I had two purposes for going to northern Utah in late July 2018.
One was to enjoy all the railroad action in the area since it’s one of the great railroad junctions in history with Promontory Point being the location where the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad met in on May 10, 1869, to complete the first transcontinental railroad. That should tell you where I will be on May 10, 2019….
The other was to visit my childhood homes after my mom moved us to norther Utah after my dad committed suicide in 1961 in Palestine, Texas.
I had no idea what the addresses of the first two homes were, only their general location and what they looked like. I did know the address of the third and final home.
It was the first home that I was really interested in, though, because that’s where my mom became an alcoholic. My dad had committed suicide over my mom’s “indiscretions,” and I truly think that alcohol was her way of comforting herself.
The only thing I knew for sure was that the home was directly behind Food Town, which later became Food King. I also knew that Food Town was on Main Street. I felt sure that something as big and as necessary as a grocery store probably would still be there. It wasn’t. I didn’t have a clue what to do.
I gave up and went to the Brigham City Courthouse and then to the library.
I asked at both places if anyone knew where Food Town had been. Nobody did, but the librarian suggested that I stop at the Box Elder Journal offices across the street. They also didn’t know but being a newspaper, they had newspapers from the 1960s, and they set me up to browse the January 1964 papers. That was how I found the front-page newspaper item about one of my juvenile delinquency episodes (Police looking for passer of bad checks). Food Town had full-page advertisements in every paper, indicating that there had been two locations.
I went to 81 North Main Street since it was just a block away from the newspaper offices. There was a new Justice Center/DMV building there. Off to 870 South Main Street. There was not a Food Town or Food King there, but look what I found:
It’s not a Food Town but I knew that was the location I was looking for. I parked, walked around back, looked across the street, and there it was:
House numbers were few and far between; the best I can determine is that the address is 654 South 100 West. The current view of the back of the strip mall from the house is quite different from what I remember.
When I lived there in 1961, I could watch the food trucks arrive and the expired food being tossed out on the loading docks, a welcome sight for a hungry 6-year-old boy.