The Edina I Knew
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My Friend Jimmy Allen
I first met Jimmy in the second grade right here in Edina. I remember him in blue overalls, just like mine. Jimmy was as skinny as I was and not at all bashful. If there was excitement about, Jimmy was part of it. We were always friends till the 7th grade, after which we became buddies.
We used to hunt rabbits together, gather scrap iron, and other metals for the war effort. In the wintertime we trapped muskrats and hunted skunks, possums, and raccoons. We spent time ice skating, roller skating, fishing, sled riding, and swimming. Playing mark the corner, gathering scrap iron, paper, and bones to sell for spending money. During World War II, we competed to see who could fill our war saving books with war stamps. We picked and sold tons of blackberries, trying to see who could fill our war bond saving stamp book first.
But, time and fate changes everything. He, like me is drafted. Jimmy would meet this pretty girl from Iowa and they would soon marry. When Jim is discharged, he starts selling used cars and I start farming and move to Hurdland. Meanwhile Jimmy takes on the Rambler Dealership headquartered in the old Delaney Building, which is now Casey’s Store. Jimmy is his own salesman and does a great job of it. He is selling as many or more than any dealer in town.
I remember one day in June 1967; I just stop in to say hi and visit a bit. When I walked in, Jim greets me, walks up, puts his arm around me and says, “Guess what Bill, I’m going to sell you a new car.” I said, “Guess what Jim, no you are not, I’m happy with my 1964 Rambler.” To which Jim said, “I don’t think you understood what I said, I said I’m going to sell you a new car.” By now we are standing in front of this beautiful Rambler 660: Bright Red and loaded with everything. Jim then says, your car and six hundred dollars and you can drive this beauty home.
Well, he was right, he did sell me a new car, Jim and his Uncle Billy sold more cars than any two men in Edina that year.