Vintage Flint Expatriates: Originally posted on 8/11/09.
Fred Gonzales passed along these shots of Flint in the fifties. "I am also a St Mike's graduate," he writes. "During the late sixties my sister and I worked downtown after school and weekends. I was an usher at the Palace Theater. I can still remember folks catching a Kewpee burger, fries, and a Vernor's right across the street from the Palace and then crossing the street and lining up for tickets."
Yeah. Thanks, Fred.ReplyDelete
I had my hand under her sweater with my fingertips approaching her bra when you showed up with that damned flashlight. The rest of the night went downhill from there. Passion and fervor unrequited. I still blame you.
On another matter, in my senior year '65-'66 I worked in the mailroom at the Journal. 'Kewpees' (actually HaloBurger) was then behind The Palace on Harrison. Did they move after I graduated?
Thanks for bringing back the memories of a once very vibrant city! I remember the Apple Dumplings at the Kresge soda fountain, the swivel chairs with the red leather-like seating. I remember the Stair-case at the Michigan National Bank right next door. I remember going to movies at the Palace & the Capitol & I remember Flint at Christmas! so much Magic!ReplyDelete
When I think of Flint, I think of my Dad who passed away 19 years ago. I think of all my relatives who have passed on. I have great memories of living in Flint as a child, there was so much traffic in Downtown and it was very vibrant; I worked the elevator at Vogue, I remember Winkelman's. Fond memories of this city. Dupont!ReplyDelete
I'm 65 now, but I remember getting dressed up to go shopping at Bush's and Smith-B's with my grandmother, and then going to lunch at the Durant Hotel dining room (not the Purple Cow coffee shop) where the lady who used to be an actress would greet and seat you. Always a special treat to eat lunch there - very grown up when you are about 5.ReplyDelete
Great reading!!!! What a wonderful trip down memory lane! I remember taking the bus downtown with friends, and I was only 12. We always stopped at Smith B's to ride the elevator and have a cherry coke. Then on to Kresges to watch the doughnuts being made by the "famous doughnut machine." Once in a while we would spend our bus money home and end up walking the five miles home (hey, let's be honest, more than once in a while). We always felt safe and had a great time.ReplyDelete
These shots remind me of how great Flint was when I was a boy.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the memories! Love the night shot. Wow!ReplyDelete
Anyone remember the Paris Candy shop/ soda fountain? That place smelled so good downtown that you could not walk by without stopping to look at the fudge display in the entrance windows. A dime would buy you something for the bus ride home. unclebuckReplyDelete
I just found a reference to my great grandparents stopping "in for a soda at the Paris Candy Shop." In the 1930's, after leaving The Palace Theater stage play put on by a local thespian group called 'The Wright Players.'Delete
Someone correct me if I am wrong...but there was only one Kewpee and that one is the place which is now Haloburger on Saginaw Street. There used to be a Haloburger on Harrison...(now part of U of M)ReplyDelete
This just in...my elderly mother says alot of Flint people still call Haloburger "Kewpee"...It all changed back in the 50's when Bill Thomas of Haloburger fame started his own business. Samuel Blair founded Kewpee's in Flint in 1923 and then sold franchises all over...(200 of them) There are less than 10 left...Lansing MI, Lima Ohio and Racine Wisconsin.
Dave Thomas (no relation to Bill) fashioned his Wendy's burgers from Sam's square burger.
KEWPEE had headquarters in Toledo. Now their headquarters are in Lima, adding two larger locations in addition to the small one downtown.Delete
My mom still calls it kewpie's. And somewhere on the site is a photo of the Kewpie sign from the Wisconsin franchise.ReplyDelete
Up through '67 we called it "Kewpies", even though the Halo switch had already taken place.ReplyDelete
(And a block south, block west, was "the A.")
When we would go to the YMCA to swim or play basketball, a stop at Kewpees on Harrison was part of the Saturday routine. Then to Shipacassi's (sp) next door past an entrance lane, for a carameled apple. Walk up to Saginaw near Court and get a Vernors float in a go container for the bus ride home. That Kewpees was the original. Later, the Vernors fountain store also became a Kewpees. This time period was in the mid to late forties. If there was another Kewpees, it was in Ohio. Bill Thomas bought the franchise in Flint and later started the HaloBurger spinoff franchise. The Wisconsin Kewpees would have came in the fifties or sixties I think. I used to shoot skeet with his brother. unclebuck.ReplyDelete
At the Harrison St. Kewpees there was a guy named Shelly who took the orders. He was a regular fixture there. He had a big booming voice and would always joke around with everybody. I liked how you just sat where there was a space, even if someone was already at the table. It was kind of like on a crowded bus only you're eating a killer oliveburger.ReplyDelete
Thanks for all the memories....Flint is a cool place with a lot of great people. Our families gave up everything and came to Flint to follow a dream of an auto industry that changed the world.ReplyDelete
When I was a kid my mom worked as a receptionist on the 16th floor of the Mott Foundation Bldg. Her office faced north, and I remember the magnificent views! School shopping was always done at Smith B's, Penneys and Sears, where clothing was put on "lay-away". Later (as a preteen)my friends and I would take the bus downtown to spend our babysitting money on records at Kresge's or eat lunch at the restaurant on the mezzanine at Smith B's. I feel very privileged to have gone to the Flint Public Schools during the 60's. Thanks to Charles Stewart Mott and others we were exposed to culture through numerous performances by various groups at my elementary school (Merrill), as well as having the opportunity to participate in community school classes, athletic events, etc. The teachers I had while attending Merrill, especially Miss Ellen Mullally, were my inspiration to pursue a teaching career. Thank you, Flint!ReplyDelete
Over the years, I am aware of two tenants that occupied the 16th floor of the Mott Foundation Building at various times, WFDF, whose transmitter was there from about 1930 to about 1940, and a Dr. Hauser, a dermatologist/surgeon, who was there probably in the late 1950s and early 1960s.ReplyDelete
Dr. William D. Knapp was my mom's employer. His offices were also on the 16th floor.Delete
I worked for Butterfield theatres. I was an usher at the Capitol, then made doorman in two weeks. Later I was assistant manager at the Capitol and then relief manager for all the managers on their days off at the Strand, Garden, Palace, Regent and Della. Later I was manager at the Della on Welch Boulevard.ReplyDelete
Bill, it's been awhile. Great to hear from you. Hope you are doing well.Delete
Somebody sent me all of these Flint pictures? The color Christmas downtown is great. I never had a good picture of the Flint buses. My book has 600,000 hits of Google and now it is back on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I want to do a hardback and add a few more chapters. Aren't you on the West coast? I have no idea of who sent me these wonderful pictures. And I can copy the ones I like. Most of my Hollywood friends have died including Christopher Jones. firstname.lastname@example.orgDelete
Bill, I'm in San Francisco. Tell me the name of your book again. Thanks.Delete
I used to go to the Capital and the Palace all the time! I remember when the 1st Beatles came out at the Palace; lines were around the block!ReplyDelete
Love these old places. They are disappearing fast, even the one that are still standing. But I say that as someone who rarely goes out the to the movies anymore, so I can't really complain.Delete