My personal photos and newspaper stories

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My personal photos and newspaper stories

Photos that I took; articles and stories that I researched and found

A&P photo below, the cars of Charlie Curtis (1960 Ford), Midgemargaret Germaine, and Gary can be seen in the above photo of where the Waterstraats worked at Stephenson and 12
Mile roads.

Before 3 Waterstraat girls started working at this store, A&P was the second largest company in the world in sales behind General Motors, and the largest retailer in the world with 4 billion dollars in sales.

This store was in Madison Heights, Michigan. Accross the street was St. Dennis church, which stopped this store from selling alcohol, another reason for contributing to this store's demise. In 1964, Stephenson highway was widened, so the road construction all year long also kept away a lot of customers.

In the same mall, was Mac's party store, which did sell alcohol and next door was the cleaners, where Jimmy did the cleaning and the pretty girls: Suzie Angove(hot!), Sue Boynton (beautiful blonde from California-never wore the same clothes twice, went to Kimball high school), Joy(lived in the trailer park accross Stephenson, never a nicer girl, went back with Stan after the Waterstraat girl took me), and the Travinakar daughter all worked.

Charlie Curtis, who lived in Berkeley, was the store manager, and Carl Speck was the assistant store manager. Charlie had Christmas parties for all of his employees either at his house, or at Pampa's in Clawson. An employee had to always be alert when Charlie's black ford was in the parking lot, or when he was walking thru the store(Charlie never caught any employee doing anything wrong because he whistled when he walked, giving warning to all those he was trying to sneak up on. Charlie always took his vacation the first week of deer season, and Carl Speck had to take off the second week of deer season.

Our favorite truck driver who brought in fresh deliveries each Tuesday and Friday nites, was Ross. Ross was a teamster, and was once a Japanese prisoner of war. The stories he told of the torture to american troops is why we still do not buy anything made in Japan to this day.

Besides the 3 Waterstraat girls, other employees at this store were:
Midgemargaret Germaine - cute mother of 3,
Gerri Lamb-asst head cashier,liked flea markets
Earl -wore glasses, head of stock, Harrison,Mich.
Helen - bakery attended St. Dennis
Arlene - head cashier large woman with glasses
Anne - old
Evelyn - tall and skinny
Alwina -blonde and glasses-lived with Waterstraats
Shirley - skinny and glasses
Marlene - could easily yell at you
Ed - in produce, later worked in Utica
Ken - in produce, ate a lot of lettuce
Robert - in produce
Al - head of night stock
Harold - in night stock
Harry - meat manager
Dave - part time wore glasses
Chuck Valuet - lasted 2 weeks
Mike Lopez - Malteze
Bob Obee
Orrin Pease - big guy
Tom Collins - glasses
Ron - also worked at Bob and Robs
Bruce - another big guy, who liked a Waterstraat

I started working for $1.10 an hour, evenually got .52 as a cashier.
I can never forget drinking egg nog in Charlie Curtis' basement christmas party and dancing with Midgemargaret Germaine, she was unhappy in her marraige and later divorced. She lived on Townly, was 15 years older than me, drove a 62 black mercury, 5' 2" tall with dark hair and glasses, always a smile for me, a wonderful girl.

Doing price changes every Saturday, drinking egg nog in the cooler, doing night stock in the summer with a Waterstraat girl visiting me alone at the store.
Taking our breaks in the employees lounge drinking coffee in those green cups, mopping up spills, sweeping up on Friday nites, watermelon bags, going to cashier school to learn those Swedish cash registers, coming in early on Saturday mornings to do the bakery, getting tips in the parking lot, unloading produce trucks on Saturday mornings, watching Charlie Curtis get yelled at each Saturday morning when the district manager came in each week, and changing the window whats on sale signs each Saturday nite.
When I quit A&P, I was told I had to pay the initiation fees for the union, at the current rate, which was about .00 at the time I quit. When I started working at A&P, the initiation fees were only .00, which I paid, but I was told I had to pay an additional .00 because when you quit, you must have paid the initiation fees at the current rate. I didnt pay. So they would not let me quit. Each month I was billed for the monthly union dues since the union would not let me quit until I paid off the initatition fees of .00. Finally, after 4 months, I was kicked out of the union for not paying the monthly union dues. I was then told that if I came back to A&P, or any other RCIA union, I would be billed for the still unpaid .00 intiation fees, plus another 4 months of union dues for the time after I quit A&P that I also didnt pay.

This store was also the scene of a night time burglary, the burglers got in thru an air vent on top of the roof. The Madison Heights police were alerted to the burglery by on of the accomplices that decided not to be in on the burglery. The police chief of Madison Heights police, arrived at the scene, and kept 10 other police cars at bay until he himself entered the store by breaking the plate glass window in front, then jumping in with his fully automatic machine gun. Charlie Curtis wanted to let him in the door with a key, but the chief wanted to jump thru the window instead. He unloaded an entire magazine in the store, breaking a cash register, the drinking fountain, and putting several holes in the ceiling. The burglers were unarmed and just ducked down in the cash cage when the firing started.

January 18, 1965, 5:00pm, register No. 5.

1947. Burned out Waterstraat home in Madison Heights. I obtained this photo from the Daily Tribune.

I obtained this front page story from the Daily Tribune.

A&P store #55 in Madison Heights, Michigan, 1965. (Detailed Info posted above)

Alibi Lounge on Van Dyke and 14 mile road

Comedy Castle, every Friday nite

Birthplace of Amogene Waterstraat - I took this photo in March 2000
Lauren from Iowa.
Candlepin bowling alley in Windsor, Ontario, just 3 blocks from Shania Twain's childhood home. "I've seen (we call it Canadian bowling) on tv. I don't think I want to try it. Lisa says it really screws you up when you "bowl normally"."
"Thank you for taking me to see Alan Jackson. It was terrific. I had a really good time."
Bob Zany, our favorite comedian at the comedy castle in Royal Oak
1966, 1967, 1968 February dates at the Detroit Sportsman's Show in Olympia Stadium, hosted by John Brommfield. Victor the Wrestling Bear, water show, archery show, dog show, lumberjack show, trapeze act, and a souvenier cat picture. A video of Victor the Wrestling Bear, can be linked to here: , or else go directly to the URL of the video: I finally personally wrestled Victor the Bear, at the Detroit Sportsmans Outdoorrama in 1989 at the Silverdome
"To Gary, your friend, Velma (Waterstraat)" sent to me with Christmas card and letter, dated: December 19, 1971