Sunday, January 29, 2006

313 Ridgeway

We moved into this house in 1957 after Grandmom died. A two bedroom wing was added off to the right of this picture for my sister and I. The basement was huge with a large part of it dedicated to a play area. That room to the left was what Grandmom called a sun room which wrapped around to a breakfast area off the kitchen and lots of picture windows. The formal dining room had one of those big wallpaper murals.

The property covered a few acres with a playhouse, barn and a couple of pastures out back that blended into a wooded area. It seemed so big to me. We lived in town, population about 5,000. which was the county seat.. with TWO stop lights! We were in the BIG town with the court house. The entire county population was about 10,000. On Saturday the farmers came to town to shop.

UPtown was approximately 5 blocks long from Fair’s Drug store to the court house with “five points” right smack in the middle of main street. One ladies shop; two men’s shops; Montgomery Wards; Western Auto; JC Penney; Kress and Woolworth's dime stores. One paint store; one hardware store; three drug stores and a flower shop. Grandriver Press print shop; a bank and a movie theater. A couple of diners and a hotel. The rest were professional offices. Today there are several offices and only a handful of small businesses left, thanks to the Rock Island Railroad pulling out and then finished off when WalMart showed up 30 miles away in the 80’s. When I lived there as an adult I opened another flower shop on Main Street - Petal Pushers.

Neighborhood grocers abound plus an A&P, then HyVee moved in to make two big grocery stores! Three neighborhood elementary schools; one high school which included the junior high. We walked. The country kids were bussed in. They were the only ones allowed to bring their lunch. No cafeterias. We “city” kids walked home and back. Our big meal was always at noon and it was called dinner not lunch. Leftovers or sandwiches for supper in the evening.

On Sundays, after Sunday school & church, we’d eat at one of the grandparents homes or the HyPower. HyPower was really a truck stop but had a dining room in the back. Pats of butter on those little wax paper squares, cream in miniature milk bottles and the best fried chicken dinner in the world which included home made parker house rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans then home made pie. Mmmmmmmmm. I can still taste it.

We were lucky to have a few doctors in town. They made house calls if you couldn’t get to the office. There were a few other retail outlets and eateries down 9th Street. My three favorites were Maid Rite (loose meat sandwiches and blue plate specials), A&W drive-in where the car hops wore roller skates; and Lazy Kay which was also a drive-in with car hops but no skates. They made the best tenderloin sandwich in town.

We belonged to the country club which was just down the street from our house. The club house then was a log cabin. We went to the municipal pool to swim in the summer at Moberly Park. Crowder Park was out by the water tower and sewer plant. The Rock Barn by the County Fair Grounds.

It was peaceful there. Comforting. No one locked their doors. People were friendly and honest. Everybody knew everybody... and their business. Parades on holidays, chili suppers, cook outs, ball games, picnics. If you were sick or had a death in the family everyone brought food and helped out. People cared about each other. Small Town USA in the 50’s... Mayberry.


At 8:03 PM, Blogger sjobs said...

It reminds me of my home town. Even today, many people don't lock their doors and you sure has heck can leave the car running in the driveway, to warm it up, without fear it will be gone when you get outside.

Thanks for the post and the photo. It brought back many memories.


At 12:45 AM, Blogger RED QUILT MAKER said...

I can see it all, just like a movie. A move from my childhood.

You see me??, running up and down Main Street between the drug store and Uncle Allens lumber yard.

Ummmm, fried chicken.

I gotta tell you though. I don't remember the pastures. Oh oh, could it be the "on set"?

You're the best!


At 8:28 AM, Blogger sttropezbutler said...

This was a side of small town life I never saw! Thanks to you, I now have.

Have a fab week CJ!


At 12:59 PM, Blogger dondon009 said...

Memories..... how fortunate we were to have lived in those small towns...... today's generation will raise their kids in asphalt jungles. How depressing!

My parents still live in a small community in Canada. It's still called a "parish" with no more that 200 families. Always there for each other...... and a healthy lifestyle, too. My dad will be 82 on the 6th, my mom 83 in April.

Thanks for the memories.....

At 2:30 PM, Blogger ConnieJane said...

RQM... pastures might not have been the right word to use. There were two separate fenced in areas by the barn for the horses. Guess they were more like corrals. After we moved into that house, Dad had the ponies boarded on Harlon Hobb's farm in the country.

I DO see you running up and down Main Street! (Fair's or Cisco's for a nickel cone?) Did Grandmother let you walk over to McNair's Grocery and charge a nickel's worth of candy to their bill? It used to take me hours to decide if I wanted one BIG candy - usually a Sugar Daddy - or a sack full of 2/penny candy.

At 6:24 AM, Blogger alan said...

More than Mayberry; this was real, no illusion necessary!

Though KCK was much larger, it had a lot of those same feelings until the late 60's. A world long since disappeared (at least for most of us), like the "Texaco Star".

Thank you for sharing your memories!


At 10:03 AM, Blogger Sublime said...

Hi ConnieJane,

What a beautiful post! I'm glad I stopped in to say hello or I would have missed it.

Such a fabulous description. Agreeing with RQM, I can see it all just like a movie.

Take care and thanks for your recent answer at The Big Question too.


At 11:16 AM, Blogger Blogzie said...

This house truly looks like a home.

Great blast to the past.

Wonderful memories that are shared by so many of us of a 'certain age'.


At 6:12 PM, Blogger RED QUILT MAKER said...

It's Sunday and I sure hope you don't have to work.



At 8:39 PM, Blogger dondon009 said...

You are missed in blogland....

Hope all is well!


At 3:56 PM, Blogger sttropezbutler said...

Hi Ho to you sister!

Are you freezing? rQm said it was "chilly" in FLA!

Just saying hi!


At 5:01 PM, Blogger The Blog Whore said...

I love the old pictures.

I remember basements! We don't have those down here.

I could really use one though. So much useless crap, I have to throw away that I could hoard and hoard.


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