Monday, December 24, 2012

Memory Lane

Eddie Hunter and Ruby Steele

The below I wrote in Facebook Sunday morning.  I thought it was fairly good and said to myself, "Why not get some more miles out of it?"  So, I made a few corrections and additions and here it is again, improved:

Bill Kinney has an excellent article on the editorial page of the MDJ this morning, TIME FOR ANOTHER STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE. I would like to make a few comment:

I remember everything he spoke of except the pool on Sandtown Road. We had heard of it and went on a walking expedition one day to find it but we didn’t. I should have thought to ask my cousins Bobby and Jimmy Crain, they lived around the corner.

I delivered papers in the Waterman Street and South Avenue area and Yancy’s Store was a daily stop to get a Coke and a pack of salted peanuts to put into the drink. The few peanuts I have left over I would toss over to the chained monkey in the front yard at South Avenue and Frazier Street. Also, when younger when we lived in the Clay Homes Pete Steele’s Store was a regular place to visit. I remember one time I tried buying something there with Monopoly money which Pete’s wife Ruby got a kick out of (see above picture).

Another store I remember well is Hick’s Grocery at the corner of East Dixie and Atlanta Street.  Siblings Regina and Dudley Hicks.  I think Regina could tell you every bit of inventory at any moment unless a pack of kids just came through with sticky fingers.  If I remember correctly Dudley had a jeep.  There was something about his hair that made me think he looked similar to Nancy's Aunt Fritz's boyfriend.

We lived across from Larry Bell Park and would go to the carnival when it was in town every year. I remember one time a lady in a trailer by the carnival asked if I would earn a dime and of course I would. She gave me a bucket and told me to fill it up with water and bring it back. I filled it up near the swimming pool and on the way back a lot of water sloshed out and the lady gave me a nickel instead of the dime she promised, which I understood. Still I thought she was a bitch.

Also, as Bill mentioned I searched through the woodchips and sawdust looking for loose change where the rides were. I think I found up around $10 in change one year. Another year when the fair and carnivals moved to South Cobb Drive on the edge of Dobbins’s Air Force Base I found about a half dozen jars of snake heads, all with their mouths pried opened to show their fangs. They were pickled. It took two of friends to help me carry them home. I hid them in the chicken house and a week or so later my uncle, Wallace Petty, an educator looked at them and talked my mother into letting me keep them. Which she did, until he got out of sight. She broke them all and I never smelled such a horrible odor.

I remember the four member police force and their office was on Atlanta Street where the Cigar Company is now. I remember it well, because my father was one of the four.

In the 7th grade I couldn’t wait until I was a teenager and could get into the Teenage Canteen, on Atlanta Street, above the City’s office and the fire department. Several times we tried our luck in pretending to be teenagers but the elderly couple who ran it knew us and ran us off, but not disheartened us to not try again. One time she just gave up and let us stay and play pool. It wasn’t all that fun as we thought it would be.

The march to the Marietta Confederate Cemetery to put down a Rebel Flag was the first taste of segregation I realized. We (white children) marched there on Confederate Memorial Day, . The black children had to go to school that day. But on regular National Memorial Day the black kids marched to the National Cemetery and put flags on the Yankees’ graves. The first time I marched I was in the 1st grade. My sister Frances, in the 4th or 5th grade had strict orders from our parents to keep an eye on me and after it was over get my hand and walk me home. After it was over with she couldn’t find me anyplace. She went home horrified not knowing what happened to me and what would happen to her for losing me. I was in the front yard playing when she arrived. I and my friends were street kids, we all knew the streets and alleys of downtown Marietta – being led home would be embarrassing.  Afterall, I had my street-kid image to protect.

Another local interesting something that is worth mentioning.  When I was in the 3rd grade at Waterman Street School the teacher, first name Jesse, had a boy friend that would sometimes come to the school to visit her.  When I was in the 5th grade the teacher was Miss Alberta Shouse and she was courting some one too.  The teacher of the 3rd grade became Mrs. McCollum.  Her husband was Herbert McCollum, the man some claimed helped Cobb County adjust itself to Lockheed and other non-farming complexes.  Miss Shouse married Bill Kinney, the Marietta Journal "scribner" who wrote the column I have been yakking about.

Link to Bill Kinney's column I am referring to:

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