Chester Chatter: Summers were for mom & kids

By Ruthie Douglas
©2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The best thing that Jerry Ford ever did during his short term as president was to allow lunch workers to collect unemployment when school was not in session.

It meant I did not need a summer job. I could be a housewife, a mother and have time to enjoy myself. The girls and I planned many fun things to do. We took their friends and went camping and hiking. I drove the Chester swim team around to their meets.

Then we starting digging up old bottles. It had become a fad that many folks enjoyed. We loaded up the pickup with a potato digger, shovel and cardboard box to put our finds in. We had cold sodas and lunch packed. Away we went, driving slowly along back roads looking for clues.

Lilac bushes growing by what once was the front door to a rundown farm house could mean that out back, where rubbish had been thrown, might be old bottles. We went to old dumps and cellar holes. We found telegraph insulators that had dates printed on the glass. We found medicine bottles from the Chester drugstore that dated to the 1800s.

We brought them all home and washed them clean. We sold some insulators to the gift shop at Steam Town. Along the river bank, by the Stone School House on Green Mountain Turnpike were hundreds of ink wells. We had lots of fun digging up those old bottles.

Comings and goings

Susan Kibbe had Joy and Steve Guber as house guests for two weeks. The Gubers now live in Indiana and were glad to see old friends once again.

Linda Coolidge Barber of Florida has been in town spending time visiting her children. Was great to see here.

The Springfield High School Class of 1959 held their monthly luncheon on Friday. Members made plans for their alumni get-together. After the parade, once again folks are invited to lunch under the tent at my home. Bring what you would like to drink and a chair.

Ricky and Karen Howard of Virginia spent a few days in town visiting their family and grandson Jack.

Marie Wade is recovering from recent back surgery and would welcome friends who wish to stop by or give her a call.

The American Legion placed a little over 600 flags on the graves of veterans in Chester. Members thank Sunshine Acres  for its donation of plants and potting soil for the grounds of the clubhouse.

The crack of the bat hitting the ball, the roar of the crowd and sounds of laughter float in the air to where I am sitting on my patio. Yes, summer is here. People are having fun on the ballfield at the end of my street. The field suffered great damage from Tropical Storm Irene but after much work by volunteers things are better.

  • This week’s trivia question: Is there a public phone or a phone booth in Chester? Give me a call if you know: 875-3260
  • Answer to last week’s trivia question: Buster Henry was the famous meat cutter at Al’s IGA.

Street Talk

Do you enjoy recalling old times, sharing memories?



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Filed Under: Chester Chatter

About the Author: Ruthie Douglas is originally from Springfield but has called Chester her home for 58 years, and has been writing the Chester Chatter column for more than 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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