A STORE’S STORY
This was a witch store. Now it’s an insurance agency.
Before the witch, Fred Smith operated Smith’s Deli here, in the 1950s,1960s and 1970s. Students from St. Ed’s High, across the street, would come in and rip off Fred for candy and pops.
I ran into one St. Ed’s alum — a 55-year-old man — who thought I was God because I had known Fred on an adult level.
Fred got tired of the kids and retired. He needed more than Snickers sales to pay the rent. One Snickers sold, one Snickers lost to shrinkage/shoplifting. No gain.
After Fred left, 1977, the store went through many owners. The most famous post-Fred tenant was Angela Hicks, who founded Angie’s List.
There was also a flower shop, a tax service, sports cards shop and the witch store, Ancient Ways. The witch kept cats in the basement. She reimbursed me for the destroyed carpet when she left, but not for the five months remaining on her lease.
The insurance agency has been here five years. Five years is a decent run. That’s the proof the store was not hexed by the witch.
But the insurance guy is moving. He just called [12/31/13]. “I’m vacuuming and going to be out by 1 p.m.,” he said.
A list of tenants at 13431 Detroit Avenue, 1977-on:
Fred’s deli, moved out, 1977.
Streeter Sporting Goods, 1978-80.
Antique store, various owners for another 10 years or so.
Ka-La’s Flower Shop, 1983. (“KaLa” for Kathy and Laura.) Then various other flower shops.
Embossed stuff. Embroidery Ink, 1991.
Kayln Tax Service, 1993
For You Productions. More the embossed stuff, 1993.
Grand Slam Collectibles, 1994.
Resale shops, a couple years.
Angie’s List, 1999.
Ancient Ways, New Age, 2001-2004.
Vacant 3 ¾ years. 2004-2008.
Farmer’s Insurance. 2008-13.
2014 — ?
A version of this post is also a video (originally posted 1/21/11).