I can remember walking up town with my parents, brother and sister to the Racket Store, which was at the corner of North Columbus Street and Harding Way East. This is the current home of Midland Service.
On the first floor they had furniture and a variety of just about everything else. But at Christmas Time in their basement was a toy land that covered the whole lower level.
There was an outside stairway on Columbus Street where you could go to get down to the basement that most people used. This was in the 1940s and early 1950s and no kid was to be in there without their parents.
As you entered from the outside, the first thing you saw was the electric trains running at different levels and in different directions. This was so fascinating to everyone that came in, that today over 60 years later people that remember the Racket Store, will always say. “I remember the electric trains.”
But they had much more than the wonderful trains. They had toys, toys, toys. They had dolls and everything a girl could want.
But for the boys in addition to the trains, they had baseballs and bats, footballs, basketballs, and other sporting good items.
But what they had most of all, and what every boy at that age wanted, was the RED RIDER BB GUN.
There may have been other stores in Galion that sold toys at Christmas Time, but there was no place around that could compare with THE RACKET STORE AT CHRISTMAS TIME.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story originally appeared in the Dec. 8, 2012 edition of The Galion Inquirer.