Down memory lane with Barry Koch (Part I)


Audio articles on Wilson County News made possible by C Street Gift Shop in downtown Floresville!


Growing up in Floresville in the ’50s and ’60s brought many simple pleasures. Yes, my family and I did venture to San Antonio also, but for the most part we stayed in and around the Wilson County area enjoying the small town atmosphere.

If you are from Floresville and were born in the mid ’50s, this should bring back many memories beginning with this adventure on Third Street, starting with the Floresville Lumber Company and the smell of new lumber, somewhat noxious. I can still see the long double-decked tin building that seemed to extend forever. The large building and property were purchased by Howard Ware and turned into a wash-a-teria and dry cleaning business.

Directly across the street was Smith Pontiac and Appliance Center. Ahh, the smell of those “huge” early model new autos. Who can forget the 1964 Pontiac Bonneville? By today’s autos, you could live in it!

Up the street the smell of leather flowed through the air at Trujillo’s Boot Shop. Directly across the street, the heavenly smells of Carlean’s Dairy Dream. Who can forget those nighttime adventures at the busy, bustling hamburger and shake “joint;” stepping up to the outside window you were quickly overcome with the smell of grease cooking your future meal. By today’s standards in healthcare we should all be dead or have had cardiac bypass surgery. The shakes and malts were to die for.

Directly up the street was the Dismukes’ property. If you ever walked there in the morning, you were overcome by the pungent smell of those cottonwood trees with those pesky blooms that seemed to go billowing through the air. It was a necessity to walk fast or get “overcome by the fragrance and plastered by the blooms!”

A short trip northwest and you were at Sheehy Chevrolet Company. Bill Sheehy was a great man and always let us sit in those “new” cars and trucks; of course it seemed to help that our dad was a mechanic there. The oil and grease in early auto shops like this had an odor you could never forget — not transformed into today’s pristine auto dealerships. The smell continued at Sheehy’s until it burned flat to the ground in the ’60s.

On the same side of the street was another exciting place, especially on Saturdays — “Arcadia Theatre.” Who can forget the smell of hot buttered popcorn, SweeTarts, and large sodas — need I say more? We were all sorry to see it close but today it has been revitalized and restored, allowing for future generations to once again enjoy movies and take their dates to a local establishment.

I’m sure missing some smells from places but those that are brought to the readers’ attention were the ones I remember most.

Barry Koch is a senior nature and wildlife writer interested in preserving both. He grew up in South Texas and has since married and lives in East Texas with his family.

Be sure to read next week’s A Glimpse of the Past, as Barry recalls more smells and memories!