The Merino "Chicken Pickers"According to my parents, they lived in several little places in the Merino Colorado area when I was first born. They referred to them as "beet shacks" since I was born in '54 and went through the '60's, I thought that they were talking about "Beat Shacks" and those of you that remember that time period would probably think the same thing.....a place where Beat-nick's hung around. When I got older, they set me straight. In Northeastern Colorado one of the major crops were sugar beets. So during harvest, the area would fill up with people coming to work in the fields and any shack, shed or small building that could be rented was put into use. They usually had little or no heat and very rural plumbing. I know my brothers suffered through a lot of winter ailments growing up. When I came along, my mom said I was always sick and they took me into town to stay where it was warmer.
I think the old grocery store that they rented was a pretty big place compared to some of the previous locations.
It looks pretty scary in the picture but it didn't look that bad back then. There were 2 big plate glass windows in the front and two windows in the attic. My "room" was behind the window on the left. Under the window was a hand made cedar chest that my oldest brother Doug made for me in high school shop class. I still have it and it is one of my most treasured possessions. On top of the chest sat my prized stuffed animals. Most of these my brother Willard won for me at the fair's and carnivals. My favorite was a big yellow elephant.
We had a dog named "bootsie" she was a bull terrier mix and was pretty old by the time I came along. I loved to dress her up in my petty coats, scarfs and sunglasses and try and get her to dance with me. She was always very patient with me and sat still, but I think she secretly longed for the old days when she would run the fields and down to the river with my brothers. On one of the dress up days, someone snapped a color picture of us posing in front of the old Phillips console radio. Doug carried the picture in his wallet all through his time in the service and long after. By the time I saw it, it was so creased it was hard to see it.
Over the years we have driven through Merino on many occasions and taken photos of the changes. I will post some in my upcoming posts.