Posted on July 15, 2022

Trip Down Memory Lane - Gebo's

Growing up a farm kid, trips to Gebo's were common. The experience remains vivid even decades later, from the feel of the cold, echoing concrete floor to the smell of leather and new rubber. We would enter through the front door beside the brand-new horse troughs and lawn mowers on display, being greeted each time by a clerk who somehow knew my dad by name. My guess is, he went to the store many other times without me in tow. But for just a minute, I felt like the cool kid whose dad was known around town.

Either he knew exactly he wanted, or he needed some guidance. Regardless, history told me that it would be half an hour before we left. My dad was a talker. I would deviate from his path and head to the toy section (until I got older, then it was the clothing that caught my attention). All the mini tractors and farm equipment bathed in that beautiful, bright green amazed me. How tiny yet accurate the representations were. At home, we had the real deal: the monstrous machines that covered hundreds of miles of farmland year after year, powering through mud and windstorms like the job was nothing. To take something so massive and scale it down to something so small fascinated me. I never asked for one of those toys though, nor did one ever show up in a gift box on my birthday or at Christmas. I suppose I neglected to ever tell anyone what I was doing when we went to Gebo's. My dad knew I disappeared, but he never questioned me. He either trusted me or he trusted society. Perhaps a little of both. But I liked keeping to myself during those trips, admiring how our life was almost immortalized by those little recreations. People thought our livelihood was neat enough to shrink it down so other children could pretend it was their life, too.

Now, a trip to Gebo's looks a bit different. I no longer peruse in the same store my dad conversates but rather one 100 miles away. My shopping is typically concise with a list given to me by my husband, with time constraints put on me by our two little girls. But despite all the changes, the store is still familiar. The same concrete floor feel and the same smells still hit me when I walk through the door. I find it strange how a different location can still feel like home. Maybe that's just Gebo's.

Written by: Susan Jackson

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