Wrecker tears down precious memories
My heart wrenched as we drove in sight of the building -- a pile of stone and rubble just west of the Green Forest Square on U.S. Hwy. 62. The wrecking machine was still at work. This was the building I first lived in when the Chatterton family moved from Chanute, Kan. to Green Forest in December 1938. Then it was the Potter's Hatchery -- the beginnings of the poultry industry here. My Daddy, George Chatterton, was the manager and the family lived in the back of the building for a time.
The adjoining buildings at that time were Greer's Conoco and Villine's Produce on the east, and Crawford's Canning Co. offices on the west. The other three businesses were torn down several years ago. The last business in this particular building was Conard's Appliance and Repair operated by Russell Conard, who retired a few years ago.
Somehow I had survived the demolition of the venerable F. M Seitz home and its pleasant garden/park, which was next door to where we lived when I was in the 8th grade. Even the removal of the rock-sided Methodist Church, which I had watched my Daddy help build in 1939, did not affect me as this last building did. Perhaps it was just the surprise or the realization of the end of an era, but seeing that vacant space was jolting.
I am glad to know that my hometown is growing and rising to the needs of the present day. I look forward to seeing what will occupy that side of the highway now. In today's economy, it surely must be a sign of progress. May God bless it, as He has blessed my memories that give me pride to be a part of a wonderful community in the Ozarks.
Earlene Chatterton Allen