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4 E. Fulton story from Mr. Robert V.

8/26 | TowerPinkster

“Here are my two stories about that building,” writes Mr. Robert V. in his heartfelt letter in response to TowerPinkster's call for stories and memories about the building on the corner of S. Division Ave. and E. Fulton St. which will be TowerPinkster’s new office in the coming months.

“I attended Ottawa Hills High School (the original OHHS built in the 1930’s on Iroquois Avenue, S. E.) where I played cornet in the junior and senior bands from the 8th grade thru my graduation in 1954. Gordon Van Dusen also played cornet alongside me for those same years of 1949 thru 1954.
My parents, Ray and Esther decided that I deserved a brand new brass cornet to use for my senior year at OHHS.

We went to buy a new cornet in 1953 at the J and J Music Shoppe, located at 16 S.Division Avenue, which was also Gordon Van Dusen’s father, J.J. Van Dusen. This store was on the ground floor of that building, and we could park right in front of the store on  Division Avenue – not even a parking meter there.

Mr. Van Dusen gave us 3 different cornets from 3 different factories to take home to try. I played all 3 horns from the kitchen while my parents listened from the living room. A blind sound test. I liked the Olds Studio model cornet the best, so gave that horn my best lip and tune – to sway the choice.
We all agreed on the Olds Studio cornet, made by F.E. Olds and  Son from Los Angeles. We returned all 3 horns to the J and J Music Shoppe and purchased the Olds horn. I still have that  came cornet today.

A few years later in 1957-58-59 I attended Davenport Institute in that same building. Most classes were on the second floor, with a few classes in the basement. All 3 floors were connected by stairs and a very small elevator. There was a shoe store on the ground floor at sidewalk level. At that time DI was only 2-3 year school. Those needing true 4 year degree had to transfer to Ferris State College to complete the full college degree, especially those seeking a CPA degree.

There were a few veterans from the Korean War attending DI at that time, getting schooling under GI Bill for career training.” – Mr. Robert V.

Share your story and win a $60 gift card from Grand Rapids Brewing Co. and Rockwell-Republic in downtown Grand Rapids!