This week on Senior Voices, we meet 84-year old Connie Cole. Born in Minnesota and raised in Washington, DC, she came to the Dayton area in the early 1960s when her husband got a job at Wright-Patt. Together, they built a house and raised their three kids in a neighborhood called Saville in Riverside, where she’s lived ever since. Connie shared her memories with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer, Jason Coatney-Schuler.
Connie Cole (CC): Well, we build the house in an area that was brand new, so they were all young families just like us, and you know, like I was Boy Scout and Girl Scout leader, and for the Boy Scouts, you know, they all lived in the neighborhood, it was wonderful, I’d give my son a note and the teacher would announce it and save me all the calling and so forth, because they were all in the same school. That was nice.
Jason Coatney-Schuler (JCS): That’s great. Tell me a little bit about what downtown was like if you could remember that in the Sixties.
CC: Right, that used to be my treat. While my husband watched the children, I would take the bus downtown and just you know, there was a dime store down there, and I’d have lunch there, and then go to the Elder-Beerman, and what is now, I guess I think it was called Rike’s at the time, and there was one other, there were three large stores downtown, and that was my Saturday treat, to get away from the youngsters.
JCS: What is your favorite thing about living in Dayton?
CC: Let’s see, the favorite thing…there are just so many opportunities, I mean you know, I think that, looking back I enjoyed my little trips downtown, but my daughter and I have season to the opera, and we have a, I do water aerobics three times a week, we have a nice recreation center, and I just think they have opportunities for everything.
This interview was edited by Community Voices producer and Senior Voices project coordinator Jocelyn Robinson. Senior Voices is a collaboration between the Dayton Metro Library, Rebuilding Together Dayton, and WYSO. This series is made possible through the generous support of the Del Mar Healthcare Fund of the Dayton Foundation.