Fiction can’t hold a candle to some of the REAL people found in a small Southern town in the 50s. Follow along for just a few of the quirky, but loved, natives. No gender bias here, but note that they are all male !!!!!!!!!!
Local banker : president of the only bank in town, located on the square. Times were changing and progress (?) was being made by adding a sidewalk in front of his bank and other businesses along the street.
Banker was not happy with the plan, and he NEVER walked on the sidewalk. His home was approximately a block from the bank, and he walked in the road : to work, home for lunch, back to the bank, home for the evening……… for years until he died. You could set your watch.
Older gentleman : lived alone on a comfortable residential street. In the late 40s or early 50s, he purchased one of the first televisions in town. He enjoyed watching, with the rabbit ears and the antenna, finding it to be a delightful form of entertainment. However, on a given day, he had to run an errand in the middle of one of his favorite shows. He turned the TV off, made his trip, came back home to finish watching the episode. OOPS, it was gone, never to return.
He promptly threw the television out the door, never to purchase another one——-or even to watch a show for the rest of his life.
Challenged middle-aged adult : lived a fairly dull life except for his moment of glory on the Friday nights that Lavonia High played football. And then all attention was on him during half-time because his only talent was his ability to run !
Lavonia High School had no band, so half-time entertainment was cheering on this man as he ran from goal post to goal post until he “scored “. Some upstanding citizen of Lavonia had a stopwatch, so betting on his time was part of the fun. High stakes aside ( actually, the stakes were very low ), it was innocent fun and win-win for the fans . Best of all : this man had a night and place to shine.
A very special person : two drugstores side-by-side on the square in Lavonia. Hicks Drugs happened to be the place that the men in town gathered daily to catch up on the news ( if it were ladies, it would be called gossiping ! ).
One of the funny stories that came out of this drugstore was when a slightly ” different ” gentleman came in one morning to join the guys. On this particular day he was excited because it was his mother’s birthday, and the family was planning a celebration.
And so he said, ” Today is Mother’s birthday. She’s 66 and I’m 33. When she was 40, I was 20, and when she was 20, I was 10———–HELL, THAT AIN’T RIGHT !!!!!! ” This tale traveled the town and made everybody happy.
My uncle Crit : married to my daddy’s sister , Rebie Haley Crittenden, Crit was a South Carolina boy who attended Auburn University with only $50 in his pocket. He graduated with an engineering degree and $500———–thanks to much success at the poker table.
He worked for the highway department and drove a Henry J, the only one in town then or since. He also wore a small gold earring in his left ear, unheard of in Lavonia , but accepted.
And he was the proud owner of a Cocker Spaniel named ” P MO ” ( for obvious reasons ! ). His potty training of ” P MO ” consisted of spanking him with a newspaper, opening a window, and throwing him out.
“P MO” learned ! He promptly did his business in the house and jumped out the window…………
Although Crit walked to his own drummer , he was much loved and highly respected by all who knew him.
Small town characters. They make up the quilt that gives variety and color. How dull life would be if we all were simply clones.
May these gentlemen rest in peace, knowing they gave our hometown a smile and a memory.
(ANY AND ALL COMMENTS ARE APPRECIATED , BELOW OR ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE )
The uniqueness of small towns…..♥️
Small towns are the best! It’s special to get to enjoy the quirky characters. We are all quirky in some way. Enjoyed all the characters, but Crit and his dog was quite a story!!
How boring life would be if we didn’t have our own peculiarities ! These were a colorful thread running through my childhood. I can hear my daddy telling the stories and laughing. And Crit was truly a character. Thanks for comment.
What a wonderful read! It brought back a lot of precious memories of our great little town. I recall all the folks you wrote about and gave me pause to reminisce!
Thank you. So happy that you remembered. Hope there are others out there who remember, too. It was fun reminiscing. Life was good back in the day when people were pretty much accepted simply for what they were. No harsh judgment…….
I really enjoyed reading this and do recall some of them. The most interesting one was the TV man. Thank you for sharing stories of these interesting characters!
Thank you, Martha ! Those were the days when people were pretty much accepted for what they were, warts and all. My daddy was friends with all of them and he would laugh and laugh at their eccentricities. I appreciate your appreciation of my story telling. I’m sure you understand that I simply write the way I talk !
We all loved our friends and neighbors . I knew growing up that we were blessed with the friends and neighbors in Lavonia. My Daddy loved Lavonia and never said a negative comment about anyone. He took care of cars that belonged to single ladies and made sure they were safe. He loved me and loved you almost as much, Diane! It was a safe, precious time.
Yes, it was. And all of us have our own quirks which makes life interesting. All these men were friends of both our daddies, and they were treasured. And look what they added to the character of Lavonia ! We were so blessed to be raised by a village, weren’t we ?
Yes, I remember these local people who left us a lasting memory.
What a wonderful town to have grown up in, and for me to continue
to return for a visit.
Hope to see you soon.😊
Wouldn’t life have been boring without these characters who added so much color and vitality.
My daddy claimed all of them as friends.
Looking forward to your coming this way before too long and having dinner together.
Enjoyed reading these. One of my main memories is that the old men that gathered on a street corner were mostly native Americans with braid s and beads in their hair and Native American dress.
I always love it when my meanderings trigger memories for others ! Every community has its own characters, and they are what makes it unique.
Thanks for reading, enjoying, and responding……
Thank you Diane
So happy you can remember and write about our small town. I do remember. It is hard to explain to some of the young people that Lavonia, Carnesville and Royston had a separate High School. I bet they would get a kick out of these true stories
When you have lived as long as I have——-and you are not too far behind———the contrast between then and now is HUGE ! I treasure the memories, and these gentlemen added humor and fun to our town. They were all friends of my daddy and he would tell these tales and laugh and laugh. And, yes, we don’t need to lose the history of our schools, for sure.
Like all communities, Lavonia was full of unique characters with a ton of interesting stories to tell.
We could probably write a book about their exploits.
Your comments triggered a memory about your uncle Crit and his Henry J.
The Henry J was notorious for poor mechanical performance and required constant repair and maintenance.
That was one reason why the product was never a success.
One day Crit was driving it on Vickery Street in front of our house, when the engine died.
He was unsuccessful in restarting it and simply abandoned the vehicle in the center of the street with the hood raised and the drivers side door wide open. It sat there for hours before a wrecker finally hauled it off. It was rumored he never drove it again.
Crit was not only disgusted and embarrassed, but suffered much teasing from his friends and associates in the community.
I had never heard that story about Crit’s Henry J ! But how well I remember that funky car.
Crit was certainly one of a kind.
Thanks for the memory.
I have (and have worn) that gold earring mentioned with Crit.
I love this !!!!!! What a treasure. You were blessed with very extraordinary grandparents, for sure.