SUNNY CAL JOURNAL -Triple Dare Screaming Through Parkersburg, Meeting Historic Madam Mabel Mackey

Bob Weaver 2024

A triple dare fired up my devil of dubious excitement, a teen in the fabulous 1950s.The challenge was pretty clear, borrow my dad's car and drive to Parkersburg with a siren mounted under the hood and drive the full length of Market Street, siren wailing.

At that time one-way Market Street was a busy crowded commercial street with over a hundred outlets, our go to destination from the back woods of Calhoun. My buddy went along to judge the success of my triple dare.

Starting at the upper end of Market Street I fired up the siren and traveled several blocks down the busy street. Upon arriving at the City Building, home of Parkersburg Police, I disturbed an officer who immediately started a chase.... his siren wailing.

Seeking not to get caught, I sped up on another one way street leading to St. Joseph, parking and dashing through the front door. My ingenious plan was to lose the cop who was hot on my heels, but exiting the back door he out foxed me, placing me under arrest and giving me ticket.

My folks were voracious readers of the Parkersburg News, and needless to say the story of my triple dare made the front page. They were not happy.

Another dare was to go to Parkersburg and meet Mabel Mackey (1904-1963)who operated a historical brothel on Williams Court Alley, just off Market Street, without asking the favors of her ladies of the night.

My buddy and I went to the front entrance of the brothel and ask to see Mabel Mackey. They said she was up on the farm on Rt.47 near Macfarland. We traveled back up Rt. 47 where Mabel raised horses and stopped at the large house resting on the road bank.

Asking a man on the porch to see Mabel, she soon walked out into the yard wearing cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. We told her we just wanted to meet her. Forever the businesswoman she said she had some cabins back on the hill, if we wanted to stay the night.

We thanked her and returned to the village of Hur, the dare completed.