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Memories of downtown Rock Falls

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

So many places once a part of Rock Falls are now a memory. The Royal Blue Grocery store was on First Avenue. The library was downtown on First Avenue, also, where we all got our books for those book reports. The librarian was nice but very stern about keeping everyone very quiet. She wore her hair up in a bun.

The electricity company was a small, one-story building by the railroad tracks on East Third Street. It’s still there today, though no longer our electric company. The Root Beer Barrel on West Second Street is where I used to get frosty mugs of root beer, shaped like a barrel, for 5 cents.

Dog ’n Suds used to be where Arthur’s Deli is now. I loved their chili dogs. Snow Cap Drive Inn was up the road from Dog ’n Suds. It was the place I had my first casual date as a teen. They all had carhops to deliver your order on a tray and attach it to your driver’s window. Frosty root beer and french fries. ...

I bought a gallon of milk for 50 cents at Rheeling’s Grocery, which used to be a house with a big porch on Dixon Avenue by the railroad track. There was an old converted gas station on the corner of Dixon Avenue and Avenue E. It was a neighborhood store, and I’d buy penny and two-penny candy there. My brother would buy a black wax mustache, and I’d buy big red wax lips. After a while, we’d chew the wax to be sure we got our penny’s worth.

My favorite candy there was Black Jack. It was pink and black licorice penny candy. My daughter found it online and surprised me. I couldn’t believe it was still around. The memories came flooding back with each piece.

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