Thursday, August 30, 2012
We don’t mind staying here as the price is very reasonable and there used to be a gas station/convenience/deli store right next door. I say “used to be” because this year we witnessed a major change.
This photo was taken 2 years ago. Wilma with her sister Connie sitting in front of our room at the Dixon Hotel, showing the gas station next door.
The station and the hotel was owned by Jimmy, and last year the station was closed. We told him that we really miss the convenience of the station. He mentioned to us that he was looking to sell the complete complex because of health reasons. Curiously I asked him what his asking price was. He said $250,000 for the station and another $250,000 for the hotel. I wished him luck but it was a little over my price range.
It seems that he found a buyer of the station because we noticed when we arrived here on Tuesday evening there was plenty of heavy equipment in the lot. To the right of the station some of the land was cleared and leveled.
On Wednesday we went visiting Wilma’s relatives. When we returned in the evening the station was gone! The roof structure that was over the pumps was leaning on one side. The demolition had started.
As we continued to watch the progress of the men and their heavy dozers and other equipment, we were joined by Wilma's’ brother Eddie and his wife Beth, and her cousin Linda. There was plenty of talk between them of the past when they used to work at the station. Wilma was a cashier and Eddie was a manager at one time. They grew up around the ol Zephyr gas station.
Through the years it changed owners, and additions were made to the station. A small “party store” with grill was added. Later a small diner was added so the locals could sit drinking their coffee in the morning and solve the problems of the world. Also the burgers and fries and other sandwiches were great for lunch.
With the opening of other stations and Diner’s in the small town of Dixon, there was just too much competition and “Jimmy” decided he just wanted to close it down and sell it.
I’m sure the “Ol Zephyr Gas Station” will be missed by the locals for years to come.
We were told that in place of the station, a new building will be built to repair heavy trucks and equipment. Hopefully for Jimmy, owner of the Hotel, there won’t be too much noise from the new business that will hurt his Hotel business. I guess time will tell.
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Until next time, be safe and God Bless.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
As we live on an subdivision intersection, he stopped in the intersection for a moment. Then continued to drive down our side street. I raised my hand and waved saying “Smile, your in Google Maps Street View”.
I don’t think Wilma heard me, but I sure hope we will be in future street view maps of our street! How cool is that? Even though I know they blur our faces.
I never thought that I would ever see one of those vehicles, and yet, here it was stopped “kiddy corner” from my home, then drive by within 100 feet of us.
I placed it on my Facebook page. My daughter Angel posted back that she passed the same Google car.
Brooke our Grand Daughter, asked her mom Angel, if they would be able to see her sipping on her frozen Coke? A little later my cousin posted in Facebook that they caught her in front of her home as Google drove down her street last week. Another…..”How Cool Is That?!”
Until next time, be safe and God Bless.
Friday, August 10, 2012
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This past week has been most exciting for me. The reason, a walk with my father through history.
It started last Sunday afternoon. His elementary school was open to the public for viewing. He was excited to be able to take 3 of his 4 children on a tour of the one room school house. He pointed out the several areas of the school house, not only to us, but the local “historian” that took notes of what he was telling about the school house. I guess it’s not often that they get to meet someone that actually went to the school AND can still remember vividly where things were located.
Many of the desks were not original, but for display purposes only. They did have the desks aligned properly however. A large square coal burning stove was located to the far left at the rear of the school room. Looking toward the rear of the room to the far right is where the restroom was located. With no running water back then, Dad had some interesting stories about how the restroom was taken care of.
The main entrance at the front of the building is no longer used. The back door is used today for visitations. It was a very memorable experience for me to actually walk on the same wooden floors that my father did when he first stepped foot into the building to attend Kindergarten in 1932
This Historical Plaque stands in front of the “Bunert One Room School House”.
Dad mentioned that on Thursday afternoon at 4 PM, the “Two Room School House” will be dedicated and that he was invited to attend the ceremony. I asked if I could go with him, his smile on his face said it all. “Of course you can come, I can tell you everything I remember about that building also”. I looked forward to spending some quality time with my Dad on Thursday.
I arrive at Dad’s house to pick him up at 3:30 PM. We arrive at the “Two Room School House” at 3:45 PM. There were only about a dozen people there. Only one other person, a “Lady” as I’ll refer to her as we didn’t get her name, attended the dedication ceremony that went to school in the “Two Room School House”. (Her Photo Below)
This Two Room School House was built in 1927 and closed in 1944.
The photo above taken in 1936 with all the kids attending both the “One Room School” and the “Two Room School” Dad is in the front row, 4th. from the left. He was just 9 years old in this photo.
As we entered the building Dad would point out how the building was divided into two rooms. They needed to separate the 5th and 6th grades from the 7th and 8th grades.
Dad went to this “Two Room School House” from 1938 and finished his 8th grade in 1942. Just two years later in 1944, the “Two Room School House” was closed. The O’Conner family purchased the building and converted it to “Maple Grove Hall”. I found out this day that one of the women reading the history of the building during the dedication was the Grand Daughter of the couple that bought the building. She being an O’Conner married into our family. She addressed my dad as Uncle Fred! How cool is that!
One of the first things the O’Conner family did was remove the center wall which separated the building into two rooms. This made for a large single room building. Perfect for the purpose of having large gatherings, like Square Dancing, which was popular back then.
Now fast forward to the year 1947. Dad used to attend those Square Dances every week. I guess you could say the Maple Grove Hall was the local hang out. That is where he met my Mother. They danced to the live band every week having a great time together. Dad did mention that the Hall now looked quite smaller than he remembered. With a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye, he pointed out where the Live Band would be, and how he and mom used to Square Dance for hours until their feet hurt. In 1949 they married. I came along, their first born child, 15 months later in 1950.
Once again I felt so privileged to be able to walk in the same building that my Dad went to school in. As a special bonus, the same building that my Mom and Dad met in! As he talked about the days gone by, I could almost picture myself there with him. What a very special time I had with my Dad. A special time I will cherish forever!
Until next time, be Safe and God Bless.