Al Shank Sez….Ghost at 24?
As Al Shank Insurance enters its’ 80th year we celebrate the Ghost AT 24….well ok, not really, but we do think we might have one here in the friendly confines of our office at 24 W Second Street, Liberal. Rumor has it if you are down here at night in just the right office you may get a hint of pipe tobacco and a presence. The story goes that when the tornado of 1933 rolled through town one of the front glass windows in that area came in and a man was killed, and still, at times, may inhabit that space again. He’s a friendly ghost and all part of our heritage.
I first found out about “our” ghost when we were transitioning to come from 1014 N Kansas and move down here to 24 W Second after purchasing the former occupant, Zimmerman and Co. Insurance. In March of 2006 I was visiting with longtime Zimmerman and Company employee, Sandi Edgerly when she mentioned being down here late at night and experiencing the presence and the smell of pipe tobacco. It has happened more than once to her. I’m normally pretty open minded of stuff like that and all of us have probably experienced something similar or unusual at one time or another. Sometime later I heard the story about the tornado of 1933 and the windows that came in were supposedly in the same office that Sandi occupied at the time. It was just too easy to connect the dots. It doesn’t really surprise me that a building that was built by E. A. Blake, in 1907 might have some other world presences. This building has had many former occupants including Liberal Taxi, the earliest predecessor of Community Bank, the Post Office, a church, a dance hall, an architect (who designed the Memorial Liberal Open Book entrance,) among others. At one time there was a grocery store on the east side (where our parking lot is,) and the building was burned down. If you go upstairs in our building you can see where the fire was ready to come through our walls before the fire was controlled. Now you know why we have a parking lot, and our list of occupants also explains why we have a walk in vault. It’s all a part of our history.
And by the way, if you feel like your insurance agent is a ghost at times….call us at 620-624-2559. Since 1941 we haven’t disappeared. ASI…Insurance as it should be from people you trust.