We kick off our End of the Year Foto-Festivities 2006 with this bang-up two-parter by Bob Pence, talented amateur photog and all-around good guy. He’s been at it awhile, as this pair will attest. First, Christmas in Fort Wayne, 1962:
This was taken at the corner of Calhoun and Berry Streets, the heart of downtown. Old-timers get tears in their eyes talking about Christmas shopping downtown, back in the day. Fort Wayne was never Chicago, but once upon a time it had a certain Bedford Falls-like feel to its downtown, and you get a sense of it here — a few blocks dense with stores, activity and holiday lights. You can almost see Uncle Billy, about to come toddling into view with a snootful.
Ah, but then Pottersville Mall opened out by the bypass. The same corner today:
Notes Bob: “Notice how much more tidy downtown looks, now that we’ve gotten rid of all those retail stores with their glaring signs.” Yes indeedy.
(By the way, thanks to all who’ve sent photos already. We’ll get to them soon enough.)