Once upon a time in the land called Maplewood was the Maplewood Park Baptist Church at 565 Mildred Ave. When the congregation decided to build a new church Dad could not bear the thought of 565 not being a church; so he purchased the building. Thus began my journey of hodge-podge religions, The Feckenberg (our name for the confectionary) and life by the railroad tracks at 565 Mildred Ave., Cahokia, IL.
My earliest memories of 565 are me rolling down the stairs like a scene from a comedy movie. How I survived only God knows. (Perhaps He had plans for me back then that I was not aware of.)
We lived on the 2nd floor in a 2 bedroom apartment and I can remember sitting at our kitchen table in our pjs and hearing the Wednesday and Sunday sermons. Perhaps that’s why I’m now more comfortable sitting at home watching tv sermons than getting dressed in all that fancy regalia to attend Church.
The Feckenberg (as Sis and I called it) was to the right of the door where all the windows are in the photograph. I learned to dance to the jute box and was a pretty good jitter bug dancer at the age of around 5.
Dad loved to “play around” on weekends behind the soda fountain counter cooking burgers and making milkshakes and other fountain drinks. Of course he only had the weekend shift when he wasn’t selling furniture and appliances; Mom had the chore the rest of the week and got mighty tired of it. The high school kids loved to hang out at The Feckenberg and even called Mom and Dad Mr. and Mrs. C (short for Crowder). I spent many evenings thinking about that whenever I watched Happy Days.
Sis and I used to get the left over ice cream in the 5 gallon tubs. I can remember getting the mixing spoons and diving in to those creamy goodies. Even now I’d rather get my ice cream from a 5 gallon tub because of the wonderful memories it evokes. Alas you rarely find those big tubs now; so I’m losing my touch.
Eventually The Feckenberg was replaced by a downstairs apartment for my aunt and her 2 sons, but Dad continued to “start” churches in the Maplewood/Cahokia area until 1972 when he sold 565.
Yes it was good to drive by yesterday; take some photos and reminince. More on that later…