Chester Chatter: Creating a home within a home

By Ruthie Douglas
©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Newly married, Don and I lived in his upstairs bedroom in the big old farmhouse. There were three other connecting rooms that would be turned into an apartment whenever we had some money.

A kitchen of sorts had a sink with cold-running water and some cupboards.

When friends stopped by, we entertained using some of our wedding gifts: The toaster made toast and the coffee maker made coffee. We’d play cards while sitting on the floor.

To furnish our makeshift apartment, my mother-in-law and I would spend Saturdays going to auctions. This was before flea markets and yard sales were common. High up on a hill in Woodstock, I offered the winning bid for couch. My $10 purchase, however, would not fit into my blue Corvair car.

While Don drove up to Woodstock with the farm truck, I kept on bidding. Our living room was taking shape. We now had a couch and the coffee table that our friend Jim Perry made in woodworking class in high school, which he had given us as a wedding gift. Soon, I acquired a rocking chair and an upholstered chair that didn’t match the couch. For all of $19 we had put together our living room. We bought a TV from Skip Bessey, who owned a tiny furniture store next to the Inn Victoria.

For $10 more dollars we bought a refrigerator from Jake the Barber, which was next to the People’s Bank building. And soon we had our furnished apartment, which was a great place to live.

Later I made a bid on a Philco radio. It appeared that no one else wanted it because I bought it for 50 cents. It was quite heavy, made out of solid oak and filled with tubes, wires and all sorts of whatzits.

Don set it on the shelf in the barn and ran the antenna wire on the manure track. We could pick up stations as far away as Wheeling, W.Va.

It all ended on day when lightening followed the wires down the through the barn and into the radio, blowing it to smithereens.

Around our communities

I am sad on the death of my longtime friend Sue Forlie.

My Easter this year was certainly different. But my daughter Jeanie made an indoor Easter egg hunt within three rooms of my home.  Due to my age, it took me a while to find them all. But still made my day to find all the plastic eggs and read all the memories she had placed.

Happy birthday to my neighbor Bob Record.

Patrick and Haley Gordon have returned to Chester from spending time in their Florida home.

A big thank you to the Free Range Restaurant and the boxed dinners to go.

The Chester American Legion SAL will hold a chicken barbeque drive thru from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 25. Half a chicken is $9; full meals of half a chicken with baked beans and choice of potato salad or macaroni salad are $13. Call Adam Holden to reserve a meal 802-376-7682.

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Filed Under: Chester ChatterCommunity and Arts Life

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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  1. Maribeth Kendall says:

    I did so love this story!🤗 I am looking to move to Chester if it works out. I am ready to find a home to settle down and I think I found one. You are a lovely lady and looking forward to meeting you in person if it all works out.