How to add a posting below . . .

To add a new posting, send an email to me at with a comment, question, story, photo, observation, etc. It will be posted below, shortly after the email is received. To comment on an existing posting, click on the "comments" command below the posting and type your comment. Your comment will show up immediately.   Pete Stemmer

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chet Allen's Florida Vacations

One cannot help noticing the Allens Dock sign at the western base of the Bass River Bridge while driving through New Gretna on Route 9. It has been there, in one form or another, since the mid 1920's when Chet Allen bought the property from his father-in-law's heirs, built the marina, and named the establishment Allen's Dock.

Chet married George Valiant's daughter, Belle. George was a menhaden boat captain for the McKeever Brothers who owned the fish factory on Crab Island from 1910 through 1926 and the "Allen's Dock" property where they wintered their menhaden fleet. They sold the property to George Valiant.

Ruby McAnney was Chet's right hand man for many years. He would eventually acquire the Allens Dock property after Chet's death in 1966. A condition of that acquisition and all subsequent sales of the marina property was that the name of the marina would remain "Allens Dock".

During their long employer-employee relationship, Chet and Ruby became close friends. They occasionally vacationed together in Florida.

Chet Allen (right) and Ruby McAnney picking oranges in Florida.

(Photo courtesy of Margaret McAnney.)

Chet's Florida vacations bring me to one of my favorite subjects of the "good old days" - outhouses. You can see my collection of New Gretna outhouse photos by clicking on the link below.

You're probably wondering how I jumped from the subject of Chet Allen to outhouses. As John Wayne used to say, "Well, I'll tell ya, Pilgrim!"

I was at our biweekly Friday men's breakfast at the Dockside Cafe on Tuckerton Creek last week when Jim McAnney, Ruby's son, reached in his shirt pocket and pulled out three old postcards that his dad had saved from one of Chet's Florida vacations. Guess what the subject of those postcards was. If you guessed "outhouses", you iz core-eckt!

Seems that Chet, like myself, must have found some aesthetic beauty in the lowly outhouse, purchased the postcards on a Florida trip, and gave them to his buddy, Ruby, who squirrel them away with the family photos.

As Jim shared them with me, I'm pleased to share them with you. I hope you get a chuckle out of them as I did.

Pete S

PS- I know some of you out in the Blog-O-Sphere remember Chet and Ruby. If you've got any stories about them, let's hear from you.

No comments:

Post a Comment