Letter to the Editor: Memories of Highway 99



For me, the Highway 99 series of articles has brought back a lot of memories of living along the highway. Our home, on the southwest corner of what is now the intersection of SR99 and 212th Street SW was on what is now the Magic Toyota property. We were directly across 212th from Middleton’s Store which was also the post office. Our mailing address was Seattle Heights, Washington—no zip codes then. Our telephone number was a simple 1534. All homes were on party lines—no rotary phones yet—you went through an operator. Since my father was the resident deputy sheriff, we had a one-party-line. Certainly, a perk, but we were not allowed to chit chat on the phone—the line had to be kept open.

One of my favorite Highway 99 memories is actually more of a very special memory my older brother Bob always had. In the fall of 1945, when he came back from WWII service in the Navy, Bob went to work for Carl Eisen at Eisen’s Garage, diagonally across the highway from us. For southbound traffic, Middleton’s Store was the bus stop for the North Coast Stage Lines (pre-Greyhound days) and Eisen’s was the stop for northbound traffic.

On afternoon, my brother Bob evidently wasn’t paying close attention to work and instead was watching as the northbound bus pulled into the station. Carrying a suitcase, a very pretty young girl stepped off the bus and my brother sure noticed her — in fact he was stricken. According to him, it was love at first sight. She looked a little hesitant, as if she was not sure what to do. So, naturally my brother walked over and asked if he could help. This cute girl’s name was Lois, and she had come all the way from Montana and was there to stay with her aunt and her family. My brother knew the family and exactly where they lived further east down the road towards Hall Lake. Naturally, Bob introduced himself to Lois and offered to take her there. My friendly brother not only got the chance to get acquainted, but also was able to show off his newly-purchased bright-blue Ford convertible.

Whether Lois was attracted to my brother or swayed by his snappy-looking convertible is an unanswered question. It was a short courtship and Bob and Lois were married in June of 1946. They always lived in Edmonds; and had three children who all attended Edmonds’ schools. Bob and Lois were together until Lois died unexpectedly and too early from a stroke at the age of 45.

— Betty Lou Gaeng

4 Replies to “Letter to the Editor: Memories of Highway 99”

  1. Great story! I love hearing personal histories like these. So interesting. Very sorry to hear about Lois…45 is definitely too young!


  2. My brother Bob lived to be 91, just a few days short of his 92nd birthday. We lost him last year in June and now he is at rest next to Lois in Edmonds.


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