Mike Korolchuk Store, Oklahoma Korolchuk family photo
Natasha Steele
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Mike Korolchuk Store, Oklahoma

A photo of Micheal "Mickey" Korolchuk (Karol) first store in Collinsville Oklahoma

About Micheal "Mickey" Korolchuk

My Great Grandfather changed his name twice while immigrating to the USA in 1912. His arrival in Collinsville Oklahoma, the fastest growing Town at the time was home of his first bought Store. He named it "Mike Korolchuk Merc". Here only him & the mayor of Collinsville owned Automobiles. When not working at the store, he took up Photography. In Oklahoma he had the chance to wed a Rich Oilman's Daughter but kept finding reasons not to marry her. It was later thought that Mickey wanted to marry a European woman as opposed to an American woman. Mickey's store was located outside of a plant that manufactured weapons during world war 1. After the war the plant closed and ultimately ended Mickey's stay in Oklahoma. Around 1920 Mickey packed all his belongings & headed to NEW fastest growing City in America. The epicenter of Auto Making. When moving to Detriot, Mickey opened a Resturant where he met my cruel & judgmental Great Grandmother Edna. My Great Grandfather Mickey being a gentleman wanted to ask Edna's parents for her hand in marrige. He then ventured to Pennsylvania where he asked for permission to wed her. With the blessing he went back to Detriot where they wed on November 4th, 1924. After marriage Mickey went full time back to the Grocery store. He bought a store front in 1928, Detroits Westside also known to be Lincoln Park. His store was located at 2215 Fort Street when it was still a dirt road. Behind the store is where Mickey & Edna raised my Grandfather Conrad Karol & his brother Micheal Karol. During the great depression Mickey was known to help families by allowing them run tabs & pay when they got the money to do so. During this time a famous quote & philosophy was mounted on a wall in his store stating "Price is soon forgotten, but the memory of goodwill, honesty & quality last forever."-Mickey Korolchuk. In 1973 My Greatgrandfather sold his store & retired to the Senior Citizens Tower. In 1980 on Thankgiving day. At the age 93 Mickey's career at the Lincoln Park Museum ended due to his limited mobility. Mickey was always a familiar face in the Lincoln Park Memorial Day Parades driving his 1940's Cadillac that was only driven for show. At 98 yrs old Mickey saw his last Tiger's Baseball game in person. After that he religiously listened in by radio. Mickey was a fashion statement with his always impeccable atire. Mickey wore a suit & a bowtie everywhere adding to it was his long cigerette holder & cigerettes. Mickey thought of himself to be a natural Groucho Marx. On Halloween he even dressed the part to pass candy out to the childrenn that visited his store. Mickey loved being the best dressed citizen of Pine Knoll Convalescent Center. Even at his old age Mickey stilll had corispondance with his remaining brother in Ukraine & was even sent a personal Birthday Card from President Bush Sr. Mickey had his store in Lincoln Park for 43yrs & was married to Edna for 55yrs. Mickey came from the Old Country where he lived on potatoe perogies & water. From this Mickey led a life of pinching pennies & saving as much as he could, from money to water. Mickey first learned of the USA & possibly going there by working as a postal clerk in Europe. His friends who had come to the USA wrote him & told him how wonderful it was. One of Mickey's Uncles (my great great grandpa's brother) sponcered Mickey's trip to the USA. Mickey did have another brother who stayed in Ukraine & was married. During the war both Mickey;s brother & sister-n-law were captured and sent to a concentration camp, there my great uncle & aunt were murdered. He was put in front of a firing squad & she was beheaded for espionoge. Mickey's surname & birthplace is the same of Pope John Paul II. This fact was very important to my Great Grandpa & he was very proud of it. My Mother Lori Karol tells me stories of my GreatGpa sneaking quarters or dollors to her as a child to buy ice cream or candy at his store. An iconic ice cream cone sign was placed in his store where a 1 scoop ice cream cone only cost 5 cents. Mickey had poor english & spoke with a thick accent. He was known for keeping the front of his store clean & didnt approve of "hippies" or suspicious people liottering by his store. He often chased them off with a broom. He wasnt a mean man, he just was very old fashioned & still thought from an Old Country point of view. There are many photos & articles published of Mickey in the Detriot/Lincoln Park area. He reportedly taken over a few hundred photos & are now archived at Lincoln Park Museum. Today Mickey's Store front is a Hair Salon & Shoe Store, even with a paved road :) ...more info

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Photo taken at Collinsville, Tulsa County, OK
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