Monday, October 16, 2006

Tossing What used to be FRENCH fries

After school we usually dropped by Atherton Drug Store and hung out in front, the magazine rack, or the lunch counter.

Doc Atherton would at times come out and ask us to leave if we were not going to buy anything. And he might tell us to put down the magazine we are reading if we were not going to buy it.

He gave his head man at the lunch counter, Clell* full authority to kick us out anytime we were causing trouble.

Clell was very skinny and very nervous. Most the time Clell would pretend he didn’t see us do some mischievous or talk loud or whatever.

But one time our friend Larry B. bought a large order of french fries and sat down at a booth with 3 or us. Naturally, we all grabbed a fry or two. Larry said, “Damn! Everybody have some fries!” and started tossing them all up in the air which were landing in old ladies’ coffee, other peoples food, and so on. Clell had to act. He kicked all four of us out.

Time marches on. Later Clell opened a greasy spoon kind of eatery and had a booming business. We ate there a few times. I always noticed the parking lot was full as I drove by. A couple of years ago, because of his failing health Clell sold his restaurant to someone else and early this year I understand the restaurant was sold to a larger chain like Waffle House or Huddle House.

And, while I was in the Navy on Halloween night, 1964, a natural gas leak in the Atherton Drug building caused an explosion.

Several of my friends were killed and injured (one lost his foot). They were still hanging out like old times.

Time marches on.

* - for many years I thought his name was Cleo and everybody kind of slurred in to Clell – but when the name his restaurant was ‘Clell” – then I stood corrected.

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Blogger Button Gwinnett said...

Poor ole Clell sounds like a non-confrontational guy that picks his battles. Maybe that helped him to become a successful businessman himself.

7:30 AM  
Blogger ET said...

It is a shame he couldn't pick his diseases. He looked pretty frail and sickly last time I saw him at his restaurant.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

That french fry incident sounds hilarious. I am sorry that a place that brought such good times also caused such pain. but so it goes.

7:05 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Where there is a big plus there is a big minus. That's Karma.

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed browsing your blog and old pictures. I grew up in Marietta as well. Wasn't the explosion in 1963?

4:15 PM  

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