— American Hatters and Tailors. It was on Vermilion, near the Palace Theater. They did tailoring, hat blocking, and shoe shines. Scotty Lillard was the king of the shoeshine men. The customers sat on high chairs with their feet perched on brass stands. Scotty would pound his left foot, then his right as he brushed away. During the buffing phase, he’d snap the rag and make it pop. He was an artist.
— Gildersleeve’s, 129 E. Main St. My brother and I loved to play Army. Our favorite store was Gildersleeve’s, which sold World War II surplus. Dad bought us real Army helmet liners to wear, G.I.-issue musette bags, surplus sergeant’s stripes and First Cavalry shoulder patches. I had an Army hatchet, and an entrenching shovel with “U.S.” printed on the green canvas sheath.
The old Elks Club, the Fischer, Woodbury’s, the Card Cottage, the Nook, the Temple Building, Walgreen’s, Bill Vogt’s; Carson, Pirie, Scott; Meis Brothers, the Palmer Bank thermometer, Gerry’s, Hank’s, the county jail, the Illinois Power smokestack, the Plaza, the Grier-Lincoln, the Saratoga, the Wolford …
I could go on and on. Remember when?
Danville native Kevin Cullen is a former Commercial-News reporter. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.