What’s in a name? If it is yours, hopefully there is a lot. I find it intriguing why many things, particularly businesses, have the names they do. Some, of course, are self-explanatory; others we puzzle over where the names come from.
Have you ever wondered who Aunt Diana is? No, she isn’t anybody that works at the Riverside candy-maker. Aunt Diana actually is Diana Gits, the first wife of the late Gerry Gits, owner of the business.
To the best of my knowledge, she never worked at the Riverside store, although Patty Miglore is often asked if she is Aunt Diana. No, she is Auntie Patty.
Going a bit further west on Burlington is Ivins Funeral Home, now referred to as Ivins-Moravecek. However, there hasn’t been an Ivins associated with the business for years and there have been at least four owners since there has, yet the Ivins name has always been associated with the business.
And what do you call the building on the north corner of Burlington and Longcommon? Well, if you’re like me you still refer to it as the Henninger Building, even though there hasn’t been a member of the Reed Henninger family residing in town for many years — and the actual Henninger Building isn’t even there anymore.
Mr. Henninger owned the drug store in town, which was originally at the site of what is now Riverside Plumbing on Longcommon near the tracks. He then built a bigger drug store, at Longcommon and Burlington where there had been a grocery store.
Restaurants’ names often represent their locations. Grand Tavern and Off Broadway (actually on Monroe which is just off Broadway Avenue) are in Brookfield. Riverside’s Chew Chew is a play on words that goes back to its original site in Arcade Building, right next to the tracks.
Beauty shops, for some reason, go heavy on wordplay. In Brookfield, for example, there’s To Do or Dye. Florists on the other hand tend to keep it simple, using the owner’s name as its moniker, like Betty’s and Christopher Mark in Brookfield. Then there’s Shamrock in Riverside. I’m not sure I understand that one, but I will ask.
How about Sticky? You might puzzle over that one a bit until you realize the creative stuff going on inside of the storefront at 7 Longcommon Road. Suffice to say, advertising studio owner Don Pogany is creating things that “stick” in people’s minds.