If you were born and raised in the Wheeling area, you know that the "back way" to Oglebay Park is via Waddles Run Road. It is the road that splits to the right of W.Va. 88, aka Bethany Pike, as you head up the hill to the park.
I was very politely informed this week by a fellow worker that Waddles Run Road does not exist. What? The road has disappeared?
No, the road has been re-named Warden Run Road by the state Division of Highways for mapping purposes even though the creek next to the road was always called Waddles Run. I thought that Wardens Run was the road to the right of Falls Drive up the back way to Oglebay.
Funny how after 56 years, so many things I used to know as gospel have gone the way of the home-delivered milk route. As the wrecking ball begins to strike at the former Reichart's building on Main Street, I have been reminded that the structure has been known as the Heritage Port Business Center for several years. Well, wouldn't that require business to actually take place there?
For me it will be Reichart's until it is nothing more than bricks and funky-colored facades on the ground. I wonder what happened to the Fiesta Santa that used to sit atop the outside?
Piece by piece, my childhood has disappeared. The Buch and Donavan pharmacy with a real soda fountain that once graced the corner of National Road and Edgington Lane has been gone for some time. Yet, the sign that says it once existed remains there, a kind of tribute, I guess.
Lynn Buch Interiors now occupies the storefront. While you can no longer get an ice cream sundae in a frosty, metal cup while you wait for a prescription to be filled, you can purchase some lovely lamps or other nice things to decorate your home.
Anyone approaching baby boomer status around the valley will tell you how they met and courted their sweethearts at the Tin Pan Alley, the M&K and B&K lounges, the Whistle Stop, The Eagle or Mac's Club among other notable haunts. Now ice cream parlors. restaurants and even a dentist's office occupy these spaces. If only those walls could talk...
It's a good thing someone invented GPS for our vehicles. If anyone stopped me on the street and asked for directions, I would undoubtedly say you "go up River Road past Peaches restaurant. Oops, Peaches is now Uncle Pete's and it's on Main Street in North Wheeling." Oh well, you get the point.
Instructing visitors on how to get to a landmark around the valley often means pointing out places that no longer exist, like the Kroger store in Woodsdale - two in fact along National Road - that are gone now. I still refer to the Mount de Chantal Kroger store as the "new" store even though it's been there since 1998. If you don't know where it is, it's on the old Linsly Military Institute property. Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
Heather Ziegler can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.