Tribute to Marlene Meehl

© 1997 Marlene Hyatt Meehl

For additional copies write the author
223 SE 12th Avenue
Faribault, MN 55021
(507)332-2803

HarMar Publishing
Faribault, MN 55021

theoldhometown 002Remember when Fleckenstein Brewery was here
And bottled Orange Crush and our favorite beer?
The bottles were brown and the water so clear!
And these were the tastes that we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown002-1Remember the high school four blocks from downtown?
Our center of learning till they tore it down;
The hallways of marble, the cap and the gown;
Remember the high school we loved?

 

 

 

theoldhometown 003And how the Olympia opened at six
and Bill in the basement made peppermint sticks
And chocolates and candy, his dad’s Special mix;
And this was the candy we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 004An office with typewriter desks in a row;
The Security Bank with the Barber below;
Basilleos Pizza and pizza pie dough
Drew crowds in the town that we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 005A sales clerk behind every counter in sight,
A charming sincerity, honest and bright;
The customer was, without fail, “always right”
And treasured by stores that we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 006On Friday nights businesses opened their doors
And people would meet in their favorite stores;
What used to be Fosses now houses DuFours;
And these were the places we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 007The Paradise Theater Saturday nights,
The marquee a-blazing with hundreds of lights;
The Hurryback Bar with its quota of fights;
And these were the nights that we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 008Remember the heights of competing hotels?
The Maid-Rite with doughnut and hamburger smells?
The Sundays that rang with Episcopal bells;
How peaceful the days that we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 009The Arlington rooming house catered to “gents”
And prided itself on affordable rents;
The fare in a taxi was 35 cents;
And these were the prices we loved!

 

 

 

theoldhometown 010And down by Straight River in summers too hot
Were hobos with stews in an old metal pot;
The name might be “straight” but the river was not;
But this was the river we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 011The Rock Island Depot and two o’clock train;
The trucks and the farmers unloading their grain;
The twisting and turning of Old Lover’s Lane;
How treasured the landmarks we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 012The old Shattuck Tower and clock telling times
Were part of our past till they shut off the chimes!
The houses unlocked, there were very few crimes;
And this was the town that we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 013The Thursday night concerts, the bandstand, the park;
The marches and waltzes from eight until dark;
The drumbeats and heartbeats and maple tree bark,
Alive to the music we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 014The townspeople fishing the Woolen Mill Dam;
Young bullhead and walleye fry better than ham!
And Grandmother’s rhubarb and strawberry jam
Made breakfast the meal that we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 015The Tilt-A-Whirl rides at the Rice County Fair;
The games on the midway with everyone there;
The grease and the salt on a hamburger rare;
The dust and excitement we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 016The Armory dances, the pulsating beat;
The National Guardsmen conducting a meet;
The driving tests given out front in the street
On Central, the street that we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 017And Woolen Mill blankets so soft and so full
From fleeces that factory machinery pull;
The Hyatts who processed and carded the wool
And pioneered skills that we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 018The Red Dog, The Shamrock, The Arrow, The Cue;
The nights on the town with a buddy or two;
To order, on tap, a particular brew
And toast all the friends that we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 019Remember McKinley on Twelfth Street and First?
The Christmastime pageants that students rehearsed?
The cold winter morning and Ovaltine thirst,
And snowbanks and snowmen we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 020The desktops with inkwells, the valentines made;
Report cards with “S” or “S+” for a grade;
And dozens of elephants papier mached;
The years filled with classmates we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 021And sidewalks with chalkmarks and kids playing jacks,
And hopscotch and marbles and grass in the cracks;
The wiggle of puppies and after-school snacks;
And laughing with friends that we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 022The Canning machinery that processed our corn;
The whistle that blew on a hot July morn;
The dragstrip on Central, a Mercury horn;
The sounds of the summers we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 023The Park Alexander on Fourth of July
Was host to the fireworks that lit up the sky;
The Veterans Parade and the tears in the eye
For soldiers long lost that we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 024The Viaduct curving away to the east;
And Maple Lawn housing the newly deceased;
The pleasure and joy of a Thanksgiving feast
With neighbors and family we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 025Woolworth’s and Kresge’s, the Boston Cafe
Drew families and people from miles away,
And shopping on Central meant more to our day
Than even the money we loved!

 

 

 

theoldhometown 026And Dottie Dunn hats were a milliner’s dream
With laces and ribbons the color of cream;
The rattle of milkwagons pulled by a team
That visited houses we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 027The porches where gray metal milkboxes stand;
The clink of the milkbottles carried by hand
Displaying the Voegele or Marigold brand;
Cold milk for the children we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 028How sturdy the oak in the neighborhood lawn;
The oak is still there but the neighborhood is gone;
The pump in our yard where our water was drawn
Was part of the past that we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 029The Jewetts Point ballroom on weekends in June;
The love songs that visiting balladeers croon;
The bar stool that sits near a brassy spittoon;
All part of the summers we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 030With cutters and saws ice from lakes would appear,
The ice blocks in sawdust preserved through the year,
And cries through the house, “Mom, the iceman is here!”
Would echo through years that we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 031Old outhouses standing alone in the cold
Drew visits from only the brave and the bold;
These buildings that services the young and the old
Were buildings respected and loved!

 

 

 

theoldhometown 032The rattle of coal dropping down through a chute
To basements preserving potatoes and fruit;
We might have to shovel and tolerate soot
But coal gave the warmth that we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 033The ironing board; testing the iron with spit;
“Be careful with fabrics of rayon or knit;”
Along came the mangle and housewives could sit!
Preserving the women we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 034Policemen and mailmen out walking their beats
On north and south avenue, east and west streets,
Through rainstorms, wind storms, blizzards and sleets;
They did it for people they loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 035The wraparound porches with cots or a bed;
Old neighbors conversing from sidewalks and said,
“It’s such a nice morning!” or “Evening there, Ed;”
Old times with the neighbors we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 036Old trunks in an attic, a snowsled of wood,
A portrait, a dollbed, a racquet, a hood;
A world of old memories and all of them good;
The attics in houses we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 037The houses themselves with some floorboards that creak;
An alcove, a dormer in attics that peak
Where you and your sister would play hide-and-seek
And laugh through the years that we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 038From Treasure cave cheeses and Sheffield’s Mill four
To Lehman’s, Clarine’s, and their own type of flower,
To workman and Liberty cabs by the hour,
Providing the product we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 039Remember when doctors made house calls at night?
The little black bag and the bandages tight?
Whatever was wrong he would somehow make right,
This Angel of Mercy we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 040The Red Owl and Tipka’s, the National Tea,
The old Piggly Wiggly where liver was free;
Fine Eight O’Clock Coffee, the old A and P
Made eating a pleasure we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 041Remember the smells in a neighborhood store
From Keller’s to Jensen’s to Art Valencore?
A little bell rang when we opened the door
Announcing a customer loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 042Fresh bread for a quarter and cones for a dime,
Sweet gum for a penny, all priced for the time;
And no one imagined how prices would climb;
Things sold for a price we could love.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 043When junkyards like Schockett’s “recycled” old parts
From scrap metal handles to wheelbarow carts,
We brought them old motors with joy in our hearts
And took away money we loved!

 

 

 

theoldhometown 044Our main street was made a pedestrian mall
Where no cars could park summer, winter, or fall;
And stores filled with people have none now at all;
What happened to places we loved?

 

 

 

theoldhometown 045Remember, remember, these scenes from the past?
So fleeting? so perfect? They joy could not last,
For time and the people are moving too fast,
The time and the people we loved.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 046But memories immortal are fixed in our mind
So precious, so special, encased and enshrined,
Forever alive and forever entwined
With all that we treasure and love.

 

 

 

theoldhometown 047This town, oh this town, from a quieter day
Would choose, if it could, to hold progress at bay;
A town slow of pace but we liked it that way;
This town, oh this town, that we loved

 

 

 

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