Recently, it was brought to my attention a public Facebook site titled, “I Grew Up In Britt, Iowa,” was set up for those who want to reconnect with old friends or maybe tell of their experiences of growing up here or maybe to just share photos.
Whatever the reason, I thought to myself, what a wonderful idea. This Internet site was brought to my attention, because of a post in September regarding the old Trulson residence/gas station, which over the years of living by it, had peaked my interest.
I did not grow up in Britt, Iowa but have been a resident of Britt for 26 years, moving here shortly after my husband and I were married. We have raised our two boys here, and I know one for sure, plans to stay as he is very much a small town boy at heart and he loves it. I, myself, grew up on a farm by Kanawha. We were rivals of Britt but we still had many friends and relatives who resided there.
I remember going with my Mom to get groceries at SuperValu, get new shoes or have them repaired at the Cobbler Shop, go to the Five and Dime, Coast To Coast, Dummet’s Bakery, or with Dad to the Farmer’s Co-op with a load of grain, and the list goes on.
My husband and I rented our first homes near Britt, always preferring to live in the country. When our current residence came up on the market, we quickly scraped our funds together so that we could make an offer. We were ecstatic over our first home that we would own. We knew that it would need some repair in time, as all things do, and we had hopes and dreams for it - 19 years later and here we are.
While living here, many times I would look over at the old Trulson residence/gas station and reminisce. And, this is where the Facebook page comes in.
People were reminiscing about how they went there as kids, riding their bikes there, going there to get gas, about the old soda machine, etc… Being a nostalgic person, I too would often sit outside and stare at the old Trulson residence, envisioning Violet; the sweet lady from our church who then lived in town; she would be outside hanging laundry or tending the flowers that still show up each spring against the rustic back drop. Or, maybe, her children would be out back catching frogs or rabbits, or maybe playing a game of ball sometimes laughing, sometimes crying. We did not get to know Violet very well, or her family, as we were young and new to the church when she passed but we have heard of her kindness.
Many times I have heard from others, “That place should just burn down. It is such an eyesore.” And, many times we had joked about “Oops! I do not know how that fire started?” or that we were disappointed in our young people that reside out here for not playing with matches near there.
But, in the end, we all knew that this was Dave’s property given to him by Violet. It now belonged to him. It was his home. He grew up there and he was one of those kids playing in the back yard way back when. Our kids did not go play at the Trulson residence for many reasons, but mostly because it was someone else’s property and as we were raised to respect others, we tried to teach our children to do the same.
A few times, we tried to help clean up the property and at one time had approached Dick, Dave’s brother, about purchasing it but he told us we needed to speak to Dave. So we did. Dave did not wish to sell and we did not pursue it any further.
The home and buildings are now beyond repair. It is sad to see, but even more, it is disappointing. I do wish the Trulsons would sell this less than half an acre of land with limited access to someone or, at the very least, clean it up.
To everything there is a season… a time to tear down and a time to build up. I remember when my dad took down the old barn on his farm. It sure was hard to see it go. It too held many memories. As kids, we would play in the hay mow swinging from ropes from one hay bale stack to another hay bale stack, catch pigeons up in the rafters, or maybe pig rodeo in the pig yard, which Dad did not like but we did anyway. It was a sanctuary from the cold winter Iowa blizzards and a place where the baby lambs were given life but it had deteriorated over the years. I am sure we all have a place or places that have great memories inside of them for us.
My point is, the barn needed to go. It had become an eyesore. The barn, not unlike the old Trulson home/gas station, had become a place for unwanted critters to reside in, most recently a wood chuck and before that some rats; and it too had holes in the roof. It was beyond repair and a health hazard.
As many know, my husband and I will be moving from this residence so it will no longer be of much concern to us.
However, our small town all-American son has decided he wishes to stay here and he will soon own the land that borders the old Trulson residence on three sides with an easement to Dave or its future owners for access to the road.
So, here I am writing this in hopes someday, for our son, someone will clean it up or sell it to someone who will clean it up.
In the Facebook page it was stated that the Trulson’s have “big plans” for this small plot of land, but whatever happens, I hope it happens soon because, to be honest, it needed to be “cleaned up” 19 years ago when we moved here. All I can say, in hopes it will bring change, is “Look out” per the Facebook post.
But, I hope when the Trulsons do decide to make their changes that they realize this is very much a peaceful and quiet residential area where the birds and the butterflies also reside.
Hopefully, our son and his neighbors will not have to look at this site in its disarray for another year.
I don’t know if this writing will help in accomplishing clean up but I thank you for lending me your heart, eyes and ears.