Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

Saturday, April 9, 2011

They lived at the gas station.........

Jesse Thomas Burgus, 1917-2000


My parents Jesse and Zella Burgus were married in December of  1941.  I assume my dad was living at  home with his parents at that time and my mom lived in town with her mother.  She had been a country school teacher but getting married stopped that employment.  Ten months later after their marriage, my  oldest brother was born in October, 1942.  

I don't really know all the details but my parents then lived at the filling station, gas station, out on Highway 34, south of Murray, Iowa. The station eventually had a restaurant in the back room where there was originally an apartment. As a young boy riding the bus home from school, the bus driver would let us stop at that station and buy pop to drink.  We of course kept the bottle and I am sure we threw the bottles out the window then, as that is what everyone did.  Go figure that behavior. 

Ron being the first child gave my parents a good reason to record his early life and as a result we get to see the family history of where they lived.  Highway 34 is behind the baby buggy and the town of Murray is behind there up the gravel road about a mile. That highway was built for model T's as it was very narrow. Originally the highway would be built with raised side curbs to direct the water to different drainage areas, cement gutters.  You can see the curb in the photo as it flared in to meet a road intersection.

As a kid when those things were still in place, one had to be careful not to drive up onto that four inch curb or hit one of the concrete drain areas.  The old 1957 ford would really dance around when you hit them. The sound of hitting a drainage gutter was devastating and it actually could destroy a tire. I can remember when the speed limit on that narrow highway was 60 miles an hour and 55 at night.


Murray, Iowa remains a pretty small town of 700 people or more.  It still has a train going by it but it wasn't the county seat so it didn't grow in size. 

10 comments:

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Larry, what a wonderful post. I really enjoyed it, and it brought back more memories of when my grandparents owned a little gas station/store on a country road in Oregon with a little apartment in the back.

Take care,

Kathy M.

Karen S. said...

Being together as a family is all that ever matters no matter where that may be really...! Great post Larry! Nice photos to treasure too!

Christine H. said...

You describe this all in such a wonderful way that I feel as if I visited the place myself.

Tattered and Lost said...

You know, a town of 700 sounds just about right, no curbs necessary. And then of course I'd want miles and miles until the next town. I say this as I listen to two leaf blowers, the typical nightmare Saturday in my neighborhood.

Postcardy said...

It must have been a long ride home from school.

imagespast said...

Lovely family photos to treasure. I hope you find out more about the gas station/restaurant. A long journey on the roads you describe must have been uncomfortable! :-) Jo

Southwest Arkie said...

Such great memories and I love that first photo of your dad and your older brother.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Great thoughts, on a different time and place for sure. I am wondering if Murray was one of the towns mentioned with the tornadoes a day ago,in Iowa hope not. We had a spell of windy storm weather her yesterday but no big T's. Your post made me remember how it used to sound driving along the streets of town and those storm drain grates. We never threw away pop bottles because we could trade them in for pennies or nickels later...

Far Side of Fifty said...

Great old photos and you have many memories to share. I hated that curved curb in Iowa..I used to drive a trailer for My Father In Law..hitting that curved curb with a trailer tire would toss you around..and the road seemed so narrow:)

chen.esseff said...

So nice to have a pictorial history of your family.