Share Your Memories of Downtown Topeka!

By Ralph Hipp

Had a good time, and enjoyed a very good lunch at Top of the Tower Thursday afternoon with the Westar Retirees. (Stephanie Ramos-Tomeoni also served as a guest speaker there recently.)  They enjoyed my program, and I sure liked hearing some of them talk about the way Downtown Topeka used to be.

Billy Ott and other friends at our table were swapping stories about how the streets downtown were filled with people almost every night, what with Wards, Sears and Pelletier's drawing enormous shopping crowds in the late 50s.  That was the nation's boom time, with our Kansas President in the White House during those "Happy Days."  I can see why DTI is big on "Cap City Thursdays" because that was the big night of the week in that era, too.  You could spend some money at the stores before the malls came along.  And everyone mentioned those HUGE cinnamon rolls at Poor Richard's which you could even get "two for the price of one."

Tell me more about downtown!  We'll share stories of the 50s and 60s for a while, as downtown Topeka re-creates itself again into a big place for Topekans to gather and shop at night.  If you're parents or grandparents remember lots about Topeka in the 50s but don't have a computer to write on our blog page, just help them out and share their stories for them.  Thanks!   Ralph

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