by Frances Edstrom

How could I have forgotten Ruth's Restaurant in my list of former Winona restaurants? All the grilled cheese sandwiches I ate there, the way they went right to my hips! And I left them off the list. I was reminded of that by Steve Slaggie.

Also heard from Donna Loth, who thought of The Chef, which was somewhere near Baker's Shoes, the Dairy Bar, owned by Roy and Beulah Christenson (Steve fondly remembered the homemade blueberry pie), and the Kewpie, across from Angst. Also, the Sweet Shop, and Harry and Millie's Brite Spot on Jackson Street (a welcome respite from the CST dining room for me, too) came to Donna's mind.

Evelyn remembered some of the same, plus Goodie's Corner Cafe.

Steve remembered Hogan's Hamburger Hogan, across the alley from Haddad's (now Leaf's Cleaners), plus Sambo's, Mr. T's, and Hub Zeches' Milwaukee Hotel. He also reminded me that Ruth's was subsequently called Ordell's.

Then I remembered Shakey's, Cousins, and whatever that place on Huff by the tracks was called where they sold Chicago Hot Dogs. Also, who remembers the guy who had the hot dog wagon downtown on Third Street, and the place that opened in the Plaza kiosk (now gone) that sold stuffed baked potatoes?

Keep ‘em coming!

I got a visit last week from Roger Lacher, who proposed a display for our front window down here on Second Street. Knowing Roger as an inveterate collector, I wondered what he had in mind.

Well, apparently, he's been cleaning, and this proposal was a win-win situation. He gets rid of some stuff and frees up storage space, and we get a display that's almost museum quality, depending on your idea of what a museum should be.

Drop down and take a look. Believe me, there are some rather arcane tools there. We have log pikes, fish spears, traps, old blacksmith tools, a dog cart, and even a skunk skin, which would make a rather unique coat collar. Maybe I can make a deal with Roger. Wouldn't that surprise my relatives back in Massachusetts, where skunks were about the only wildlife we saw in the Boston suburbs.

Along with R.D. Cone's Antiques on one side of us, and the vast collection of stuff at the Consignment Shoppe on the other side, Second Street is getting to be prime window shopping real estate.

Quite a while ago, Roger did a story for us on a rather unusual job he had taken on. If I remember correctly, the county was set to embark on a recycling program, and first wanted to do a "study" of what sorts of things people were most likely to throw in the trash to be taken to the landfill.

The county hired a bunch of people with strong stomachs, including Roger, dressed them up in moon suits and had them catalogue the trash of their fellow Winonans. Yuck!

Since Roger wrote about that experience for the Winona Post, I've had a new respect for him. Formerly, I thought he was only a rather poetic fellow who loved the outdoors, fishing, hunting, and such, and didn't mind living at the end of nowhere down in Wiscoy Valley.

But trash inspector! Now you don't meet a guy like that every day. That's what I love about Winona, all I have to do is sit in my office, and I get to meet some of the most fascinating people in the world.


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