When I saw this prompt, there was no doubt about what I would be sharing today. My grandparents, Charles and Abbie Webber Smith, owned a truckstop/grocery store/cafe in southeastern Iowa during the 1950s and 60s.
I categorize some of my posts as “Life at The Hedrick Y” because my grandparents’ business and home and my Dad(Jerry)’s business and sometimes his home were all located at what the locals called the Hedrick Y. This old map shows the intersection of highways 63 and 149.
You can see a portion of the “Y” created by the intersection in this photograph.
The Y created a nice little triangular park. My grandfather built the picnic tables you can see in the lower right. That little square patch near the picnic tables was a grill where we occasionally grilled hot dogs or hamburgers.
The house on the left was my Dad(Jerry)’s. The buildings in the middle were his motorcycle shop – storefront, mechanic’s garage, and warehouse. On the right is the truckstop/cafe/grocery store with my grandparent’s home attached on the far right. There was another little house hidden by the trees behind the truckstop. My great aunt and uncle, Norman and Irene Webber, lived there for several years. The oval track in the back is where my dad, a professional motorcycle competitor, practiced. Their property was surrounded on two sides by cornfields – not sure what’s growing on the other side.
The aerial photo above was taken after major rebuilding, so let’s look at a few older pictures….
I tried to zoom in on the signs by the door into the kitchen, but I never could read the small print on the one that says KEEP OUT OF THE KITCHEN. The one on the upper right of the door says: We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. And the sign above the cigarettes: LUCKIES TASTE BETTER!
When I was a month old, my mom, grandmother, grandfather, and great-grandmother all took a picture with me sitting in the same spot in front of a brick post. I won’t bore you with all 4 pictures – nor the one with Kay, the dog.
It looks like there was a grocery delivery that day – lots of boxes in the background. Abbie did a lot of handwork, including crochet. The large doily hanging on the post was probably one she made.
Those must be Grandpa’s Conoco overalls hanging by the door. Grandma’s sewing machine is in the background… guess she did some sewing when there were no customers.
And I’m trying to figure out what the contraption is on the wall by the door…
Unfortunately, I cut away part of the picture below when I was a kid. I wanted the picture to fit in my wallet. I wish I hadn’t done that. The rest of the sign might have been in the picture.
I’m guessing this was Easter 1954. Even after the original building was torn down, the water pump on the far left remained. I enjoyed pumping water. Of course, I was a kid, and we didn’t really need to pump water any more. A game to me that I am sure had been a chore to my elders.
There were advantages to spending my days at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s. I believe I must be oohing and ahhing over some sweet treats.
Hugs from Grandpa… who might have a little grease on him sometimes. I’m including this unfortunately blurry picture because of the Joe Lewis poster which has replaced Grandma’s doily on the brick post.
Oh my – now that I’ve started I don’t know where to stop! I think I have at least another 3 posts worth of pictures and stories to go. I’ll just finish up briefly and try to do the rest on another day or three.
I don’t really have any memories of the place at this young age. And, although I only lived here for two years, the Hedrick Y remained a big part of my life for much longer. I spent every other Saturday at the Y as a little girl, and when Mom remarried and we moved away, I came back for a month every summer and alternate Christmases. I do have a lot of memories of those days.
So I’ll close with just a couple more pictures…
And many more years of memories…
I shared a few memories of my Grandmother Abbie and the Hedrick Y in one of my first posts.
Please visit other Sepia Saturday participants. They are always interesting and entertaining.