I moved to Howell in 1983 when I got a job as the sports editor of the Livingston County Press. And in some ways, the town looked much the same 33 years ago as it looks today.
The Howell Theater was sitting in the same spot downtown, as were First National Bank, Cleary’s Pub, Yax Jewelers and a few more. The hospital on Byron Road was still there, although it was called McPherson Hospital, not St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital. (And if you’re an old-timer like me, you still call it McPherson Hospital.) The new Howell High School had just opened, and it was magnificent.
Oh, and the Livingston County Courthouse was still there. Can’t forget that.
But man, so much more has changed in Howell since 1983. So, so much more.
MAMS (Michigan Avenue Middle School) is gone, replaced by the Howell Post Office.
Big Wheel rolled away, replaced as our local department store by the likes of Meijer and Walmart. (And remember, Howell is already on its SECOND Walmart; the original one was located across the street.)
The old D&C Store is now Mr. B’s.
The Midget Restaurant, which used to sit next to the Howell Theater, served its last gloriously greasy burger several decades ago.
The Old Howell House is history, as well. Best milkshakes ever.
In the 1980s, kids used to cruise the KPL (Kroger Parking Lot), but then Kroger moved out, replaced by Big Lots. Then Big Lots moved out, replaced by a fitness place. And I don’t think anyone cruises the parking lot anymore.
So, as long as I’m feeling all nostalgic about Howell, here’s another list: The 5 Things I Miss the Most About Howell.
1. Marion Oaks Golf Course
The property south of Howell has been sitting vacant for years now, but in its heyday, this was my favorite golf course in the area. Loved the golf course and loved the restaurant there. And I miss them both. I believe the golf course closed in 2006, and I can’t believe it’s been a decade.
2. Annie’s Pot
This little restaurant sat in a strip mall just east of town, and they had the best – the BEST – breadsticks ever.
3. Consumers Discount
Some were partial to the D&C Store downtown, but I always liked Consumers Discount for my department store needs. The store sat on the east side of downtown, and they had everything from socks to soft drinks. All at prices that make Walmart seem like Sak’s Fifth Avenue.
4. Sefa’s Market
One of the reasons I love Fowlerville so much is that there’s not one, but TWO grocery stores downtown. Howell lost a lot when it lost its only downtown grocery store. I loved Sefa’s.
5. The weekly LCP
We all thought it was a good thing when the newspaper went from being a weekly, to a twice-weekly, to a daily. But now I long for the days before the Internet when the Livingston County Press came out only on Wednesday, and that was the biggest day of the week in Howell. The only way to know what was going on in town was by reading the LCP.
So, what do YOU miss the most about Howell? Leave a comment below.