Bank offers a sweet beginning to new year
The memories came flooding back for Wayne Turner as he scooped up ice cream in the former Ratliff pharmacy on the last night of the 1900s.
Turner, along with several other former Tonganoxie soda jerks, made ice cream sodas Friday night for area residents who ventured into Ratliff's for a New Year's Eve party.
The gathering was sponsored by First State Bank and Trust, which owns the Ratliff building.
"The banking regulators encourage bankers to stay close to their banks to alleviate concern," said Bill New, First State president. "And in the banking business, you make a lot of friends."
So New and his staff decided to throw a party for the community at the pharmacy building across the street from the bank.
Turner, who worked more than 40 years ago at Cain's Drug Store, was pleased to have a chance to work at a soda fountain again.
"Down there, in 1945, I made 10 cents an hour," Turner said.
Just in case something went wrong with the equipment, Ted Duncanson was on hand. Duncanson had worked on the carbonation system in the Ratliff building in the late 1940s and early 1950s. "We wanted to come down and see what was going on," Duncanson said.
Maryann Needham also worked during the mid-1940s at Cain's. The big-sellers at that time, she said, were chocolate and cherry Cokes to children who would come in the store to read comic books.
"I think we sold a lot of that kind of stuff," she said.