Saturday, January 28, 2006

Ahles General Store

I got an exciting phone call this morning!

I was at my office catching up on some work, about to leave, when my cell phone rang. I answered to an unknown voice, who said he had been informed that someone at this number was interested in talking to people that knew St. Vincent history. I said yes, most definitely!

I found out that his name is Allen Ahles. He remembered my grandparents Al Fitzpatrick, and "Mrs. Al", as he called my grandmother Elizabeth (or Liz as she was more commonly known...), as well as my parents Gordon and Harriet Short.

I didn't want to ask in case I was remembering wrong, but I was thinking as he talked, wasn't there an Ahles Store that my Mom talked about? I asked him about his parents, and he said that they had had a farm about one mile south of town, near Bud Fiek's and the Ryans. I said I knew where he was talking about, yes. He said that they moved into town at one point, and bought a general store (I was right after all...!) They eventually sold that store to Fred and Babe Stranger, who in turn sold it to George Sylvester (the person that I remember as a child running the store...) His family moved away in 1952 to Staples, and eventually they moved to the Minneapolis area, where he lives with his wife to this day.

He said he had a lot of information for me, but will need to get it out and organized and call me back. I said I was thrilled to hear from him, and that I would be coming to the twin cities in July to visit a friend. He gave me his address, and I plan on stopping by one morning or afternoon while I'm down there to talk to him in person. I'm hoping to find out lots of stories to share with you all...