Alfred's Story continued from last week

Published on Tuesday, 14 August 2018 15:02
Written by thenebraskasigna

By: Kathy Kahler
The Nebraska Signal

He also worked for a company called Harrington's in the 1930's. Harrington's was a company that trucked fuel into Fairmont. Alfred was a driver for this company and would drive down to Kansas, pick up a load of fuel and bring it back to Fairmont. He would make a trip a few times a week, earning $5 a load. There was an accident with this company, two trucks traveling in opposite directions came upon a bridge on Highway 81, which was partially paved  and partially gravel. These two trucks collided together because they were both on the bridge and their mirrors ended up clipping one another. There was also another accident within this company, only this time there was a truck that blew up ending with a fatality. Alfred was not part of either of these accidents, but his parents made him quit this job because of how dangerous it was.
In 1937, Alfred was 21 and he started working for Biba Construction. Highway 6 was a gravel road, and in 1937 the pavement began from Grafton to Fairmont.
World War II began in 1935, so in 1941 Alfred enlisted with the U.S. Coast Guards. He did his training in New Orleans and was stationed in Portsmouth, N.H., where he patrolled the harbors. Alfred served not quite a year before he was medically discharged in 1942, due to bleeding ulcurs.
Once Alfred was discharged from the Coast Guards, he went home to Milligan where he began his career as a car dealer and a mechanic at a Ford dealership where you could find new Ford Model A's. This dealership was located in the building what is now called Charlies Pub. According to Norris, the floor in that building is the original floor from 1943, when the car dealership was there. Once, while Alfred was at the car dealer, the Ford factory left an experimental carburator on a Model A. The Ford corporates came back looking for their experimental carburator, and it was gone. Alfred's boss had taken that carburator to save for himself. He ended up replacing his carburator with this experimental one, which Alfred had witnessed. "It went further on a tank of gas and was faster," he chuckled about reminiscing about that day. Unfortunately, Alfred's boss had to return the carburator or would have lost his dealership license. While Alfred worked for this company, he made $35 a week.
Then, in 1945 while Alfred was 30, he purchased a filling station in Milligan, which is now owned by Larry Michl. The filling station was a mechanic shop as well as a gas station. Norris recalls gas stations in Milligan where the gas pumps were glass and had levels on them. You could go get gas and the attendant would pump the fuel to the gallon mark, and it was then put into your car, but can't recall if Alfred's station had these pumps.
This filling station was not just a filling station, it was also where you could find Club Loyal. Club Loyal was a secret (not so secret) club that housed illegal gambling. The club had two slot machines, a juke box, had a dance floor and was a place to play poker. The club cost $1 to be a member.
Before the club came into play, there needed to be a place for it. Alfred and some of the locals dug a hole in the floor of the filling station and used a pillar to hold the floor up. They shoveled the dirt from underneath. At some point, there was enough dirt gone where they put in an elevator and hired high school students to remove the dirt for .35 cents an hour. Once enough dirt was gone a basement was formed by Oliva Construction. Alfred said this took about six months to do. Club Loyal members had to buzz the outside door, which then someone in the club would buzz back. The members would come in and before they were let into the club there was a secondary door to make sure the identity of the person was an actual club member.
During Alfred's time of owning the filling station and the club, he met his wife Irene Svec at a dance in Milligan. They dated for a few years and were married in 1948. At this time, Alfred and Irene moved to Fairbury where Alfred started his employment at Gambles as a salesman. Alfred was an outside salesman. Electricity had started it's way through towns and Gambles sold appliances. He sold them like hot cakes. Alfred ended up being ranked 6th out of 40 plus salesmen.
Alfred and Irene started their family in 1949 and had 4 children from 1949-1966. During this time the family moved back closer to Milligan, where they settled into their house in Exeter. Alfred farmed with Irene's brother for a period of time and opened a gas station in Fairmont. The Krupicka's owned The Frosty Inn just south of where Horizontal Boring is now on Highway 6. The Frosty Inn was a drive inn that sold ice cream, hamburgers, hot dogs and French Fries. Irene took care of The Frosty Inn while Alfred worked as a gas station attendant in Fairmont called Mumbees.  
Television came into play when Alfred's children were young. David remembers one time when the Krupicka family had two different T.V.'s bought at an auction. One didn't have sound and the other didn't show a picture, so Alfred hooked up both black and white T.V.'s, and used them both to create a functional television set.
In the mid 1960's, Alfred and his children started a band called the 3K's. They played polka, the waltz, modern music (40's swing). The band ended up being a family outing. Mom would drive the band in their 1960 Nash Rambler with a trailer that hauled the equipment. The band mostly played in bars, starting out $2 a gig. They made their way through each town playing for the local people. One time they landed a New Year's Eve gig which paid $100 for the night. They still played at bars, but they also started playing in Legions and other places. David said they played at the Hebron Legion one time.
In 1977, Alfred was 62 years old and worked for the Department of Roads, where he retired. Although Alfred retired from a job where he had a boss, he did not retire from working. He worked with his son David raising cattle, working on peoples houses, painting and fixing things here and there. Alfred spent quite a bit of his time working on his own house. When Alfred was 77 years old, he fell off his own roof. He stepped on a ply board that was not nailed down. His rodar cuff ripped, broke an ankle, fractured fingers and dislocated his thumb. At this time Alfred decided to spend more time inside with his wife, even though he couldn't stay away from work. When Alfred was asked what he thought was the worse thing that has happened to the world in his lifetime, falling off the roof was the worst thing.
After Alfred's wife Irene passed away in 2008, he lived at home while his children would stop and visit with him and make sure he was doing ok. At some point he and the kids decided to move Alfred to the Friend Assisted Living. He lived there for a period of time and in 2011Alfred moved to Fairview Manor in Fairmont, which is now Alfred's home away from home.
Norris says the way of life then and the way of life now is different. "Technology has made us better and worse at the same time. The good part, our communication is faster and kids probably get a little smarter. But it's relyed on too much. Kids don't have to think anymore, even finding their way home. You have OnStar or GPS." Our generation has more respect and a higher moral type, state Norris. "We're not perfect, none of us are. I've made a lot of mistakes but it seems to me kids today, they don't have that moral that we had. We respected teachers, parents and never talked back to teachers. Kids just don't have respect. Some of them don't even respect the flag."