That Amazing Season, Summertime

(Recent Amery Free Press Column)
Growing up around Amery I found out that I could write my own ticket for what to do on a summer day. Not a bad ticket but a good one, an open ticket.
Both west of Amery by Donald Johnson’s farm and east of Amery near the Howard Stindle farm, many choices available.
But I’d like to sum up more memories from Jack Harkness who reveled, not rebelled, in the Amery culture.
Biking everywhere, beach swimming and lessons including water safety, and organized summer baseball. Fishing in Apple River or one of the lakes, and daily newspaper routes. The St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Minneapolis Tribune bundles arrived at the Amery Hotel, and Jack and Greg T. delivered them.
The A and W Root Beer stand attracted all ages of kids, with root beer floats, hot dogs, quarts of root beer, and hot beef sandwiches.

If a person just wanted a delicious cone or malt, a walk across the street got you to the Dairy Queen. An added bonus? Barb H at the DQ was more charming than Esther at the A and W.
The roller rink in Deronda attracted crowds of kids a couple days a week, just bring a couple quarters or a half dollar. Thirty-five cents for skate rental, a dime for pop, and a nickel for a candy bar. Later in the 60s Beckon’s skating rink hosted live bands and plenty of room to dance.
On Sunday only the two grocery stories on each end of Keller sold food and other items. Fox’s Grocery across from the Camelot Motel and Dutch’s Grocery across from the present Pizzeria stayed open until noon.
Many activities to choose from, places to go, and chances for exploration. The words “I’m bored” weren’t heard that much.

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