Why Judisch Bros. Drug Store Has The Word "Bros." in it
And Other Memories of Ames
Grandfather George Judisch, I believe, was a first generation American whose parents came from Germany. He had two older bachelor brothers, both master carpenters, who lived together in Muscatine, Iowa where Grampa was born. His brothers came to Ames and built all the fixtures. In honor of their help, the drug store was named Judisch Bros. I was involved in the remodeling process about 75 years later. I don't think they used a nail anyplace. As true German carpenters, they made things fit together perfectly. If they needed "nails," they made them out of wood. Grampa would periodically get on the bus and go to Muscatine, even after his brothers died. When he returned, his first question was always, "Any good fires, deaths or accidents?"
Speaking of German carpenters, I recall that Heine Brahms was a superb builder. Heine and Maria first came to my attention in 1944 when we moved to 1214 Ridgewood. Heine finished our basement, complete with a bar and a bench that had a lift-up seat for storage. He designed the house for us to grow into, so that it was good until the day it was sold. I think he also built the playhouse in the back yard since we bought the house from an older man with three grown daughters. When Heine finally retired, he continued his woodworking, doing amazing things into his 80’s. The three of us and the boy's wives all received hope chests with our initials fancily carved on the front. We all got tea carts, trays made of multiple kinds of wood, and other wonderful creations.
JUDISCH’S DOUBLE GARAGE AT 808 DOUGLAS
In the late 1800s, prior to his marriage to Lillian, George Judisch purchased the house at 808 Douglas. Neighbors recall the double garage off the alley, an uncommon feature for a home of that vintage. Here’s the story.
I never met Grandmother Judisch. She died of breast cancer when my dad was 18. Thus, as dad would have said, "I was but a twinkle in his eye." My grandmother was into the arts; she both painted and sang. I've also been told that she "didn't suffer fools gladly." This "toughness" in a female in the l920's was certainly not welcomed by many, but it got my grandmother what she wanted. One of the things she wanted was a car. My grandfather thought these new contraptions were but a fleeting fancy and after all God had given us feet, why should we waste money on a car? He never did drive a car in his long life.
Grandma, on the other hand, wanted a car and told her husband that she was not only going to buy one but would build a garage for it and use her OWN money. His response was that if she were going to get a car and build a garage on HIS property, she'd jolly well have to pay rent for the garage. Thus, she built a double garage and rented out half to pay her husband his monthly rent. And that is the story as passed down by word of mouth as to why the house at 808 Douglas has a double garage.
I know Moore's Dairy was important, but we always got our milk, cream, butter and cheese delivered to the house by the guy who ran a route for the college. We could also get ice cream delivered. There were two grocery stores that I remember fondly. One was on the corner of Northwestern and Ninth, where we stopped for candy bars on the way home from Roosevelt. I can remember saying to one of the elderly guys in there that they must be making a lot of money with all the grade schoolers stopping on their way home Monday through Friday. So much for grade school economics. The other grocery was Fred Malander’s Ninth Street Food Market. You could call in your order and they'd prepare it for pick-up on the way home, or they could deliver for free. And yes, they even kept a running tab so you could pay once a month. Amazing how well we got along without credit cards. When I would stop on the way home to just get one or two things, and therefore not get a basket, I'd usually wind up with more and start putting cans and other items in my pockets until I hit the register. Imagine doing that today!
Don't know how many people remember or have discussed what Ames was like during WWII. We had bread lines, gas rationing and yes, believe it or not, we had practice black outs. We also had shoe coupons. I remember being in my dad's office and mom giving me a coupon to go to Emerhoff's to buy a pair of shoes. Son Wayne waited on me and I walked out with a pair of shoes that belonged on the feet of a 70-year-old. I was too embarrassed to tell him I didn't like what he brought out, so I said yes to the very first pair. Mother took over the situation after she saw my purchase and I got a pair much more suitable for a five-year-old.
When I was in Junior High School, in the days when that meant 7th-9th grade, and it was called Central or the old High School, Moore's Dairy was an important part of our lives, particularly the walk home. We often felt that we needed to do something good for ourselves after enduring six hours of school and looking forward to heaven only.knows how many hours of homework ... but 30 minutes was much too long. (We didn't have homework until 7th grade back then). So we would soothe ourselves with a trip to Moore's ice cream counter. Our favorite treat was to buy either 2 nickel (1dip) cones or one nickel and one dime (2dips) and then mush the two ice cream scoops together so you were holding a cone in each hand and licking the middle. Eventually, the ice cream disappeared in the middle and then came the big decision, which end did you want to eat first. In all my years, I've never found a butter brickle ice cream better than the one I ate on the way home after a long and arduous day at Central Junior High School.