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They Lived on Vale Street


Jayne Stickrod (101 Vale) was an Olympic hopeful in 1937, but her swimming skills were to be put to another use. Prior to the war Jayne worked as a swimming instructor and trained for the Olympics. During the war she was a Doughnut Dolly with the Red Cross, delivering doughnuts to the men on the battlefield with doughnuts and coffee, driving a 2 and half ton truck all over Europe. During the Occupation, she taught survival swimming skills to American servicemen in Korea and Japan.


Hollis Frey lived at 209 Vale with his wife Vera and children William and Nancy. Here he is with a group of boys at the Rifle and Pistol Club, where the men taught boys who were old enough to serve in WWII to shoot.


Mary Jane Fink was the daughter of William and Jane Fink (303 Vale). In this picture she is in the office of the R.W. Gipson Insurance Agency where she was a secretary in 1937. She later married Franklin Rust, a stock breeder. They left Illinois to go to Florida, where Franklin was manager of the Busch Gardens amusement park.


This picture is of the Short Story Club in 1937-- a club for those who wanted to write stories. In the front row, second left is Mary Jane Fink. In the second row first left is Blanche Stubblefield (309 Vale).  Blanche taught English at BHS. Others from FG in the image are Ruth Standard, Ruth Mary Heffernan and Claire Wilson. 


In 1943 Robert Wills of 409 Vale won the Merwin Medal for his Short Story, "Floating Seconds." Robert attended Journalism school at Northwestern and made his career in publishing.


Alfred and Lila Brown were longtime Community Players actors. (1st and 2nd left) This picture was taken during the production of "Chicken Every Sunday" in 1946. They lived at 410 Vale with their children William and Mary Fran. 


In 1945 Mary Fran Brown Sheets was working backstage at the production of "Blithe Spirit" at the Consistory. 


Donald Kohlhagen lived at 501 Vale. This picture was taken in 1948 for a picture story about celebratory calendar weeks -- this picture suggested that there was a week for eating every food. Probably this picture was taken in the Kohalhagen kitchen.


During WWII many families gave up their dogs for military service -- the McAtee's of 503 Vale were lucky enough to have their dog returned to them in 1945. Ellis McAtee was the head of the family.


Helen Paxton (right) and her cousins Nancee and June Paxton were the daughters of the two men who owned the Paxton Typewriter Co. In 1940 they were reunited at Christmas time when June returned from DePauw, where she had broken school records in the 40 yard (!) backstroke. Helen lived at 506 Paxton and her cousins lived at 1202 Elmwood.


In December of 1940 the 4th grade of Washington Grade School put on a historical play. Nancy Hadden (fourth) (513 Vale) was one of the children in the play. John McAnelly, Marshall Pines, Sally Benjamin, Ethel Mae Karon (2008 Oakland) and Helen Gunn were the other children.  


Barbara Bienemann (Third) (512 Vale) served on the Ways and Means Committee that formed "The Loft" a student recreation center at the YWCA that sponsored dances and other parties for teen agers in 1940s Bloomington. with her on the committee: Bill Linneman, Evelyn Brynhildsen and Roderic Abbott. Picture taken Dec 23, 1943.


Ethel Ramseyer lived at 106 Vale with her parents, Michael and Anna. She was s nurse at St. Joseph's Hospital and in this picture, she was preparing along with the other nurses, to attend a nursing conference in Chicago. Michael Ramseyer was one of the immigrants living in FG. He came to Illinois from Switzerland and spoke French, so probably Ethel spoke French at home. 

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