Back in my youth when Iowaville though dying, was still alive and had vigor, the street in front of Hamburg Locker used to be the staging site for Friday night ice cream socials. For a token price to cover costs, homemade soft-serve ice cream would be served up along with a variety of topping and popcorn for those without a sweet tooth. Everyone showed up early with their lawn chairs which we arranged in the street in clusters so we could socialize as we ate our ice cream. The reason for showing up early and the reason that the street in front of Hamburg Locker was the chosen location was because those big white overhead doors were perfect for projecting a movie onto. It was Iowaville's answer to the disappearing drive-in movie screens minus the huge screen and the cars. But in a reoccurring theme, the depopulation caused by the farm crisis also took care of the movie nights.
Wayne Hamburg, the owner of the locker, would eventually become the driver of the bus that would pick me up and take me to school. He was of solid German heritage which meant he was slow to anger but when he did, look out! I spent more than a couple weeks in exile up in the front seat of the bus away from my comrades for some stupid stunt or the other. His son who was many years younger than I was used to ride the bus and because my brother, the son of a neighbor and I needed a forth in our card game we played in back on the way to school, we taught him how to play cards. I never thought about him after I graduated school but became reacquainted with him a couple years ago when he transferred from second shift to first shift at the company where I work. In another twist of fate, Wayne Hamburg's son is now the owner of the property where the school used to be located before it was closed (also do to depopulation thanks to the farm crisis) and where his father used to drive us on the big yellow bus.
When my parents got into raising hogs later in my youth, I would frequent Hamburg locker more often either bringing in a crippled hog that needed to be slaughtered or picking up some of the meat to take back to the farm for consumption. It was always a treat to enter the huge walk in freezers on a hot summer day and thoroughly cool yourself off as you slowly filled up the cardboard boxes with bacon, sausage, chops, ribs, loins, etc. Hamburg locker was still in business a year and a half ago when I had a deer that someone shot for me processed there. I use the loins in stir-fry and the sausage on pizza but my favorite is the deer jerky which I include at times in my lunch bucket. Though Hamburg's Locker is still in business on Main Street of Iowaville the last time I drove through town, it appeared to be the only functioning business. Yet another reminder of the farm crisis.