Do you remember the old linotype machines?
Don't know why I thought of them, oh yes I do. I was remembering the little town where dad's blacksmith shop was and the layout of the town. Just south of the shop was a pool hall and beer joint. Kansas was dry at that time so the beer was only 3.2% but everyone knew the bartender had a quite complete line of all kinds of alcholic drinks under the bar. Next to that was a flight of quite steep dark stairs and if you climbed them at the top and turned right it was Dr. Stevens dental office. His drill was operated by a foot pump while he pumped the foot pedal the drill worked. To the left was Dr. Vansants office, an MD. The worst memories I have of those stairs and his office were when I had to be forced up the stairs to get the rabies shot in my navel. Had to have 5 of them a week apart. It took both grandparents all they could handle to get me up those stairs, those shots hurt terribly. I think I was 5 at the time.
Next door to that was the weekly newspaper office, the linotype was near the front of the building and you could watch the operator working. Those were huge, complicated machines. This one had a kerosene burner under the lead pot to melt the lead. Did you ever get a good look at the keyboard of those machines? They certainly didn't have a qwerty keyboard. If I am remembering correctly, there were three separate parts of the keyboard, each a different color, I have no idea how the operator worked the keyboard but I was always amazed at how his fingers seem to fly over the different parts and then the lead print sections would come sliding down to make up a page.
Wonder if anywhere in this country there is still an operating linotype?
Next door to that was the local cafe, there wasn't any city water at that time so the woman that owned the place always came to the blacksmith shop with a couple of pails. There was and still is an operating water well in the southwest corner of the blacksmith shop. Come to think of it, I believe every business carried pails to the shop and pumped water for their use. There was a pump just outside of the firehall but that was almost a block from the stores. Running on as usual. Enough.