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Portage County Farmers Market

Stevens Point Memories

By Portage County Business Council

Originally published by the Stevens Point City Times

Back in the day, Stevens Point had it all. Let’s face it. Our fair city rocked! My goodness.

Do you remember… The awesome pizza at Mickey’s? The $1.25 pitchers of beer served in orange juice containers at Pete Marsh’s Big Moon Saloon across from Butters? Tons of peanut shells on the floor at the Upper Wisconsin River Yacht Club and Ted Nugent talking mallard hunting with Ray Smith? The immensely popular barbecues at the old Unique Bar across from the Point Journal? Major Eddy standing on the stage of the Fox Theatre giving away pogo sticks to the lucky winners? Nineteen cent burgers from Robby’s? Those great gyros at S&J’s Palace downtown a few buildings from Osco Drugs? The terrific french fries from Judd’s? Bands playing at the River City Diner? Friday night dances at the American Legion? Governor Bill Clinton giving a speech at the Legion? Weddings to crash every Saturday at Wildwood Gardens? Chicken dinners and root beer floats at the A&W root beer stand (Reber’s and Tess’ Twist)? Dan’s Ice Cream Parlor and the Town Clown? Many different varieties of ice cream at the “Clown”. …

All of those wonderful places are no more. But it never hurts to remember them. They were a big part of this area’s history.

Then there were great sales at Osco. Herbie and George worked there. Do you recall the Lyric Theatre? Sitting on a stool and sipping on a phosphate soda at “Westy’s”? Sitting at the counter at Woolworth’s and being waited on by the fun-loving waitress Elanor? Going into the Dewey Bar and seeing “Spit In The Ocean”? Or seeing singer Dave Dudley in the Dewey?Buying “45” records at Graham-Lane and sitting in a booth and playing them first (My first record was “The Wanderer” by Dion & the Belmonts)? Great spaghetti at Aldo’s — cheese curds, too! Awesome beer-battered chicken baskets at Archie’s Cocktail Lounge? Terrific fish fries at Frank & Ernie’s where Dave Schelke and Chris Chiapuzio were shaking dice? Sixties night at the Flame? Polkas on Sundays at the Ritz? So many great treats at the Point Bakery next to the Ritz? Disco at the Outer Limits?

Where the hell did everything go?

Or those awesome char-burgers at the Office? Or shaking 6-5-4 with Romie at Romie’s Rendezvous? Or softball leagues at Iverson? Or the watermelons left outside overnight at Northside IGA and the A&P? Red Owl and Piggly Wiggly? Rotisserie chicken spinning in the bay window of the Loop Bar downtown? Buying a baseball bat at the One-Stop Sport Shop? Garber’s Warehouse? Eddie Meshak and Donny Garski bar-tending everywhere? Fantasy Football drafts at the Dewey started by Billy Opiola, Gil Molski, Ed McCann and Gary Bogie? The Jacksonville Jaguars training here in ‘95? Summer playgrounds at the local schools like Lincoln and Garfield? The New Orleans Saints playing the Packers at Goerke? Tom Razner and Rick Reichardt lighting it up in hoops at PJs?

Man, there was a lot of fun stuff to see and do! Swimming at Iverson; playing on the docks and rafts at Mead and Bukolt and goofing around with the lifeguards; getting all the chicken you could eat at Country Kitchen; Marc’s Big Boy; the Pourhaus and Brat Barn; Rudnick’s; Cigel’s; “Minnow” delivering pizza; helicopters dropping balloons with prizes; free beer tomorrow; McClellan’s 5&10; Chartiers; Overlook; Big Ern’s hot beefs at Wanta’s; Monkey Wards; Aldo’s; Jay-Dee’s Bowl; “Ducko’s” Dock; Richard’s Drive-In; Country Spa; Vietnam protests at Nelson Hall; the Milwaukee Braves on the radio with Earl Gillespie; Hot-N-Now; Dave’s True-Value; Ma’s Backstreet Pub; Softball tournaments at St. Pete’s (Paulo Pavelski was the first “LVP”); Westgate; 1st National Bank; Citizen’s; Merkel’s Sewing Center; Toyland (where you could buy a Hartland figurine of Willie Mays in the original box for $1.98); Dreyfus Lake; and on and on.

Was it Dean Martin who sang “Memories”? Or maybe Elvis? Well, I sure got a lot of them when it comes to Stevens Point. And I bet you do, too.