Friday, April 24, 2009

5 & 10

Pictured above it a menu from the Woolworth Lunch counter in the 1950's. Old Trunks doesn't remember the counter in Thief River Falls. That is probably because the candy counter, which I frequented, was on the other side of the store next to the door.
The Woolworth Store was on the southwest end of the 200 block of LaBree; the Ben Franklin was on the northwest end. Ben Franklin had a lunch counter too, it had a door on LaBree Avenue as well as doors on the north side of the building. If you came to the lunch counter from the front, one meandered through the toys, kitchen wares, and cleaning supplies before you got to the red topped counter with stools.
What I liked about Ben Franklin lunch counter was the spinning stools and the dumb waiter. It didn't seem to matter how many times I asked, my grandmother would never let me take a ride in the dumb waiter. After all the Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers did it, why couldn't a 45 pound kid?
Even as a little kid, I got the idea that businesses placed them selves near other businesses for extra revenue. Think about this: The Falls Theater was in the middle of the block on the west side of the street. On that same block there were numerous places to get a sandwich after a movie.
Ben Franklin
The Fountain
Which at that time was right next to the theater and was stools only. It had a KOOL cigarette sign in the window and a penguin on it with the words, "It's KOOL inside". As a kid, I thought it meant it was cold.
Across the street there was the MINT for those who liked to have beer, Parkin's Corner Drug with their lunch counter, and the Rex Cafe` with a full menu.
What spins your stool?

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