10 April 2014

Gibson's Chix-Fry

From Route 66 in Arizona by Joe Sonderman (Arcadia Publishing, 2010) --

Gibson's Chix Fry in Flagstaff, Arizona was owned by my grand-uncle Ira Gibson (1890-1966).  It was a landmark along Route 66, pictures appear in almost all Route 66 pictorials, and postcards also existed and are collected.

For further insight I want to turn this over to my mom's cousin Dave Gibson --
Kevin, I spent most of one summer with Ira. He originally sort of looked after me as a very young boy in Flagstaff as my Dad was away working.  It was in the early forties during the war. He took me to the movies and a lot of things, they say I was quite known at that time for things I did even before I was 6. The summer I spent with him I was in the 8th grade I think. He still had the Chic Fry but had bought the fish farm that was in Cottonwood. One reason was he needed to be at a lower elevation because of his breathing. 
Ira made and lost many small fortunes in his life and was a very bright man and had a mind for business. He only had an limited amount of schooling. His chicken business was one that enabled him to use every part of the chicken. He raised them,butchered them, sold the feathers to a mattress or pillow company and the guts he took to the fish farm and fed to the fish. We would work in a small butchering area where we cut up and prepared the chickens for the store. 
We went down to the fish farm about once a week I think. He had three long ponds and we would drag a net from one end to the other on one pond and the pick out the ones that were the right size and take them to the shop there for preparation. We would take them up to Flagstaff on the same day each week, half for him and half to a local  market. Both places would be sold out in no time. His Chic-Fry mad a lot of money and it was a very small place on the east end of town on Route 66. This was before fast food or KFC.  He sold it some years later as the route 66 was changed and the business was going to disappear.  He seemed to always know when to get out. The new owner moved it and it didn't last long.
Ira died in Flagstaff, and is buried next to his wife Helen.

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

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