Dolores Jordan recounts her earlier years in Cleveland. Many of her recollections revolve around childhood and the downtown area.
Dolores Jordan [00:00:08] Dolores Jordan. I was born [...] '32.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:00:23] All right. And Dolores, we are going to use this in our archives, is that okay with you?
Dolores Jordan [00:00:30] Yes. Yes.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:00:31] Now, were you born in Cleveland?
Dolores Jordan [00:00:33] Yes, I was. 13311 Union Avenue. And my father was in business. It was called Broadway Movers.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:00:41] And what was your ethnicity?
Dolores Jordan [00:00:48] My father was Czech and my mother was Polish and German.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:00:52] And what was that neighborhood like?
Dolores Jordan [00:00:57] Well, I didn't live there too long. I did go to kindergarten at Charles Dickens. And then we moved to 80th and Union and I went to St. Lawrence. But then in high school, my folks moved again and I went to John Adams.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:01:18] Where... Whereabouts was that?
Dolores Jordan [00:01:23] John Adams? It's where they put the new school this year on 116th and Harvard, I think.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:01:30] And do you have any siblings?
Dolores Jordan [00:01:34] Yes, I had one brother, James, and he went to Miles Elementary and John Adams.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:01:43] And did you have any unusual stories about your relationship with your brother?
Dolores Jordan [00:01:49] Yeah, well, my father died. That's why we moved when I was young and I was Mommy at 8 years old. I took care of him. I did all the grocery shopping. I would take a wagon and my mother would give me a list. I was 8 years old, mind you. And I'd go to A&P and do all the shopping. And I took him when I was around between 8 and 10, I took him downtown on a streetcar to see Santa Claus.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:02:20] At Higbee's or... [inaudible; voices in background]
Dolores Jordan [00:02:27] No, Higbee's wasn't... Yeah. I don't, I don't remember. But I do remember when my son was born in 1952, I took him to May Company to see Santa Claus. And they also had a room where you could check your kids, and you could do shopping and they had toys there and they'd watch the children.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:02:48] Oh, yeah. Like, for, so you could do your Christmas shopping?
Dolores Jordan [00:02:51] Right. Right. That was open all year, though. Yeah. For the kids. Uh-huh.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:02:55] Did you... How was the ride on the streetcar?
Dolores Jordan [00:03:01] It was all right. Sometimes you'd get a drunk sitting in the back. [laughs] You know, a lot of them didn't drive, but, it was all right.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:03:13] So what's... What was your experience downtown like?
Dolores Jordan [00:03:16] Well, when I after I gave birth to my first son in '53, or somewhere around there, I took a job at Child's Restaurant on the corner of 14th and Euclid that was in the Hanna Building. And before that, before I was married, my girlfriend and I would go to Forum Restaurant, I think was on 9th, or we'd go to Mayflower Restaurant, which was across the street from the May Company and I had a lively life, I enjoyed my young days, and Cleveland was wonderful. It was during the war, I remember, they had big movie stars come and give talks to sell savings bonds. Yeah. It was something.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:04:08] So, how did you meeet your husband?
Dolores Jordan [00:04:11] Oh, I worked in a little deli like ice cream. He came in and asked for a glass of water and I told him on the corner there was a fountain. [laughs] That was my first meeting with him.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:04:27] Can you tell me about that Gypsy story that you were telling me, that you were telling us about before that you went up to... ?
Dolores Jordan [00:04:41] Oh. Oh, yes, Elizabeth. She was wonderful, she was a fortune teller and my girlfriend Rita and I would go up to see her and she was good. She told my girlfriend she was gonna marry somebody in service. My girlfriend just broke up with her soldier boyfriend and she laughed and said, no way. She married a policeman. He was in uniform service. And she also told her she was going to get a big surprise. She did. He bought her a hope chest and it was fun.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:05:20] Did you go there when you were a young, like teenager?
Dolores Jordan [00:05:23] Yeah. Teenager. [cross talk] Yeah, I got married at 18, so it was all from the time I was 16 and 18. I lived a wild life. [laughs]
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:05:32] How do you think Euclid has like changed?
Dolores Jordan [00:05:39] It's dead. I mean, you go downtown on Euclid and you couldn't walk past somebody practically, there were so many people. And now, well, I don't go downtown. Not many people do.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:05:52] Do you think that this generation is losing, that they lost that experience?
Dolores Jordan [00:06:01] Well, for us, it was a great experience. Well, when we were kids, we were a little more outgoing than the kids are today. You know, we we did more. But I think I grew up at a good time.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:06:20] Yeah, I always said that my grandma's time, like that's a time I would've wanted to go back to, because it was so much more, I don't know, it was just easier lifestyle.
Dolores Jordan [00:06:32] Oh, it was wonderful Easter Sunday, we everybody was dressed up, you'd go to church and wow. Today you'll see somebody in jeans. Today. Today, the girls don't wear enough clothes and the boys wear too much, they're hanging. Yeah.
Ruth Rachel Przybojewski [00:06:52] But is there anything else you would like to add, any memories?
Dolores Jordan [00:07:01] No. No. You know, nobody bothered you. You could be a girl and you didn't have any problems, that's it.
A series of interviews conducted by Center staff with a small contingent of residents at the Seven Hills Senior Center in Seven Hills, Ohio, in conjunction with the Euclid Corridor History Project. Memories of downtown shopping are prominent in this series.