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Goc, Michael J. / From past to present : the history of Adams County

Remembering Adams,   pp. 110-115 PDF (4.9 MB)

Page 110

Remembering Adams, 1930s 
As Told To Virginia "Toots" Voboril 
After running the Adams Hotel for a few year, Amos Briscoe 
bought the Blue Pool Hall, where cards were also played. I am 
very sure he was a very active participant in both activities. I 
used to make spending money being a "pool hustler". That was 
ok with Dad but not Mother, so Amos bought me 100 pounds of 
popcorn and a beautiful popcorn machine, looked like a Circus 
Wagon, thus set me up in my first business. Sometimes the pop- 
corn machine would appear outside the pool hall, all the guys 
(railroaders waiting for runs) on the seats in front of the Pool 
Hall would purchase popcorn. Sometimes, well four nights a 
week that movies were shown in the Opera House, it was a 
huge success and caused Mrs. Nowachek a great deal of trouble 
with the younger generation during and before the movies. We 
not only ate and spilled the popcorn we had "popcorn fights". 
This of course meant it had to be cleaned up-she patrolled the 
aisle and woe to anyone she caught with popcorn. 
Another favorite pastime was to purchase popcorn; then 
since it was during the Big Depression, there was not money 
enough left to go to the movies. Someone, I don't remember 
who it was found out that if we sat on the back steps of the 
building next door (north) we could see the movie for free. It 
sure took them a long time to find out what we were doing. 
They did of course and very promptly put shades on the win- 
dows facing the steps and kept them pulled down. That spoiled 
our fun-but it was great while it lasted. 
When there was a ball game or a band concert in the park 
we popped corn there, but to cover the crowd and sell it I needed 
helpers. Woody Voboril and Julian Albee sold it to the people. 
Now this was a lively business until I ran out of the first 100 
pounds of popcorn. Amos would not buy more for me. We had 
spent the money for things only kids would understand. Finally 
Amos did buy more popcorn; but I had to repay him for that. 
My first hard lesson in business. 
In 1930 Amos and Corrine moved to Milwaukee to operate 
a restaurant. Duane stayed in Adams. During this time I lived 
with Charles Cavanaugh through the first year of high school. 
The arrangement was to sleep and eat breakfast with 
Cavanaugh's. Lunch and dinner were at the Hotel with a meal 
ticket provided by my parents, cost $5.50 a week. When that 
ticket was used up they would send me more money for another 
meal ticket. The ticket was punched each time I used it accord- 
ing to what was ordered. I left in 1931 to live in Milwaukee 
with my parents. However that first year in high school was 
great, playing basketball and did whatever else was interesting. 
Max Walther was the principal the first two years. We marched 
to and from classes singing and anyone who got out of line had 
a problem. Finally near the end of that first year we had a high 
school dance, not a prom, just a dance. Of course we all went, I 
had my eye on an import from Easton, very pretty and very 
popular. Finally I got my dance with Miss Easton only to have 
good ole Max come out on the floor and tell me I had to hold 
Miss Easton 14 inches away from my body while trying to dance. 
I told him; "My arms are not long enough to do that". We were 
banished from the dance floor. After that year "Bud" Loken 
became principal and things took a turn for the better. 
The Briscoes lived on Pine Street. At that time there was a 
hill there called Briscoe's Hill. It was used by many for sleding. 
What fun. We could get permission to go to Brisco's Hill when 
it was dark; but not Werner's Hill which was our place during 
the day. At Werner's Hill we roasted "Mickeys", swapped sleds 

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