My Home Town

Everyone has a home town.  I grew up in Clear Lake, SD which has a lake that ironically it is not very clear.   Here are some of the random memories from my home town:

  • Mangel’s Hardware had a toy section. The lights were single bulbs on pull strings and the owners would “light the way” by pulling strings where you were looking and turned them off as soon as possible right behind you.
  • We had a Law & Law law office. Seriously.
  • The pharmacy had a great selection of comic books. I remember paying 12 cents for Archie or Batman. Man, I am old.
  • The town bar was full of pool and snooker tables and not a place I got to frequent. But on July 4 they started the Snake Dance which is a long line of people holding hands, curving down the streets, and whipping the people on the ends so they go flying.
  • On the 4th we also had had fire department contests. They hung a barrel on a wire and the firemen shot water to move the barrel. My brother took a direct hit of water in the face from a hose that got away. Guess that didn’t feel too great.
  • Our grocery store actually butchered meat.
  • My first job was in the other grocery store. I dropped a box of orange juice bottles which broke and the owner said, “No sense crying over spilled milk.” But it was orange juice…
  • The county court house had big green barrels of water in their fallout shelter. Just in case the Russians decided Clear Lake was a huge world threat.
  • The gas station had a red hose that rang a bell when you drove over it. Or if you jumped on it.
  • I’ll never forget when I got to go to the back of the bakery and saw the bread go through the automatic slicer and bagger. It was better than…sliced bread?
  • The golf course had hills that were great for sledding in the winter. Dad hit a hole in one on the golf course. The tradition after a hole in one is to buy drinks for everyone in the clubhouse. Guessing the pastor didn’t do that.
  • Remember Green Stamps? We had a store where you could exchange books of stamps for items.
  • The barber shop would cut your hair and let your parents pay later. And they won’t let you get Mohawks.

That’s probably enough from my home town.

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