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Doris Day had 'many beautiful memories' of Cincinnati

Posted at 10:59 AM, May 13, 2019

CINCINNATI — Doris Day never forgot her Cincinnati roots, saying in 2017 that she missed the Queen City and had "so many beautiful memories" here.

Day, who grew up as Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff in Evanston, made the comments in an audio recording when city officials voted to name a stretch of Walnut Street Downtown "Doris Day Way" in her honor.

RELATED: Doris Day, Cincinnati's girl next door, dead at 97

"I am absolutely thrilled to hear that Cincinnati is honoring me with not only my own street, but my own day. I couldn't believe it," she says in the recording, which was provided by Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld's office at the time. "I miss my hometown and have so many beautiful memories of growing up there."

Listen to the recording below:

It appears to have been Day's last public statement to the people of Cincinnati. She died Monday at the age of 97, according to her foundation.

Sept. 27, 2017 was "Doris Day Day" in Cincinnati.

"I hope that Doris Day Way inspires many happy memories for everyone who visits," Day says in the recording. "I wish I could be with you for the celebrations, but since I can't, I'm sending all my love and a big 'thank you' for all who made this great honor possible."

Doris Day Way isn't the only reminder of her in Cincinnati. There's also Doris Day dog park in Mount Airy Forest. And then there's the people who watched Day get her start here and never forgot her.

Mary Catherine Schaeffer went to school with Day, saying they played kickball together in seventh and eighth grade.

"She was a bubbly type of person," Schaeffer said. "She was always full of fun. I remember that."

Schaeffer said she also saw Doris perform at Barney Rapp's nightclub. She started as Doris Kappelhoff and left as Doris Day.

Rapp's son-in-law, Herb Reisenfeld, said it didn't take long for Day's singing to become popular at the club.

"He said, 'I want to put your name up on the marquis, but your name is too long. You sing a song by the name of Day by Day, so why don't you call yourself Doris Day?' She really didn't like it," Reisenfeld said. "She said it sounded like a burlesque name. But she took it and it stuck."