Bernard's
("Minnie's")
Wickham Avenue
Stuart Gardens Shopping Center
Newport News, VA 23607
 
THEN: NOW: G & S Clothing Wear
1956 Anchor, p. 148 Saturday, January 29, 2005
04/15/04 Image by Dave Spriggs ('64) - 01/29/05
Thanks so very much, Dave!
 


This was one of my very favorite places as a child. Owned by Al and Minnie Frierman, if I recall correctly, it was named in honor
of their oldest son, Bernie. (They also had younger sons in the Classes of '54 and '57.) 

It was a fabulous variety store, full of wonders. One of the first sections upon entering housed the yarn and thread section. 
I always stopped there for a while before heading for the toy department. Once when I was ten, my daddy took me there
and offered to buy me something trivial of my own choosing. He was rather flabbergasted when I selected a how-to book,
a ball of variegated rink and green crochet thread, a size 7 steel crochet hook, a size G aluminum crochet hook, and a
skein of "Bittersweet" worsted weight yarn. Because he was flattered that I wanted to crochet as did his mother - and
because he spoiled me well past all reason - he readily bought it all for me. 

I took my goodies home and immediately taught myself how to crochet. My first project was a doily of that lovely thread. 
I gave it to my daddy's sister, Virginia, that year for Christmas. Perfectionist that I am, I ripped out any mistakes I made, so
strangely enough, the piece was actually flawless. I still have the book (as shown), and up until we moved from the mid-west
in October of 2001, I still had the size G hook. It served me well and faithfully over the years.  I designed and crocheted clothes
for all seven of my children plus my four oldest grandchildren with it. Sadly, I don't think it survived the move. 

My mama used to take me to Bernard's quite frequently. She very much enjoyed her friendship and conversations with Minnie,
who was a delightful woman.
 

 - Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 04/15/04
 
 
 
Hi Carol,
 
I've been trying to get my class ('60) to remember some "old stomping grounds." We remembered
the 5 and 10 cent store in Stuart Gardens but didn't remember that it was called Bernard's.

 Thanks,
Karen

 

- Karen Weinstein Witte ('60) of FL - 9/22/05

Thanks, Karen!  The reason no one remembered the name of that Stuart Garden's variety store is that we all
called it, "Minnie's" for the proprietor, Minnie Frierman. The store was named (if I recall correctly) for her oldest
son, Bernard. How I loved to go to that store! It might as well have been the state fair!
 

In reply to Karen Weinstein Witte ('60) 9/22/05 'Old Stomping Grounds' 5 & 10 cents store.....No
doubt it was named Bernard's, but probably the 5 & 10 cents store was called "Minnie's Dime Store". 
It was right down from the Colonial Store...All from Stuart Gardens Garden Drive to Wickham went
there, I'm sure.....Minnie had every trinket in the world....I should know. I was about 5 or 6 and just had
to have this balloon - not yet inflated-that was in a big jar full of many colorful balloons -- mom said no -
and I snuck one out anyway .... got home - stuck it way down in our toy jug that was in the living room and
pulled it out as if I found one!  Showed brother Steve (Kiger '66) too... Well, mom had radar and she
marched me back to Minnie's Dime Store as I tearfully apologized for stealing it.     @#!! 

 
- Gail Kiger Bonsey  (Ferguson HS - '73) of OR - 09/24/05

 GIGGLES! Ohhhh, what a naughty baby you were!  Thanks, Gail!
 
Carol,

...As to the question of the Stuart Gardens Shopping Center.  My parents moved to Newport News, my mother's hometown, in 1947
and my father opened the Garden Bake Shop in that small strip center.  My first memory had the Colonial Store at one end, then the
Garden Pharmacy owned by Doc Belcastro, then the bakery, then Bernard's 5 & 10, then a dairy store, then Al Sandler's bar, penny
candy case and a lending library, then some offices, Dr. Berlin upstairs, Dr. Mirmelstein, the dentist, downstairs and then the wonderful
Stuart Theater. I may have missed something else, but at my advanced years, those seem to have been the line up in the late 40's. 
The Stuart Theater (owned by the Gordon families) closed and became Rich's Grocery Store.
 

- David Rosenwasser ('64) of MO - 07/14/09

Thanks so much, David! I knew you would recall that line-up correctly!

(This page was created on 04/15/04.)


Back to Our Old Stomping Grounds

Return to NNHS Class of 1965