The entire area of 57 stores (I counted them later) was decorated and Wylie Brothers had a display of Flexible Flyer sleds, the most popular one in our snow area.
The drug store corner with the movie theater next door, where the older boys hung out in the evenings, was the center of the business district. George, the pharmacist of one of them, was usually standing on the corner greeting and talking to the adults coming by. We kids liked him because he would always give us a mint. The man from the post office would roll his decorated dolly filled with mail sacks down to the railroad station to meet the mail train. Men were selling cut pine Christmas trees on different corners. It was a fun place at Christmastime.
I dragged my dad back to Staniers and coaxed him to buy me that train for my Christmas present. Mr. Stanier showed me how to work everything; he was a nice, patient man. I finally got a maybe from dad. I even remember the price of that train was $14.95, probably a lot for that time.
A few years ago I visited my brother in the area and I went back to my old hometown. It was a sad experience. The area was now almost deserted and in disrepair. This once busy place had just three businesses and the bank was still there. The residential area was in excellent condition, thank goodness.
The business district had fallen victim to people shopping at the big box stores as most small town shopping areas have. I walked up and down each side of Second Street and stopped at each store. I could see, in my mind, the faces of the owner and clerks and how friendly and nice they had been to me. Mr. Trafalas in his restaurant making me the best combination sandwich I have ever had.
No, you can’t go back.
Yes, I did get that train.
William J. Kelly is a Weatherford resident and regular columnist for the Democrat.