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
Hitting the trail for MS
STEPHENVILLE – The Cowboy Capital MS Trail Ride is a fun-filled event dedicated to raising funds that support national research into the cause and cure for Multiple Sclerosis as well as provide programs to more than 9,000 people in the Lone Star Chapter area whose lives are touched by MS.
Parker County man killed in single-vehicle wreck
A 60-year-old Parker County man was killed around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in a one-vehicle crash in the 2100 block of FM Road 3325, also known as Farmer Road.
Aledo City Council Place 4 candidates for May 10 election
Early voting for the May 10 general election begins April 28. Following is some information gathered from the candidates for the Place 4 Aledo City Council seat. Aledo Mayor Kit Marshall is running for re-election unopposed.
Aledo City Council Place 2 candidates
Early voting for the May 10 general election begins April 28. Following is some information gathered from the candidates running for the Aledo City Council Place 2 seat. Aledo Mayor Kit Marshall is running for re-election unopposed.
USAF heroes to Ride for Heroes
The 12th annual Ride for Heroes bike ride this Saturday in Aledo will include some VIPs: members of the United States Air Force Cycling Team.
FM 5 intersection makeover
City of Willow Park officials were recently told that a planned reconstruction of the intersection of Interstate 20 frontage roads and FM Road 5 now has funding from the state and is moving ahead.
Bearcat Bootcamp holds successful fundraiser
Bearcat Bootcamp, an Aledo fitness organization, held its first 1-mile Fun Run and Back the Bearcats 5K race April 5.
Hearing held for Annetta Crime Control District
The Crime Control and Prevention District proposed for the Town of Annetta — which voters have the chance to accept or reject in the May 10 election — moved forward last week with an April 7 public hearing.
Candidate forums set for May 10 election
The East Parker County Chamber of Commerce Legislative Affairs Committee will host a Candidates’ Forum at 7 p.m. Monday, April 28, in the cafeteria of Trinity Christian Academy, 4954 East Interstate 20 Service Rd S, Willow Park.
Calendar of events
The East Parker County Genealogy and Historical Society invites all who are interested to join them for their monthly meeting and salad luncheon beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the Willow Park Community Center, Ranch House Rd. and Stage Coach Trail. The program will be a computerized photography collage of Parker County photos by Lorena Friddle, president of the Parker County Women’s and Newcomer’s Society, and a 1930s video of the El Chico Ranch in Willow Park donated by early resident Bob Rothel. The video was made when his father was the ranch foreman. If time allows there will be a showing of an 1920s movie of Aledo donated by the King family.
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