Dodson Auto & Repair, LLC, as it looks today. Photo by Jason Selby
Jared Dodson was around six years old when he asked his grandfather, Bob Dodson, to show him how to weld.
“Grandpa went over and turned the welder on and laid two pieces of metal down,” Jared says. “He stuck a helmet on me and said, ‘If you want to learn, that’s the way to do it. I can’t tell you how to do it.’”
It’s a lesson that Dodson carries with him to this day, as the 25-year-old owner of Larry Jackson’s old shop in Clio. After over 50 years working under the hood, Jackson is hanging up his wrench. Dodson plans to stay for a while, with the help of longtime mechanical assistant and tireless worker Clarence Petty. Apr 21, 2014, 12:24
The shop in September of 1967, when it was owned by Eugene Karns, a year before it became Jackson Mobil.
When Larry and Jeannie Jackson started their automotive business, Jackson Mobil in Clio, gasoline was 27 cents per gallon. A neighbor, Flo Kesterson, who was born in the last year of Ulysses S. Grant’s presidency, 1877, would come in with a two-gallon can to buy kerosene. When Kesterson did not feel up to it, she would call the Jackson’s house to ask if one of their girls could get her mail, groceries and kerosene. The Jacksons were glad to help.
“Little old woman,” Jeannie says. “When she talked on the telephone she sounded like she was about 15-years-old, and here she was 90-something. She was amazing." Apr 21, 2014, 08:59
Inside Marvin and Zach Robinson’s farm shop. Photo by Jason Selby
Kinsey Robinson leans down into the cinders, doing her part to help her family pick out what remains from the fire, which reached between 2,000 and 3,000 degrees a few days before. It melted a seed tender that sat 60 feet away. Kinsey is patient in her excavation.
First came the only snowfall in Iowa’s recorded history of over a foot in May, delaying the sowing of spring crops. It’s why the corn planter was still in the shop when the Robinson’s Australian Shepherd, Roscoe, trapped in the building, jumped from an upstairs window. Apr 14, 2014, 08:56
Before returning to college as a non-traditional student at age 26, Joel Baker, now a D.O. at Wayne County Hospital, was selling insurance, going door-to-door on occasion. He couldn’t have even defined osteopathy.
“I was totally disinterested with everything I was doing,” Doctor Baker says. “I wanted to make a difference.”
After graduating from Central Decatur High School in 1978, Baker attended Indian Hills Community College. He graduated from Central College, after studying communications and the Spanish language. He took the required science classes, but nothing more. Later, he met his wife, Kim, in Corydon. She is originally from Centerville. By the time he decided to return to college, they already had three children. Apr 7, 2014, 15:54
Bernita Leazer’s little red antique tractor will be on display this spring at the Prairie Trails Museum in Corydon. Photo by Jason Selby
AS A CHILD OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION, THE PROMISE CITY NATIVE RECALLS PESTILENCE—AND ONE SELFLESS ACT
Bernita Leazer lives in Corydon with two cats and a collection of antique dolls. A wooden box telephone hangs on her wall, from when the first phone line out of Promise City was laid in the late 19th century. The telephone was made to last.
“If you put batteries in it, it’d still work,” Leazer says. “Those phones didn’t wear out.”
Leazer’s family grew up on the second road north of Promise City. She went to the South Salem country school through eighth grade. After World War II, she married Harold Leazer, who was the postmaster in Corydon for several decades. Mar 31, 2014, 08:05