One-Armed Homer Resler
Homer Resler and George Wilkins were a couple of the earliest auto mechanics on the northwest side of Indianapolis. Their garage greeted motorists from the 1920s through the 1950s who either needed gas or mechanical help at the corner of Dandy Trail and Lafayette Road. This early photo (1920s?) shows Homer at the pump and George near the barn. In later years the two would each operate separate and competing fueling facilities on the original site shown in this photograph. Homer’s first facility had to be replaced after a motorist relieving himself in the men’s room extinguished his cigarette in the outhouse connected to the building. The resulting fire burned the place to the ground but did not ignite the buried fuel tanks. Years later (1959?) the modern facility that replaced it would be featured prominently on the front pages of newspapers as the photo that best summarized the flooding of Traders Point. Water within 4 feet of the filling station’s roof was visible in the background of men in row boats rescuing villagers from their homes. But I digress. Homer was a bit adventurous in his younger years and he may have been one of the earlier folks in the area to own a motorcycle. As the story goes, he was northbound on Lafayette Road when something happened near a spot we now call the entrance to Mill Pond. At that time it was called McCurdy Creek. Anyway, Homer somehow found himself in a tree and doctors were unable to save one arm. So the above photo was probably taken some time after the incident.