Ever since I was about nine or ten I can remember going to the Historic South Side Market on Warsaw Street with my parents and siblings. Back then the smell and sight of gladiolas, zinnias, marigolds, tiger lilies along with bustling people as they talked to the farmers about their fruits and vegetables carrying their old fashion egg baskets to hold their purchases. I most remember my parents buying the corn and the strawberries in the small square crates. A trip wouldn’t be complete without a vanilla ice cream cone where Annie now makes her mother Marge’s famous Breakfast Garbage and other breakfast and lunch items.
In the mid –‘80’s now married, we live on the Northeast side of Fort Wayne. Our neighbor Nick Leto helped Bud Giant and his son Greg sell their produce at the market. Nick was a green pepper man. A former grocery store owner, well into his ‘80s he was the epitome of “you can take the man out of the grocery store, but you can’t take the grocery business out of the man”.
Today when I walk into the place I’m transported back even though over the decades it has changed: It’s no longer open on Wednesdays and there seems to be more vendors of non-food items than food items. The diversity of the shoppers has changed: Burmese, Latinos and Vietnamese shoppers have joined the community of local-grown produce shoppers.
Over the last couple of years I’ve gotten to know Julia Langmeyer one of the resident artists who calls the market home. She has been a proud Waynedale resident all of her life (Elmhurst Class 1974). She enjoys the tight knit friendly community Waynedale offers. Apart from Mr. Don Goss’ art classes, Julia is a self-taught artist.
Six years ago on a road trip to Madison, Indiana Julia and friends drive by several barns sporting wooden quilt blocks. It is their simple colorful designs that catch her attention and inspire her to create them. Using acrylic paints and finishing them with a protective topcoat, her signs are now hanging on houses, garages, out buildings and in the laundry room! A fellow artist purchased eight of them and arranged them on his studio wall for a folkloric look.
Now through early October you can view Julia’s work a little closer to home: Born Again Quilts has two window displays dedicated to her work. Since BAQ is unable to hang fabric quilts, due to the harmful rays of sun, it seemed a natural fit to showcase a fellow artist’s work of “quilt blocks”. Julia will be by the BAQ on Wednesday, September 16 to discuss her work from 5:30-7p with you! If you miss this opportunity you can catch her most Saturdays at the South Side Market… and while you’re there, don’t forget to mosey around and sit a spell and take in the world of the historic South Side Market.
Lois Levihn is the owner of Born Again Quilts restoration studio and shop. Located at 4005 South Wayne Avenue it specializes in the restoration of vintage quilts. Go to www.bornagainquilts.com or contact her at 260-515-9446.