Sunday, September 27, 2009

Changing Landscape

There was once a lean-to with roof beams anchored into the wall of the one-time blacksmith shop. An auto repair business is now in the building where the blacksmith shop was once located. I remember the inside of the blaksmith shop. It had overhead line shafts that ran everything: the metal shear, trip hammer press, drill press, grinding wheels, buffing wheels, metal saw, even the fan for the forge.

The blacksmith did big business welding beads of stellite onto plowshares and cultivator shovels, then shaping and polishing the weld deposit. The dust containing metal particles and polishing fibers went everywhere and settled on everything. Surely in the blacksmith's lungs that must have been blacker than those of a coal miner.

I think the blacksmith who worked in the shop before Harry Teebken was a World War II vet. For some years he had a monkey living out back. He probably had gotten accustomed to being around them in the South Pacific.

Now the lean-to is gone. As is blacksmith work.

Across the street is a portion of sidewalk that once ran in front of a pharmacy. For all of my life, the building in this block was never a pharmacy. It was a feed and produce store where you could buy feed supplements and salt blocks and sell your eggs, cream and butter. That was before dairies became big comercial operations.
Interesting how the Leo Schneider sidewalk reads, though. Sorta looks like a gravestone for the pharmacy. Did it die in 1907 at the age of 16?
Or was the store opened in 1891 and the sidewalk first laid in 1907? Now there isn't even a building behind this section of walkway. There is the city clerk's office and the small USPS buidling. There's a big vacant Marshall's Nursery warehouse, a defunct Conoco gas station and a vacant lot. No pharmacy.
My Mom was born in 1907 and is still going. Leo Schneider Pharmacy is long gone. Changing landscape. Life in small Midwestern towns overtaken by strip malls and Wal-Mart.

No comments: