One big happy family

August 27, 2013 in Local News, News, Top Stories

Dorr-Secor residents reunite again for block party, cabaret and picnic

Journal Staff Writer

Dorr-Secor Reconnect organizers. From left: Daryle Parr, Pat Barry, Priscilla Pettaway-Fitch, Candis Wilson-Randle and Tina Nelson-Roberts.

People who grew up or still live in the Dorr-Secor area, once known as Adams Township before the city of Toledo annexed it, congregated for a reunion Aug. 16-18.
For the past four years, a block party, which served as a meet-and-greet, took place on Fridays on different streets. Residents who live on Elysian Avenue, one of about 30 streets, hosted this year’s party.
People gathered and became re-acquainted with those they haven’t seen since, either last year, or their childhood. They enjoyed barbecuing, dancing, playing cards and enjoying the company of friends.
A cabaret took place Saturday evening at American Legion on Byrne Road. And closing out the weekend, a picnic was at Ottawa Park, where organizers said at least 500 people attend yearly.
Tina Nelson Roberts, organizer, sparked others from her neighborhood to want to hold a reunion when she relocated to Crown Point, Ind.
“I missed the old neighborhood when I moved to Indiana,” Nelson Roberts said. “I started a Facebook group because of how much I missed it and just began talking about the good old days.”
By starting the group and encouraging others to share memories, Pat Barry, another organizer for the weekend, was convinced that they needed to have a reunion.
Barry said she became was determined to make it happen when a good friend of hers and a resident who lived in the area passed away.
“When Michael Schuler died, I said, ‘let us not let another person pass away without us seeing them,’” she said.
That was five years ago. A year later, the first Dorr-Secor reunion was held.
Priscilla Pettaway-Fitch, event organizer explained what made the area so unique to the point it warranted a reunion.
“We were all one big family,” she said. “We all knew each other. If you, as a child, got into trouble, someone else could whoop you and send you home. Then, she would call your momma and tell her what you did.”
Andy Edwards, who grew up on Byrne Road across from Mount Vernon Elementary School, currently resides in San Diego.
“I’ve been coming every year since the reunion has been held and it’s definitely worth me traveling back to Toledo,” he said.
While barbequing hamburgers for his friends, Edwards shared what he thought was missing in the neighborhood from the days that he experienced growing up.
“The discipline of the children is missing,” he said. “It seems that the kids today can do whatever they want. It wasn’t like that growing up in my neighborhood; too many people cared.”

Andy Edwards said he didn’t mind cooking and serving hamburgers for his friends.

The reunion weekend was about old friends getting together. Seated from left: Djuana Avery and Cynthia Valentine. Standing from left: Pat Barry, Vera Reid, Rosa Turnbough and Denise Parkman-Smith.

Residents enjoyed a game of Spades.