Old Marietta (O.M.) created this Remember When article of
how things were a long long trme ago in Marietta. I simply threw in my two cents by copying and
pasting and altering drawn from my own memory of “Back Then”.
Old Marietta (O.M.)
FeSfebtrualtlloSproidy 1ns3rsar,oa fre2aed01i5 ·
Mr. Bill Kinney and others:
And now, we head back
down “Memory Lane.” Remember not so long ago …
Speaking of Bill
Kinney and his wife Alberta Shouse Kinney:
In the 5th grade at Waterman Street School, during recess,
lining up at the fire escape to back to our classroom a friend pushed me against
the fire escape which was metal put a big gash in my forehead. That was before 911, my father was
called. Until he got there Miss Shouse
had me put my head in her lap and she held a towel with ice against it. It was the first time I appreciated the soft
firm hips of a woman. Later that same
year Miss Shouse told me she had a pigeon in her room at the boarding house
that got inside somehow and she put it in a box. Would I like to have it? Yes.
After school I walked with her to her room at a boarding house for
teachers on North Avenue. I remember in
particular walking by the drunks in front of the Old Courthouse and some of
them whistling. Within a year she
married Bill Kinney. My daddy was the
Chief of the Cobb County Police and one time they raided what was at that time
the largest still in Georgia. It was
just off the 4-Lane (Cobb Parkway, S.), just south of Dobbins AFB, where
Wallmart is now. As a reporter Bill
Kinney went along. He got intoxicated on
When $2 worth of
gasoline would last nearly a week? And the gas wars! Sometimes gas was less than 20 cents a
When certain sections
of Marietta had their own nicknames, such as “Roosevelt”, “Whitlock Heights”,
“Lick Skillet,” “Louisville,” “Baptist Town,” “Jonesville” and “Butler Town”?
My father and his
bothers were the Lords of Butlertown. I
was told countless stores of the brothers, and unfortunately I have a bad
When Miss Whitehead,
the principal at Waterman Street School, gathered all the students around the
flagpole to lower the flag to half-mast after President Franklin D. Roosevelt
died? Miss Whitehead’s doing half-mast
was two years before my 1st grade debut at Waterman Street
School. Miss Whitehead couldn’t wait to
get her hands on me, symbolically, more
than once she bent down in my face and said my Daddy and his brothers gave her
hard time and it is stopping here. One
time when a bat I caught and accidentally let loose in halls before school
started had her screaming at me, red faced. Kids were screaming as the poor bat flew up
and down the halls with Cliff he janitor chasing it trying to knock it down
with a broom.
When the kids with
Marietta Daily Journal paper routes would gather in an alley off Winters Street
to roll or fold their papers before delivering them? J knew a bunch of them and we would meet and
walk our routes partially together, I was delivering the Atlanta Journal.
When the Greyhound
bus station was at the northeast corner of Atlanta and Anderson Streets, across
from the old First Methodist Church? The lot in front of the station had enough
room for about one bus and it couldn’t turn around.
Us kids used to play
on the dirt mounds as the new Greyhound Bu station at Anderson, Roswell, and
Green Streets was built. And after that
was finished we played at the construction site of the 1st Methodist
Annex Building. At both construction
sites two of us got seriously hurt.
When school children
marched around the Square and on to the Confederate Cemetery on Southern
Memorial Day? Most of the kids carried flowers, usually hydrangea, for the
graves? (The parade was led by Mrs. Regina Rambo Benson, who taught the kids to
sing “Dixie” as it should be sung.) I
remember walking to the Confederate Cemetery with my Waterman Street School
Class. My first march I was only 6. Our mother knew I was a wanderer, she had a
fear of me just wandering off at the cemetery to who knows where and gave my
older sister to keep an eye on me and bring me home. At the cemetery, after we were “dismissed!”
Frances could not find me. She looked
high and low and I wasn’t there. She
walked home wording how she was going to tell Mama she lost me. When she got home she saw me playing in the
When kids were
playing baseball or football all around town with nary a grown-up in sight?
When it took a
half-day to go to Atlanta and back — more if any shopping was to be done?
trains stopped to fill up at the water tank behind Romeo Hudgins Welding shop
and near the City Cemetery? Romeo
Hudgins was the Little League coach for Southern Discount team. I was on his team for two years. His assistant coach was Pepper Martin, who
had an evening show on WFOM named “Dinner Light Music with Pepper Martin”. Pepper’s sons and at least one grandson
became heavily involved in music.
When downtown stores
had pneumatic tubes from sales areas to central cashiers?
When parts of
present-day South Marietta Parkway were known simply as Clay Street?
When the Marietta
Police Department consisted of four officers and one patrol car?
When the local
funeral homes operated the only emergency ambulances in town?
When City Hall, the
Fire Department and the Teen-age Canteen were all in the same building on
Atlanta Street? In the 7th
grade a bunch of us wanted to be teenagers so bad, we would go to the TAC (Teen
Age Canteen) and usually the husband and wife managers would run us out, but we
When young boys
pushed ice cream carts, cooled with dry ice, all over town, selling Eskimo
Pies, Popsicles, Fudgesicles, ice cream sandwiches and hunkies?
When the old guard
house at the end of Fairground Street was converted into a restaurant called
the Drive In and Eat? There was another guardhouse near the underpass on the
Access Highway/South Cobb Drive.
When there was a fair
held on Fairground Street each year (actually a carnival)? It was on the
present site of Perry Parham Field. On the Sunday morning after the fair left
town, lots of kids from Marietta Place would rake through the sawdust left
behind in search of coins dropped from pockets of those riding the most daring
rides, i.e. the Tilt-a-Whirl, the Bullet, etc.
One time a carnival lady at a
trailer handed me a bucket and told me she would give me a quarter when I
bought it back full of water. I found a
water spicket near the Bell Auditorium I lugged the pale of water from there to
the Perry Parham Little League area, however, it was a long way, and about a
quarter of water sloshed out. The lady
said I spilled so much it was not worth a quarter. She gave a dime. She handed me
another bucket and told me to try again.
I put the bucket down and walked away.
After the carnival
part of the fair left, usually late Saturday night we kids would prowl over the
area the rides were and pick up a few dollars in change. One time I found several jars of pickled
snake heads. Big rattle snakes’ heads
and more. I brought them home and hid
them in our chicken house, I knew my mother would not allow me to keep those
snakes and I also knew she was not likely go into the chicken house. Wrong. She found them.
When the corner of
Sessions and Rose Lane Streets was the site of Holeproof Hosiery, one of the
town’s major employers, not upscale loft apartments and condominiums?
When the powers-that-be
thought a hogwire fence would prevent adventurous young boys from crawling all
over and through the old B-29 bomber parked on the East side of Bell Center on
The B-29 was in front
of the Hood family home. Mr. Hood was
the maintenance grounds keeper and I suppose since he was always on call, they
furnished him and his family a house in the park. The plane was about in front of the Aquatic
Center. We were playing in it one time
and I fell out of what was probably the bombing bay. I thought I broke my leg and limped around a
few days but evidently it was just bruised.
grocery stores around town flourished? I remember Pete Steele’s on the corner
of S. Waddell and Wayland Streets, Our
apartment in the Clay Homes was the end apartment on the corner of Waddell and
Wayland Streets, the closest to Pete Steele’s store. Pete and his wife and three daughters became
Mr. Yancey’s on the
corner of E. Waterman Street and South Avenue,
Yancy’s Store was on
my paper route. They sold malt balls, 2
for a penny. I dropped by there almost
every day and bought about a quarter’s worth; 50. Then I took my malt balls in a sack down the
street one block at the corner of South Avenue and Fraser Street. The man who lived there own a restaurant on
the 4-Lane (Cobb Parkway). He kept a
monkey on a chain in his front yard. I
sat down on his front step and shared the malt balls with the monkey.
Country Store in Marietta Place, Mr. McConnell’s on Roswell and Fairground
Streets, Joiner’s Market on Cherokee Street, Kirk’s on Powder Springs Stree. Kirks’ Market was first on Roswell Street
across from Dodd Street. I think Adrian
and Mark Kirk were the owners. I worked
there as a sacker and carry out clerk for a year or two. and others on Maple
Avenue, Sessions and Campbell Hill Streets, Butlers Crossing, Paige Street and
When we looked
forward to the Rat Skats of Marietta High holding their initiations each year?
You would witness some very strange sights around town and some very
embarrassed young men afterward. The
final climax of the initiation was to run 3 miles down Stylesborough Road
dressed in a bra and panties and let the members drive by and whack you with a
When the Westside
mothers wouldn’t let their daughters go near the Bell Center area (around the
current Cobb Civic Center) due to the roughnecks that hung out in that
vicinity? When we had three public swimming pools in Marietta, open seven days
a week in the summertime? Once at Larry
Bell’s pro-wrestling I was showing off for a cute little girl and fell off the
blenchers and broke my arm.
When the old bowling
alley in the basement of Larry Bell Center had eight lanes, four duckpins and
four tenpins, all with manual pinsetters? The main objective of the duckpin
bowlers wasn’t to score high, but to bounce a pin off the back wall and then
off the pinboy’s head. Needless to say, those boys, all in their early teens,
became very adroit at dodging the flying pins.
Once I went to see
the manager of the Larry Bell Park Bowling Alley for a job as a pin-boy. The manager practically said yes, but first
he needed some land cleared that he just purchased near Austell. Jimmy McEntire, Billy Joe and Jack Royal went
as a crew. I forgot how much he was
going to pay us. We cut and put all the
brush in a big pile, and he poured gasoline on it and it. It caused a big fire also catching our
hopefully new boss on fire. We rolled
him and put him out but he was badly burned.
That was before 911 so we put him in the the car and rushed him to the
hospital to the ER. That is the last we
heard of him or our jobs.
Down the hall from
the Bowling Alley in the basement of the Larry Bell Park Auditorium was the
pool room. I got to know the manager Pop
Smith well. He lived near me on East
Dixie Avenue. I wanted to play pool but
Pop wouldn’t let me. He said I had to be
When there was an
earlier bowling alley behind McClellan’s 5 and 10 cents store off Winters
Street, but that was even before my time?
McClellan’s 5 and 10 Cents store. I
don’t remember what was there before McClellan’s but I remember the night
before they opened. My Daddy, a Marietta
Policeman was friends with the manager, a young man. He and his wife gave our family a tour of the
store the night before they opened. I
remember only low lights were on, because if it was well lit people woold think
it was opened, and Daddy saw a boy, about my size standing on a merchandize
table and he said something like, “Eddie!
Get down now!” And it wasn’t me,
it was a boy mannequin.
When the jailhouse
was behind the courthouse on the Square and the inmates would look out the
barred windows and yell at people walking on Washington Avenue?
After the Saturday
morning cowboy or Bowery Boys or ? show was over at the Strand Theater was over
we would go by the granite calaboose next to the Sheriff’s office to pick up
cigarette packs and either take them or throw them back and the barred windows. Girlfriends of the inmates would somehow get
sample cigarette packs and throw them in the window. They were easier to throw and more likely
make it through the bars.
When Miss Tib Sibley
was the librarian at the Carnagie Library on the corner of Church and Lemon Streets
and you could hear her talking throughout both floors of the building? She was
just a little on the deaf side and had to talk loudly to hear what she was
Miss Sibley had a
very much southern drawl accent and when she talked of the joys of reading I
could not wait to read some of the books she pushed.
Another lady who
visited the grammar schools several times a year was Miss Ogden, the music
teacher. She always handed colored
wooden dowels and some of us sang and some of us kept the beat with those color
dowels and some jabbed each other with those color dowels.
When Keeler Woods was
just that and not a subdivision? All the young boys on the west side of town
spent many a happy day tromping through those woods.
Then while Keeler Woods
was being built Cobb County was a dry county, no whiskey was allowed. My uncle “Peanut” kept his moonshine hid in a
wooded area in that soon to be subdivision.
JoAnn Shop, Mr. Murray's Shoe Store, Saul's, Leiters, Mill End Fabric Store?
on the Square, where you could get Mrs. Fletcher to help you with jewelry at
street level & Mr. Fletcher would take family portraits downstairs?
Remember the unique
window displays at Fletcher's during Christmas like the gold miniature ferris
wheel with Santa?
Remember every fall
before school started going to Coggins to get a new pair of Bass Weejuns?
Remember when all
Dunaway drug stores & Atherton's had food counters that served breakfast,
lunch and a cherry coke any time? Larry
Bradford and I got thrown out of Athertons’s lunch counter one time for
throwing French fries at each other.
The Goat Man, The
Hook Man on Blackjack Mountain?
White kids crashing
the party at Bomber City?
Pick basketball games
at “The Blacktop” ?
Baker the Taylor –
sewing up your new suit?
I remember a little
bald man tailor named Hazel he Tailor
who had a shop on the ground floor of the Kennesaw House. He was good and cheap pegging boy’s Levis pants.
New Keds from
Coggins, Gold Cup socks, Dobbs hats, Arrow shirts and Countess Mara ties from