|The Sandy Sides Collection
Meet Sandy Sides Castor, a former Granite City resident and
owner of the Sandy Sides Collection.
The Sandy Sides Collection is a collection of vintage photographs
depicting Sandy and her family's early life in Granite City.
Sandy was born May 11, 1934 at St. Elizabeth's hospital to
William E. Sides and Gladys Brewer Sides. Her father William was a
welder, pipe fitter, and also worked at the steel mills. Her mother
Gladys worked for awhile at the Army Depot
during WWII, and also in the beauty shop of Sandy's grandmother,
Viola Brewer, which was located in her home at 2215 Cleveland.
Sandy and her family lived in several places around Granite City,
including next to her grandparents, the Brewers, at 2217 Cleveland,
where several of the photographs are taken.
Sandy attended Neidringhaus, Emerson and Mitchell schools in
Granite City. Her favorite school was Emerson, where
Mr. Grover Norwood was the Principal, and her father's best friend.
Her father William had saved Mr. Norwood's life when they were
swimming in the Mississippi River, and Mr. Norwood got caught in a
whirlpool. Her father rescued him....so she never got into any trouble
at that school!
Following are some of Sandy's fond memories of her childhood in
Granite City, in her own words.
Sandy and her family moved to West Los Angeles, California in
September of 1945. Today, she and her husband, Jim Castor, live in
Carson City, Nevada. Sandy returns to her old home town from time
to time and keeps current on what's happening in Granite City
through her many friends and the Internet.
Thank you Sandy for sharing your collection and memories!
"My grandmother, while living at 2215 Cleveland, had her own beauty
shop in her home. We lived next door to her, and she would give me
these permanents with this huge machine!! It looked like something
from outer space! They would put these roller things on my hair, and
they would heat up and my mom had to help hold up my head they
were so heavy. I always thought I was going to be executed! When
my parents, and my grandparents moved to West Los Angeles, CA,
she had that monstrous machine put on the train !!!
My grandmother was such a good seamstress, she could just go look
at a dress in a shop, then come home and cut out a pattern from
newspapers. She made most of my clothes, snow suits, etc. Of
course, I never stood still while she had me stand on the table to pin a
hem, or whatever, and when my dad got home she told him all about
it. She always wanted to dress me like Shirley Temple, and made my
doll's dresses to match mine, My grandfather worked in the office at
the Steel Mill, also at a bank I believe.
I took piano lessons from a lady named Monica Pitchford in her
home. I had my own upright piano. My mom couldn't read music, but
she sure could play well by ear. When I went to Ms. Pitchford's house
I would try and get away with playing by ear, when she wasn't
looking. She would walk around her home, clean house or whatever,
and listen to my playing. I also had recitals which was fun. I took up
tap dancing, and we all were in little shows for our church, YMCA or
When I lived on Iowa, my grandmother opened a hair salon on the
corner of our street and mom worked there also. I also have loved to
do hair, and my girlfriends would come to my house, and I pretended I
was a HAIR DRESSER!
I remember many wonderful days taking our chicken dinner onto the
SS Admiral, with my cousins and going up onto all the decks and
checking out the ladies rest rooms, they were decorated so pretty, like
We moved to West Los Angeles, in Sept. 1945. For whatever reason,
I thought we were going to move to New York City, I was eleven at the
time. As we were crossing the Mississippi River, I told my father we
were going the wrong way!!! When he told me we were headed for
California, I think I cried half the way there. I always like the movies
with the Bowery Boys, and all those kinds of movies. When we
arrived in Westwood Village, west of Hollywood, my grandparents
arranged for us to house sit for friends of theirs who were touring
Europe. The day we got to their home, which was absolutely
beautiful, the first thing I did while Dad was trying to unload the car
(we looked like "The Grapes of Wrath", the car was so packed), they
had a little telephone desk in the hallway, and I immediately started
looking through it. My father asked me why I wasn't helping him, and I
told him I was looking up Shirley Temple's phone number! My mom
was pregnant and my sister was born January 2nd, 1946 and that
was in early September.
I missed all my friends so badly in Granite City. We didn't know one
soul when we arrived in West Los Angeles. My grandparents arrived
a month later.
I return toGranite City for visits as often as I can, I even attended Old
Grad's Nite a few years ago and saw four of my girlfriends, Brownie
Click here to visit the Sandy Sides Collection