Closing time

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Teresa Wood Boondocks, USA closed its doors Saturday night after 45 years at the intersection of Interstate 35 and Old Highway 20. Owned by Bob and Miriam Welch, the business will be sold at auction on Nov. 28.

WILLIAMS – Customarily, business hours are until 11 p.m., but since the last possible meal had been served, the owners decided to close early.

So at about 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, Bob and Miriam Welch closed the door on an era and turned the key in the lock for the last time at Boondocks, USA.

After 45 years, the Welchs closed the cafe, service station, gas station and motel located at the intersection of Interstate 35 and Old Highway 20 at Exit 144 in Williams. The business will be sold at auction on Nov. 28 at Titan Machinery in Williams with the Whitaker Marketing Group of Ames conducting the sale.

Jean and George Dreier, who managed the Boondocks Motel for 27 years, were the only employees left at the business late Saturday night and they are staying at the motel until their move to Thompson, Iowa later this month.

As vehicles zoomed by on the near-by interstate, a semi truck was idling in the Boondocks’ back lot with the driver catching some needed sleep. The front parking lot was deserted except for a solitary figure peering through the windows of the cafe.

Anna Haas was disappointed that she had arrived too late to visit the dine-in style restaurant with its quaint charm and home cooked meals.

“I wish I would have known about it earlier,” she said, disappointed. “I just heard about it today”.

Like so many other travelers along this stretch of road, Boondocks, USA, always held a special place in the hearts of all who visited. Haas always made it a point to stop while driving between her home in Wisconsin and Ames where she is attending Iowa State University.

“There’s not many left like these anymore,” she sighed wistfully.