Sunday, April 17, 2016

We Get Letters

Well, actually..........Obie did.  

It was from Betsy Villas White, and was so beautiful and "right on" that your humble "webmaster"  (me)  felt that I just had to share it with our thousands of CHS54's loyal 


Ad in the Piedmont annual 1951
Your comments on the Charlotte Observer building and employees was so interesting to read.  Funny thing, I was in Charlotte several weeks ago to see my grandson perform at his school and I took the only free afternoon I had and went downtown.  (Uptown I hear it is called now.)  My intention was to see my Dad's service station and to see if the Radcliffe's Flowers  sign was still there.  When I passed the Observer, I couldn't help but park and look around.  It made me so sad to see it vacated and lonely. It also reminded me of several nights when we dropped Warren off at midnight or so to go to work.  I always loved the Charlotte papers.  You're right, Obie, the Observer isn't what it used to be.  I am such a die hard newspaper fan that I can't face the fact that they will all disappear before long. (I've barely recovered from the disappearance of the News.  What is life without the June News about the debutantes?)

Uptown Charlotte 1950
By the way, the Radcliffe sign is still there.  (lower right in photo)

Joe Radcliffe told me several years ago that it
practically took an act of Congress to keep it hanging.

After my lamentations about the Observer I drove to the corner of East Boulevard and Tryon to see how my Dad's Amoco station was holding up.  The story was the same.  The building is empty and dirty and deserted.  It looks like it, too, is in the process of being sold.  The end with Honey's Restaurant is still there, but in the same sad condition.  If any of you remember, the American Oil District Headquarters was on the second floor of my Dad's station, making it the biggest station on the four corners.  I stood in front of the bay windows and thought about how many Saturdays Daddy took me to work with him when I was at Piedmont and I cleaned and decorated the windows for him.  I used lots of crepe paper and oil cans and whatever was being featured that month.  I could visualize the Amoco salesmen sitting in folding wooden chairs drinking whatever soft drink they had chosen from the "drink box".  Remember those boxes where the drinks sat in cold water and you ran them along the metal rails and took them out of the end of the box?  There was a pin ball machine in the corner and it stayed busy  (Even though I was told that it was illegal to have it on the premises.)

I had so many memories floating in my head by then, but when I remembered standing with Carolyn in front of Ivey's one week before Christmas listening to Silver Bells on the loud speaker, I headed out of town.  Sometimes the memories are almost more than I can bear.

Thank you, Obie, for sharing your story.  Want to meet at Tanner's for some orange juice and peanuts?