MEDINA — Local historian Bob Hyde will be the grand marshal of the Medina Bicentennial Parade on July 4. However, if he had his druthers, that honorable distinction would have gone to his late friend, Macy Hallock, who died in November at age 94.
“Macy was a big help for me,” Hyde said. “I golfed with him every Friday. They used to say we knew all the skeletons in Medina.”
Hyde, 85, is working feverishly on his ever-evolving “Beyond the Storefronts,” which is a tour through the history of Medina.
It can be accessed at www.medinasquare.org.
“I hoped Macy had lived another six months,” Hyde said Wednesday.
Had his friend been alive, Hyde said, he would have supported him to be grand marshal, and noted Hallock’s daughter, Debra, called him to congratulate him.
“I’m sure Macy will look down and say my buddy’s there in my place,” Hyde said. “He was a personal friend for 60 years. It’s sad. We were the last of the Mohicans. I hope I make it another six months.”
His friendship with Hallock dates to the 1950s when the Medina Jaycees found funding to build Memorial Pool.
“Me and (fellow Jaycee) Bob Riegger are the only ones left,” Hyde said.
Mayor Dennis Hanwell and Medina City Council selected Hyde for the grand marshal honor, and he likened it to being a “dignitary” for the day.
“It’s like being the mayor for one day,” Hyde said. “They generally put a ribbon around your shoulders, you sit in a convertible and then make a few comments after the parade is over.”
After his selection, Hyde said, he immediately went to Medina Library and started looking up past grand marshals in the city in 1918 (the city’s 100-year anniversary) and 1976 (the country’s 200-year anniversary). He hadn’t found their names as of Wednesday.
“Beyond the Storefronts” started out as a winter project and has grown into “more than a full-time job.”
“I’ve been doing this for 22 years. I’ve not done it by myself.”
People continue to send him old pictures of Medina and the Historic District. He also has supported two Facebook pages, Roadside History of Medina, and You’re from Medina if … Each page has about 5,000 followers.
He’s said he planning a walking tour of Public Square in April, which he believes will be popular. For it, he spent hours at the library researching former bank presidents at Old Phoenix Bank, now Huntington National Bank, along with finding information on 29 former postmasters through the years in Medina.
Hyde said the first post office in Medina was in 1817 and located where the Laribee & Hertrick law office is today at 325 N. Broadway St.
He’s researched more than 2,500 proprietors from 1826 to 2017. There were 186 locations on the square that housed businesses. Now, there are only 132, he said.
“The rest are parking lots,” Hyde said.
“When the 250th centennial comes along, I hope someone will carry this on.”
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.