Mildred has seen Harrison West change a lot since she and her husband bought their first home in the neighborhood in 1956. These days the Harrison West Society’s mantra when speaking with developers is, “include more retail!”, but Mildred remembers when the neighborhood wanted retail out. And out it is. Gone is Charlie’s Meat Market on Harrison and 3rd Ave, the ice house on 3rd Ave, Red & White grocery store on 4th and Michigan, and Moretti’s Poultry on 1st Ave.
Before she arrived in Harrison West, Mildred grew up in Spiller, a small community outside Pomeroy. She was born in 1928 - the second oldest of five daughters. Mildred lived with her parents until 8th grade, when she moved in with an older woman in town to help her with laundry, gardening, and other tasks around her home. During the four years she lived there, Mildred recalls honing her gardening skills, enjoying salt fish for breakfast and grape pie for dessert, and saving up the small allowance she received each week to eventually buy her first guitar.
After graduating from high school, Mildred moved to Columbus and took a job at Ohio Bell. Her future husband George noticed her around the neighborhood and successfully wooed her by coming to her door one evening and singing a song he had written just for her. After that, she “just couldn’t get rid of him.” They eventually married and had three children – two daughters and a son. Mildred took some time off to raise her children but went back to work at Capital City Products (later Humko). She worked there until she retired 33 years later.
When she wasn’t working or raising her children, Mildred enjoyed collecting salt and pepper shakers (she had nearly 700!), hosting friends and neighbors for pie and card-playing, and crocheting. These days, she enjoys doing puzzles, tending to the beautiful garden behind her home, and reading. Even though she doesn’t consider herself a “foodie” (she will happily just snack on soda crackers every day), Mildred carefully maintains a beautiful, bright-red Chambers oven that she bought nearly 70 years ago. When she moved into her new home, she even had the cabinets adjusted to fit the oven’s non-traditional width. Staring down toward the oven is an attractive red lion planter that was her first wedding present – a gift from her husband in 1949.
We’re so glad that Mildred is part of At Home by High. She has a sharp wit, she’s a great listener, and she can tell the most amazing stories about life in the neighborhood.