Mid Century Thugs

Nonchalant after questioning: Robert J.  DeMay, Charles F. Guldenshuh, Edward B. Lanagan, Robert G. Mental Jr., from left, booked in connection with assault on Julius Morrison, who thwarted robbery by wrecking truck against tree.

When I was growing up on the east side the neighborhood was dotted with small grocery stores. There were two near our house, one on Humboldt and one on Atlantic and then there was an early behemoth, Star Market, at Merchants and Main. Peggi and I lived in that same neighborhood for twenty-six years and there were still a few small stores nearby. Bertha’s was only open at night. There was no fresh food in the place. She mostly sold six packs and magazines. Fleckenstein’s was a great meat market. But Fred’s, on the corner of Main and Wisconsin was the best small grocery. Fred’s nephew, Sam, a recent East High graduate, opened the first Salvatore’s Pizza across the street in 1978.

In 1940, long before my two stints in the neighborhood, a group of thugs robbed the owner of a grocery store at 2121 East Main, a few blocks down from Fred’s, where State Farm is located today. The owner of that store was robbed by these four thugs. Peggi found the article while tracking down a tip from a reader of her site, DonHershey.com. We knew nothing about Don Hershey when we lived on the east side and never really noticed this cute little place on Melville Street, just off Culver by Nino’s Pizzeria.

Don Hershey, Rochester’s foremost mid-century modern architect, designed the house on Melville for Julius Morrison in the late thirties and the shopkeeper had just moved in in 1940 when this event took place.

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