60th and Maple

Someone (a group of someones?) is (are?) after my own heart, with a couple of stunts I noticed around Valentine’s Day (yeah, not only have I not posted for months, but I really meant to post this almost a month ago).

This building, most recently, housed Grampy’s Curious Goods. This Yelp review describes it better than I could hope to. It seems to have closed in fall 2015 and the space is now for lease.

Exterior of former Grampy's Curious Goods

But look closely – someone isn’t ready to let this spot crumble into oblivion.

Valentines cover the storefront of the former Grampy's Curious Goods in Benson, Neb.

Omaha Daily Bee 1911 classified

This Prof. A. B. Elrod dude seems overqualified

After all, it’s been standing for 100 years: the front of the building bears the year 1911 – six years before Benson was annexed into Omaha – and the name “E. H. Olson”. I dug around to find some tidbits about this Olson, but all I can say for sure is that he had “a team of young horses, city broke, perfectly sound and a perfect match in color and size” listed under “Livestock for Sale” in the Omaha Daily Bee on June 20, 1911 (seriously, check out that link – it’s to the Chronicling America project website, a massive newspaper archive).

Back to present day:

Dear old Grampy’s is covered with love notes, glittery decals, colorful duct tape, and a topical bumper sticker or two. The walls beckon to passersby, “Keep me standing”, “Love U”, and perhaps most importantly:

Valentine's decorate the front door of the vacant Grampy's Curious Goods shop in Benson, Omaha, Nebraska“Keep Omaha Beautiful with Beautiful Buildings”: is that so much to ask?

The construction paper Cupids didn’t only visit Benson – I drove by a much taller boarded-up structure downtown decorated with similar wishes for love and posterity.

So far I have not been able to figure out who gets credit for these guerrilla historical preservation acts – please comment if you know so I can ask to join their cool kids club. Or if you know anything else about E. H. Olson.

3 thoughts on “60th and Maple

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