Grain Elevators and Teenage Dating — Part I


Think small town (population ~ 800) and rural northwest Iowa, early 1970s…

I started dating my (now) husband and love-of-my-life when I was a sophomore in high school.  Bill Shimon was a Rolfe (Iowa) High School senior at that time and I had just turned fifteen.  The first time I remember knowing of Bill was when I was in sixth grade and he was in eighth.  During the awards assembly the last day of that school year, our junior high principal, Lyle Foster, presented an award to Bill based upon Bill’s work ethic and character.

I don’t recall having much interaction with Bill until my sophomore year in high school when he was consoling me about “boy problems” I was having.  Within a few weeks of that conversation, Bill asked me out.

Where do Bill’s character, grain elevators and dating fit it?  I’m getting there!

When Bill and I started dating, Bill already had farming experience.  To supplement his farming income in order to pay the full amount of his college education expenses, during summers he worked at the Rolfe grain elevator, also known at that time as Farmers Co-op.

A few of his odd jobs for the Co-op were spraying fields, delivering livestock feed to farmers, dumping grain (opening gates in wagons and trucks so the grain could be unloaded) and cleaning out grain bins.  Another of his odd jobs for the elevator was to put grain doors on railroad boxcars.  At that time the boxcars didn’t have hopper bottoms to let the grain out.  To prevent the grain from spilling out of the side door openings of the boxcars while in transit, elevator employees had to make temporary doors and pound them into the railroad cars to seal the doors of the boxcars.

During that summer when I was still fifteen and Bill was eighteen, there was one particular date when Bill used his grain elevator experience and played on my naivete.

To be continued Friday night…


2 Responses to “Grain Elevators and Teenage Dating — Part I”

  1. Peg Says:

    WONDERFUL! You have so got me hooked! You definitely “had me at ‘hello’!” I’m still loving all the technical and aesthetic choices of the blog. And it’s fun to be reminded of your teen years. And it’s really, really interesting to learn about Bill’s. I don’t think I knew hardly any of that. I didn’t even know he worked at the Co-op. And I surely didn’t know what Mr. Foster said. I love that you highlighted it. What admirable qualities. And you definitely know more farming info than I do. That makes sense, though I don’t think I ever realized it before. I didn’t expect there to be anything new, but what a fun surprise. Now, I’ll be waiting for the follow-up. Bill? Play on someone’s naivete? He wouldn’t do that! 😉

  2. Katie Says:

    Looks good! I think I know what Dad did but I’ll have to check back to see for sure…

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