I had the unique opportunity of being raised in a unique city called Highland Park.  I was born in 1955 and I would spend the next twenty years of my life in this small city that is almost totally surrounded by Detroit.   This blog is sharing some of my memories of growing up in Highland Park, Michigan.

45 thoughts on “About

    • Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I do enjoy writing about my growing up years in Highland Park. I wouldn’t be interested in the yearbooks, but thanks for the offer.

  1. I also Grew up in Highland Park. I went to Catholic school for 12 years, married there and had two children at Highland Park General Hospital on Glendale. My mother worked there for many years in the Kitchen. I appreciated your photo and I believe that on the right is the old Sears store.

  2. I just LOVE your blog…so many memories as I am also a Highland Parker from the late 60’s -to early 80’s…living on Ferris…2 houses from Samhat gas station…attended St Bens grade school from 69-76..(st-8th grade)…many trips into H & R’s and “Izzies” across from there…Izzie let us have a “tab” when mom was a little short on funds…as did Samhat Gas…the one pic in the alley was close to our garage…and many kick the can went on in the alleys and water balloon fights…and I remember all the Hollyhock flowers and bees…many many great memories…keep up the blog..Thanks

    • Thanks for reading my blog. I do know where you lived. Mom always bought her gas at Samhat. I also know a lot of people who lived near Oakland, including the Stites, the Yahees (sp?”) the Sarkalas. I do hope to write about Izzie sometime in the future. Thanks also for the encouraging words. I do hope to continue to write about my memories of Highland Park.

  3. I too remember Izzies market and H&R. Harold and Rupee are both gone. The ironic part about Harold was, when I moved out to Sterling Heights, his daughter was my next door neighbor. My mom always bought her weekly meat from Izzie, he was a very nice man and always very friendly to all the families that came in his store. The lady that worked for him had a son and he went to St. Bens also. I graduated from St. Bens, first thru 12 for me. Angela the gal that wrote on your blog, was my mothers neighbor on Ferris. And Samhat’s was well known by my family. Before my family moved to Ferris, we lived on Gerald and then when the urban renewal came thru the city bought our houses and tore them down and rebuilt new ones. I lived across the street from the Hamzey family and when I lived on Gerald growing up one of our next door neighbor was Mrs. Booth and she had a Daughter and and son. Martha and Jack.

    • Hello June,

      Thanks for your comments to my post about H&R’S. I do hope to write about Izzie sometime in the future. I do remember the lady who worked the grocery side of Izzie’s store. I believed she also worked for Jackson when he owned the store. | Also, my sister’s best friend was Sue Hamzey. I saw her and her brother at my nephew’s wedding about a year ago. As for the Mrs. Booth on Gerald, I don’t think she is any relation to us. I do also remember when the urban renewal came to Gerald. I had a friend who lived in one of the new houses and we would play football at Storen Park. Also, if you could help me, I would like to write about the Pure Gas Station on Oakland Ave. I know that Samhat owned this. I think he also sold tires in a building on the south side of Ferris. I remember the man who attended the pumps as being a man with a short type of crewcut and wore glasses, but I don’t remember what Samhat looked like. Could you give me a description. Again thanks for writing, I am always glad to hear from fellow Parkers.

      Sincerely, Mark Booth


  4. Very interesting blog! I attended Angell School in 1955, and I cant find any information as to where it was located in Highland Park. I Do remember that we lived across the street from a factory in an apartment building, and that the school was a few blacks away. Would you know where that school was located?



    • Angell school was located on old Cottage Grove, the 300 block,which was between Brush and Oakland Avenue. The street only ran East of Woodward for 3 blocks.

      • Hello. I went to Angell School in 1955. We lived in an apartment building on Manchester and Brush. (I’m 95% sure looking at the map today). I remember walking about a block or so to school. As I look at the map today, I see no Cottage Grove. Would that have been close to Oakland?

      • By the way, my mom was taking nursing training at some hospital close by on Woodward Ave as I recall. Does anyone know what hospital that would have been?

    • I don’t think Angell School was on Cottage Grove St., unless Gerald St. changed names between the 1940s and the 1950s (and then back again between then and now). The school was between Brush and Oakland as Daniel says, but Cottage Grove St. isn’t between those two streets; it’s west of both Brush and Oakland.

      A 1945 Detroit pamphlet I found seems to suggest that Angell School was located at 240 Gerald St. The pamphlet alone is a bit ambiguous, but the address seems to be supported by a 1947 publication by Ellen Hathaway on the history of Highland Park. It doesn’t state the exact address, but it describes Angell School’s location as “Gerald near Oakland” (which 240 Gerald St. is), and on the next page a map places it on the south side of Gerald, between Brush and Oakland (as Daniel said).

      • I have just returned to my blog. Sorry, for the delay. I would say Gerald is correct. However, Cottage Grove was the next street over. My Dad always said that Cottage Grove was narrowest street in the US. No way I could confirm that.

      • I lived on East grand and went to Angel. angel had Cottage Grove on the South side and Gerald on the North side . The East end of Angel school ground bordered on Oakland. My best friend was Mike Barry who lived at the corner of East Grand and Oakland. My other friends were Hashem Hashem who lived across the street, Charlie Hamsey who lived on Gerald and others. I and my brothers were born at hp General as was my mother. I am John Kemp born in 1941

  5. I find your blog very interesting. I graduated Highland Park High in 1957 when you were 2. I loved you swimming story. I have one question since I swam in HS and Mr Munro was our coach was it the same person? Also we lived on Eason and I went to Ford School.

    • Thank you for your comments and reading my blog. I have been negligent to write lately. I will try to get back to writing soon. Eason was a very nice street. As for Mr. Munro, I am sure that Mr. Munro is the same person. He was our gym and swim teacher at Midland school when it opened in 1961.

    • Hi Keir Campbell… This is David McIntyre HPHS class of Jan. 1956. Remember you from the swimming team under coach Ray Mundro. Think you married a very cute diver, Gayle Guerin. Your Mother was the best teacher I ever had in high school… taught my Senior Literature class like a college critical thinking course which got me thinking about college. Now have two degrees. Am into master swimming soon to age up into the 80-84 group. Contact me: david@davidmcintyre.us

  6. Hello,
    Came across your blog and I enjoyed reading it. I too lived in Highland Park. Our first home was on Brighton. I also attended Liberty School. It’s very strange when I read about your pool experiences there. I can’t remember the the pool teacher but she would also make us shower naked and then come out and twirl in front of her (naked). I was always so embarrassed and who was I going to tell? That would never happen in today’s world. I also had a music teacher who used to poke my wrists with a sharpened pencil if he didn’t like the form I was using to hold and play my violin. We later moved to Hill Street and I attended St John Vianney. I have often tried to find info or pictures but I was told the school burnt down with everything in it. Off of 6 mile Soupy Sales lived in the corner house. Our final home was on Ferris Street off of Woodward. I attended St. Benedict’s until it closed. I too remember all the stores and restaurants that you mentioned. My first two jobs after babysitting were working at a car dealership on Woodward in Highland Park and then the dime store across from Sears. I had many friends that I still talk to on FB and many great memories that I cherish every day of my life.

    • Sandra, thank you for reading my blog. I know that many former Parkers have some good memories of their growing up years in Highland Park. I have enjoyed writing this blog. I have been slack in writing lately, but I hope to get back to it soon.

      As you saw in my blog, I lived on Candler which was next to Ferris. I do remember playing strikeout off the wall of St Ben’s gym.

      Thanks for subscribing to the blog!

  7. Mark, really enjoyed the stroll down memory lane. We lived very near each other. You on Candler and I on little Ferris across from Samhats and Belinda auto parts. Miss the old place and the sense of community it once held for me.

    • Hello Jerry,
      Yes, I remember my mom always getting her gas at Samhats which was Pure gasoline. I am sorry that I don’t remember you, but I do remember Fred Yahee(sp?) and Steve Stites that lived near you. Yes, I agree that there was a real sense of community as we were growing up.

  8. I also loved the McGregor Library, and would stop there on the way home from school very frequently — it was beautiful and very impressive. To the person who asked about Angell School — I also went to Angell School. It was located between Cottage Grove and Gerald I believe, between Oakland and Brush Streets. It was torn down many years ago, much to my sadness. Thank you for writing about Highland Park!!

  9. Thanksfor the memories. I lived at 231 Elmhurst & went all through Ferris (K thru 7) & then my Dad was transferred to Pennsylvania. A great place to live & grow up from 1938 to 1945. McGregor Library across Woodward ……many useful hours spent there. Delivered the Highland Parker on Elmhurst & Tuxedo…….Saturday matinee at the “Tux” !!

  10. I lived on McLean from, 4 to 15 years old (1968-1979). 2nd house from Woodward.
    Different era, but just as precious memories of my childhood.

  11. I lived on ferris,my dad was a police officer from ’46 to 75.loved to go to six mile mile theater to see jerry Lewis in person my parents bought all their meats from izzy remember when he and Jackson tore down the wall to make one store any way I can research the “Highland Parker ” the newspaper

    • Thanks for your comments. I was raised on the 200 block of Candler. Of course, I walked on Ferris to get to school each day. It would be great to obtain the archives of the Highland Parker. There would be a wealth of information there.

  12. Hi Mark, I came upon your blog from googling the McGreagor Library in Highland Park. My mother grew up a few blocks from the library in the 1930’s and 40’s. It was a frequent stopover in her life and in her siblings lives as well. My mom and her twin brother are deceased, but her younger sister and an older brother are still living. Mom, Mary Williams and her brother George Williams were born in Highland Park in 1929. Grandma didn’t make it into the hospital on time and my mother was born on the entrance steps, George was born inside. As kids they spent many hours at the library, as adults my mom and grandmother maintained a friendship and correspondence with a woman who had been either the Children’s Librarian or Head Librarian at McGreagor. I’m trying to recall her name, it could have perhaps been Miss Conley. Miss Conley? travelled and went to Europe frequently, according to my Aunt Martha, where she bought furnishings and fixtures for the doll house you described. That doll house inspired my aunt to build and collect miniatures most of her life. After Miss Conley retired to Ann Arbor, MI, Mom, Grandma my two younger sisters and I were invited to her home for lunch one Summer, this would have been in the mid 1960’s. My mom drove us there, it was terrifying!, as she had a very poor sense of direction and little skill behind the wheel. We made it to Ann Arbor and back to Toledo alive, just barely and Grandma never rode any distance with my mom ever again. In future years Miss Conley aged, became ill and passed away, Mom missed receiving her tidily written, neat and interesting letters and a very good friend.

    • Thanks a lot for sharing this with me! I would have never known the story behind the doll house. The library was definitely quite the place. It is sad that it is just wasting away; however, our memories are still quite alive of this great place of learning and fun. -Mark Booth-

  13. I have been attacked by the plague of writers in the age of internet. That’s when you write a lengthy response only to have the screen tell you that the site cannot be contacted. My weakling Comcast internet gave up before sending. I’ll try again whwn I an less upset bout the wasted words.

  14. This is a long shot, but I’m wondering if you have any memories of my great aunts and uncles who lived down the street from you at 182 and 186 Candler—they were Isabelle and Robert Weir and Margaret and Joseph Moffatt. My grandmother and her two sisters immigrated as teenagers from Ireland before 1910; by 1920 they were both married to Irish immigrants and living next door to each other in homes they owned in Highland Park. My mother was born in one of those houses a few years later.

    We moved from Detroit to California in 1953 but came back to visit our Highland Park relatives many times. My last visit was 1962, but Candler is part of my childhood memories and Highland Park was central to changing the trajectory of my immigrant family’s lives.

    There’s nothing remarkable about my great aunts and uncles except that as far as I know, they lived on Candler for the rest of their lives—if you noticed them at all they would just be the old Irish people down the street. Uncle Robert Weir might have been known on the block for his drinking problems—he died in 1964. A second and third generation of Moffatts were living at 186 Candler during the sixties, including my Boy Scout cousin Alan Moffatt who was born in 1947. My Highland Park memories are vague, but the description of your house rings true as do many of your photos. When I look at your photos of Candler Street, I can’t help feeling my family is just outside the frame, especially the picture of your mom (?) and baby under the trees. I guess I’m hoping to get just one last tiny glimpse of them.

    • Hello Brenda,
      You seem to have had fond memories of Candler St. and Highland Park. I am glad that my blog has brought back good memories. You memory goes further back than my own. It is amazing that I probably passed your relatives’ homes well over.a thousand times, including all the times I walked to school, as well as going to the corner store H&R.
      I have tried to remember the homes of your family. If I remember one of the homes was white and the other was yellow. I remember around 1967 or 1968, a fellow student at Ford Middle School helped his grandparents move into a white house that would have been where your family lived. I can visualize a lot the homes, but if there were no children near my age, it was a little more difficult. I hope this helps some. Thanks for sharing about your family story. I have been to Ireland several times. It is a beautiful country. -Mark-

      • Hey Mark, I love your blog.
        My father opened his first restaurant in highland park in the early 70’s called Phoenicia, it is now in Birmingham. Do you have any photos or stories about Phoenicia in highland park? It was next door to Lamars Barber College on Woodward.

      • Yes, I remember the Phoenicia. My mother was Lebonese; so we were very familiar with Middle Eastern food. A special treat was when my Aunt would make raw kibbee. I can still taste it today. I am sorry but I don’t have any photos. Thanks for writing and reading the blog. I need to get back to writing more on it.

  15. Thank you for taking the time to search back through your memory, Mark. I’m not surprised that my family might not be on a young boy’s radar, but you may have given me a helpful hint about when one of the houses gained new owners.

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