Story by Ronald Ahrens, photo from the Neil A. Lieb Archive
He was called Tiny, and he could always put one over on the locals.
Neil Lieb couldn’t recall Tiny’s full name during our telephone conversation on April 29, when we sought to identify people shown in photos from Tillotson Construction Company’s job at Alta, Iowa.
As a young man just out of high school, Neil was part of the crew, and even sixty-five years later he still marvels at the older, wiser Tiny.
“Tiny would bet you he could drink a bottle of beer in 10 seconds,” Neil said. “It takes eight seconds for the bottle to run dry by itself. He would bet five or ten dollars, and he would find some sucker.”
Tiny was 6 feet 2 inches tall, Neil recalled.
Neil couldn’t identify the man at the rear of the photo, nor could he express details of the job they were undertaking because he had moved on after the Alta Cooperative’s new concrete elevator was finished.
Photos document the construction of a chimney that rose from a small building next to the old wooden elevator. We don’t know this stack’s purpose, but Neil (and my Uncle Tim Tillotson) don’t suspect it had to do with grain drying.