Sunday, February 27, 2011

Liberty: Filling Stations and Beer Joints

Liberty UM Church service February 27, 2011 was another opportunity for the Pastor, Rev. Glenn Sweigart to lead the flock with prayer, preaching and songs.  The service was held in the upstairs gathering room where we used to go before Sunday School in elementary and middle school ages, to save on oil costs.  The room wasn't quite full when son PRJ and I entered late into the second row.  I was touched by the prayer for those with needs as it included our granddaughter, Natalie Rose, who God has held in His hand since birth.  Joy Weaver did a wonderful job at piano and the women's choir quartet blended well on "Love Lifted Me".

After the service, I discussed bus drivers (and the history of Liberty) with Jim Nye, who corrected me about the driver of bus 4- it wasn't him.  Fortunately, PRJ and I lunched at Red Lobster with Mom (Esther) and Petie Longhenry Hammond, who lived up town Liberty and knew everybody.  She came up with Webb Marker as the correct driver of bus 4.  She also gave some background about two "beer joints" in Liberty, one started by her grandmother, Hattie Fisher. We'll review the other one in a later entry.

We discussed the filling stations of George Heeter, George Wintermute,  Rozzell (?1st name).  I remember the Pure Oil Station and Texaco but not remembering brand on George Heeter's.  I used to enjoy watching the men play cards at the Texaco station.  Mike and I had a "charge account" (no kidding) at the Pure station and the grocery for ice cream cones at one time or another.

Petie places the first TV set in Liberty at the Broadbent home (where they had a cleaning business) and she recalls watching Friday night wrestling on that TV, as well as some western shows.  She shared some comments about life up town (as the Back Street folks referred to it) in Liberty including the town pump, which will be the focus of another entry.  Anyone with town pump or other stories is welcome to chime in or contact me and I'll slide your comments into a blog post.

Who lived where is always fun to hear about.  Esther recounted that Ben Ankney and Aunt Mattie apparently built and lived in Pete and Gladys (Donna and Peggy's parents) home.  George and Norma (Ankney) Speelman (Sam, Suzie, Elyn, Sally and Mary) were the first to reside in the Bill and Ruth Knoll (Freddie and Billie) house before Jim and Henrietta Whitaker (Jimmy and Danny) who became the Florida vacation hosts for many of us when they ran a Ft Myers, FL motel.  Size of family after the twins came along drove the Speelman clan to larger digs where Leslie joined the team.

Lunch with Petie and Esther provided a rich backdrop to life in Liberty before I was around.  The people were active in all sorts of community and supportive ways.  So there was lots of life before TV and the internet.  More later.  As all you Liberty people read these, speak up when you see inaccuracies.  Our brains may not file as well as we wish.  I hope your hearts were set at Liberty, too.

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