Friday, July 29, 2011

a good memory revisited

This is a February 9, 2007 post I pulled from my old Yadda-Yadda-Yadda blog. I made a few updates and corrections to the post in order to not confuse the reader. Some of the comments on the Welcome to Gadsden facebook group brought this past post to mind.

I ran across this old postcard today.  This is of downtown Gadsden, AL in the early to mid sixties.  I hadn't seen one of those old green city buses in ages.  This picture really takes me back.

I remember a particular trip downtown.  There was a new John Wayne movie playing at the Pitman called El Dorado.  My older brother Brooky and I would make such trips together and I always anticipated them.  We were living on Noccalula Mountain at the time.  City buses would make runs from Scenic Hwy down to town.  It was a Saturday morning and I needed money for the adventure.  Mom said I could go if I earned the money for the trip.  I quickly washed windows and vacuumed the floors that morning in order to pay for the bus fair and movie.  My movie candy of choice at that time was a Tootsie Roll.

It was a great movie and Brook and I hit all of the five & dime stores up and down Broad Street before taking the bus back up the mountain.  My favorite store was Grants. They had a huge toy section along the wall downstairs.  You'd have to walk down two flights of stairs, passing the popcorn guy (Tommy Parks) half way down.   We'd hit Murphree's and McLellans too.  Nelson's is where McLellan's  used to be.  This building today is a time machine, walking down those wooden floors with the smell of popcorn in the air.  It's a hint of what Gadsden stores used to be when I was a kid.  Go there and you'll see what I mean.  It's a treat for my oldest daughter to go to Gadsden Variety.

Brook and I never went downtown without dropping by Horace's (spelling) Hobby Shop and The Little Army Store.  I loved The Little Army store.  You could buy all kinds of cool used stuff for playing army.  Helmet's, web belts, bayonets, dummy grenades and the like.

We'd make the day of it, walking the length of each side of the street before hoping on a bus for home.  I believe that particular trip Brooky bought me a plastic yellow handled pistol (much like The Duke's) with his own money.  I took very good care of it for the longest time.  Golly gee, a six-shooter just like John Waynes!  Everytime El Dorado comes on I think of that trip downtown with my big brother.  Hmmm...1967...that would make Brook 15 years old.  Different world then than now.  No way would I send 15 and 9 year old boys on a trip to town alone together.
Little things mean a lot to kids.  Katie loves trips to downtown.  She loves for me to take the time and walk with her downtown among the city lights at night.  Last Christmas holiday I parked the van and took both my little ones for a walk and took the time to pause and look at the window decorations.
Nice looking back to yesterday, but nicer here with a wonderful family today!  Thank you God!
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