Country Facts and Folklore
By Andy Reddick

 

THE GOODIE GARDEN CAFE IN KEOSAUQUA

Many changes have taken place along Main Street in Keosauqua since the 1950s. A building where Leeís Drug Store and Cups ín Cakes is located housed the Wampus Theatre, and the yellow brick building next door that is now Riverbend Pizza was the Goodie Garden Cafe.

There were 3 grocery stores: Roberts Grocery in the middle of the first block; Dorothy Bros. just south of Tillieís Tap, and Archieís two doors north of Tillieís. Next to Archieís the two story building on the corner was Vicís Cafe.

The Rexall Drug Store was where Georgeís is located; John Nickelson had his Western Auto Store next to Roberts Grocery, Grahamís Department Store was along that side with its handsome black marble pillars, and on the corner was the bank. Hohl and Hohlís Hardware Store dominated the next block and was between the Farm Bureau and Dorothy Bros. Grocery.

The community hall and library was in a building with a large, sweeping porch across the street from Grahamís. Up the street on that side was the DX filling station, two frame buildings that housed Gwinnup and Carterís Poultry and the bowling alley, with Birdmanís Auto Parts on the corner.

The museum was then the old Post Office, the little red brick building housed Spurgeonís Jewelry, then there were two frame buildings side by side that were the Cozy Cafe and Pool Hall. The Doctorís Office was in the brick building on the corner across from the Creamery. On the other side of the street were Dr. McClurgís Dentist office, the laundromat, an insurance building and the Ford Garage. Parsonís Chevrolet was at the end of the bridge, and the Chrysler-Plymouth dealership was behind Hohl and Hohlís on Van Buren Street.

By the 1950s, the Goodie Garden had become a teenage hangout. A pinball machine was by the door as you entered (from which you could insert a wire on the side and get free games,) across from the jukebox which had speakers wired to a small back room where we danced. Selections were a nickel each, six songs for a quarter. We danced to Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, the Coasters, Little Richard, and Ray Charles. There was a soda fountain that served nickel cherry cokes and nineteen-cent malts or banana splits. Hamburgers or tenderloins from the kitchen were a quarter each.

"Raunchy" was a brassy, instrumental piece in 1959 by Bill Blackís Combo or some similar group. Myra Loeffler was working late one Saturday night when three dirty looking redneck hillbillies walked into the restaurant and seated themselves in a booth.

I was the last of the customers that was still around. The kitchen was closed, she was all alone, so she just served fountain refreshments. The Goodie Garden was open until midnight, so it would be an hour before Myraís boyfriend, Ronnie Anderson, came to take her home.

"Stay around!" she whispered as she shoved a fresh cherry coke in front of me. "I donít like the looks of those guys!"

Over and over one of them fed nickels into the jukebox and played "Raunchy," as each of them hungrily eyed every movement Myra made. We were both very glad to see Ronnie show up, because the boys (who probably intended no harm) quickly disappeared. Myra and I always associated "Raunchy" to that night, and to this day I can still hear the droning of every note of that little jukebox song.

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Contributed to the Van Buren Co. IAGenWeb Project by Andy Reddick
http://iagenweb.org/vanburen/