By Luella Dow

Just wondering about the oldest bee in Cheney


Paul Delaney

Cheney’s former Conoco station, host to the “Oldest bee in town.”

How many people traversing the streets in Cheney have noticed the sign at the abandoned Conoco service station? If you are among the few who have seen it, you might be surprised at the number who haven’t. The sign says “oldest bee in town.” Translated into English with all letters intact the original message was “Coldest beer in town.”

I’ve often wondered about that “bee.” Has he survived the winters? How old is he and how many years does a bee live? Imagine having a sign dedicated only to you telling people how old you are. I don’t think I’d like that.

Are you among the few who have chuckled as you drove by or are you among the many who wonder what I’m talking about? Why not take a stroll down First Street and find out?

A slightly different subject has come to mind. The difference is that this one is similar to hearing fingernails scratching on a chalkboard. I know about novels. I’ve written novels. I haunt the shelves in the Cheney library for more novels. Twice in the past few months, two novels written by two different persons have left me with my mouth hanging open in disgust, dismay and disbelief!

Author number one wrote, “He went and shut the door.” Author number two wrote, “She went and looked out of the window.” Now, I don’t mind having a character shut the door or peering out a window, but did they both have to “went” and do it? When has the writing of a novel fallen to such depths? Please tell me things will get better.

The next subject is fun. Down at Mary’s Cheney Feed and Tack a bundle of books arrived, Mary hadn’t ordered them. A note said, “Give these to your customers.” The books varied in age and were written by two people. I looked at the metal rocking chair made by Bob Bland in front of the building and thought “This cold weather can’t last forever. One of these days it will be sunny, just right to lounge outdoors and read.”

So I am now the owner of a book entitled “Grab Your Tails and Ride the Rails.” However, the picture on the front shows two women riding horses in the hills. A few pages in I find recipes for beef n’ stuff, easy camp soup, saddlebag snacks. Doesn’t that make you want to pack your camping gear and hit the trail?

Maybe you can glance at that “oldest bee” sign on your way out.

Luella Dow is a Cheney-area author. She can be reached at


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