Fans Gather To Celebrate ‘Vanished Kalamazoo’
If you're not from around here, it's just another city. If you haven't lived here for a while, it may be just another city. But if Kalamazoo is home, then this place is special. And it has memories. Plenty of memories. That fact was evident on Saturday.Kalamazoo's rich history was celebrated, in a small way, at the downtown Library, with a gathering of members, and memorabilia of Facebook page Vanished Kalamazoo, which celebrates Kalamazoo in a big way. Page Administrator and founder Greg Gabry, in his welcoming remarks, talked of 23,000 current members.
The reception Saturday afternoon saw displays from the City, the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Western, and the authors of Kalamazoo: Lost and Found. Kalamazoo Sportswear was there with T-shirt designs of long ago, including "Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo", Club Soda, The Knollwood Tavern, and more. Kalamazoo Historic Preservation coordinator Sharon Ferraro was there to stream the event on Facebook Live.
A continuous slide show displayed pictures from the page, including those showing two way traffic on Michigan Ave. long torn-down movie theatres and businesses of our youth. As people mingles, you could hear discussion of the zoo at Milham Park, of former employers like Checker Motors or Gibson Guitar, schools like St. A's and St. Joseph's.
In an adjacent room, members brought memorabilia and many ooh'd and ahh'd as if being in a fancy museum or on an archeological dig.
The only regret Saturday afternoon, was from people saying they wished they had saved more items in the past, from the past.