Lusk Memories, Bob Vollmer Part 3, by Doris Johnson

Last updated: November 2, 2006

The Lusk Herald
November 1, 2006

Bob Vollmer Remembers Town booms through the eyes of a child



The oil boom around the 1920's presented quite a shortage in all kinds of things. There were long lines at the post office (which at that time was moved into the Baptist Church). Men would pay people to stand in line for quite a few hours at one time to pick up their mail.

The boom created such a housing shortage that a lot of people had dugouts and tar paper shanties they lived in. Years later most of them had to be torn down or burned down. People heated with wood or coal or coal oil and if the winds came up at night, the Fire Department would know that they would have fires. The most often used piece of furniture was an apple crate.

Third Street used to be a highway then, and what is now the Cozy Corner, a/k/a the Lusk Hospital, was then the Lusk Apartments. Across the alley to the east, there was a tarpaper shack that reached from the alley to the street. It had a long narrow hallway and was divided into tiny little sleeping rooms with army cots in them. Single men working on rigs were staying there. One would get up to go to work, and another would come in from work and crawl in the cot the other guy just got out of. I used to go there with a good friend of mine whose parents owned the building.

On Fifth Street there used to be a row of duplex apartments that the railroad owned. Now it is an empty lot and has been for some time. Us kids used to play in them. I got more black eyes from our homemade rubber guns. We'd make rubber bands out of an inner tube, one or two laths depending on what you wanted to make, stretch it out on different notches cut into the lath, and when you would pull the string, bang they'd go. We'd take a lath and make a dart gun, three laths outside of one, lay them together with a groove in the center, tack a long rubber band and tack it on one end and stretch over the end. Then you'd put your dart (made out of shingles) in there and release the rubber band. It was sharp as a spike and would stick in the side of a house. It's a wonder we didn't get hurt.

Until next time, keep your smile sincere and your backside warm.




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