Saturday, September 20, 2008

Anthony Wayne Bank - That's MY Bank

Anthony Wayne Bank and Office Building
East Berry at Clinton Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46801

Photo: Virgil V. Marquart
(Approximate date of postcard - 1950's)


There was a career path that existed in Fort Wayne in the 80's.

Let me rewind and tell you how it went.

During high school, if you wanted a part-time job, one of your options (if you were lucky) was to work at Scott's or Rogers.

If you worked at Scott's or Rogers in high school, you started out as a cashier and if you were extremely lucky (aka - you kissed enough butt and you were good at what you did) you might just MIGHT have the opportunity to work in the "office" area.

The office was actually the spot where you took care of customers - cashing their payroll check, dispensing stamps, taking their utility bill payments. You also checked cashiers in and out, offered feedback to the head cashier about the people on the floor, and generally, you got to wreak havoc with peoples schedules (if you so desired).

The only time one of those coveted spots ever opened up (and mind you - they were only part-time) was if someone left. And people didn't leave unless they climbed to the next level of their career - a job as a bank teller at Lincoln National, Fort Wayne National, or Anthony Wayne Bank.

If you thought it was difficult getting a position at Scott's or Rogers, the jobs at the banks were nearly impossible. Usually, you had to be good friends with someone who already worked there or your parents had to be good friends with someone who was "someone" at the bank.

In 1985, I decided to apply for an opening at Anthony Wayne Bank. How did I know about it? I read about it in the Journal Gazette. There was a very modest sized ad in the help wanted area. Anthony Wayne Bank was looking for experienced cashiers to fill a part-time role in their downtown branch.

Downtown was always neat - but scary to me. Crowded...difficult to find a parking spot. The important types worked downtown. I wasn't sure that I would fit in. I sent in a resume and within two weeks, I was called by Human Resources. Could I come downtown for an interview and to complete the "required testing". Of course I could! I made sure to have my resume printed out on the nice, heavy, lightly colored parchment-type paper (3 copies - just in case) and I made sure that I took the day off from work and school so that everything could be perfect for my trip downtown.

I know exactly what I was wearing for my interview. I had on a just-below-the-knee, navy blue skirt (because everybody knows - navy blue is the color to wear to interviews), a nicely pressed white blouse with a feminine collar (and it complemented my face), and the icing on the cake was my blue patterned bow which brought my whole look together.

Side note: those of you who weren't my age in this era - no fair if you laugh. Believe me, you'll look back at what you were wearing when you were 18-19 and you will wonder...what the?!?!

The testing was SO easy. Let's see, I had to show I could add and subtract and divide and multiply. Woo Hoo! I also had to complete an application (which was four pages long) and which seemed to ask for the exact same information that my resume provided. 

Side Note: Anyone else ever annoyed at how redundant all HR processes are?!

After the testing, I was ushered into a "waiting" room and I sat there for a good 30 minutes. HR came out, called me into one of their nice, windowed offices and just like that - they went into their list of questions.

Of course I was very charming but business-like and I could tell that the HR chick thought I was all that and a bag of chips.

Hmmmm.....I bet I had that job in the bag....

But no - she called me early afternoon and asked if I would be interested in a full-time teller position at one of their Freedom Branches (aka banks located in department stores). I calmly, but excitedly said YES! And the next day, I put on a similar interview outfit and made my way out to the Parkwest Shopping Center. Inside Heck's Department Store, I met up with the manager of that branch - Gloria.

Gloria was blond, pencil thin, harsh-looking, smoked like a chimney, and had one of those raspy voices. She wasn't very personable. In fact, I didn't think our interview went well at all. She was very monotone and offered me no feedback as she went through her list of questions.

An hour later though, I was offered the position.

I nabbed my first, full-time job and it was at Anthony Wayne Bank. The hours were squirly. I worked 11 am - 7:30 pm, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday; 2:30 pm -7:30 pm on Friday, and 8 am - 5 pm on Saturday. (Psssst....anything over 35 hours was considered "full time")

My starting salary was $16,100. I thought I was RICH.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mr. Long, the President's Physical Fitness Award, Gym, Square Dancing

Indian Village Elementary School
3835 Wenonah Lane
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46809

School Gymnasium
May 23, 2008

Photo by KFH

When I went home in May, I was lucky enough to be treated to a tour of my grade school, Indian Village Elementary.

I don't care what anyone says. Every place has a certain smell and my elementary school is no exception. The moment, I stepped inside those doors, I was immediately flooded with memories.

Yep - one whiff - and there I was.

While I was receiving my tour, the 5th grade was "graduating" in the school's gymnasium which is why you will see the remenants of celebratory items in some of my pictures.

Take for example - this thing.

This is a thing of torture - brought to you by our famous gym teacher, Mr. Long. It was always - and I mean always - the thing we could never avoid - especially if we wanted that President's Physical Fitness Award.

Side note: I really wish I had a picture of Mr. Long. I'm not going to do justice in describing him.

He had jet black hair...whistle, always around his neck. He wore blue-ish polyester-ish pants that always came up pretty high on his waist. He wore a polo-like shirt and white gym shoes. I'm not sure where he is today - retired I hope!

Oh and by the way - every year, I was one of those kids who received a President's Physical Fitness Award. Every kid who scored enough points received a certificate and official recognition in the auditorium (aka the gymnasium, aka the cafeteria).

Girls, you remember those light blue striped jumpers that we had to wear? Gosh - wish I had a picture of that...

And then - I swear - these are the exact, same, floor mats that were used when I went to this school. They smell the same. And for the record, I did not purposely sniff the mats - they just emitted a scent of sweat - 30 + years of sweat.

These look like the mats that Mr. Long would put under the balance beam or the horse. sigh I feel old thinkin' about gym at Indian Village Elementary.

I learned how to play kick ball here, tumble down a row of mats, balance on the "beam", jump over the horse, scooter my way down to one end to pick up the bean bag squares (and back), how to play basketball, what relay races were, and best of all - I learned how to square dance here.

That's right - square dancing.

You all remember? It was one of the first times that we were paired up with someone of the opposite sex. And better yet - we had to hold hands with them! My typical partners were (because I was so tall) - Errol Stech, Rodney Ryder, and also Barry Bender (he was a grade ahead of me).

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Rogers Friendly Markets

So - Rogers Friendly Markets - 'memba them? Not sure which year this ad is from but almost everything on the page looks familiar.

The milk cartoon - the light blue and white stripes - almost like I can reach out and touch 'em.

Old South Orange Juice - they still make that stuff?

And what year did they drop the "Posh" from "Puffs"?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ads from Fort Wayne's Past

Thursday, September 4, 2008

1973: Tragedy on Sandhill

Photo from ACPL CONTENTdm also found in the Journal Gazette, Sunday, April 15, 1973, Page 1A

I've shown you this map before. It's a map of my neighborhood and then some of the names of the families that lived in it during the time I was growing up there.

As I've mentioned in another blog entry, the kids in this neighborhood - well we spent the majority of our time outside. Nature was our playground. The ditches - the trees - the fields - and all other undiscovered territories were ours for the taking.

Something that may have been unique to our neighborhood - I'm not sure. Because each family had a ton of kids, the lines that separated who 'played' with whom was quite blurred. So in other words, I may have been in first grade, but it was socially acceptable for me to hang out with the fourth and fifth graders as long as I wasn't the only first grader in the bunch.

And that's because usually the fourth and fifth graders had younger brothers and sisters which they were obliged to entertain/keep an eye on so we were always in close proximity to one another during play time.

Another factor was that in the early 70's, we all went to the same school - Indian Village Elementary. For a period of time, it was K thru 6th grade, and we all rode the same school bus together.

In April 1973, we all had ants in our pants. We wanted Spring to arrive and the weather had been doing its usual Indiana thing. One day, it would be in the 30's and 40's, the next day it would hit the mid 60's. Once though it made it past 45 degrees, the kids in our neighborhood - well let's just say we were pretty famous for dumping our jackets and coats into a pile once out of the view of our parents. We didn't worry - they'd be in that stack before we returned home. Not like anyone was going to steal a jacket!

Friday, April 6 was a beaaaaaaaaaautiful day. I think it hit the mid 60's and when the bus let us off at our stop that afternoon, we were all about the weekend and playtime.

After walking through the door, kissing my mom hello and dropping off school related stuff, I immediately ran to the garage to pull out my light green, banana-seated bike with its tassels on the bars and the basket in the front. Where was I off to? I was meeting up with some of the kids at the corner of Cedar Crest and Pinecrest. We had some new, undiscovered territory to be charting.

There were mountains behind the houses on North Cedar Crest. Well, they looked like mountains to us. And not only were they great for climbing but they were also great for digging purposes. You could hide things in unusual places. You could even pretend to be an explorer, sandblasting a hidden cave, and finding a treasure that would make you really really rich. (Rich enough that you could buy Andy's gas station grocery store and you could eat all of the free candy you wanted.)

Delores Brouse who lived on Pinecrest was dubbed 'cool' for two reasons. First, she lived right next to one of the ditches and as I mentioned before - that automatically elevated your status in the neighborhood. Second, she was the resident expert about the mountains behind North Cedar Crest. Her dad worked for some construction place (later I found out it was Earth Construction and Engineering located on Engle Road) which was back in that same area, moving the piles of dirt around so that new buildings could be up.

So on that Friday, April 6, about a dozen of us kids set out to the "mountains". Our mission? It wasn't clear initially but within the first ten minutes of being up there, someone threw out the idea of building a 'fort'.

Forts are kind of a big deal to kids. We built them in our bedrooms with blankets and comforters hanging over chairs and tables...we used our toys to stack up walls of protection...I think you get the drift.

So on this fort thing - it wasn't an organized - everyone do a job and create one fort. We broke into smaller groups (without thinking about it), and we proceeded to do our own things. It was a ton of fun. The dirt that made up the mountains was pretty different from the dirt in our own backyard. In our backyard, dirt was pretty hard - and clay like. This dirt was more sandy but had enough strength that we could make it pack together.

When I went home that night, my dad was pissed at me. And he even yelled at my mom. I was dirty, but that wasn't the issue. He was angry that I was up in the "Sand Hill" area. He said it was too dangerous and I was not to go up there again. I even got the belt that night.

Some other kids must have gotten in trouble too because attendance (so I heard) at Saturday's festivities, dropped off. I remember riding my bike with Colleen Wooden, around the circle (i.e. Cedar Crest, Pine Crest, Cedar Crest) and wondering if there was any possible way we'd get in trouble if we just sat in the back yard of of one of the kids who had a house that butted up against the mountain area.

But, we were soon distracted and we ended up hanging out with the Beckstedt boys, playing in their ditch (they also owned prime real estate!).

And soon the whole mountain thing passed from my brain because one thing that I did not do was cross my father (on purpose).

A week later, on Saturday, April 14, there was a knock on our door. A policeman and two neighbors came into our house and I don't think that I've ever been so scared in my life. All I could think of was that I was under arrest (but for what - I wasn't sure). It was cartoon day - that really messes with your brain when someone like a policeman is standing in front of Scooby Doo.

They went in another room with my parents. I couldn't quite make out what was said. But then, I was called in.

insert dramatic music.

My mom, who looked as white as a ghost, called me over.

Kris. You aren't in any trouble. The police are going from house to house in the neighborhood to talk to the kids who played with Delores Brouse up on Sandhill over the past couple of weeks.

I think all of the blood drained out of my body.

They have some questions - can you just answer them. You aren't in trouble. It's important you tell them everything you know and don't worry about being in trouble with me and dad.

Well gee - I better not get in trouble because I had not been back to the mountains since the belt!

So the policeman asked me questions like - what did we do when we were up there? We were building forts. And did I know the location of the forts? Yes, they were up in the mountains. Sorry, I just thought that was funny...adults can be so confusing to kids. He specifically wanted to know - did I know which fort Delores had been working on and where it was located on the mountains?

I did and I drew them my own version of the map. Delores and her 'team' had the more elaborate fort. I think that is because they were "older" and had more experience at this fort building thing.

After my map, my dad and I and the policeman and one of the neighbor men, rode over to the moutain area. There were fire trucks and bulldozers and lots of other things that I'd never seen before. Neighbors, kids, policeman, fireman, other folks were there - tons of people.

It seems that we were all confirming (the kids involved), where the fort was. And why did anyone care? I guess that Delores was missing.

Missing? The first thing I said was, maybe she went home to go to the bathroom. That just tells you how naive I was.

My dad took me home and my Saturday went on, pretty much as normal but me and my sister were not allowed to go outside. My mother thought that it was too chaotic.

Later that day (around supper time), the Davis's (they lived next door to the Brouse's), came over and told us that Delores had been found. She was dead. She had been up on the mountains, playing with two other kids and because the dirt was so sandy, it had collapsed and she had fallen into an area that was hollowed out from fort building. Dirt covered her and she suffocated. She could not get out. They say she had tried, but she couldn't gain enough traction.

Delores Irene Brouse was 12 years old and in fifth grade at Indian Village Elementary School.

It was the first major death in my life that I ever had to deal with. For several nights, I would wake-up, trying to catch my breath because I was dreaming that I was suffocating.

When I went back to Fort Wayne in May, I went by the area - the first time ever - and thought back through the events of April 1973. The area is well developed with tons of roads and established businesses. It wasn't difficult though, for me to look down at the houses on North Cedar Crest and then to quickly visualize where our mountains were and where specifically the forts were built.

I was sad, of course, but then, I thought about how thankful I was that my dad did what he did. Not that I advocate the use of a belt :) but he got his point across to me. And literally, it probably saved my life.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Glenbrook Center - We Build Highways For You and Route 30 Sucks

So when I was at the library last week, I was specifically looking for my birth announcement (cause you know - I wanted to make sure that it really happened like my parents said it did ;)).

As I flipped through reels and reels of microfilm, I stumbled upon this advertisement (October 1966) which just made me giggle.

Whomever wrote this - my hat is off to you. There's nothing like truth in advertising....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

September 1983 - The City Spins Around

My parents split up near the end of 7th grade. It had been coming for awhile, we could all feel it. And divorces in 1979 were getting to be quite popular so it's not like we were any more or less special than the next family.

Unfortunately, the next four years of my life were some of the worst I ever experienced. Or maybe I should say - the worst that those around me ever experienced.

I didn't know how to deal with the split up of my parents. I was the first born - the responsible one. But also the one who was to blame. Or so I was told (over and over again).

During 1982 and 1983, I attended five high schools. One of them twice. I was shipped from one parent to another - from one relative to another. No one knew what to do with me. I had closed up on the inside and I couldn't express what was going on internally. I was frozen from the inside out.

And then, one tragic, awful situation, unleashed the anger and sadness and betrayal that lived inside of me.

I didn't know the Osbornes. I don't even recall reading anything with Dan Osborne's name on it.

It was all over the news. The paper. The television. It was all anyone could talk about. Me, I didn't want to talk about it. I wanted people to stop talking about it. It was annoying. Wasn't there anything else to talk about?

And then one day, I saw a picture of her - Caroline Osborne - only for a few seconds. The news articles - the television reports - all of the details came flooding at me at once.

Caroline was 2.
Caroline was sexually assaulted.
Caroline was meant to die.
Caroline wandered around her home for two days - seeing her dead family and not understanding.

And after not being able to display emotions for what seemed like years, I broke down. I don't mean cried - I mean for four hours, my body shook and trembled like never before (and as I type this, the memories are right there - so close to the surface).

I was so angry.

At God. I hated him with every bit of life inside of me. He was cruel and mean and I would never forgive him for all of this bad stuff - my parents, me, Caroline Osborne, her family. He was no God of mine. I had been a hypocrite for so many years. Just pray. Just believe. Yeah. Right. And watch the evil world win because that's how it works. You get to be dumb and stupid and a believer while everyone else is winning.

At my mom. She ran away - she didn't defend us. She didn't protect me. She lied to me. Many times. I trusted her. She hijacked my trust and left me feeling like I had no one.

At my dad. He couldn't keep it together. He had to blame a 12 year old kid for his failures. He couldn't control his anger. He was a coward. He abandoned his family.

At my friends. They didn't understand me. They didn't want to see me for me - they only wanted to see me for what I had been before. Smart. Strong. The leader.

I needed someone. I had no one. In many ways, I felt like little Caroline Osborne...wandering around, battered, bruised, confused, but too naive to understand how the situation came to be. And all I wanted was for everything to be the way it was before it got all messed up. I wanted my life back. I wanted my family back. I wanted my neighborhood back. I wanted my friends back. I wanted some semblence of normalacy and happiness back.

Only, it was never going to happen. Nothing was reversible. I was 16 - and the world sucked in a way that made me not want to live. The pain just seemed to be endless. I wasn't sure how I was going to make it another day.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fort Wayne Yearbook Pictures

FYI - I've been posting pictures from (Fort Wayne yearbooks) into my flickr account. If you see somebody you know - they're on my list to write about here.

Also, I copied a couple of pictures from Central Catholic and Central High School and they are posted in the same spot. My mom went to Central Catholic (1963-1965) and my grandpa went to Central (1938-1940). They're group photos so you might find a parent or other relative hidden within one. If you do - let me know!

Movies - Inside and Outside - 1976

I believe this is from the July 1976 newspaper. I pulled it out for all of you old folks who remember that Fort Wayne used to have multiple movie theaters that weren't located just in two places (i.e. Jefferson Pointe and Pine Valley).

Theaters listed:
Holiday 1 & 2
Rialto (yeah baby!)
Fort Wayne/Bluffton Road Drive-In
Hillcrest Drive-In
Lincolndale Drive-In
East 30 Drive-In

As my husband commented, the movies playing at the Hillcrest Drive-In were nothing but a bunch of T&A.

I, of course, remember my parents dragging us to stuff like this (in our great ole big green van which had curtains separating the front seats from the back area). When the tits came flying out, usually the curtains were closed and we were expected to be "sleeping".

Uh huh. Right. We were sleeping.

And don't forget to notice the ads for the Moonraker, the Wharf, and Hacienda.