Dixon Main Street honors Wilson's Tap
DIXON - Dick Wilson dreamed of having a bar. His wife, Marion, dreamed of having a beautiful bar.
His dream was realized in November 1977, when the couple bought Wilson's Tap in Dixon.
Marion, 57, had to wait a little longer.
Wednesday, Dixon Main Street honored the owners of the bar at 316 W. First St. for their beautification efforts.
It all started 6 years ago with a new walk-in cooler - a gift from two friends who wanted to thank the Wilsons for driving them to and from work every day of the summer.
Next came the flooring.
"I'm not real big," 5-foot-1-inch Marion said. "Any floor that gives under my weight is a problem."
So they tore up the floors. In the process, they discovered the cause of the shaky floorboards: Their old, rusted coolers were draining onto the floors.
The only thing to do was replace all the coolers, Marion said.
Each time the couple started on another repair or upgrade, Dick's friends would remind the avid fisherman of the sacrifice he was making.
"All of his fishing buddies kidded him, 'There goes your bass boat,'" daughter Valerie Herbenick said.
After the floors and coolers were replaced, Marion said the couple decided they might as well replace the top of the bar, too.
That made the tables look shabby, in comparison.
"There goes bass boat number two," Herbenick said.
Next came the men's restroom.
"The men's room turned out nice," Marion said. "So ours needed to be something really special."
The new ladies' room was boat number three.
Linoleum came next. And then a package cooler. Then a new drainage system for the basement. A paint job for the ceiling. A lighted awning to replace the old sign on the front of the building.
Finally, a front corner of the bar was decorated to look like the bar Dick had always imagined. Curtains came down and fish netting, an anchor and hand-made fishing signs went up. Liar's Corner was born.
"Five bass boats later, the bar is new inside and out, and Mom's dreams have come true," Herbenick said.
Marion hasn't been in the bar since April, though. That's when Dick got sick.
On Sept. 6, Marion's husband of nearly 35 years died.
A week and a half later, Dixon Main Street presented Wilson's Tap with the Pride Award. Herbenick accepted it on her parents' behalf.