Ice House

Buzzy, Donna and Me (with lariat in hand)

Re: my post the other day showing the Mary Lou Troutman Thirsty Thursday picture, I was asked about the ice house and gas tanks shown in her painting.  As you can see in the attached photo’s there used to be an ice house, a gas tank and crank tank for white gas in front of the Store. The remains of an old scraggly locust tree contained Lucky Strike and TruAde signs and cinderblock steps led you down the bank.
Buzzy would purchase 300 pound blocks of ice from Charlie Davis whose business used to be where Courtney’s Restaurant is now.  With ice pick and tongs in hand we’d cut up the 300 lb. blocks into smaller sizes for re-sale.

Jasper Bryant, me on Amigo, Steve and Donna on right

As the demand for crushed ice developed, Buzzy installed an ice crusher in the ice house.  My brother Steve and I were tasked with the ice crushing chores.  We’d cut the larger blocks down to smaller sizes.  One of us would push the ice  through the shoot and crank the crusher while the other would hold the plastic bag for the crushed ice to fall into and eventually fill up.  The only good thing about this chore was that it was always cool in the ice house so while the work was lousy at least you were comfortable.  (Awhile back I found the old crusher out in a shed behind the Store and had to smile when I recognized what it was.  Funny though how years later the crusher looked so much smaller and simpler than I remembered it being as a kid.)
In the 60’s Buzzy had to install a new holding tank for gas.  When he did so, he did away with the ice house and relocated the gas tanks over to the side of the Store (in front of the telephone booth in the picture above.)  Thus Mary’s Lou’s picture is a combination of the way the ice house/gas tanks actually were, only in 2 different places.  Note that the green light between the two gas tanks Mary Lou has in the picture is still here and works whenever I remember to turn it on at night.

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