Original Leisure & Entertainment


This photo was taken at 7026 Old Trail Road, in the summer of 1952. It is the front yard of Irene McCague’s house, just across from the Waynedale Post Office. The driveway across the street belonged to Jay Briden. Next to Briden’s house was a vacant lot which is now occupied by Connie Stickler’s State Farm Insurance Office. The house next to the vacant lot is now the James Springer Law Agency. The peony bushes and hedge (top right) are still there. Irene’s house is now wrapped in yellow vinyl siding with white aluminum trim and a sidewalk splits her grassy lawn. Back in ’52 the house was white with black trim and the banisters surrounding the front porch were as often lying on the ground as in their proper place. Had there been city code enforcement at that time, the house would surely have been red tagged. The garage was in disrepair, there was no grass in the yard, and the windows were in need of work.

The front yard was the gathering place for many of the local kids. They played games such as Old Grey Wolf, Hide and Seek and Tag. The Waynedale School was just two doors south and the Waynedale area was served by two grocery stores, Talbot’s, where Frecker Optical is and Schaefer’s which now houses The Cuttery Hair Salon.

Pictured on the far left is Vince Backs. Looking at Vince with rather skeptical expressions are the Parrish brothers, Don and Stan. Behind Stan on the bicycle is Dave Miller, next, with his hands on his hips is Dave Burnau. Next to Dave, in the plaid shirt, is Jim Stark, and standing with his hands folded is Dick Cahoon. Behind Dick is his brother Jim, and next to Jim, scratching his nose is Larry (Butch) Munn. Sitting in the homemade go-cart is Bill Stark.

It has been fifty-two years since this picture was taken and I thought it would be interesting to see where these guys are now.

Vincent J. Backs is one of the founders of Beers, Mallers, Backs and Salin LLP and works out of an office on Berry Street. His father was a Lutheran minister in the Waynedale area. Don and Stan Parrish are now owners of Parrish Leasing. Their father, Don Senior, started the business when they were still living on Old Trail Road. Their maternal grandfather, Arden McCoy, was the original owner and editor of The Waynedale News.

Dave Miller, the one in the background, on the bicycle is probably still out there somewhere, but none of the people I talked to know where he is.

Dave Burnau lives with his wife Peggy on Trier Road. He graduated from Elmhurst in 1960, and Ball State in ’65. After teaching for seven years in Angola, he worked at International Harvester and then Slater Steels in management. He is now retired. Jim Stark graduated from Purdue University and after spending time in Viet Nam, joined Dana Corporation. He worked for awhile at Research Labs and then founded Blackstone Laboratories, located on South Lafayette Street.

Dick Cahoun passed over to the other side on January 16th, 1988. He went through the GE Apprentice School and worked at PHD. He has been sorely missed by his family and his fishing partners over the last sixteen years. His brother Jim Cahoun now lives is Littleton, Colorado. Jim graduated from Elmhurst in 1957 and then paid his own way through Indiana Tech, graduating with an engineering degree in 1965. He spent most of his working career in the cable TV industry. Jim married when he was 39.9 years old, and now has five kids ranging from 10-23 years old. He has been retired for two years.

Larry (Butch) Monn graduated from Elmhurst and then went on to be a plastic surgeon. His father, Harry Monn was the Waynedale Marshall. Harry solved more crimes and settled more disputes than any of the modern day CSI crime fighters. He accomplished this while drinking coffee at Al’s Restaurant, which was located next to Voors Jewelry.

Bill Stark, seated in the 1952 Maytag Roadster, just celebrated his 65th birthday Sunday, March 28th. Bill worked at General Electric here in Fort Wayne. He accumulated 11 patents during his time with GE, but probably none were as much fun as the inventiveness that went into the vehicle he was sitting in when this picture was taken. The front of the vehicle was made from an orange crate from Hill’s Market. It was powered by a kick-start, one cylinder, two cycle, gasoline powered, Maytag washing machine motor. In a telephone interview Monday, Bill explained that the wagon wheels didn’t last more than a day. He used two weeks of paper route money to buy some new wheels at Sears. The steering was no more than twine around a broomstick and the orange crate and wooden frame was upgraded to a bed-rail frame, after the original rattled apart. He later added a Briggs & Stratton gasoline engine to compliment the Maytag. Jim Mason, Waynedale volunteer fire chief, helped Bill engineer the accelerator/ braking system. The lever by Bill’s right hand was attached to the platform that held the motor. Pushing down on the lever raised the platform and tightened the belt, providing propulsion. Pulling up on the lever would force the cross-stick into the tire, bringing the vehicle to a stop.

Bill said after he finished his go-cart, Dave Burnau, Butch Monn and Dave Miller all built their own. Burnau’s had a Briggs & Stratton Engine but the rpm was too high and he was always burning up belts. Dave Miller used an old gasoline powered well pump. It had a heavy flywheel, which provided a lot of torque, but not much speed. Burnau’s father drug an old piece of iron behind his Buick and carved out a racetrack in their backyard, next to Umbers Ace Hardware.

When Bill turned fifteen he bought a Whizzer motor-bike from Sears and when he was 15 1/2, he purchased his first real car, a ’46 Ford with a flat-head V-8.

Where have they gone? I guess they all grew up, married, worked and retired. But the Waynedale kids are still out there, building jumps for their bicycles, surfing down the streets on their skateboards and putting old gasoline motors on scooters and homemade hot rods.

The Waynedale News Staff
Latest posts by The Waynedale News Staff (see all)


Our in-house staff works with community members and our local writers to find, write and edit the latest and most interesting news-worthy stories. We are your free community newspaper, boasting positive, family friendly and unique news. > Read More Information About Us > More Articles Written By Our Staff