Profile: Willie Minor

Willie Minor and his bicycle

The most loved member of The Guernsey Cow community was, and still is, Willie Minor. “Our Willie” is remembered for his bicycle outfitted with horns, lights, fenders, racks, flags, and baskets heavily laden with old newspapers and many spools of string pieces knotted together with such precision that there were no ends sticking out. Even now, Willie continues this pastime where he lives in a loving home near Coatesville. The local postman provides the string for Willie.Willie at Work

Willie lived at The Guernsey Cow restaurant where he was employed from the early 1940s until 1994. Willie could have been dubbed Exton Ambassador for all the smiles he brought to everyone who knew him as he helped Larry and Pep make ice cream and cream caramels, washed dishes, and mowed the lawns that surrounded the restaurant and the Polite home, Sleepy Hollow Hall.

When he was not working he frequented locations that are just memories for Exton long-timers. Willie welcomed and conversed with folks at the Exton Drive-In Theater, a gas station on Route 100, the Downingtown Farmers Market, and Felix’s Farm Market.

Willie and Larry PoliteLarry and Willie had a remarkable relationship. They enjoyed many hours in Larry’s truck running errands and working in their vegetable garden. Mrs. Polite liked to call it “Larry’s garden,” but family members knew it was primarily Willie’s back-breaking effort and so called it “Willie’s garden”. At harvest time, they would deliver tomatoes, string beans, and sweet corn to friends in the area. Willie became a sounding board for Larry who confided in him during the many hours they shared.

Contributed by Wanda Polite McGlinchey
Black & White photos provided by Kim Puliti

10 thoughts on “Profile: Willie Minor”

  1. I remember Willie very fondly and very well. As kids, we always enjoyed seeing him pedalling along up Rt 100 or along Rt 30, all 60 pounds of Willie and 100 pounds of bike.:)

  2. God bless you Willie! My family and I have very fond memories of you. You still bring a smile to our faces when we think of you!
    Best wishes, Rob

  3. when i was a kid i lived on phoenixville pike by the spca. willie would ride his bike from exton all the way into west chester. he always had a smile on his face. hope he is well

  4. I grew up in Whitford Hills and have such fond memories or Willie riding his bike up route 100 at Shoen Rd. It is so nice to hear they’re are people whose hearts are big enough to take in a young man and treat him like family. I just read the obit for Mrs Polite and of course Willie was mentioned! I think of him from time to time and wonder where he is and hope he is well.

  5. From my mother: Willie lives in a nursing home, but apparently unable to recognize us. Very heart breaking to see Willie who was all goodness.

  6. i remember riding bike with willie, going to the exton drive-ins and sitting under the little window where the movie came out. we would laugh so much. he was a great guy and friend. we would sit at the exxon gas station at the crossroads and watch the cars go by. he was a good part of my childhood. god bless willie!!

  7. I worked at the “Cow” around ’77-79 with lots of students from Henderson High School. Willie was around alot of the time and his smile and happy demeanor was infectious. I remember many days and nights making special ice cream concoctions and he was always a willing tester.

    Years later, I ran in to Willie and I am certain he remembered me and listened to me ramble on of stories from the past. He still had that wonderful smile. “toot toot, willie, willie” Joanne Finegan

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