My parents moved often, and I recall at least two other places in Taylor County, Iowa, where we lived: Once in a farmhouse owned by Ted Davies, and once in either Nodaway or Villisca, where my parents were the telephone operators. So I think they may have had at least two stints as "Central" in Guss.
When you do a search of this blog using "Guss" as the key word, there's a page of entries about Guss that come up. Alvin Mitchell is often mentioned. His blacksmith shop was right across the road from us, and Daddy loved to hang out there.
I got an email today from a niece of Alvin's. Even though we don't remember one another, we have some shared memories and undoubtedly crossed paths back around 1950. Here's what she had to say:
Donna - I was googling around hoping to find a picture of my Uncle Alvin's blacksmith shop in Guss, Iowa which got me to your blog. (I was hoping for a picture as it was when I was a kid to use on my blog.) Coincidentally, a classmate and I have been doing some reminiscing about Guss and its environs and I have been trying to remember the name of the people who ran the switchboard - which I remember seeing as a kid. I think you and I must be about the same age. I was born in 1943. Do you mind telling me your maiden name and how old you were when you moved from Guss?
I agree with what you wrote about the blacksmith shop being cave-like. One of my early memories of it was being warned not to look at the brightness when my uncle was welding - that it would blind me. Of course I looked anyway.
Aunt Lois and my mom were sisters. She died in January 2009; buried at Guss with Alvin. I remember card parties at their home. The tables would be set up downstairs and the kids would go upstairs to play. Perhaps you and I attended some of those same parties? However, I was very shy and would only talk to the kids I knew, i.e., my cousins.
Twenty years ago when people said, "It's a small world", they didn't know the half of it. This Internet has made it tiny indeed. You just never know who you will run in to on the World Wide Web. That's why I choose to make my blog show up in a Google search; I love making connections like this.
By the way, Romona is a blogger and shares memories and pictures from her childhood. You'll find her blog HERE.