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Owner hopes to sell mechanical horse
2nd November, 2005

When Kirts Circle 5 and 10 in Elmwood Park auctioned off materials in the mid-1970s, Marge Docimo wanted to make sure she kept memories of the store.

Docimo and her husband, Gene, bought a large memory - the coin-operated mechanical horse that was outside the store - in an auction.

They bought the horse because their children, Nick Docimo and Gina Cooper, had good memories about the horse they rode for a dime. And, Marge Docimo said, "there will be grandkids someday."

Her nephew, who still lives in Elmwood Park, also remembers the horse as one of his worst experiences, Docimo said. He was in fourth grade and sitting on the horse when the owner put a dime in. The horse was moving when two girls in his class came by.

"He was embarrassed," said Docimo, a former Elmwood Park resident.

After her husband died in 199, she moved to Bensenville.

The mechanical horse is now "stabled" in the basement of her daughter's home in Wood Dale, but Cooper is moving and doesn't want to bring the horse after moving it once or twice.

Docimo said she could not guess the weight of the horse, but it is heavy.

"I plugged it in the other night; it still works." she said.

A dime no longer is needed to operate the machine, whose brand name she is unsure of.

She said the couple paid in the $700 to $800 range for the mechanical horse estimated to be over 50 years old. As to what she is charging, Docimo said, "I really don't know. It would be nice to get back what we paid for it."

Docimo said it would be nice if someone in Elmwood Park purchased the mechanical horse, "people who would remember it with the same fondness we did."

Russ Parker, head of adult services at the Elmwood Park Public Library, said the store's name was Kirts Circle 5 and 10. A listing in a 1980s telephone book was for Circle 5 Cent to 1 Dollar Store at 18 Conti Parkway. By August 1991, that store no longer was listed in the telephone book.

Docimo grew up in Elmwood Park and attended John Mills School and Elmwood Park High School. She said she went to Kirts as a child.

"I just remember the amount of things you could purchase in the store, for a small store."

This included toys, candy, a spool of thread, school supplies, "everything you might need."

"I don't think I ever went in there and came out empty handed."

Anyone interested in the mechanical horse should call (630) 595-9117.

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