By Judy Sheridan
Freddy Detherage has spent a lifetime in the Aledo area.
In the course of his 81 years he has lived north of town, south of town and within its boundaries, beginning in 1941.
Detherage graduated from Aledo schools in 1950 — having learned his lessons in a tall red brick building that once stood close to where Vandagriff Elementary is today.
After serving in the U.S. Army in Korea, he married his wife, Verda, in 1955 in the Aledo Church of Christ. Together, the couple raised a daughter, Deanna, and a son, Robert, who both attended Aledo schools.
A jack of all trades who continues to work, Detherage has delivered newspapers, worked for a telephone company, driven a school bus and been employed by Parker County Precinct No. 4, assessing the damages done to county roads by oil companies.
He commuted to Arlington for 25 years while working as an assembler for General Motors and now mows grass and repairs lawnmowers out of his home on FM 1187 South.
Although Detherage doesn’t remember the specifics of the City of Aledo’s incorporation 50 years ago, his recollections of the early days of the Aledo Volunteer Fire Department — which he joined a year after it was established — are remarkable.
Detherage was with the department for 45 years, 25 of them as chief. He remembers actually putting the fire trucks together: a 500-gallon pumper from a Chevrolet chassis, a 1,000-gallon tank truck from an old school bus firefighters bought from the school district for $1.
“We carried that chassis out to Walsh’s ranch, and they said, ‘Use whatever you need,’” he said. “While we were working on it, Cresson decided they needed one and built one similar.”
There were six volunteers on the VFD when he signed up, Detherage said.
“When we got up to 10 or 12 volunteers, we put a siren on top of the telephone pole and people would hear and come help,” he said. “Then the switchboard would get really busy with people who wanted to know what was going on. I was working for the telephone company then — Medford — an individual owned it.”
Another thing Detherage recalls is using burlap tow sacks, soaked in 5-gallon buckets of water, to beat out the flames in spots that were difficult to reach.
Aledo’s first mayor, Bob Daugherty, was easy going, according to Detherage.
“He listened to everybody’s stories before he spoke up,” he said.
The senior resident doesn’t see eye to eye with Aledo’s current mayor, Kit Marshall, however.
For one thing, he’s not a big fan of historical districts and the restrictions that go with them.
“I think the city’s too far off I-20 to be a little Granbury,” he said. “That’s my opinion.”
For another, he believes the Aledo couplet — now under way — will create a second traffic bottleneck near City Hall, instead of allieviating the current one.
“We’ll see in about two years,” he said.
Detherage believes Aledo’s incorporation 50 years ago was a good decision.
“They’ve helped a little with the upkeep of city streets,” he admitted.
Change is inevitable, he said, no one can stop progress.
“I don’t worry about anything,” he said. “Worry just makes you old.”
By Judy Sheridan
- Aledo ExtrA
Plans move forward for new judge
The new judge for Parker County Court at Law No. 2 will be chosen by voters in November, but plans are underway now to determine who will appear on the ballot.
Buchanan to step down as AISD head football coach
Aledo ISD has announced a restructuring of the athletic department for the 2014 school year. At his request, Coach Tim Buchanan will become the fulltime athletic director so he may focus on the entire athletic program of the district as it continues to grow.
Water park burglar sought
Hudson Oaks police are requesting the public’s assistance in catching a burglar who broke into Splash Kingdom Water Park in Hudson Oaks earlier this month.
Commissioner at odds with school district's demand for land
Aledo ISD superintendent Derek Citty is moving forward with plans backed by the school board in May — plans to secure two school sites in the Morningstar subdivision, slated for the corner of Old Weatherford Road and FM Road 3225 in the City of Fort Worth’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.
An unforgettable state championship
Corey Kiser and Riley Sartain, members of Aledo High School’s state champion softball team, honored by trustees last week, are to blame for the 10-3 tattoo on the finger of their coach, Jeff Lemons.
Firefighter arrested for child sexual assault
A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period.
Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested July 21, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
Fire protection improving in Aledo
Stephen Watson, interim chief of Emergency Services District No. 1, briefed the Aledo City Council on improvements to the city’s fire protection — including the purchase of a site for a new fire station — in Thursday night’s Aledo City Council session.
Aledo ISD trustees affirm hiring policy
The Aledo ISD School Board affirmed a policy delegating the hiring of most school personnel to the administration by a 4-1 margin last week, with trustees Jay Stringer, David Tillman, Hoyt Harris and Steve Bartley voting in favor and trustee Bobby Rigues arguing that the board should retain the responsibility.
Aledo coffee shop helps support the troops
HUDSON OAKS — Wild West Splash Kingdom was the host of military members and military supporters the night of Saturday, July 19, during ‘Salute the Troops,’ sponsored by Holy Grounds Coffee and Gifts in Aledo and Ducerus College Planning.
Calendar of events
Holy Grounds Coffee & Gifts, at 108 Jearl Street, is hosting a series of outdoor movies in their parking lot at 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays through Aug. 23.
Admission is free and feature drinks are half price during the films. “The Amazing Spiderman” is Aug. 2, followed by “Tangled” on Aug. 9, “The Lego Movie” on Aug. 16 and “The Avengers” on Aug. 23.
For more information, call 817-440-7770.
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