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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
Take a trip down memory lane as bloggers Danny Batson and Gary Thomas recollect their experiences while growing up in the Chillicothe area. We hope our discussion starters, pictures, and articles will evoke your personal recollections of Chillicothe; we invite you to share your stories with all of us. So, let us discuss the days gone by and have fun!
Almost a Blast From the Past by Danny Batson
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About this blog
By Gary Thomas

Hi, I am Danny Batson (Knouse) and I am a lifelong resident of the Chillicothe area. I was born in 1951 and graduated from CHS in 1969. I took over my dad’s septic tank business that he founded in 1937. While I have been in every state ...

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Chillicothe: As We Remember

Hi, I am Danny Batson (Knouse) and I am a lifelong resident of the Chillicothe area. I was born in 1951 and graduated from CHS in 1969. I took over my dad’s septic tank business that he founded in 1937. While I have been in every state (except Hawaii and Maine), there is no place like home! I love taking pictures of old and unusual things and sharing them. There is beauty in everything, if we look for it. I have three Facebook pages filled with local pictures that may be of interest: “Where Has Danny Been,” Chillicothe Now,” and “Danny Batson”.

Hi, I am Gary Thomas and I was born just across from Central School in 1942. I graduated from CHS in 1960 and MU in 1964. After two years in Army, I completed a graduate degree at the University of Chicago in 1970. After working in software development for more than 40 years, I retired from Raytheon in 2007. I have an abiding interest in history and in researching past events, places, and people. My latest project is developing a history-based chronology for Livingston County from 1801-2000.

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By Danny Batson
April 11, 2013 1:10 a.m.



It was a one of those nice days in Chillicothe's past when all of a sudden our phone rang; it was the Chillicothe police and fire department. They said that our area had an emergency and needed our help fast.



Dad wasn't home at the time so I said sure; I'll be right there with our septic tank cleaning truck.



They had told me on the phone they needed me to pump up spilled gasoline off water and I told them I had never done that before; but I would try.

By the time I got to David Rupp's service station, there were local police cars, state highway patrol cars, and fire trucks everywhere. The whole south end of Chillicothe smelled like gas. You may recall that Rupp's flew that gigantic American flag in those days.



If I remember right someone ran over a gas pump. I have forgotten how many gallons of gasooline spilled that day, but it was so much that they had to build a dam in the drainage ditch between the old and new US highway 36 to keep it from going to the Grand River!



The police blocked off all the highways and roads in all directions and evacuated people from nearby buildings for fear of an explosion and fire. My job was to go down into the ditch between the highways and pump out the gas into our truck's tank.



As I was doing this, I looked around and I saw that everyone in that very busy end of town had pulled well back and left me to do my thing. I was all alone!



Back then I used the vacuum off the truck motor, so as I pumped up the gas the motor would race really fast. I didn't have to use the throttle to speed it up because our truck was running on the gas fumes I was pumping!



I had already pumped out three loads and hauled them to the land fill when my dad showed up. He was in a frenzy. He told me to stop pumping right now and leave.



He said that all it would take was one spark to set all this gas ablaze. He said if he had been home when they called, we would not have taken this job. I was actually finishing up when he arrived, so I still got my pay.



At the time, I didn't know how much danger I was in, but I guess everyone else did. A little excitement in life is always good as long as you survive to tell the story. Should someone else have had to tell my story, now that would have been a bummer!



I am including a little history of the Rupp's Station flag pole (from a recent C-T article):



The 90-foot flag pole at Simpson Park came down Wednesday afternoon, to make room for the new Chilli Bay Water Park. Because of safety concerns, it is unknown whether this pole will be relocated.



Chillicothe City Council members, however, have voiced support that flags be displayed somewhere in the park to honor veterans.

The city's park board will be tasked with identifying possible sites. Jim's Welding, of Chillicothe, which took down the pole Wednesday, had relocated the pole to the park in 1987, moving it from David Rupp's gas station in south Chillicothe.



At the time of its initial installation in 1976, the pole measured over 103 feet tall and was believed to have been the tallest in Missouri. On holidays, a giant American flag, measuring 20 feet by 30 feet, was flown. The pole was relocated in 1987 due to a Walmart expansion.

DB



 



 


 




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