Thinking Out Loud

Thinking Out Loud

Herald Dispatch –November 9,1965

Written by: Charles Collett

Submitted by: Robert Kingrey

Monday is always my dullest day when writing a column, and yesterday was Monday. I usually go through the wastebasket on Monday morning and pick up the notes crowded out the week before for my Tuesday column and today is no exception of the rule.

Suppose we test your memory. Remember the Rogers Meat Shop on Third Street just across the alley from the Western Union telegraph office. We met W. R. Rogers on our morning hike Saturday and almost lost a bet when he said, “Bet you don’t remember me?” The building was known as the Furlong building when butcher Roberts sold a good “T” bone for two bits. His business neighbors were Mrs. Mary Fields’ shoe store and the Knights of Columbus clubrooms were on the second floor. Since then the Eagles have spread all over the place.

When I was a kid delivering newspapers the Furlong building was an important place. The United Fuel Gas Co. office was on the second floor now the Safeway Taxi. T.S. Murray, architect, was one of my paper route customers on the second floor. I shot my first game of pool on the first floor. Strange what memories bounce back just meeting the retired butcher, Mr. Rogers lives at 1707 South Fifth Street.

The old Howd’y Pool Room was a great place. Two young men, both baseball players, Robert, operated it (Skinny) Barlow and Frank Wieteki. Mr. Wieteki was bookkeeper at First National Bank and the poolroom could be described as the “Boy’s” club of 60 years ago. The ground floor room had the largest plate glass window in town so parents could see everything inside. Boys under 16 were not allowed and lights were out each night by eleven. It was there on the night before Thanksgiving, 1905 that a group representing themselves as the Ironton High School football team gathered to catch the C&O midnight train for Charleston to play on Thanksgiving. The school officials knew nothing about the game until it was over. A couple of the players were over age 20. Perhaps a few readers may remember the name Bob Mains, a great “sandlot” athlete at the turn of the century. The score was 75-0, Charleston.

The Irontonians arrived in Charleston at 4 a.m. and loafed in the hotel lobby until turkey dinner at noon. Banners across the streets in Charleston read ” West Virginia vs. Ohio championship.” You take the thoughts from here on. I recall a good bit about the game because, as treasurer of the team, a telegram was sent to Charleston to cancel the game. The reply was 15 round trip tickets have been wired to the C&O depot at Russell. Half the team that had practiced for the game “chickened out” two hours before train time when their parents heard that they were going. Dropout volunteers were quick to take their places.