by Bob Kelly
Woodstock: 60 Years Ago
This picture was taken in the 1940’s at Chick Wells’ service station on the corner of Central and High Streets. Those were the days when your gas was pumped for you, your oil was checked and windshield washed and gas was about 18 cents a gallon. And air for your tires was also free. Try getting any of those things today and you’ll be sent to the funny farm. To the best of my memory Chick was the only employee so it was him that pumped the gas and checked the oil. I notice there is a Woodstock Taxi sign over the door. I think that was Fred Doubleday’s taxi because that’s the only one I remember in Woodstock. We used to hang out some at the garage and bought our five-cent cokes from the dispensing machine. Chick and his wife and son lived over the garage. Don Perkins and Richard Ward, my buddies, lived in the neighborhood. Across the street was the fire station and next-door was Mooney’s one pump gas station. Perhaps someone can identify the make and year of the two cars in the picture.
Just to the right of the gas station was a restaurant owned by Mr. Davis. I remember sitting at the lunch counter, when in walked James Cagney. For those who don’t know who James Cagney was, he was a leading Hollywood actor. I got his autograph but it is nowhere to be found. In those days famous people could walk around without photographers hounding them.
Woodstock’s police department consisted of one full time officer, Chief Krupinsky, and four deputies, Elton Cook, Gordon Fish, Ray Langhans and Ed Leonard. The department was formed in April of 1948. I graduated in June of that year so I guess town officials felt they needed a police force with me on the loose. I’m sorry to see Byron Kelly leaving his position as police chief after 18 years. I find it hard to believe but understand that Byron was not even involved in picking a new Chief. Sounds like something they would do in Washington, not Woodstock. I guess politicians are the same everywhere.
Bob Kelly 192 Governors Lane, Shelburne, VT 05482 (802) 985-9555. firstname.lastname@example.org
This article first appeared in the July 14th print edition of the Vermont Standard.