Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Memories Along Highway 5


Above: William and Emaline Ray Hunter and their house on Main Street, Woodstock, Ga.

We decided to have dinner at Williamson Brothers Barbecue in Canton, Georgia. We haven’t been in that little city for a while.

When we go to Canton we normally go up the I-575. It is quicker, no narrow curving road and no stop lights. But, I thought, “What’s the rush?”

It has been a long time since we drove from Marietta to Canton via Highway 5. It would be interesting to refresh some old memories and see how things have changed.

First on Canton Road, near the Hwy 92 intersection I remember a Shell Station that was once there. It is just on the edge of the Woodstock city limits. Back in the 50s the owner of the Shell Station put a big sign out front saying “WARNING! SPEED TRAP AHEAD!” It made the Marietta Journal and the Atlanta newspapers. I remember it pissed off the Woodstock Police and they tried to arrest the owner, but he was exercising his freedom of expression and speech. Good for him.

Just north of the Shell Station about a quarter of a mile was the Dixie Inn. It is a tire company now that also sells golf cart mobiles. About 1959 or 1960, I collapsed on the floor of the Dixie Inn with a red snapper bone choking me. Luckily, I coughed it out. It wasn’t my time.

Up the slope and down on the left is the house my great grandfather William A. Hunter/Trammell built in about 1903. The house is still standing. It is a tool rental place now.

Just north of Woodstock on the left is Enon Cemetery. Some of my Hunter relatives are buried there and also some of Anna’s ancestors. Enon made the news within a year or so ago. Some vandals turned over grave marker, broke some markers, and threw some in the nearby woods. I wonder if the cemetery ever got all the stones placed correctly?

July 20, 2007 on this Chicken-fat blog there is a post about Enon Cemetery. Click on the July 2007 in the Archives column on the right.

Just north of the cemetery the little community used to be known as the Andersonville Community. I don’t know if it is still known as that or not. Again, my great grandfather William A. Hunter/Trammell comes alive. After he was shot in the knee on Kennesaw Mountain during the Civil War he recuperated in this community.

Less than a mile away was an old barn by the road and behind the barn was an auto junk yard. My late friend Jenky Latimer used to go there often looking for parts for his old car. I think the owner was a relative. The junk yard has been bulldozed away and in its place is a strip shopping center.

Northward a mile or so is where Little River flows under a bridge. There used to a building there that had a batting cage outside and inside was a pool table and pinball machines. They also sold firecrackers. We were some of their best customers – however, the local redneck teenagers had a problem with us, but we then were pretty good bluffers. Knowing what I know now, those good old boys were probably my distant cousins and probably Jenky’s too, his family was from the same area.

The store is no longer there and neither is the batting cage but I think I remember seeing the batting cage within the past ten years. There may not be a batting cage there now, but nearby is a shooting range. Progress?

The hills and curves of the road are the same but the old buildings and old store fronts in little community clusters have been replaced with strip shopping centers and franchised restaurants, dry cleaners, and other things that appear to the yuppiedom.

Just before Canton is the little town of Holly Springs. Or it used to be little. Now it is sprawled out. We used to go the Pinecrest Inn in Holly Springs. It was buffet style, something unique back about 45 years ago. Now, on the same spot is the Pinecrest Motel. It is not the same building. Things have to change to survive.

The barbecue pork and chicken were delicious.

At the table next to us were two men. They looked like mid-management with a construction company. They each had a weathered look. I overheard one of them say:
“Our first date will be News Year Eve. At midnight we will kiss for the first time.”

His dinner companion looked at him with no expression but was probably thinking about the same as I was. He is putting all that thought into a date almost three months away and a way to cleverly have an excuse to kiss her?

Driving back, going back through Woodstock I saw the little hotdog joint on Main Street across from the park. I remember in front of the hotdog joint is an almost life-size plastic looking statue of Betty Boop dressed as a carhop. In the shadow I saw what I thought was Betty Boop. Then it moved. It was a human waiting on the light to cross the street. It is a scary feeling to see a statue come to life in the dark.

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