Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 23, 2014

Life in ‘Camelot’ fondly remembered

By Tom Ward | Jan 17, 2013

To the editor:

Fairfield is not the center of anything I know.

Except a place within my heart where love and memories grow.

It’s just a small, inconspicuous dot on a map of the Iowa state.

A picturesque, Midwestern town Norman Rockwell might paint upon a plate.

 

Its name conjures a vision where serenity never yields.

Where breezes there are warm and fair over gently rolling fields.

Hindsight is 20/20 says an ancient plea. But, our vision fails when we

Can’t see the forest for the trees.

 

It’s only when you’re looking back you can really feel the “truths.”

Like what a treat on Sunday to eat at Red and Ruths!

What a childhood thrill to shop at Woolworth’s five and dime.

Where nickel and ten-cent “treasures” made kid’s shopping just sublime.

I remember White T grocery store, “Super Markets” were unknown.

And occasional trips to Staves “Purity Café” for a “rare treat” ice cream cone.

 

Mrs. Rundquist ran Sorden Music Store while Carl was painting signs.

She sold big “discs” called “records” before “compacts” were designed.

We had our choice of movie house, the Orpheum or the Rex.

Looking back, movies that we saw were B.S. ... “before sex.”

 

Departed from the passing scene is one like you’ll find no more.

Gone from its aging corner ... Till Johnson’s old drug store.

Our shoes were worn and tattered, they had to bear a heavy load.

Jimmy Roules was “savior of our soles” where the leather meets the road.

 

There was this strange, intriguing place where we liked to tarry.

They called it “Coney Island” with brothers Bill and Harry.

Brown, Lynch and Scott sold hardware ... “Shazam,” to software they did go.

No, the dawn of the computer as yet we did not know.

They merely went from nuts and bolts and tools for the workbench to ...

Selling ladies clothing ... from the wrench to the “wench.”

 

Men’s clothing was the specialty at a store named “Gobble and Heer.”

Don’t know if Heer was “Gobbled” but he seemed to disappear.

There was the “Maidrite” sandwich shop next to Hoskins Funeral Home.

“Maidrite” to “laid right” and never more to roam.

 

Gaumer Brothers Drug Store was the social “circle of the square.”

Where my bride-to-be and I lunched on jelly sandwiches we shared.

Across the street at the corner was the Model T popcorn man.

A mobile landmark jogs my memory like only good things can.

 

Jerald Rozenbaum, my boyhood friend until he died at age nineteen ...

His uncle was the popcorn man who helped make our lives more serene.

Jerald died too young to realize how lucky that we were ...

To live our lives in “Camelot,” a Fairfield title we’d confer.

 

My memory tank is on fumes now, guess I should be content.

Memories come and memories go, and mine seems to have just went.

 

— Tom Ward, Fairfield native

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