Growing Up in Ecorse in the 1950s and 1960s
By Jim Pittman
Growing up in Ecorse in the 1950s and 1960s was truly an educational experience. I learned a lot about life from the people of this blue-collar community. I learned about hard work from the people who worked at the “mill” or the auto plants and from the neighbors who worked hard to keep their homes and yards neat and clean. I learned about caring for people, from the teachers in elementary school, all the way through the high school.
I learned about religion and moral values from the many youth activities sponsored by the local churches. I learned about sports and sportsmanship from the volunteer coaches that worked with us in Little League and the coaches of our high school sports programs. I learned about living, going to school, playing sports and working with people from many different races and cultures.
I also learned about hard times, like when the “mill” went out on strike or the riots in Detroit threatened to spill over into Ecorse. The Ecorse of my memory might not be the same for everyone, but I know I’m a better person for having grown up in Ecorse.
As I sit here thinking about growing up in Ecorse, I have fond memories ranging from the smallest day- to- day events to some that were life changing. A number of Ecorse grads and former Songsters have met twice over the last couple weeks to rehearse for the dedication of the new high school. After rehearsal, we sat down and shared old times. Below is a list of the things we remembered about growing up in Ecorse.
Cruising the Root Bear Stand
Getting a burger at Carter’s
Watching the Boat races at the park
Sitting in the parking lot of Seavitte’s drug store on Jefferson
Playing football games in the afternoon
Eating a bag of White Castle ‘cause they were only 12 cents each
For a special date we went to the Big Boys on Dix
Buying French fires by the pound at Golden Point
Losing to River Rouge in basketball almost every year
Ice Skating at the Muni
Sneaking out for donuts from Mr. Buckles drafting class