MEMOIR: A PAPER ROUTE TRIO
The following is a sample of the kinds of memoirs that appear in Don Swenson’s book, Something in the Water.
A PAPER ROUTE TRIO
By Earl Ames, Jr.
If you lived in Oak Hill in the 1930s and wanted a newspaper delivered, you dealt with me or one of my two buddies. Bill Roberts delivered the Journal, Harry Hanson delivered the Star, and the Tribune was my paper. Our home was on Texas Avenue, just north of Walker Street. The Roberts family lived on 35th Street next to Ruedlinger Nursery, and Harry lived at Pennsylvania and Walker Street. Central pick-up spot for our newspaper bundles was at the Reiss Corner, and that’s where we met other Park paperboys. The Village was spread out with lots of open spaces, so each route was a long one.
LIVING IN THE COUNTRY
We lived in the Village, but Oak Hill was more like
living in the country. The Skogmans across Texas Ave. from
our home had about six or seven acres and were involved with
truck farming, raising strawberries, raspberries, sweet
corn, and other produce. Most of us boys in Oak Hill worked
at Ruedlingr Nursery [now Knollwood Liquor Store] and I also
helped with haying and other chores for Vic Johnson, who was
the largest farmer in Oak Hill. He was a grain farmer and at
one time had a dairy. For a while, Dad helped Vic with
milking in the mornings before he went to his regular job at
the Creosote Plant.
We saw Highway 7 being constructed, but it was impossible to look ahead to all of the changes that would follow for Oak Hill. I remember when Calhoun Realty put of a FOR SALE sign on the property that later became Knollwood Plaza. Someone contracted to take hay off the acreage and it turned out to be a real attraction for us kids when everything was neatly stacked. A gang of us descended upon the field and were having a great time sliding down the stacks when the caretaker arrived and scattered us in all directions. I headed for cover at the Creosote Plant, but a couple of the guys were caught. I soon found out that those who were caught had provided the names of each of the offenders. A formal letter from Calhoun Realty told my parents that legal action would be taken because of the damage. The good news was that Mother convinced the company that it would be good for the boys to re-stack the hay under the supervision of the fathers. All went well on that Sunday afternoon when the repair activity took place until my dad was accidentally stuck in the leg with a pitchfork. It didn’t turn out as a happy day for the Ames family!
OAK HILL HERITAGE
Myrtle Borne, my mother, grew up on Oak Hill near Quebec and Lake Street. Long time friends who helped to raise her were Clara and Annie Werner. Annie married Sig Lundin, and Clara’s husband was Boostrom. Both of the men did brick work at the Creosote plant. Mother met Earl, my dad, when he was taking courses at Dunwoody during World War I. They married in 1918 and settled in Oak Hill. The family tragedy was when my sister, a teenager, died of a ruptured appendix in 1935. The family joined Union Congregational Church and became very active members. When I was young, the church had a mission program at Oak Hill School to serve our neighborhood. I attended Sunday School class there with Albert Lundberg as teacher.
This information comes from a variety of sources: newspapers, books, yearbooks, phone directories, interviews, etc. Given the varied sources, we cannot guarantee that all of this information is correct, and welcome any additions and corrections. Please contact us with your contributions and comments.