From our readers

This photo of Boots Restaurant was taken sometime between 1941 and 1946. Behind the counter, from left: Dorothy (last name unknown), Eileen Plummer, owner Homer “Boots” Vroman and wife/co-owner Gail Vroman.
The ladies from Immanuel Lutheran Church, from left: Unknown, Alma Drewes, Margaret Schultz, Mrs. Goers, Mrs. Jordan, Kathryn Braun, Mrs. Coby and Mrs. Bodey.

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Service with a smile

From Eileen Plummer, of Lima

Boots Restaurant was at 115 W. Elm St., Lima. It was in the area of today’s YMCA, near a now-gone pharmacy and the Clyde Evans Day and Nite Market. The restaurant fronted Elm Street.

Plummer wrote she met her husband, Forest, at the restaurant in 1946. She worked there from 1941 to 1947.

Ladies of the church

From Helen Haase Bradford, formerly of Lima

When I was growing up in the ’30s and ’40s, the social life of my family revolved around the church and the people we knew there.

Immanuel Lutheran Church was on the corner of Kibby and Jackson streets in Lima (now Pilgrim Lighthouse Church) and was a small congregation of people of mostly German descent. Everybody knew everybody.

The ladies of the church were all homemakers and were wonderful cooks. I remember a lot of potluck dinners where each lady brought delicious home-cooked dishes and the tables were laden with food that nowadays is classified as comfort food.

These ladies met, as I remember it, on a Thursday afternoon once a month at a gathering of the Ladies Aid Society. The meetings were held in the church basement and each of these ladies put on their prettiest dress complete with hat and gloves, and they took care of the business of the church that they were in charge of.

I can remember my aunt, Alma Drewes, and Blanche Bodey, Helen Bremer, Mildred Johns, Mary Haliena, Mrs. Stump, Mrs. Jordan, Mrs. Schlegel, Mrs. Teutsch, Margaret Shultz, the Braun sisters — and I know there are more whose faces I see in my memory but whose names escape me.

These ladies of the church did many things. I remember ice cream socials in the summer where each lady baked their favorite cake — from scratch. There were no cake mixes then. They kept the kitchen clean and helped with whatever they were asked to do. As they worked together, they shared their joys and, during the war, they shared their worries. They were the psychiatrists of their day.

The minister’s wife, Mrs. Albrecht, loved to do little plays and, in the early ’40s, the ladies of the church were persuaded to put on a little play. I still have a copy of the play, which was called “Little Old Ladies at the Sewing Bee.” Somewhere in all the things I tend to save I have a picture of the cast.

My aunt was given the part of Mrs. Fuss, and Mrs. Bodey told me privately she was given the part because it suited her.

In the fall every year, we had what was called a Mission Sunday where the emphasis was on saving heathen people in foreign lands. That was an all-day service, usually with a guest speaker, and this meant a potluck dinner at noon. Usually the men played horseshoes and kids did what kids do.

The one I remember so clearly happened when I was a teenager. The ladies were all seated together in the basement for a contest. They were each given a big apple and a paring knife. The idea was to see who could peel the most of the apple without the skin breaking.

In my lifetime I have peeled hundreds of apples and every time I start peeling with my potato peeler, I try to finish the whole apple without the peel breaking. I am taken back to that church basement and I see the smiling face of Helen Bremer as she holds up the long, thin spiral of apple peel that won her the prize.

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