This is some turning back the clock stuff.
A couple of years back when Del and Shirley Bowers were living here, just for kicks Del and I decided to make a list of all of the eating places in the Falls City of yesteryear we could remember. I ran across the list the other day and again, just for kicks, I’m going to lay it on you. If you’ve got some years on you, see if you remember any of them. So here we go:
Brown’s Café, later Huber Café, Dairy Dip, Old Swiss, Frosty Queen, Pete Frederick’s, Hested’s lunch counter, Ken’s lunch counter, Barney Barnes’ One Stop, Pete Yaza’s Cafe, Dyna-mite Café, Carter’s Café, Ramsey’s Café, Tackett’s, Porgy Jones’ Breezy Hill, (later Beanie Prater’s, later Bob and Burdeen’s), Mason’s Hi-Way Café, Stephenson Hotel and Coffee Shop, Silver Grill, Chat ‘n Nibble, Pony Creek Tavern, Northview Café, Cross Town Café, Flanagan’s Grill, Bertie’s Grill, Moore’s Café, Mutt & Jeff Drive-In, Whitehouse Café, Ace’s Lunch, Fireside Inn, Southside Inn, Wittrock’s Drive-In, Fat Boy Drive-In, Redwood Drive-Inn, Lil Duffer, Vets Club, Elks Club, Ote Prater’s Café, Burchard’s (across from the High School and mostly for student snacks). I can’t remember the name, but Henry and Helen Hey had a rather upscale restaurant where the China Buffet now is located but it was destroyed by fire a year or so after it opened.
My memory just faded out on cafes and if it happens to fade back in maybe I’ll list the umpteen gas stations and the grocery stores we used to have.
The Holton, (KS) Recorder ran an interesting story about a barber who had been “cutting hair on the Square” for 50 years. One of the remarkable facts was that there had been l8 barbers in his family.
And that just reminded me of Rule’s Barber Shop (where Falls City Travel now does business) lots of years ago—in fact so many years ago that I was just a kid. I became personally acquainted with Rule’s after my dad tried to save money (Great Depression) by buying a clipper and trying to cut my hair. It was a disaster. After the clipper pulled out some of my hair Rule’s came into play. There were three chairs in the popular shop manned by Bob Rule in the first chair, Jim Birdsley and Carl Frederich. Saturday was the big day for kids and farmers and when you walked in the door you took a number and sat quietly against the south wall. While I was watching haircuts and numbers were being called for the next up, I tried to figure out who was going to cut my hair. Mr. Rule and Mr. Frederich were nice guys but they were getting old as the hills and square cuts sometimes resulted. I thought Mr. Birdsley did the best job and I was hoping when my number came up I was going to his chair. Once in a while I lucked out. I can’t remember whom I was trying to impress with my hair–probably me in front of the mirror. By the way, in those days you didn’t tell the barber how you wanted your hair cut. He did it his way–for 25 cents.
So much for Rule’s Barber Shop and the barber in Holton.
As long as I’m into old, unimportant stuff I might as well go on. I’ve never really bragged much about it, but when I was a sophomore at UNL I donned Cornhusker football gear. That would have been in October of 1937.
A UNL athletic department call went out to fraternity houses. (There were no men’s dorms.) A Cornhusker B team was going to be formed to play state college teams and anyone who had played high school football was encouraged to report to Memorial Stadium on Monday to make up a team. Chet Fliesbach of Scottsbluff and I knew better but decided to give it a go anyway. With about 25 or 30 guys we checked out gear on Monday afternoon and began a makeshift practice for Friday night’s game against Wayne State–yep, five days away. By Thursday afternoon our coach (I’m racking my brain trying to remember his name but can’t come up with it but he never rivaled Tom Osborne) had formed two teams and we had run through and run through about a half-dozen or so plays, striving for perfection.
Early Friday afternoon we boarded a bus, coach handed out a couple of sheets with several more plays on them and we headed north for Wayne. It began raining cats and dogs and a while after we left Lincoln we were traveling on a graveled highway. You know before I tell you that our bus driver steered too far right, we hit some mud and got stuck. We all de-bused and began pushing and it worked. Some miles down the road we did it again. So much for remaining psyched up, if anyone was.
We finally made it to Wayne, suited up, warmed up and the contest began.
We Cornhusker B’s had two quarterbacks and as the lesser of the two, I saw a little bit of action as the sub for Bud Cather. I won’t enhance it now that I have a chance to 76 years later—so I repeat it, a smattering of action.
It never did quit raining and I recall we lost by a bunch to Wayne State. We arrived back in Lincoln about 4 a.m.
Chet and I decided rather quickly we had funner things to do on Friday nights than to push a bus out of the mud and then sit on benches, soaked to the gills, so the Cornhusker B’s went on to play several more games without our talents. You didn’t ask, but that was my collegiate football career in a nutshell and I wanted to share it with anyone who read this old-stuff column this far.