17 to 19 Main Street ca. 1960 (Hastings Record Shop on far right)
In the Fall 2008 issue of the Historian there is a wonderful story written by Carol Marie (Venuto) Davis regarding her family life and the eventual creation of the Steinschneider parking lot, which required demolition of her home. On page two of this issue, there is a photo of an old dual-use building on Spring Street that was removed in order to provide an entrance for this new public area. This old house had living space above and had the numerical destinations of #10 and #12. I have recently heard that The Hastings Record Shop had its first location in this building, and although I don't recall the shop when it was there I do remember very well how it was when it moved to 19 Main Street at the corner of Whitman (Lafayette Place).
This brick building also housed Ernie's Delicatessen, and the Hastings Five and Ten, a double store closest to the Boulanger Plaza, which was completed ca. 1957. For the record, the 5&10 was run by a Mr. and Mrs. Bromberger. Ernie's Delicatessen was (to my recollection) the first market-type store to use the designation "Delicatessen" until Marchioni's was opened two stores south of Nana's Lunch, across from the Hastings Trans Lux Theatre.
As for Hastings Record Shop, this is how I remember the store and its owners. Margaret and Will Hesketh were husband and wife. Will repaired radios in the back room, replacing tubes mostly. My older brother Bill was into radios and worked for Will for a while. Will had a small panel truck, and would pick up and deliver the repaired radios and TV's with a quiet and friendly smile. He would bring them in a rear door and would take them out to his truck while he was repairing them. Margaret ran the front of the store in a businesslike but friendly way.
As you walked in the front door, the counter was straight ahead, at the back of the store but in front of a partition wall that had a doorway to the repair area in back. There was a register to the left on top of the glass counter, and inside the glass case were various articles for sale such as record cleaning brushes, needles for 78's and later sapphire and diamond needles, plastic inserts for 45rpm records, etc.
These were the days of monophonic, as stereo was in its early stages and had only begun to appear toward the end of the Fifties. Only a couple of stereo records were available at the beginning, and mostly experimental, containing a variety of works, usually classical in content, such as the "Living Presence" album, ca. 1959.
If you were a regular customer of the HRS and wanted a particular record, Margaret would order it for you and call you when it came in. If a really popular album was about to arrive (Hastings Record Shop only stocked a couple of copies at a time to keep inventory down), Margaret would secretly hold a copy behind the counter for you on request.
I remember buying 78's for our Victrola there, and later The Everly Brothers, Elvis in 1956, Jimmy Rodgers singles in ‘57, etc. It was a treat to go there. Singles were .98 cents each and LP's were as high as $2.95. The store was spotless.