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‘For the people’

‘For the people’

Come to Lakeside Store for bait, stay for nostalgia

TSAILE/WHEATFIELDS, Ariz.

LeVon Jim Thomas stood next to the variety of colorful fishing necessities sold at the small general store he and his family have owned and operated for over 30 years.

Wheatfield Lakeside Store has been a staple in the remote community of Tsaile/Wheatfields. Located on Indian Route 12, the store is slightly hidden behind tall chuskas atop a small hill, only a short walk from Wheatfields Lake.

Although tiny in size, it’s huge in nostalgia – not just for the owners but for those who grew up in the area. “I was here working in the summer and the windows are usually opened,” reminisced Thomas. “I hear this lady talking to her son: ‘When grandpa was around, he used to bring me here when I was small and there used to be a man that was here.’

“When she opened the door,” Thomas continued his anecdote with a smile, “she saw me and said, ‘And he’s still here!’ That memory always comes back to me.” The Thomases have plenty of similar happy memories they have shared with their customers and community for three decades.


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About The Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reports on Navajo Nation Council, Business, Fort Defiance Agency, New Mexico State politics and Art/fashion. Her clans are Nát'oh dine'é Táchii'nii, Bit'ahnii, Kin łichii'nii, Kiyaa'áanii. She’s originally from Fort Defiance and has a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. Before working for the Navajo Times she was a reporter for the Gallup Independent. She can be reached at abecenti@navajotimes.com.