by Larry Freshman
Well, the old kid has rested and my brain seems ok, so how about some more fanciful recollections of Thurmont back in the day. On the square corner was a large store operated by Jules and Rose, selling a large variety of goods, everything from liquor to clothes. Margaret Thompson had moved from across the street and next to Shappy’s took her place; Margaret sold lovely ladies’ clothing that were accented with style and grace. Some years later, Pat and Pat would take over the shop and rename it LuRay; And continued to sell beautiful clothing, the classic style of the day. Down the street was Roy Lookingbill’s Barber Shop with Billy and Roy Purcell; As a kid I had my hair buzzed there and I thought it really looked swell. Once in a while, I imagine I can still get a whiff of those fragrant aftershaves and hair tonics I recall; But what fascinated me most back then was the painting of Custer’s Last Stand on their wall. Next to the Barber Shop was my Uncle Guy Hobbs’ grocery store; I know he delivered groceries to our house every Thursday as a weekly chore. Down the street was the Stoner House, it’s grandeur and beauty so evident; However, in the name of progress it was torn down, but its magnificent wall paper now decorates the home of our President. Further down on the corner of Center Street, Creager’s Furniture Store could be found; With some of the most gorgeous home furnishings of anywhere around. I can still see Mr. Creager at his desk working on accounts, order forms and sale notices by the score; While daughters Clara Jean and Mary Ellen were assisting customers who were browsing through the store. Across from Creager’s was a large old building, I think several families lived at that sight; In my memory, it was called Mathews Apartments, I believe I am right. From the apartment building to the alley were some quaint little homes all in a row; Across the alley was the old Post Office where mail deliverers and letter carriers scurried to and fro. Above the Post Office, those very steep stairs you would have to climb; To be treated for your illness by Dr. Gray, one of our best physicians at the time. Up the street were two taverns whose business was quite brisk; Although some wives didn’t think kindly of hubby going to Keefer’s for a brew, so it was understood if you went it was at your own risk. In between those two taverns, dentist, Dr. Doll’s office was located; As a kid, a trip to the dentist meant that nasty drill, I guess that’s why those visits I hated. Outside Dr. Doll’s office, Reverend Krone sold vegetables, freshly picked from his garden earlier that day; Everybody was trusted so just leave your payment in the box on the table and be on your way. Behind the Shapiro’s store was a market where you could purchase meat of fowl, pig, or cow; It was Hunting Creek Market, owned and operated by Louis Powell. At the top of Church Street hill was a doctor’s office, Bireley was his name; And as a kid, every time I went there his treatment was the same. The remedy, get up on that table and pull-down your pants; With this big needle of penicillin, those germs won’t stand a chance. Across the street from Dr. Bireley were the Lutheran, Methodist and Catholic Churches all in a line; Oh! how lovely they were, when all were decorated at Christmas time. Further out on Church Street, Mountain Jerry’s Place you would find; The thought of this place brings smells of fried chicken, cigarettes, and beer to mind. As a kid the best thing about this place was the baseball player sign that read; In flashing letters, Mountain Jerry’s it’s a hit, what more needed to be said? Out the street, on the right was Royer’s Restaurant owned by Sam Louise; Royers was spacious inside, had plenty of parking and a staff that worked hard its customers to please. The terrific food and service made Royers busy night and day; I know, ‘cause I was the kid manning the dishwasher; The plates, glasses and silverware never seemed to go away. Traveling past Royers was Bollinger’s Restaurant and snack bar located on a hill nearby; With Momma B doing the cooking, everyone wanted to give that delicious food a try. Hot roast beef sandwiches, cole slaw and fries, my favorite back then and today; Located near Bollingers was a ball field where I believe the Bombers used to play. I hope as you read my remembrances of old Thurmont, you’ll recall your own fond memories of the peaceful places and kind people for which our small town is renowned. Well, it’s time for the kid to put his trusty pen away; And if the memory holds up, there might be more on another day.