The waitresses just stayed on with me, plus Mrs. Snyder, our cook. Mrs.
Hahner was our second cook. The noon crowd would come in for a
bowl of chili, a hamburger and a bowl of soup, ice cream an order of
toast and malted milk, things like that, all short order. When school
was out, the kids would come in. I never allowed them in the store
when school was on. If a kid came in, he was ushered out the door.
After grade-school basketball on Saturday mornings, we had a full
house. It was a revolving clientele. You could tell when the
basketball game ended. The first group would be filtering out.
Bingo! In would come a group from the second games.
George W. Mead, president of Consolidated Water Power and
Paper Co., used to walk to work and back home. He was the type of
man who, if he saw a couple of kids on the sidewalk in front of the
place, he would buy them an ice cream cone.
In those days, ice-cream cones were a nickel. Hamburgers were 20
cents, French fries 15 cents, and sundaes 25. Sandwiches started at
20 cents. Coffee and Cokes were a nickel.
Before television, the Rapids Theater next door was the big draw.
People lined up around the corner waiting to get in. After the show,
they would stop for a malt or sandwich or cup of coffee. A movie
and a sundae was a big night out in those days. We closed up at 10 o’
clock. If there was something special, we stayed open till 11.
As teen-age traffic picked up, I had a great number of calls from
parents telling me they were grateful their kids had a place to go
that was supervised. The kids were well-behaved. I never saw a kid
come in who had drank too much and had to sober up. If someone
started cutting up, getting out of line and using vulgar language, we
gave one warning. The second time, we tapped them on the shoulder
and helped them out the front door. For one week, they had to stay
out of the Fountain and believe me, that hurt. They were in the
Outdoor Club. You would never hear a peep out of them when they
came back in. One time, I put a girl out for a week. Her father was
an executive at the mill. She said, “I’m going to have my dad call
you. ”When I saw the gentleman, he complimented me. “That’s the
most punishment she’s ever had, and believe me, it made a
difference.” The kids would have the juke box going full blast. It
didn’t get on my nerves. Every time it played, that was money in my
pocket. After the kids would leave, we’d turn it down.
In ’51 or’52, we remodeled, replacing the tables and chairs with
booths. And we put in the “Indian” pinball machine. Every kid has
played that Indian machine. The playing field was all Indian stunts.
It was a nickel to play.
After 14 years of running the Friendly Fountain, working 100 hours
a week, I decided that my life was passing me by. When an opening
came in Wood County Social Services for an eight-to-five job, I took
When the time came to renew the lease, I sold the Friendly fountain
to Joe Jenkins on Dec. 1, 1961, and went to work for the Wood
County Department of Social Services. I retired in 1980.”
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