By Ernie Over, WyoToday

I, like many, many others in the community was saddened to hear of the closing of Tony’s Pizza this past week. After reading Adam Kirkpatrick’s Facebook Post, I can certainly understand, and I wish him well in his future endeavors.

Decades ago, that building was the site of Kathryn’s Shop, a women’s dress shop. I’m not sure when Tony’s moved in, but I know it was there for our 30th FCVHS High School Reunion. That was some 20 years ago. We celebrated on the roof top. The interior of the building was split level, that’s what made it unique in town.

The Pizza was excellent, the atmosphere was great, it was a hangout for the high school kids and a great family restaurant.  Most recently, however, the building was remodeled, and Tony’s moved to a side entrance and a much smaller dining room. But it was the same atmosphere, fun and lively.

That got me thinking about all the businesses that have come and gone that we all patronized at one time or another. Judd’s Grubb, for one, with that amazing hamburger. Coast to Coast, JC Penney’s, Woolworths Five and Dime, the NuWay Café, Chisholm’s Jewelry, the Wyoming State Journal offices on North 3rd and in the 400 block of Main, City Drug, McRae’s Rexall Drug, McRae’s Drug in Mr. Ds, and so on. Ben’s Super Market, the Darr and Henry Funeral Homes, Dexter Clark’s Clothing, Hub Cramer’s Men’s Store, the furniture store downtown I don’t remember the name of it now, a bunch of restaurants, and one of my favorites, the downtown work whistle at 8 and 5 from the American Laundry.  Ben Franklin’s Store, the Fremont Hotel, and more.

In Riverton, there was the JC Penny store downtown, the Teton Hotel, The Broker Restaurant, American National Bank, First National Bank, Lou’s Service Station at First and Main, the Safeway store on South 3rd East and the Safeway Store on North Federal; The bowling alley, what was its name? Meyer’s Saddlery, a bunch of coffee shops, Mary’s Satellite Lounge, Farmers Exchange Elevator on North Broadway, the Bean Elevator on West 2nd; Riverton’s old Memorial Hospital; Big Kmart, Woodward’s Grocery; Ben’s Supermarket on West Main, the Datsun Car Dealership on West Main, Carl’s A&W Drive in, The Gas Light lounge and Restaurant, Warehouse of Furniture, West Drive in Theatre, Knight Drive In Theater, Sears on North Federal, Rod’s For Men clothing on West Main, Gary Broderick’s Superstore; Gibson’s Discount Center and many, many more.

In Pavillion, the Basketeria Grocery Store is no more, the older Herders Store is now a private residence, The Roost has a new name, the former American Legion Hall is gone, but there is a brand new town hall. It’s too bad the Pavillion medical clinic didn’t last more than a year. The building is still there, but not operating any longer. The grant ran out that funded it.

I’m much better at this when driving down the street and seeing the storefronts and remembering what used to be there. 

Ernie Over is an employee owner and the news director of the five-station WyoTodayMedia Radio Network in Fremont and Hot Springs counties, the editor of the award winning local news site, and a staff member of The Ranger, Lander Journal and Wind River News