Friends of Ballard Corners Park

Oral History from Geraldine Hansen

Geraldine Hansen wrote this letter in response to a plea from Kay Reinartz in the Ballard News-Tribune for history about the site.

Letter from Geraldine Hansen

Rebekah Schilperoot of the Ballard News Tribune transcribed the typed letter:

I have lived in Ballard all my life and have been an ardent reader of the Ballard News-Tribune. I occasionally write letters to the editor when I get upset or concerned about issues that concerns my beloved Ballard or I find an error in one of their articles.

As of late I have been very interested in the 17th and 62nd Northwest (Ballard) Corner Park project and articles since I was raised on 17th and 63rd Street. I moved there about in 1983, living in the old family home that belonged to my grandmother and where my mother and her siblings were also raised. I lived in the old family home 1969 when the house was sold after both of my parents passed away.

My older brother and younger sister were also raised in the same home and we three remember going to our corner grocery on 17th and being waited on by Bill Boutin who had a home with his wife on 17th several streets south of 62nd.

My brother remembers buying candy from Bill and says that although a lot of kids came to the store and of course made a bee line to his candy counter near the back of the store, Bill was always kind to us kids.

I can still almost picture Bill with a pipe in his mouth. I believe he later got lip cancer.

As for the Brandt family, I have been searching my brain trying to remember some details about them. It seems to me that I can recall that the property was owned by a bachelor and his sister, and her son lived with him in the house on 17th and 62nd. The name Florence and George comes to mind but I am not sure about that. Sorry, not much help on that subject.

I remember the Benson family that lived next to the store on 63rd Street. The kids were Jean, Bud and Bob and the later became a doctor and had a practice in Seattle.

I also remember the name of others in our old neighborhood and at Christmas time I exchange cards and notes with a few. In the near future, I shall send them a copy of (Ballard News-Tribune) articles and maybe they can be of more help, if they remember.

While going through my mothers old papers, gathering family information for my 10-year project of writing a family century journal, I found a booklet titled, Ebb and Flow of Salmon Bay,” from 1924. It features kids essays from the original Salmon Bay School that used to set on the lot where the Ballard Boys and Girls Club stands, 17th and 64th.

The back pages are filled with advertisements and I noticed one from the store on 17th and 62nd and made a copy for you.

In closing, I want to thank you for your interesting articles about Ballard and keep up the good work.

If and when there is an official dedication for the (Ballard Corners Park), I hope my brother, sister and I and a few other “old timers” will be able to attend.

Geraldine Hansen

Ballard, 98107

Posted on May 7th 2008 by David Folweiler in Misc. | Comments Off on Oral History from Geraldine Hansen |

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