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
Parker County Attorney John Forrest will ask county commissioners for additional funds as county budget discussions begin this year; he hopes to hire another attorney to help with an increase in Child Protective Services cases.
Firefighter arrested on child sex assault charges
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 Monday, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
Developer withdraws site plan
ANNETTA —A controversial 34-home subdivision proposed for a 41-acre tract on Duncan Road will not go forward as planned, according to action taken by both the proposed developer and the Annetta Town Council after a public hearing Thursday night.
Aledo City Council to meet July 24
The Aledo City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 24, in the Aledo Community Center, 104 Robinson Court, Aledo.
Fires damage business, home
Two separate fires around 2 p.m. July 15 damaged a Willow Park business and destroyed the home of a Weatherford family.
Letter to the Editor
Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when State Representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.
ESD 1, Annetta South close on fire station site
Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Annetta South officials said Tuesday that the ESD is homing in on a site for a new fire station to serve residents in the Annettas and surrounding areas. Annetta South is expected to consider a zoning change to accommodate a new station next month.
Registration has begun for Aledo ISD
Aledo ISD enrollment for the 2014-15 school year began yesterday, July 21, and students new to the district need to register before school begins, Monday, Aug. 25.
County scrambling to fill elections post
Former Parker County Assistant Elections Administrator Laura Watkins, who sought, but was not appointed to the post of Parker County Elections Administrator after Robert Parten retired, last week began work as assistant elections administrator for Palo Pinto County, Palo Pinto County Elections Administrator Judith Evans has confirmed.
Willow Park tackles 11-street project
The Willow Park City Council last week picked a list of 11 streets they’d like repaired as part of the city’s next road repair project, a significant portion of the 17-road, $850,000 list of needed repairs.
- More Aledo ExtrA Headlines
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