Archived Story

Little bitty changes we lived for a while

Published 4:37pm Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Well, yep, I reckon I’ve spent most of my time penning words and sentences ’bout the 40s and the 50s, but I was still around to see the 60s, and I recollect good times, at least during the first year or two of that decade.

When the sixties rolled around John Patterson was the high governor, “Everything Is Made For Love” Frank Boykin was our House Representative, and John F. Kennedy and Jackie were in charge of”Camelot” up in Washington Town. Folks still had to pay a poll tax to vote, but changes were on the way.

Fast backing to the 40s, Co Colas were, of course, only a nickel, and you could buy a Nash 4 Door at Skinner Motors in Thomaston for $780. Marengo Motors would finance any used car for $4.43 a week, ladies shoes were $2.95, and you could buy a man’s suit for $11.95.

Long came those wonderful 50s, and a Buick Special 3 passenger coup had only gone up a few bucks to $1,972. Ladies shoes, regularly $5.95 up to $10.95, were on sale for 98 cents, with men’s suits topping $25 for the first time. Cokes were still a nickel.

Okay, then, let’s spend a while on when the 6th decade of the 20th Century came upon us … You could still purchase ladies shoes for $4.99, but fellow’s suits had gone on up to 39 smackers, except for sale suits at Levy’s for $15. Big thing: Co Colas jumped up to six cents, but there was such a hue and cry that the company changed it. Went up to a dime. Watch what you wish for. You know what else? Without warning, The Coca Cola Bottling Company sprung King Size Cokes on us. First one I ever saw, I thought I had shrunk.

It was still long distance to call between Linden and Demopolis, and the dividing line between north and south was still that little bitty Bogue, just innocently flowing along at a snail’s pace, rearing up real big ’bout twice a year after some heavy rains.

Jitney Jungle would sell you a dozen eggs for 39 cents, bananas for 9 cents a pound, and fryers for 29 cents, ‘cept when they were on sale for 19 cents.

Over yonder in east Alabama the Auburn Newspaper hailed Demopolis boy, Alan Koch, as one of the greatest pitchers in Auburn baseball history. Claud Neilson pitched Demopolis to the Warrior Conference Championship and John Cox Webb was selected to play in the East-West high school game with Coach Harold Johnson managing the East Team.

Meanwhile, over in the Blackbelt Conference in football, the All Conference Team was Joe Mason. Lynn Crocker, Clyde Bolen, Gerald Parker, Wayne Lewis and John Mosely all from Thomaston. with Jimmy Etheridge, Marvin Glass and Jerry Ray Dunn from the Bulldogs of Sweetwater. The three from Linden in 1960 were Marvin Tucker, Bradley Gaddy and Kenneth Tucker. Roger Etheridge was picked as Honorable Mention that year ’cause the pickers saw the potential coming there the next season. (I like to call out names.)

They still had canvas covered skating rinks in Linden and Demopolis, still playing that same old tune … “The Coconut Grove.” I can hum that to this day from my skating times in the 50s, and just about hear those roller skates rolling round and round, plus almost smelling ‘em.

Trivia for ya: Willie Grey Little was named Linden’s Man of the Year at the Jaycee Banquet, and was presented a plaque by Dennis Barkley, the last year’s winner. Wise quipper Bob Renner was Master of Ceremonies.

Anyhow, times were most definitely about to start to changing with folks acting a heap differently as that decade of the 60s unfolded, but in that first year of the new decade, everything was pretty much the way they had been during the best of times. The very best of times that I try to keep alive with these pages for those who lived it … and for those who wish they had.

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