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
Christmas Tyme in Aledo rescheduled
Due to the wintry weather predicted for the area, Aledo city officials have decided to postpone Christmas Tyme in Aledo from Saturday, Dec. 7, to Saturday, Dec. 14. The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. with most activities centered in the historic downtown area.
Aledo ISD playoff game cancelled
The Aledo Bearcat AAAA Divison II State Quarter Final football playoff game set for tonight, Thursday, Dec. 5, has been cancelled due to weather conditions.
All-district volleyball - Classes 5A-4A-3A
Parker County volleyball polished off another stellar district-play year in November. The counties’ schools netted two outright district titles, a district co-champion, a district runner-up and a playoff-qualifying third-place finisher.
Celebrity cutters lined up for Friday’s Careity benefit
For more than a decade now, one event has served as a big help for the Careity Foundation in terms of funds and donations.
The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a winter storm warning for freezing rain and sleet across North and West Texas, including Parker County, for the period 6 p.m. Thursday through 6 p.m. Friday.
Bearcats to encounter Coyotes, wintry threat
Aledo vs. Wichita Falls High
Time: 6 p.m., Thursday
Site: Northwest ISD Stadium — 18501 Hwy 114, Justin
Type: Class 4A, Division II, Quarterfinal (Region I final)
Last year: Did not play
Aledo ISD football playoff game rescheduled
The Aledo ISD AAAA Divison II State Quarter Final Football Playoff game has been rescheduled to Thursday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m.
Hancock runs in Thanksgiving Trot
Heart transplant recipient and teen Dylan Hancock, who will receive the proceeds from this year's Thanksgiving Trot for a new home, ran in the 1-mile event in the Aledo area on Thanksgiving Day alongside mentor and friend Rob Helms.
Parker County jail facility under discussion
Community Education Centers, the company Parker County contracts with to manage the Parker County Jail, has offered to build a work-release low-security jail facility for the county free of charge.
Parker County earthquake tally rises
Two more minor earthquakes rattled northeast Parker County Tuesday, Nov. 26, bringing the total number of earthquakes last month to 17.
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