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I just want to thank Charles Souther of Sylvan H.S. for including me below in his part 2 of "If You Grew Up in Atlanta" article. It really makes me feel good to see someone remembers my baseball days. Those where the most wonderful times of my life, growing up in West End. Gosh I miss those years.
This nice letter was forwarded by Pat (Thomas) Brannon concerning the recent death of Len Miller a 1958 Sylvan Graduate.
appreciated your nice e-mail about Len "Snuffy" Miller, and I would have answered sooner had I not been on vacation.
He talked often of his "Golden Bear" days, and I imagine once or twice I threatened to send him back there if he didn't straighten up and behave. He and I shared some wonderful times together, and like you, I have some very special memories.
Thanks so much for getting in touch with a former Avondale Blue Devil, and all best wishes.
And here is a picture of Len in his "BEAR" suit along with Pat Thomas and Martyha Bellisle at a Sylvan football game
This note was sent by Margaret Carson of I.N.Ragsdale
Our I.N.Ragsdale homecoming was a grand event,the weather was picture perfect,and the setting could not have been nicer. The lady greeting people at the door said that she started with 200 name tags and actually ran out of them, which means that 200 plus people attended WOW!
Imagine that many coming out for a grammar school reunion.
I hope you would care to view some of the pictures taken at our reunion.
Just click each of the links below to view the pictures.
Shelby Burdette Malcolm sent this
We Grew Up In The Absolute Best Possible Time
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get
tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs
covered with bright colored lead-based paints
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottle s, doors or cabinets and when we
rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took
As infants &children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats! ,
seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually
died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar,
but we weren't overweight because,
WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back
when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the
hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes After running into the bushes a few
times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150
channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell
phones, no personal computer! s, no Internet or chat rooms....
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits
from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and
tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the
bell, or just walked in and talked to them!
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had
to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They
actually sided with the law! These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers
and inventors ever!
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL
WITH IT ALL!
If you are one of them---congratulations
My sister was good enough to forward the newsletter to me.
There's one eating establishment not mentioned but I'll bet many remember the "spinning wheels" at the Miss Georgia store next door to the Gordon Theater. I didn't work at that location but when I was 15 I did work at the Lakewood Heights store, and sometimes at the Grant Park location. I made those spinning wheels so thick I could turn the cups upside down and not a drop would come out! I didn't attend Brown, but spent many weekends at my grandparents house, which used to be right next door to Peeples St. Elementary. Some of the kids who attended that school probably remember tormenting the chihuahua's she raised in the back yard that ran alongside the alley between the school and their house. My grandmother used to sit on her screened front porch and watch for anything that looked suspicious at Howell Park across the street. Many police cars in that area were a result of a phone call from her on Saturday nights!
When I married my husband, it turned out his mother grew up in West End as well and her memories are as happy as mine. Decades later I moved to Coweta County and live down the street from a now good friend who also went to Brown and used to work the box office at the Gordon Theater. It is truly a small, small world and West End in the 50's and 60's was a great place to be.
Sherry Bullington Benefield
[Email Address Removed]
MEMORIES OF GROWING UP IN CAPITOL VIEW From Edward Bailey ((Sylvan)
On the way walking to the library, we might sometimes see "King" Kimo Kalohe working in his yard.
And over on Allene Avenue on our way to the FarmerĘs Market we might pass the home of "Chief" Red Feather.
WWII ended on Minton GwaltneyĘs birthday. He was twelve. He and I, walking to his house, met a woman who didnĘt know us from Adam and she said without preamble, "IsnĘt it wonderful?"
Fay Scott had a German shepherd named Bulger, and he always came after me when I went past their house at the corner of Allene and Genesee. One day he found me in Perkerson Park down by the creek and came at me. I froze, did not move. I had read that in a book. He walked all around me sniffing at my clothes, and I stood perfectly still. He went away.
We walked up the sewer that empties into the creek and got out one day in front of BriceĘs.
We put up a basketball net in the playground at Perkerson, and when it was torn down by some vandals, I. A. Thomas and his partner (I forget his name), blamed us for it.
When we played our "tag" game on the merry-go-round, we broke up a few benches and the parks department put some tar in the merry-go-round so it would only turn very slowly.
I remember us all sitting on the merry-go-round one night listening on LutherĘs portable radio to a broadcast of BrownĘs football game with Jesuit in New Orleans.
Do you remember playing Hearts upstairs in LutherĘs house and having so many guys playing we had to combine two decks of cards?
I remember riding buses to different parks just to watch Troop 22Ęs baseball team play. And I went to the ball diamond at Perkerson to watch them practice, and they would invite me to join in an intra-squad game. One time I umpired one of those games.
The summer of 1943 I got in to see the Crackers play at Ponce de Leon by turning the turnstiles for the first inning.
Going to the movies on Saturday at the Sylvan was a "must." Mother would always give me the dime. Only the threat of an Infantile Paralysis epidemic interrupted those Saturday movies. Also, that kept me from going swimming at Oakland City, too. All one summer!
Remember during the summer if you saw a guy carrying a rolled up towel, you knew he had been, or was going, swimming. That was a pretty long walk. But, hey, we didnĘt even notice.
I remember when we would meet down at the park, pool our small change, and designate somebody to walk to WilliamsĘ drug store to buy cigarettes.
Also, we chipped in to buy somebody gas. One time we all pitched in for WoodyĘs car and we stopped at Gulf to buy 25 cents worth. The attendant filled up the car and gave us a Georgia road map.
Stopping in at Gordon Foods, I never bought a broken bag of chips; I always got those chocolate covered, peanut butter filled wafers (What were they called?) and ate so many of those broken things that I would get sick. But, I never quit, and I always got sick. And all they cost were a nickel.
Playing ping-pong at the park (REC), we got pretty good. I remember Jake Long came home from the Air Force and claimed to be the champion of Japan. I donĘt doubt that, but he was no better than the rest of us. 5 cent Coke machine.
And two-a-days at Sylvan before the school had any showers working. I wonĘt forget that.
Eight Grade basketball practice in the Sylvan gym before school.
Cops hiding on Brewer Blvd side street to catch high school speeders.
Walking in the Perkerson Park Creek all the way to Lakewood Park.
Climbing on Fire escape stairs on side of Capitol View Baptist and Firemen watching us.
Lime Sour`s and Vanilla Cokes at Williams Pharmacy
Being a Page at the Georgia Capitol for a day.
After waxing my 55 Ford I went to the Varsity with a friend and the black guy jumped on the trunk to go up
on the top to take my order, he did a flip off the back and it was hilarious. We always told the one armed man
directing traffic, the fugitive was looking for him.
Capitol View Elementary served the best warm peanut butter and jam sandwiches ever.
Remember our phone numbers were PLaza3-1283 and RAymond9-3469.
Remember free TV; no satellites or cable TV.
Mickey Mouse Club
Getting in truck inner tubes hanging on to stem riding down the hills of Perkerson Park.
Halloween night throwing door mats in flower beds and putting firecrackers in mailboxes.
Mrs.Jack, principal of Capitol View Elementary watching as we put up our lunch trays and sometimes
sending us back to table to finish our food.
Mr Fain, principal of Sylvan High calling our parents when we misbehaved.
Mrs. Mitchem, police crossing lady at Capitol View blowing her whistle at you.
My dad use to take me to Atlanta Airport to look at the airplanes. It was a street across from the old
Morrison`s Restaurant, now where Delta has offices and you drove up to the ramp with no fences and it
has No Entrance signs and to the left was a one story building with windows where the Air Traffic Controllers
controlled the airplanes.
Mrs.Hopkins of Sylvan, the English teacher from Hell.
Coaches Wood & Kinard & Graves: 3 great men.
Watching Tommy Chapman pitching a game at Atlantic Steel baseball field for Sylvan.
Alexander Memorial Coliseum looked like a big boob from I 75.
Whipped pineapple ice cream cones at Lakewood Southeastern Fair
Daredevil stunt car drivers on the raceway and motorcycles in a steel cage
Playing Tackle football in the snow at Fort Mac
Winning the championship in church league basketball in the 11th grade at CVB.
This was sent by Sally Farmer Smith
Sylvan High School 1970
This is my 1st time reading this newsletter, and it is awesome ! Thank you to all who has worked hard to set this up & also to those that write in.....I am a Westender, I grew up on Gordon St, went to Peeples St Elem 1st grade thru 7th my father also attended when he was a child as well as Brown High, which I only attended part of the 8th grade there & then we moved to Capitol View Manor to Manford Rd & I attended Sylvan Hills High school,
Westend was such a beautiful part of Atlanta, I went to West End Baptist Church & sang in the choir when I was 10. WHo remebers the Big Apple ? or going to Sears, which was the only "mall" I knew about. Thompson Boland Lee ? Going to the GOrdon Theatre for only a quarter ? I can smell the hot donuts at the Krispy Kreme now.....Pilgreen's ? I remember my parents & I going to eat there only once a year, back then it was only on special occasions that you ate out at a restruant & that was a priviledge !
The swimming pool at Oakland City park ? John A White Park ? Uncle Remus library ? WOW !
You didn't even need a car, we walked or rode the bus where ever you wanted to go....What a wonderful experience, I am so glad I got to be a part of it, a simpler time, wish I could go back there.
Sally Farmer Smith --Peeples St Elem, Brown High School, Sylvan Hills High
Anna Jean Gaissert shared this with u.s
Brown High 1959.
Long ago and far away, in a land that time forgot,
Before the days of Dylan, or the dawn of Camelot.
There lived a race of innocents, and they were you and me,
For Ike was in the White House in that land where we were born,
Where navels were for oranges, and Peyton Place was porn.
We learned to gut a muffler, we washed our hair at dawn,
We spread our crinolines to dry in circles on the lawn.
We longed for love and romance, and waited for our Prince,
And Eddie Fisher married Liz, and no one's seen him since.
We danced to 'Little Darlin,' and sang to 'Stagger Lee'
And cried for Buddy Holly in the Land That Made Me, Me.
Only girls wore earrings then, and 3 was one too many,
And only boys wore flat-top cuts, except for Jean McKinney.
And only in our wildest dreams did we expect to see
A boy named George with Lipstick, in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We fell for Frankie Avalon, Annette was oh, so nice,
And when they made a movie, they never made it twice.
We didn't have a Star Trek Five, or Psycho Two and Three,
Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty in the Land That Made Me, Me.
Miss Kitty had a heart of gold, and Chester had a limp,
And Reagan was a Democrat whose co-star was a chimp.
We had a Mr. Wizard, but not a Mr. T,
And Oprah couldn't talk, yet, in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We had our share of heroes, we never thought they'd go,
At least not Bobby Darin, or Marilyn Monroe.
For youth was still eternal, and life was yet to be,
And Elvis was forever in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We'd never seen the rock band that was Grateful to be Dead,
And Airplanes weren't named Jefferson, and Zeppelins were not Led.
And Beatles lived in gardens then, and Monkees lived in trees,
Madonna was a virgin in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We'd never heard of microwaves, or telephones in cars,
And babies might be bottle-fed, but they weren't grown in jars.
And pumping iron got wrinkles out, and 'gay' meant fancy-free,
And dorms were never coed in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We hadn't seen enough of jets to talk about the lag,
And microchips were what was left at the bottom of the bag.
And Hardware was a box of nails, and bytes came from a flea,
And rocket ships were fiction in the Land That Made Me, Me.
Buicks came with portholes, and side shows came with freaks,
And bathing suits came big enough to cover both your cheeks.
And Coke came just in bottles, and skirts below the knee,
And Castro came to power near the Land That Made Me, Me.
We had no Crest with Fluoride, we had no Hill Street Blues,
We had no patterned pantyhose or Lipton herbal tea
Or prime-time ads for condoms in the Land That Made Me, Me.
There were no golden arches, no Perrier to chill,
And fish were not called Wanda, and cats were not called Bill.
And middle-aged was 35 and old was forty-three,
And ancient were our parents in the Land That Made Me, Me.
But all things have a season, or so we've heard them say,
And now instead of Maybelline we swear by Retin-A.
They send us invitations to join AARP,
We've come a long way, baby, from the Land That Made Me, Me.
So now we face a brave new world in slightly larger jeans,
And wonder why they're using smaller print in magazines.
And we tell our children's children of the way it used to be,
Long ago and far away in the Land That Made Me, Me.
Some Reflections of Growing Up in our Wonderful Area sent by Mack Cobb
Sylvann High School
To all the Ragsdale People,
I started remembering last night all the great times growing up in Oakland City during the 50Ęs & 60Ęs.
It starts with:
the smell of chlorine that you smelled when you walked into the dressing room at the Oakland City Pool;
the big slides at the pool, swimming under the platforms in the big part of the pool;
when John Smithson rode his bike to the pool to say hello and someone pushed him in bike, clothes and all;
riding my bike to John A White pool;
riding my bike to Adams Park pool;
all had the same chlorine smell;
catching the Mt.Olive bus and riding down town to Rich's and spending all day walking up and down Peachtree;
going to the movies at the Cascade Theater;
playing Grey Y football in the 7th grade;
riding my bike to Sylvan my 8th grade yr until some bigger kids made fun of me and I stopped;
walking and riding my bike to Ragsdale even in bad raining weather plus the same to Sylvan;
hearing taps played at Fort McPherson every night;
cutting grass with a push mower;
playing tackle football in the front or back yards of anybody with Charles & Bob Hamby, James Akins plus anybody else we could get to play;
going to the Varsity on Saturday afternoon with my parents;
or for a big treat going to Pilgreens for a real steak;
going to get fresh hot donuts at the Krispyy Kreme on Lee Street ;
fresh popcorn from the Sears,
summers with no shoes;
my first girl friend in the summer of my 7th grade, Dianne;
the fair at Lakewood , the Circus downtown, the Crackers Baseball;
going steady for the first time;
the beautiful majorettes at Sylvan and I always wonder where are they today especially the ones in the sequin outfits;
Varsity football at Sylvan and the fun playing the sport with a great group of guys;
Jack Wood, varsity coach who just died recently;
And then it came to an end, going off to college at Presbyterian College .
Mack Cobb, day dreaming today
This was sent by Floyd McDaniel Brown High class of 1952
During the 1940s The subdivision on Almont, Bluefield Dr. Lanvale and Graymont was the first real building boom to take place in the West End area for quite some time. Because it had been a neighborhood of older and larger homes until the post WW II boom created newer neighborhoods in our area to accomodate all the new families that needed housing. These houses were all basically the same plan, simple wood frame, three bedroom,one bath dining room houses.I know this because as a youngster I watched the construction very closely, we lived on Westmont and all the youngsters used to cut thru the woods to get to where they wrer building all those new homes. We loved to play over in there when the construction crews left for the day and on weekends. A youngster could find a lot to occupy them with all that building taking place .and what a difference there was in those houses and what they build today, one thing that I remember is that they actually left some trees in the yards there, and the houses were well built, constructed to last a family a long time.
And all these families meant good news for my father. He ran the Furniture store on Gordon St. and many families bought their furniture right there.
I can even remember what all the furnishings looked like that he sold in the store, the sofas were overstuffed ,three cushion and large arm on each end. The dining tables were either that marble looking formica,with a lot of chrome and 4 vinyl covered chairs, or maybe the metal white enamel wood skirt table with chrome legs and one drawer. All the other furniture was classic art deco with rounded sides and edges all around.
but we all shared one common idea, family FIRST,buy the things that we needed as a family.
The dishes were Fiesta green. or that ruby red glass dinnerware that came in the boxes of "Rinso"soap powder. There was no such thing as a Mr. Coffee. because Coffee was made from a percolator, and the sounds it made in the morning and the fragrance they emitted were a joy to behold.
Food was mostly all cooked from scratch. Frozen foods were new, and they left a lot to be desired.
Pork chops were done the unhealthy way- by dipping in flour and then fried and they were usually covered in a LOT of gravy which meant a ton of cholestterol.
Entertainment was simple- we huddled around the radio and listen to Jack Benny- Lum and Abner- Inner sanctum or Fibber McGee and Molly. T.V. was around but our family didn't own one until later.
And no air conditioning, wer slept with all the windows open, and there was a llot of tossing and turning trying to get comfortable.
We had a water oak tree in our front yard where my friends and I would stretch old sheets to make a tent and play "Big Army" fighting the Germans who were invading our front yard.
we waited for the ice man to deliver ice to the house across the street because he would always give us a chunk of ice to chew on, we also had bread delivered by "Dutch Oven BaKery, MILK was delivered three times a week by Irvindale Dairy.
Just A few Memories From Long Ago
Thanks for this entertaining newsletter about our wonderful years living on the South side!!
In my note last month, I neglected to put my name of the memo regarding the Wrens Nest and the May Day Festival. I have included some pics of Mike Heptinstall and myself as we prepared for our dance to the song of Going to Kansas City. Yep, there we are in our pastel yellow outfits.
Also, I have included a picture of my kindergarten years at Stanley Preston Arkwright Elementary School. The class was Ms. Firmin's morning class. Hopefully, if any of your readers might identify themselves or others. I have all of my class pics while at Arkwright, so if there are any of you out there that might remember me, let me know.
How fun it is to see how we all looked back in the good old days.
Jan Whelchel Richardson
Here is the Photo of Jan Whelchel and Mike Hepinstall at the Wrens Nest