John Sheda

This past week Deb and I returned to Tama-Toledo for the funeral of my cousin. The last time we ventured back here was last summer for my (gulp) 50th class reunion. This time around it was because of a sad occasion yet bittersweet too. It seems the older we get, the more we get together for funerals and such. It was sad to be sure, but at the same time, it was nice getting together with all of the Sheda family once again. Driving through the streets of Tama and Toledo, Deb and I both recall various stories about this place and that place. I always remark to Deb about basketball practice back in the winter of 1969 and walking to the Royal Dairy for one of their delicious, huge and thick malts. “TWENTY-FIVE CENTS.” The best chocolate malt ever!!

Clifton’s Grocery Store is long, long gone and now a nice church. Some of the old schools are now gone and the one-year old NEW HIGH SCHOOL is 51 years old. So much has changed over the years. We debated whether to stop at the “Maid-Rite” or “King Tower” to get a bite to eat. Deb was hungry for a maid-rite and I wanted a bacon, eggs & hash browns at King Tower. The maid-rites were good.

Now I know everyone around here is well accustomed to the changes but for me, highway 30 really is confusing. What in the world is going on? We headed east out of town to take a spin through Chelsea and I almost got lost trying to stay on highway 30. I actually had to take an exit to get on 30-East. Almost a “twilight zone” time for me.

Going through Chelsea, I shared my stories, (again), about all the fun us “town kids” had back in the late 50’s and early 60’s. Especially in the summers. Deb patiently listens, (again), about the baseball games we have, the running around town, riding our bikes, reading comic books at Swalm’s Drug Store, camping our by the cemetery and on and on and on. Deb, who grew up in the country, was always jealous of us town kids. She always looked forward to coming in with her parents on Band Concert nights and playing with her friends. I don’t think our paths ever crossed back in those days.

The Chelsea gang of kids back then consisted of the Fetters, Werners, Hepworths, Trebons, Henles, Hayaks, Upahs, Erushas, Mahlon, Behouneks, Delma, Marlene, Jean, Jackie and Carol and many others. We all had a lot of fun. And I guess, there was this little girl by the name of Debbie Veit who came to town every now and then. She even got to bring her bicycle in and was amazed how easy it was to pedal on smooth surfaces. Hmmm, wonder what ever happened to her? She was a pretty little thing. Still is, I bet.

Well, time to head back home. Hope you enjoyed a ride back home with us Let me know what you remember at jsheda@indytel.com or call me at 319.327.4640. Oops, I almost forgot that at the end of day, if we had a dime or so, we’d head to Chucks Dairy Treat for a huge ice cream cone. 10 cents was a little expensive but so big and so good.