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Monday, December 21, 2009

Let's Go Down To Rike's...Er..The Schuster!

Going into Dayton, to see a show or performance at The Schuster, is always a treat.
It is a beautiful structure, inside and out!

But there was a time that going down to Second and Main meant something very different...
To Daytonians it meant,  "Going down to Rike's".

Rikes was a seven-story department store in downtown Dayton, Ohio. It began in the 1850's as a dry goods firm and moved to the corner of Second and Main in 1912 where it remained until it was demolished in 1999.

Once upon a time, a wonderful and magical holiday tradition was on prominent display, entertaining and delighting children of all ages - hopefully creating memories that would last for the duration of their lives.

These glorious windows became the focal point of Christmas in downtown Dayton, and nearly every area family would bring children downtown each December to enjoy the magnificent presentations featuring dancing elves, woodland creatures, happy families and all manner of holiday delights!

Yes, for most of us who grew up in the Dayton, Ohio area, going down to Rike's department store during the holidays was a must do! Their windows were just such fun! I can still remember standing in the bitter temperatures, nose pressed to the cold glass, drinking in every single detail each scene offered.

Now, I am sure that to our technology fed children, these scenes seem all too simple in nature and but to us, the children of the 50s and 60s, they were an integral part of our Christmas magic.

When Rike's was imploded to make way for the Schuster, these scenes were salvaged and reconditioned. Each holiday season they are, once again, brought to life in the very spots where they once delighted scores of children. Where once they were inside of Rike's, they now spend the holidays inside the Wintergarden section of the Schuster Center. They stand ready to bring smiles to the young ones and fond memories to those of us who are a wee bit older!

Just yours truly, doing what I love to do...

I so enjoy going downtown to see these wonderful treasures, and thsis year I went with my buddy Sue Sullivan...we had such a sweet day. Thank you Suey!

And thank YOU for going along with us and sharing in my Dayton Christmas memories!

I am a little behind this year due to Kip's sudden illness...but things are slowly getting done.
Cards are mailed and shopping is finsihed. Grace and I are about to begin the smells of Christmas!

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and concern for Kipper. He is not feeling like himself, the meds do that, and not quite up to snuff but we all know recovery takes time! How I wish I could explain that to him! Poor baby! We cannot leave him alone so Grace and I will stay until Dan and Bill get in from work. Then she and I will be off to get all we need for our Christmas Eve dinner.

I hope you are all having a sweet week and that your holiday plans are falling into place.

Love and Candy Cane Hugs,
Susie Q


Stacey said...

Hi Susie! Thanks for taking us to downtown Dayton with you. I've never been there.

I'm so glad Kipper is OK. It's such a helpless feeling when our pets are sick...especially when it's so unexpected.

Merry Christmas and happy baking to your family. :)

Blondie's Journal said...

It sounds like Rikes was a great landmark and much more. Not knowing Dayton at all, thanks for sharing it's wonderful history. It is very cool that they have images from the store in the new structure there.

I am so glad you got to see Sue again. You two are so lucky to be near one another. What a wonderful friendship you will have!!

My love goes out to Kipper!! Merry Christmas to you and your family, Susie!! :-)


Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Hi Susie, Great post! We had a store like that too which is now condo's in downtown Richmond. Going downtown no longer has the same meaning as it once fact it has been years since Bobby G. and I have been "downtown". There are no fun stores there now. I did 90% of my shopping on the internet and as of yet have not seen one department store window. BUT ...we will go to Chicago right after Christmas so I will do my Christmas window shopping then with my little grand-daughter and see it through her eyes. :) I wish you and yours and Kipper a very merry Christmas. xo Lynn

salmagundi said...

Those decorations look so much like the ones from my youth (even though I am much older than you!) We always made a holiday trip to Denver to see the windows of the big department stores. Thanks for the memories! Hope everyone including Kipper has a joyous Christmas week. Sally

Bonnie said...

We never had window decorations like that in our local stores, but I bet if we had travelled to Boston we would have been amazed. I always love your blogs, you share so much. I think I would love living in Dayton because there is always so much going on. Our yearly thing is going to the different neighborhoods that we know are all lit up and looking at the lights. Even without kids, Hut and I drive around and check them out. I'm glad Kipper is doing better even though he's not feeling his usually self. Wish you could send some of those baking smells through your blog, I've really been slacking in that department this year.

Mumzie said...

Merry Christmas Susie!
I enjoyed your post and walk down memory lane in Dayton. I'm glad you two girls had fun together. I wish you a very blessed Christmas. Oh, I'm so glad Kipper is better...give him a big hug for me. Yvonne :)

~Sheila~ said...

The Christmas windows are beautiful Sue. 40+ years ago Toronto has three big department stores that did windows like this, but now we are down to one.
I love them, they bring back so many memories.
I'm glad litle Kipper is on the mend. That has to be the best gift your family will get this Christmas..
big hugs

Cherdecor said...

Thank you, dear Susie, for posting about Rikes. I LOVE looking at your pictures of that store and remembering the days when I too, stood outside those windows in the cold with my face pressed against the glass watching the displays. I remember being so fascinated with them. Thank you for bringing a little of the past back for our remembrance.

Merry Christmas!

Barbara Jacksier said...

Been keeping our fingers -- and toes--- and in Belgium's case, paws-- crossed for Kipper. Glad to hear Kip's is home and on the road to recovery.

Have a merry holiday
PS I loved your Dayton tour.

Sue said...

We did have a fun day, didn't we? I hadn't seen those window displays for years... The Schuster is truly a wondrous place. Glad Kip is on the mend and you have some peace of mind. Enjoy all of these festive days, and we will get together when it is less hectic. Maybe tea and cookies at my house? lots of hugs and kisses, Suey

Meggie said...

Merry Christmas, sweet Sue and thanks so much for the lovely Christmas card. So happy to know that Kipper is on the mend and will be home eating Ritter's ice cream with the family.

Rosemary said...

Hi Susie,
Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!