Murdo Girl…Putting Murdo back together

When I close my eyes what do I see? The little town that made me, me…


I found out they tore down the old Jones County State Bank, today. Do you know what that means? Murdo has temporarily lost another iconic building. Before we know it, the fifties and sixties will be nothing but history. I have personally been waging a war against changing Murdo.

In my stories about the Brick House gang, I have already reprised the old Murdo High School and the elementary school buildings. Fern’s Café and Mack’s Café have both reopened. We still have those two great places where we can enjoy fresh cinnamon rolls, chocolate cake, and hot beef sandwiches. Joy Payne’s dress shop, the Murdo Show house, and Gambles are purring along. Beckwith’s Jewelry Store is next to Joy Payne’s. Mr. Beckwith is good at fixing watches and his kids are good at music.

The Post Office is back where it should be, and Thune Hardware is next to the drug store. The dry cleaners, on the other side of Mowell’s Drug Store, is still a much needed business in Murdo. There’s a locker for people to take their meat if they don’t have a freezer at home, and the Buffalo Bar is across the street from the locker. The Gem Hotel, the Murdo Hotel and the Laundromat are all uptown, too.

Super Value still has the Frosty Freeze attached to it, and we have five or six full service gas stations. In addition to Mack’s and Fern’s, you can eat at Highway 16 Café with all the tourists and the Teepee. It’s pretty new.

Most importantly, Sanderson’s Store is just as it always was…Aunt Tet lives upstairs and the Leckeys are living in the apartment across the hall. Doc Bork is our dentist and Doc Murphy makes house calls. Uncle Jerry Miller, Delmer Miller and a guy named Reginator, build all the new houses and Dad has a plumbing and heating business. When someone asked him how many guys were working for him, he said about half of them…

Graham Motor Lodge is under construction and they’re going to have a swimming pool. Mom runs our little motel called the Chalet which is across the highway from Grahams. The Gonzales, Boysens, and Wheelers have motels and the Iversons own the Red Top. I heard a family by the name of Edwards just bought it. Laura Hayden has motel rooms all over town. (I might have spelled some of those names incorrectly.)

There are a couple of beauty shops in Murdo and Kitty Reynolds sews for more than a few families. People buy their cars from the Ford Garage and the Pioneer Auto Museum is as well known as Wall Drug.

The ladies in town play a lot of bridge, and drink a lot of coffee. They probably gossip more than they should. Nobody likes to miss coffee because they can only talk about the ones who aren’t there. After coffee, Mom and Aunt Elna go home and call each other to gossip about the gossip. It’s a lot to keep up with. Grandma Sanderson goes when one of her girls will take her. She always has her hair done and wears her beads. She never repeats gossip because she’s very hard of hearing and she fears she’ll tell it wrong.

The school boys have football, basketball and track and the girls have basketball. There are no home economics classes offered, but the moms who can cook, teach their girls. Makes sense to me. I already know how to make chocolate chip cookies. What else do I need to know?

I love the new Swanson’s fried chicken TV dinners and Mom makes baked potatoes with chicken pot pies. We mush them all together on our plate. It’s very filling and good! She makes roasts and all kinds of other good stuff.

When kids go steady, the girls sit in the middle of the front seat of the boy’s car, even if the car has bucket seats. They drive around town for hours. They go around Brunskill’s hill and up and down Main Street. We don’t have street signs. I don’t even know the name of the street I live on. I also don’t know how kids can do all that driving around. Gas is 35 cents a gallon. The girls who go steady wear the boy’s class rings and make them fit by sticking wadded up tape under the wide part.

There are lots of little stock dams where guys like Grandpa Sanderson like to fish. You can boat but you can’t swim at the North Dam. It’s where our drinking water comes from. We swim at the East Dam, sometimes called Seymour’s Dam, and fish at the South Dam. One time when Billy was going to be late for school, Mom didn’t make him go. We all hate to be late for anything. Anyway, he went fishing at the South Dam and someone caught him and called him a truant.

Yup…I’m taking it upon myself to keep Murdo just like it was, so whoever wants to help me is more than welcome. Those guys who tore down the bank can just put it back together again. Oh, and leave our Post Office alone. A real nice lady runs it.

Guess I’ll put an ad in the Murdo Coyote.