Dean Martin sang about standing on the corner, watching all the girls go by. Wallace had its own corner when I was growing up, but I am not sure that what Dean was singing about. Then, again, maybe it was. After all, is not Wallace the Center of the universe?
Not only did Wallace have a corner, it was even named "The Wallace Corner", or simply "The Corner”. Now, "The Corner" was kind of a forbidden fruit. After all, it had beer drinking, girly magazines, including such risqué features as “True Detective".It aslo featured such delights as all types of candy bars, chips, and the very best Cokes in the whole planet. Remember, Cokes were actually made back then, not simply pured out of a tap.
Yes, the sinful pleasures of the Corner were a delight to a pre-teen and early teen boy growing up in Wallace. However, the pleasures I mentioned above, while appealing to the senses of any red blooded American boy, were not the only things that drew my attention. No, there were also the windows to the world outside of Wallace, newspapers for sale from such cities as Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and others, and every Sunday afternoon, I would take some change and walk from our house on Cedar to the Corner on the corner of 6th and Cedar. There, I would purchase the Sunday edition of the LA Times.
Taking my treasure of print up to my bedroom, I would spend hours reading about places and things that a Wallace boy could only fantasize about. I could read about restaurants with menus that contained food items that I had never heard of, and certainly could not imagine. I read about the Dodgers, the Rams, the Lakers, movie premiers, Hollywood gossip, help wanted ads for jobs that certainly did not exist in Wallace, or any other city in the Panhandle of Idaho in those days.
It was from reading that paper every Sunday that my dreams began to take form. I did, after all, have an aunt and uncle who lived in LA, and I had been there visiting when I was four years old.
Yes, there was a world outside of Wallace, and as much as I loved my hometown, my place of birth, and the only life that I had known up till now, I wanted to see, live and explore the magical kingdom of faraway places and cities.
Thank you Wallace Corner for opening up the outside world.