east corner, but who knows.

    I think if you google map 1880 Milbourne you can see my guess.

    ReplyDelete
  3. And I remember that car, but not the owners. Jerry and Robby Gawne, Mrs. Irons, Kevin Bancroft, Gordon Brown (like the British PM), Vince and Rosie Pasteau (sp?)and Norman Funk also lived on Delmar.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am 100% sure this is the spot.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=1311+greenway,+flint+mi,+48504&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=48.287373,76.816406&ie=UTF8&ll=43.032435,-83.716786&spn=0.002741,0.004689&t=h&z=18


    There was/is an entrance off patterson at the top of the map. I beleive the econd entrance was off chevrolet in the SE end of he 'park'.

    Its gotta be a wreck by now....

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'll be home in June, but I can't say I want that Semi-Pro headband bad enough...I'd be a little nervous, to be honest, but I'll take a drive over there and see if it looks safe enough. It was the site of your first illicit beer, after all!

    Howard Foster with the red-orange sportscar over on Delmar was a World War II vet who had seen the worst of the worst. My dad was a pilot in the Air Force in the Pacific and they used to talk about it. I think Howard treated himself to that car after he retired from the shop. They lived in another one of those fabulous older houses.

    Do you remember the name of a guy from Powers (class of '81 I think) who lived over on Humboldt? I could swear he worked in the Audio/Visual room and he was definitely in the choir. He had brown hair and glasses, if that helps. That wasn't Jerry G, was it?

    ReplyDelete
  6. redgirl, I know who you're talking about on Humbolt, but I can't remember his name. Jerry Gawne went to Powers, but ended up graduating from Davison. I can get the name of the Humbolt guy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. redgirl, with the help of another Humbolt Street resident, Bill Suttles, I've tracked down the name of the Powers Class of 81 Humbolt Street resident...Jim Robinson, Jr...a guy with a great sense of humor who once told me when we were kids: "I don't think I'm cool; I know I'm cool."

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jim Robinson, that's exactly who it was! Ha! He was such a nice guy. Thanks for tracking that down. I wonder what ever happened to him. I remember Bill Suttles, too. I didn't know he lived over there. I'm under the distinct impression that everyone got out of my neighborhood long before they started leaving the Civic Park areas.

    ReplyDelete
  9. gh@handy.pair.comMay 8, 2008 at 3:06 PM

    Regarding "Hidden Park", it is in fact, Daugherty Park. I not only drank beer there as a very very young man, but used it regularly in my travels around the neighborhood. It was a great shortcut. Several of my friends homes either abutted it or lived close by. I grew up on Delmar Street from 1946 - 1966. The Howard Foster someone spoke of lived down the street and liked to drive that sports car kinda hard. He was an older guy who was always treated us kids nice.

    ReplyDelete
  10. GH...Hidden Park was also a regular adventure destination when I was little and living on Bassett. It was great because it was, well, it was hidden.

    And while looking at google maps of the old neighborhood, I realized my friend Jerry Gawne's house -- third from the market on the west side of the street -- is now a vacant lot.

    ReplyDelete
  11. geewhy...The third house south of Comers market (on Delmar) was Mrs. Farmer in the late forties, the Pomans in the mid fifties and then a single mother in the late fifties and (2) other families I forget the name of in the sixties. We lived directly across the street. I was probably gone before your friend moved in to that house, or maybe he was a small child when I was in my late teens. I remember a young couple with a child. The husband had a Chevy Nova 4 speed with a big V8. I used to love looking at that car. It's a small world.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You're right gh, Howard did like to drive that car hard. You knew it was him without looking out to see who was driving up the street. He was already older back in the mid-70's, but definitely young at heart. I remember our neighbor, Hannah Warda, a happily married mother of eight boys, nearly fainted when we weren't home once and he knocked on their door, probably to see if we were away for the summer. It's entirely possible he had imbibed a bit before coming over. In any case, as he was leaving he told her to "keep the faith, baby" - I think it took her awhile to recover from that one. He and his wife were both very nice, though. Their kids were already grown and long gone but they still kept loads of children's books on the ledge as you went up the stairs. Was Tony Pasteau related to Vince & Rosie?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Okay GH, here's a quiz for you...what stores were in the little shopping strip that started across Delmar from Comers/Double D market? When I was there in the 70s/early 80s, there was Balkan Bakery (which still survives), Ray Stiltz Real Estate, Ski Haus (which closed in the 70s), a launder mat on the far corner, and maybe a little store, for a while, but there were a few vacant stores even then.

    What do you remember?

    ReplyDelete
  14. redgirl & geewhy...You are challenging my memory. I will try not to be too wordy in answering your questions.
    For starters, the Fosters had one girl (Sue) all the time I lived there. She was a year behind me, blonde like her mother and very pretty. Mr. Foster was a designer at the Chevy Metal Fab Plant on Van Slyke Rd. Vince Pasture was a great guy (he worked for the city). Vince moved into the Kimmels vacated house (across the street from Fosters and one door north of the Browns). The Browns had 5 kids as I remember, Alice, Janice, Gordon Steve & Tommy. Vince Pasture was the brother of Mrs Lazzio who lived one door north of us. Lazzios were the second house south from the north/east end of Delmar. There was another Pasture brother, Louie Pasture, who lived over on Rankin(?). Last I new, both Lazzio kids were attorneys in Flint.
    As far as the stores go, there was a constant change of guard in that strip. However, going back to the start of my memory, on the east end, it was Comers Market (before they built the new place), then that spot turned into a storage warehouse for foam cushions and was also subdivided to create the Ski Haus to the west. The foam place died out and the laundramat moved in. West of the Ski Haus was the barber shop, next was Rickmans drug store, still going west it was Max's Hardware sold to become Lewis Hardware, further west was Stiltz Realty, who took over after the gift shop closed, who took over from Mrs. Friend's small diner, after it closed. Going west from Stiltz, it was the Dry Cleaners and finally the Philips gas station on the end facing west. The bakery took over from the dry cleaners when they closed. The guy who ran the dry cleaners was a tough character. Three of my older brothers worked for him on & off. In thinking this over, I worked for every business listed above at one time or other with the exception of Stiltz Realty and the dry cleaners. The fellow at the gas station was very large and also created a very large ball of string. The potato chip boxes came tied with string. Over many years he patiently added this string to his ball. I believe it was at least 30" in diameter when his predessor in the gas station finally set it to the curb. The last time I saw that ball of string, it was rolling down Delmar St in the middle of the night, headed for the small ball diamond at Haskell (pushed by me and a couple of my buddies).
    I hope the above helps and is interesting to both of you.....GH

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow, this was very interesting... I lived on Delmar St in the late 80s but the house had been in my family for generations. I'm familiar with Mr. Brown and still see him from time to time in Flushing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous, we must have just missed each other. I moved away from Bassett Place in the mid 80s. What house was yours on Delmar?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow, surprised I got a response! I lived at 2333 Delmar.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Grew up in this park. My neighbors across the street had their backyard back up to the very high city installed fence to keep the access to the park limited. The Flint City Parks actually had college students come in a day counselors in the 60's with activities. It was safe, close and a lot of fun.

    ReplyDelete
  19. One of the houses abutting the park near the junction of Welch and Stockdale was the Kruschevskis...I'm probably slaughtering the spelling, my apologies, Len and Jane. She was my Mom's best friend in high school and thereafter. He was thereby a friend, and a helluva nice guy. He was a professor (of English, I think) at GMI. They were members of the bridge club that my parents belonged to, back in the days when people belonged to circulating social groupings of that kind.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting.
www.teardownbook.com