Monday, August 30, 2010
A story about the "Good Old Boys"
S.O.S. featured in national magazine
If you turn to the back of the June edition of Country Living Magazine you will see a familiar sight. A half-page photo of S.O.S. Drugstore with eight lines of print encourages readers to perch on a stool and enjoy an old-fashioned ice cream cone. The caption begins: “This Main Street pharmacy has been serving its loyal customers since 1909.” It quotes current owner Garrett Crane and labels the past owner Kendal Oldroyd (who is in the picture) a “part-time soda jerk”.
Kendal laughs at his new national moniker, since he is actually a pharmacist who now works part-time at S.O.S. but is happy to serve ice cream – or coffee to the store’s “loyal customers”. What the magazine didn’t take a picture of was the 9:30 a.m. coffee crew. These gentlemen have been putting down a dollar for cup at the counter and some good conversation for more than 50 years. “We come down here to decide who to hang every morning!” said one of the members (who wanted to remain anonymous) with a chuckle.
The senior member of the group is 88 year old Floyd Stewart a WWII veteran who comes with his younger brother Jay Stewart. Floyd build Springville Floral on the corner of 4th East and 4th South in the early 1950’s and sold the business in 1984. He’s been dropping by for good conversation almost every morning for more than 50 years. Jay, age 79 was born in Springville but lived in Omaha Nebraska where he worked as an engineer for AT&T. “I retired and moved back to Springville in 1991 and I’ve been joining these guys down here ever since,” said Jay.
Maury Thomas, age 80 was the owner of Quality Cleaners in Springville for about 45 years but has turned the business over to his son. “I’ve got a little more time now to come here to meet my friends in the morning,” he said. Don Horton is one of the younger gents at age 74. He used to bring his kids down for ice cream when they were young and now enjoys taking his turn to visit the soda counter. He’s retired from Geneva Steele and enjoys the political discussions. “Don’t put this in the paper, but our political view is don’t vote for the incumbents,” said Don.
Glen Ruff age 80 was wearing a “Beat the Pro” shirt from his son Wesley Ruff the popular Channel 4 Sports Director. “I don’t know if he’d want that to be mentioned in the paper after he reads what I’m about to say,” said Glen. Glen cherishes his special hot-seat on this coffee council. “I’m the only Democrat, the only union man and the only environmentalist allowed,” said Glen. “It makes for some (darn) good conversation since these other guys sure aren’t any of those things!” There was a unanimous chorus of “You got that right!”
Country Living Magazine sent two professional photographers with expensive gear and spent five hours shooting pictures with the two adorable twin grandnieces Kate and Ginny Peterson. After some editing for printable language and a couple of clicks with a digital camera, the slightly older crowd are now just as famous – at least in their own hometown of Springville.