Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wakefields' "Good Run Almost Done"

Daily Iowegian – 14 October 2011
Mystic native’s memoir recounts town, family histories
By Brooke Sherrard, Daily Iowegian
  CENTERVILLE — Last Christmas time, Richard and Marianne Wakefield presented their family and friends with a special gift: a book of Richard’s memories about his life and the history of his hometown, Mystic.
  Richard said it took him about six months to write the book, which he titled “Good Run Almost Done.” Marianne typed it up and helped rework the prose.
  The Wakefields had the book printed at ArrowQuick Solutions on the Centerville Square. They said they checked the price at a publishing company but would have had to order 250 copies, with a much higher per-copy price.
  The Wakefields submitted the text and photos to ArrowQuick Store Manager Sharon Mattly, who placed the photos for them. Unlike at a publishing company, they can have two or three more copies printed at any time. They said they have had about 80 copies printed so far.
  Richard said one of the most important things for him about writing the book was writing about Mystic.
  “Growing up in Mystic was quite an experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Richard said.
Richard Wakefield holds a copy of his book 
“Good Run Almost Done.” 
Wakefield said he wanted to record his memories
of his life and the history of Mystic, 
mainly for his children and grandchildren.
Photo by Brooke Sherrard/Daily Iowegian

  In the book, Richard intersperses the story of his life with the history of Mystic. In 1954, the Wakefields left Mystic when Richard took a job at a grocery store in Newton. For the next quarter century, they moved around the state for Richard’s career managing grocery stores. His last remaining relative in Mystic moved away in 1970.
  But even though they had left Mystic, in the book Richard always comes back to what was going on in Mystic during each period of their lives, including what businesses were opening or closing and what the population was.  In the 1940 census, when Richard was 9, Mystic’s population was 1,884. By 1990, it had fallen to 545. However, in 2000, the population had risen to 588, the first increase Richard could remember.
  During the same time period, the Wakefields have witnessed Centerville’s population shrink from about 8,000 to about 5,000. “It’s hard for small towns now,” Marianne remarked. “There’s no industry going anywhere.” 
  In 1976, the Wakefields had the opportunity to return to the area because of the newly opened Easter’s grocery store at the Lake Center Mall. Richard said he had several options but chose the new store in Centerville. So, on their 25th wedding anniversary in 1976, Richard and Marianne moved into the house in Centerville where they still live today.
  “I had several places I could go, but I wanted to come home,” he said.
  Richard said he enjoyed returning to Centerville because most of the people he had known growing up in Mystic were still around.
  “About all of my classmates’ parents were alive and around,” he said. “They were old, but they came to the store and traded.”
  Richard said he had little difficulty writing the book, especially because he had strong memories from his childhood.

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