Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ed and Jan

Growing up in Laclede Town my folks both tended bar across the street from our townhouse at a place called The Coach and Four Pub. Ed and Jan Eldredge owned the place. It was a great place to be a kid. I got autographed photos from the likes of Lou Brock. My folks knew everyone.

A few years later, when my folks split up, my dad would take my brother and me for the day. We’d make it as far as the Pub. It was okay though, we had a lot of friends in Laclede Town. My mom would be furious when she caught him. My brother and I became bar flies at an early age.

Ed used to park his race boats out in front of the bar. They looked like space ships to us. They were so sleek and modern.

My dad was famous for making every experience an adventure. The first boat race of Ed’s we went to he decided we needed a better vantage point.

He found a crop duster with a small Cessna on a grass runway in his back yard. He talked the guy into flying us over the race for a better look.

This was my first time flying. I have flown in small Cessnas thousands of times since.

Jan and Ed had a small piece of property at a lake in Illinois. We used to picnic, swim and fish there in the summers. I once swam the length of it to get to a general store at a public beach on the other side.

I used to play poker with the adults. They’d get mad at my folks for letting me in the game. I had a lot of beginner’s luck.

My dad and his friend Joan swam across the lake one summer afternoon. When Joan got to the other side my dad wasn’t with her. They found him tangled in weeds at the bottom of the lake.

Ed became a completely different person after a stroke. They moved to some small town to retire. 

The Laclede Town paper I got this pick from has stories about Dick Gregory and others. I’ve been promising my Laclede Town FaceBook group I’d scan all my publications but it’s going to be a huge undertaking. I will get to it, I promise.


Anonymous said...

i remember those boats parked across the street( circle ) from our houses, they were some of the coolest things i had ever seen back then( being like 6 or 7 ), for some reason it reminds me of your dad unfolding out of that little triumph(i think) sports car he had Geo

Anonymous said...

by the way, i am in touch with Bob Bates, Jan's brother, we just send e-mail junk back and forth; we got a card from Jan for mom's funeral. Geo

Doggie said...

My mother and I were wondering if Jan was still alive. We knew Ed died.

dominic schaeffer said...

any other pictures of the boat? it was the coolest thing along w/ Jerome Burgers old Red Rolls Royce.

As soon as i heard the name "Eldredge" ALL these memories flooded back!

Please post this on the LaClede Town Group page.

Anonymous said...

jan is still living, i'll have to find out from jean where she is... geo

Anonymous said...

Dominic, Jerry Berger had a Bentley, not a Rolls.

Doggie's Mom

P.S. Geo., please pursue the whereabouts of Jan Eldredge, as well as Bob Bates, Jan's brother.

Doggie said...

Sorry to correct you mom but he had a 1923 red convertible Rolls. It had white wall tires with spokes. He gave us rides in it. The Bentley came later and we were all very disappointed.

Doggie said...

In the Parade magazine I sent out to the Laclede Town group (That you provided) you can see it in a shot looking west down Lawton.

Anonymous said...

Goodness gracious me-oh-my-o!

For years when any of you guys mentioned Jerry Berger's Rolls Royce, I hastened to correct you, telling you it was a Bentley.

I have no recollection pf the Rolls.

I'm glad you gave me the info so I won't continie to make a moron of myself.

Thanks, Babe!

Your Mom