Mom’s Memories

Sometimes talking with elderly family members can yield lots of information that is confusing and difficult to figure out.  There are nuggets of really interesting information that can make the family history interesting; but, the places or times aren’t quite right.

I was talking with my mother some time ago, and she mentioned that back in the early 50’s she worked at “Kreskee’s” at 5th and Marquette in Minneapolis. After a little bit of searching and some memory work of my own, I figured out she worked at S. S. Kresge’s which was at 6th, and Nicollet (2 blocks away).  Kresge’s was known for it’s “donut counter” which is where my mother worked. At the time I was an infant staying with my grandmother up at Little Rock Lake. My mother would hitchhike to the city about 80 miles away. Work in the city during the week and then return on the weekends.

I can’t tell if it is the same building with a total facelift or if it is a new building.  I suspect it is the same building with a major facelift. I found it really interesting to learn that S.S. Kresge was the predecessor of K-Mart. Some of the Kresge stores became “Jupiter Discount Stores” and others converted to K-Mart. I guess I had thought Kresge had just vanished.
She also worked at Woolworths in St. Cloud (which apparently no longer exists). I need to do some more research on it.
She mentioned working at a restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. She remembered that it was a long and deep restaurant next door on the right of the movie theater. She said she couldn’t remember the name of either the theater or the restaurant.  In follow-up discussions with her, she recalled that the theater was on the left as you headed towards the river, was at about 4th and Hennepin.  A bit of research and I figured that it must have been the Palace Theater. I found a photo of the Palace Theater but can’t quite make out the name of the restaurant. It appears that the theater and the restaurant were torn down about 1953, “to make way for a parking lot.”
Surprisingly the Brass Rail is still there, and the parking lot is there today.
Beyond it, you can see the “Gay 90s.”  I mentioned it as potentially being the restaurant she worked at, but she indicated that wasn’t it.
She didn’t work at Kresge’s or that restaurant long, but she did work to earn money to support me, even if it meant being absent for a while. I am really proud of her and the efforts she took.

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