Friday, May 28, 2010

Preston Idaho Main Street

Ok, since I'll be driving through the town of Preston (population about 4900; ironically, elevation about the same) sometime this weekend, I decided to think back to the stores that existed up and down Main Street, or close to Main, years ago. If I waited until after the weekend drive, you might think I "peeked from under the blindfold" and we can't have that! Preston (of Napoleon Dynamite fame) is about 12 miles east of Clifton, and a trip there was considered "going to town." There are no doubt some businesses that are now gone, some that Ive forgotten, plus some new ones, but here goes:

OP Skaggs, the grocery store with a room in the back where people could rent freezer lockers (before people owned their own freezers) to store their harvested beef or ham, etc. It was a little eerie to enter through the big door and hear the definitive "CLANG" beind you. You always made sure to shadow Mother closely. Nobody was ever locked in there to my knowledge, but it always seemed a possibility. There was a specific smell that hit you upon entering, a good idea what it could have been and I've not smelled it since, but would recognize it in five seconds with my eyes closed even today. The temperature was such that when you went there in the summer, it was a fantastic respite from the heat, but when you went during the winter, you had to brace yourself first...sort of like visiting Canada during the winter months of September through June :o) (Sorry, Sherry, couldn't help that; it slipped right out of my fingertips.)

Other businesses were:
a good bakery, whose name I forget
Sprouse Reitz (a wonderful Kings-like store)
Polar King (homemade fries and the world's best non-homemade ice cream)
The animal auction just west of town; next to it, but never mentioned out loud, was the slaughterhouse.
Across the street from the auction is a bar that still exists, by the name of Tattlers, (or something like that).
Foss Drug (incredible malts so big you had to refill your glass to eat it all)
Famous Preston Night Rodeo & the Franklin County Fairgrounds, next to the ball fields
East Side High School, also of Napoleon Dynamite fame (bigger than West Side, but still rivals)
My Grandma Shaffer's place, with the ice cream parlor next door
The County Courthouse
Edwards Floral (I stopped in last summer and it still smelled like Heaven.)
Pop N Pin Lanes (self-explanatory)
two motels, one next to the Pop N Pin Lanes
a doctor’s clinic
the library
a pretty park
DI (Deseret Industries)
The Preston Hospital
Webb Mortuary, conveniently located next door to the hospital
The Preston Citizen
The Owl, a bar and cigar store
Isis theater
a dry cleaner
Preston Lumber
the bus station, inside a hotel
the barber shop with that turning pole
U&I furniture
Artic Circle
a car dealership
First Security Bank
Police Dept
Drive In Movie, south end of town and over the tracks
Owen’s cafĂ©
a photography shop
Montgomery Ward (nicknamed Monkey Ward for some reason), a catalog store
JC Penneys
possibly a shoe repair shop, not sure
a farm implement company

All stores closed by 5 or 6 p.m.and were never opened on Sundays; most still aren't.

The beautiful cemetery is located a few miles east of town, just north of the golf course and close to the radio station.

Around Christmas time, they have a winter celebration with a "bed race." One time I took my children to watch, and it was quite a fascinating experience. The teams take things very seriously and competition is stiff. It seems like the year we went, the Dean Abrams family won it for something like the third time. Frankly, I'm pretty sure if we lived in the area, my children and grandchildren would be giving the Abrams a literal run for their money.

It'll be nice to drive through town again and note which stores are still open. I'll bet Pauline could come up with at least ten of them I have forgotten.

Cute town, available on your GPS.

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