Caldwell family reflects on decades of memories at newly renovated plaza

One native discusses her life in 1940s Caldwell.
Posted at 10:47 AM, Nov 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-23 12:49:39-05

Before industrial-chic coffee houses and state-of-the-art ice rinks was a 14-year-old girl in 1940s Caldwell, earning wages right here where the plaza lies today.

"I've been here forever," said Kathleen Charlesworth, "This used to be King's Variety Store, and I worked-- I worked at the police department full-time. And then I worked four hours a night here."

83-year-old Charlesworth came with her daughter and three grandchildren this Thanksgiving to check out the new Ice Ribbon, which she hadn't seen-- or skated-- yet.

"I really like it. I really do. And like I said-- I'm gonna give it a go!"

Her daughter Robin, who also grew up in Caldwell, says memories came flooding back for all three generations.

"I was in the Christmas parade, and I don't remember how old I was-- eleven or twelve, yeah, and we won first prize for our costume so I was telling these guys about that."

She says she would eventually bring her kids to that same parade, but years later.

"I remember coming down here as a kid and looking at the lights, and walking down the bridge just down there," said Robin's grandson Quinn.

But before the 57 thousand square foot, multimillion-dollar Indian Creek Plaza opened this year, Robin says not all memories of Caldwell are quite as charming.

"I've left and lived in big cities all over the country, and I was really sad for a long time for Caldwell because it was really dumpy and they let the downtown die. And, um, now, they really got it-- it's-- it's being-- it's coming back!"

One family member had his eye on the plaza for a different reason.

"He even said to me-- he looked at this and goes, 'Wow this is a great date place!' So the fact that he goes to BSU and lives in Boise and wants to bring his date to Caldwell-- that says something about Caldwell."

And that same endearing desire for human connection, Charlesworth says, is what keeps people coming back.

"I used to go to this high school and then us girls would walk down here downtown and say hi to people-- and it was just-- it's just always been a friendly place. I-- ugh, i just love it here."