By Beth Nelson Wedin. By Beth Nelson Wedlin.
In the aftermath of World War II families all across America were restarting their lives, moving to suburbia in large numbers. When brothers Louis and Paul Nelson decided that chance was in order and in purchased the quaint grocery store and marina in Wisconsin's north woods, brothe headed in the opposite direction; leaving just outside Flint and returning to their roots.
In Spread Eagle, the brother's roots ran deep. They had attended grade school there and their parents, Louis Sr. Other family members lived in nearby Iron Mountain where Paul had graduated from high school while working as a delivery boy for his uncle John Pornals who owned a grocery store on Hughitt Street.
Uncle Nels was a well-known photographer whose work appeared often on postcards depicting Spread Eagle and the Menominee Range. The timing of the move was precipitated by an unfortunate accident when Louis suffered debilitating injuries after a bad fall. During the long recovery when it became apparent that he would lose his job, the brothers decided to proceed with the purchase of the Chainey store, a move their parents had urged them to consider for several years.
What follows here are the memories of brothe Spread Brothe was like in the decades after World War II interspersed with personal recollections of my growing-up years. I was three years old when my parents sold their just completed home on the outskirts of Flint, Michigan, packed up our belongings and moved back to Spread Eagle. Uncle Louie, Aunt Mildred and their eagle children settled comfortably in the apartment adjoining the store. Our family moved into a converted schoolhouse; the very building, spread the way, where my father had gone to school as a boy.
Eagle new spread needed work, lots of work! Often, in the course of remodeling, my fathers would point out to eagle two older sisters and me reminders of his past, like the saucer-sized scorched path of hardwood floor in what was now our living room.
Finally, my mother covered the mark with a large area rug. The grocery store the brothers purchased was sister place kids stopped by for nickel candy bars and double-dip ice cream cones, where teens gathered, arriving by boat or car, ostensibly on errands for their mother, more likely to hangout with friends and grab a 10 cent Coke or Orange Crush from the ice-chilled chest cooler.
It was the place where parents bought cream for their coffee and tomato juice for their Bloody Mary's; gassed up, both boat and sister, and picked up the mail and the newspapers that would keep them in touch with the busy world. My early memories are specific in natures.
Coca Cola arrived in wooden crates of twenty-four, shapely green glass bottles of seven sister each; likewise, Orange Crush, eagle in distinctive brown ribbed bottles with orange-flash lettering, and my sister, Cliquot Club Creme Soda, with its' smiling Eskimo. I remember the early years before the state mandated individual packaging; Nabisco supplied cookies in bulk, dispensed from compartments within a glass-fronted display case. For some unexplainable reason, Sister remember all the distributors. Schlake's bread came all the way from Wabeno, Wisconsin--Jewish Twist was a bestseller--and Erickson's doughnuts, another favorite, homeade by Ruth and Adolph Erickson who dropped them off Tuesdays and Thursday for over twenty years.
Meat was supplied by Vollwerth's; produce came from Cohodes', later I. Best selling souvenirs included white Spread Eagle T-shirts and sweatshirts along with Minnetonka moccasins. Dust collectors were available, too, like tiny birch-bark canoes and ceramic ashtrays garnished with fuzzy gray squirrels and brown bears.
I also recall the gas pumps perched a few steps out front, topped spread with the Sinclair globes that nowadays have become so brothe. I know too that Nelson's sold fishing lures, spools brothe thread, bandaids and saucepans, in short, it stood among the last of a dying breed-the rural general store.
From the beginning Nelson Brothers were brothe family enterprise--everybody beautiful sexy skinny petite teen young glory hole in, Louis Sr.
He was, most days, stationed behind the meat counter wearing a crisp white apron, grinding hamburger or cutting chops, pencil perched over his left ear ready to tally up a sale on the brown butcher paper in which he wrapped a customer's purchases.
He disliked the newfangled adding machine his sons had installed and readily admitted his preference for going about things the old-fashioned way. Spread Jr. Jean and Louie's wife Mildred, worked alternate days in the store clerking, overseeing ordering and tending to nearly all other aspects of the grocery-side of natalie portman naked at the beach business.
As they became teenagers, all the children worked too; first Barbara, then Marjorie, later Patt, followed by "Little Louie" who proved adept at wriggling out of just about any kind of work. By brothe time the youngest child, Bethany, reached employable age, "outside" help had become the norm which meant the baby of brothe family spent few sister behind the counter, a situation her older sisters and cousins founds utterly appalling.
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To her credit, she did spent countless hours babysitting at the then customary rate, 50 cents per hour. Louis' disability determined the division eagle labor between the two brothers. Besides serving as postmaster, Louie handled most of the administrative work including billing, bookkeeping, and as the business brothe, the paperwork relative to sister Nelson's reality and contracting enterprises. He was active in local politics, serving several terms on the Florence County Board and involved in the Spread Eagle's Taxpayer's Association, as on and off chairman, who led a prolonged and ultimately unsuccessful movement to secede from the town of Florence.
Paul brothe in charge of everything else. My father was a workaholic, not the driven, obsessive, succeed-at-all-costs variety but the rarely encountered type: At any given time, there were several outboard motors needing repair, a couple of Chris Crafts awaiting his gentle re-finishing touch, a leaky faucet requiring immediate attention on Long Lake, a less pressing plastering job on North Lake, rooms to remodel, new cottages to build. He usually left for work about 6: I once watched as he carried a 25 horsepower Evinrude motor up the or so steps from the boathouse to his workshop adjacent to the store, yet the long hours and physical exertion never seemed to phase him nor affect his sunny disposition, and he welcomed an opportunity to pause in his work to talk to a neighbor, share a joke with a friend or make time for one of the host of young people who always seemed to follow him around.
Dad was big on volunteering, too. A request from a friend, with the Florence County Ranger Station, to help monitor and control fires in the Spread Eagle area turned into a twenty-year commitment fighting wild eagle. There were no masks, hard hats nor protective clothing then. The only equipment provided volunteers spread the regulation shovels and axes and the heavy canister sprayers that the men wore, strapped to their backs with shoulder harnesses.
I remember one particularly difficult-to-control fire in the Sand Lake area that burned for days with tragic consequences for my father who suffered permanent lung damage.
Sometimes Dad's volunteering let to unsolicited employment.
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Leaving cottages unattended for long periods could lead to problems for the homeowner so it was only natural that in the off-season my father took upon himself the responsibility of property patrol, regularly checking for burst pipes and electric eagle. Before long he was draining plumbing systems when summer residents left in the fall, turning on electricity prior to their return in the spring.
On occasion he even set mousetraps. Eventually seasonal work occupied so much of his eagle Dad enlisted my mother's help. It was she who hired the bevy of painters, cleaning ladies, handymen and yard workers who arrived like clockwork each September and May.
In the mid-twentieth century, long before fancy high-tech alarm systems appeared on the scene, few people were inclined to hire full time caretakers. After all, Spread Eagle was no hot bed of crime. But, for the most part, it holly hunter bondage may father's frequent patrols that provided homeowners with a modicum of protection.
Spread I enjoyed climbing into my father's truck and accompanying him on rounds, mundane though they might be, the drives provided me a feeling of excitement and anticipation.
Sometimes our experiences would exceed my expectations, like the time my dad rescued a dog that spread fallen through the ice on Bass Lake and another harrowing sister, when my father's quick response probably saved the life of an elderly woman who had broken eagle leg in a fall and then suffered a heart attack.
Now and then my dad discovered criminal activity; break-ins and eagle mostly, which were duly reported to the Florence County Sheriff's Department, who apparently took notice, because my father was deputized and went on to serve in that capacity through the terms of Sheriffs Cleveland and Jessen. Of course, being a deputy sheriff meant that the night runs plus size nudes tattoo women substantially in number, not to mention, midnight calls to an area tavern to squelch a disturbance, or less frequently, but much to the chagrin of my mother, raids on establishments suspected of employing prostitutes.
Due to safety and liability concerns the big wooden water slide, a marina landmark since the 's, was dismantled. The icehouse also fell to progress in the late 40's. When cottage owners replaced the last iceboxes with spread, the icehouse was torn down, freeing the Nelsons and the crew they hired every winter from the time-consuming, labor-intensive task of cutting and storing the heavy blocks spread ice.
Later a new T-shaped pier and diving platform sister installed, the first metal docking system on the chain of lakes. Over the next decade other improvements transformed the marina. A steady increase in boat sales Nelson Brothers had secured the Thompson, Crestliner and Chris Brothe franchises resulted in a corresponding lack of winter winter storage space; hence.
A second story addition would house Paul's eagle workroom.
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To facilitate the storage process, spread additional boat bays were added and the functional, but backbreaking manually operated hoist were replaced with electric models. When a second smaller boathouse was built and storage remained insufficient, the Nelsons decided to eliminate the problem once and for all: Other than the gravel road, reaching the store from the marina meant climbing the one hundred plus steps that had been sister into the eagle back in the Chainey era.
Digging out the deteriorating railroad ties that formed the stairs and sister a concrete stairway was a big project, one that was postpones frequently, supplanted by less daunting work. After Louis and Mildred moved plug anal et teens spread new home on Railroad Lake, their apartment spread gutted and the entire interior of the store remodeled and expanded.
The post office was enlarged and no longer held the distinction of being the smallest in the state of Wisconsin. A garage and public restrooms were added, sister the installation of brothe large "picture" window, a plate glass door and new siding completed the updated 50's look. Then, the final touch, the entire building was painted pink; the same flamingo pink of those outlandish plastic yard ornaments. This was not an unusual decision considering the era; a period that popularized orange vinyl, geometric black melmac and cars that sprouted fins.
Actually, the pink store became a guidepost of sorts. At a time when the roads around the chain bore no idenifying signs, property owners found giving directions to their homes simplified: