My Dad, Tony W. Sheda was born on Sept. 6, 1913, and would have turned 100 years old this Sept. 6, were he still alive today. This coming weekend, a bunch of us Shedas are getting together to reminisce a little, share some old photos and laugh perhaps at some of the antics of dad.
I'm just shooting this stuff off at the top of my head but Dad owned and operated, (along with Mom, Sue), Sheda's Tavern, Sheda's Grocery Store and in their retirement years, Sheda's Flea Market. I vaguely remember our old grocery store as Dad closed the store down around 1961, ( I was just 10). Having a grocery store as a kid was a lot of fun but both Mom and Dad kept a tight reign so I couldn't get all the candy bars, potato chips and baseball cards I wanted. Besides the store, Dad also had a small 6-acre "ranch" a few miles south of Chelsea.
It was here at the ranch that Dad raised and sold all kinds of livestock. Dad always worked for himself and I will never forget that one Sunday night, (when he would figure the weekly profit/loss), He said to me, "Johnny my boy, if you can muster out a living and clear a hundred bucks a week, you've done a hell-of-a- job." Yep, $100 profit a week and you've got it made. Maybe back in 1962 it was pretty good, but how about today?????
Dad sheared sheep also. Now, folks, this ain't no easy thing to do and I think he continued shearing 20-25 head of sheep a day until in his early fifties! He willed his body to medical science in Iowa City and would always proudly tell his grand kids that the reason Iowa City wanted him was that they wanted to "Open him up and and find out a guy like him could get by without working a day in his life." Just to set the record straight, shearing sheep at age 55 is hard work.
Dad was proud that Lyle Lekin, manager of the Tama Sale Barn, set it up so that Dad could buy the very first animal sold at the new Sale Barn just off Hwy 30. That had to be somewhere in the mid-seventies, I think. And I think it was a donkey that Dad bought. Dad in the "hey-day" of Chelsea, served several terms on the Chelsea School Board and tons of years on the Chelsea City Council. Also at his best, he was a robust 6'2'' and 240 lbs. He loved the little wave in his blondish hair, even to the extent of sneaking hydrogen peroxide to keep it blondish! He loved having his grand-kids combing it for hours on end. He smoked a couple packs of Lucky Strikes daily until quitting somewhere in the 80's. He did sneak some chew now and then, preferring the leafy Red Man tobacco. Over the years he had several favorite pipes too.
Dad and Mom were active members of St. Joseph's Catholic Church and all four of us kids were educated at the Catholic School. I remember Dad being from the old school religiously, (when Mass was said in Latin, you had to fast 12 hours before Communion and there was NO "peace-handshaking " during Mass. He was not at all happy with this "signing of peace." And I think he was stubborn enough that he wouldn't shake hands until Mom made him!! Folks, I never claimed he was a saint!!
As I close with this little tribute to Dad, I remember some of his friends being John & Milo Petra, John Kalupek, Don Erusha, Dale Johnson, Roy Ryan, Ray Hines, Harvey Uridell, Ed Kaplan, Vernon Musel, Paul Behounek, Cloyd Veit, Leo Zhorne, Dick VandeWalle, Lawrence Hayek, Ed Johnston, Harlan Johnson, and an old fella by the name of Bill Shaller. Oh, there were plenty of other, but these names came up in my memory banks.
Dad died on April 24, 1992. Happy Birthday, Dad.
If you ever knew my Dad, or visited the old Grocery Store, I would love to hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 319-327-4640. Be blest this week.