Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Roarin' Twenties' Masquerade on Valentine's Day

From the Whitworth College Collection, LLF Library

I see quite a few clowns, more than one Queen of Hearts, and any number of young women masquerading as men.  The latter choice would be expected at an all-girl's school, I suppose.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Happy Motoring ...

Don Jackson Collection, LLF Library

"Mr. James Nations is pumping gas for one of his customers." -- Library Caption

No date is available, but judging by the car, a Chevy Biscayne, this photo is from 1966 or later.  I tried to enlarge the photo to see what the price per gallon was, but the image was too blurry.  I know that in 1969, I was paying less than a quarter a gallon at Tillotson's, so I'm guessing the prices were pretty much on par.  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

New Home of Good Year Tire & Rubber

Don Jackson Collection, LLF Library 
"This empty building was bought and turned into a Goodyear Tire Store. The building is located on Hwy 51." -- Library Caption

Some of us can remember what this building housed before it became a tire store.  And it was a whole lot more fun, wasn't it?

Hint for those who don't know: Many a spare was scored in this building BEFORE it became an automotive mecca.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Not So Lonesome Highway ...

Don Jackson Collection, LLF Library
A truck and a car are traveling down a road. The car has stopped and a man is standing in front of the car. The truck may be the Railroad Express. -- Library Caption

There is a mysterious quality to the why of this photo, and my best guess is this is a copy of a snapshot made for a customer.  But I could be wrong.  Wouldn't be the first time.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Inside Grafton's Pharmacy

From the Don Jackson Collection, LLF Library

"Three men are standing around a product in Grafton's Drug Store. The product may be from Schering company." -- Library caption.

Our family did not do trade at Grafton's, so I am not familiar with any of the people in the photo, when this photo may have been taken or even where the store was located.  Help with those details would be appreciated, either here or on Facebook.

UPDATED & Corrected:  I am told that the man on the left is Gene Dempsey of Brookhaven.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Brookhaven Memory Gardens -- The Very Beginning

"Several men from Shipp's flowers are looking over a spot for a memorial garden. A sign reads, 'Brookhaven Memory Gardens.' Mr (Don) Jackson made this photo for Mr Osmann.' -- Library caption.

Both photos from Don Jackson Collection -- LLF Library
Let the landscaping begin.  Not sure of the date, but I believe it was the early 1960s.  Comments welcomed here or on my Facebook page.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Impossible Years -- In More Ways Than One

L-R: Johnny Phillips, Stacie Browne, Sherry Kollmeyer, Gene Spring

L-R: Unknown, Stacie Browne, Pat or Loyola Reel?, Susan Reuter, Peggy McNeil, Tommy Ballard, Sherry Kollmeyer, Gene Spring

L-R: Doug Phillip, Stacie Browne, Johnny Phillips

Photo Credit: Patricia Jacobs, Daily Leader
Bloggers Note: Technical difficulties have resulted in my being unable to present to you Dr. Leo Brooks' "Bravo, Bravo" review in the Daily Leader of this theatrical production by the St. Francis Youth Players, which took place early December 1970.  If I am able to figure out how to present it in JPEG format, I will update this blog at a later time.

For now, please enjoy this part of the posting and stay tuned for any updates.

This production of The Impossible Years was a labor of love by the late Mr. John Bagnato (Sr.)  A native of New York, Mr. Bagnato was active in Little Theater and the St. Francis Youth Players and he brought a flair to any theatrical presentation, which included the latest in costuming and how to build an inclined set, Broadway style.

This quintessential "generation gap" story, The Impossible Years, by Bob Fisher and Arthur Marx, takes place in the den and living room of the Kingsley home in Old Westbury, Long Island.  As noted on the play bill, it was produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Directed by Hal Samuels, it starred Gene Spring as Dr. Jack Kingsley; Peggy McNeil as Linda Kingsley; Pat Reel as Abbey Kingsley; and Stacie Browne as Alice Kingsley.

Sherry Kollmeyer portrayed athletic director Miss Hammer; Johnny Phillips, Richard Merrick; and J.W. Smith had the role of Rickey Fleisher.  Stacy Godbold played Francine; Bill Haag, Wally; and Bruce Nettles was Dennis.  Billy Jacobs had the role of Andy and Tommy Ballard was Bartholomew Smuts, the hippie.

Robert W. ("Bob") Pittman portrayed Dr. Harold Fleisher while Doug Phillip was Arnold Brecher.  Irwin Kniberg (Boy) was played by James Latham.

Other names from the behind the scenes are: John Bagnato Jr., Staging & Assistant Director;  Molly Carruth, Mistress of Ceremonies & Publicity; Prompter, Loyola Reel; Jenny Bagnato and Barbara Davis, Properties & Ticket Sales; Steve Morris and Ray Bagnato, Lighting; Susan Reuter, Sound Effects; Sherry Kollmeyer and Molly Carruth, Program Design; Mr. James Doremus, Mr. R.C. Phillip, Mr. John Bagnato (Sr.), Set Assistance; Mrs. Ben Spearman, Mrs. John Bagnato, Mrs. Jap Becker, Mrs. R.C. Phillip, Mr. Joe Moak, Adult Advisors.
A special thank you to Ray Bagnato for scanning in and providing copies of the Daily Leader review and his father's copy of the program, which was autographed by every participant.  We have opted not to provide that here, for obvious reasons.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

More Stahl Urban -- 1950

"Sewing Pants, 1950. Women seated at machines, sewing. Pants are visible in the right front of the photograph. In the center is a stack of completed garments, still turned inside out." -- Library caption

"Clyde Britt, on right, and another man are cutting the pattern. In front of the man on the left is a stack of fabric already cut with the pattern still on top." -- Library caption

"Long tables with employees seated on both sides. On the right and at the far end rows of employees stand for the photograph. On the table, each employee has a plate and a bottled Coca-Cola. Identified are: 1st man seated on left - Mr. Garrigan. On the right side of the table: seated - 2nd from right - Hazel Allen and 3rd from right - Helen Montgomery. Standing behind them: 1st on right - Stella Reeves and 2nd on right - Louise West - sisters and line supervisors." -- Library Caption
All photos are from the John Holly Williams collection, LLF Library.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Every Picture Has a Story

From the LLF Library Archives

"Golman Family, 1940-1960
Lura Golman sits to the right of the older woman in the center. Her younger sister, Myrtle Golman, is on the right end. 
Lura Golman worked for Stahl-Urban for many years and lived on family property located just south of the current Hwy 84/Hwy 51 intersection. 
At that time, the area between her home and town flooded frequently. An old tale was told of her driving to Stahl-Urban and going off the road during a heavy rain. 
Other motorists stopped to rescue her as she swam away from the sinking car.  Lura promptly went home, dried off, changed clothes, and went to work." -- Library caption.
Now that's a work ethic!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

More Stahl Urban Glimpses

"We got your buttons right here!"

All photos from John Holly Williams Collection, LLF Library
More photos from 1950 inside Stahl Urban, which most folks simply called The Garment Factory.

For those who may not have seen the exchange on my Facebook page, I repeat below a story from Jerry Case, whose father Houston was a businessman, civic leader and former mayor of Brookhaven.  Houston Case passed away recently at age 100.

The garment factory building was originally built with WPA funds back in the 1930s.  Mr. Case's story below could explain a lot about how it came to be -- in a fashion that Huey P. Long, the Louisiana governor who famously did end runs around legislators to get what he wanted, would envy.

Here's the lore that Houston shared with Jerry:
"Back in the (1930's) Brookhaven heard about this company named Stahl-Urban in Terre Haute, Indiana, that wanted to relocate in the south to get away from the unions. 
"We were in competition with other localities around the south. So the city fathers found a way to build them a building using federal funds intended for schools. 
"The reason the front of the building looks like a school is because plans for a school had to be submitted to Department of Education or some such entity. 
"In a stretch, they did use the building to educate and train people to use those sewing machines and make clothes. 
"Guess you gotta do what you gotta do. Stahl-Urban provided a nice second income for families for years."
Please see yesterday's post for links and further reading on the history of the Stahl Urban, which dates back to the 1800s and was an innovator in piece goods manufacturing throughout its long history.

As always, if you recognize anyone in the photographs, please leave word here or on Facebook.

Stay tuned for more to come on this ground-breaking business and its people ...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Stahl Urban -- A Look Inside

All Photos by John Holly Williams -- LLF Library
Here are four shots from the beehive that was Stahl Urban, a garment factory that relocated to Brookhaven from Terre Haute, Indiana, and set up operations in this WPA-built building, which was featured in yesterday's post.

The date of these photos is 1950.

While collective circumstances varied, many of the women who worked on the sewing floor were wives of local farmers whose earnings helped supplement an agrarian income that could be uncertain given fluctuating prices, unpredictable weather conditions and other things unforeseen.  It was hard-earned money that they were happy to have as it was steady and reliable, if nothing else.

They were paid by the bundle in price formulas determined by the engineers who assigned a dollar value to each bundle of piece goods.  The more completed bundle stickers the women turned in on their daily sheets, the more money they stood to make.

Having helped in payroll there for a summer, I know that the formulas were complicated and most of them did not make minimum, so their hourly pay was always rounded up to minimum wage.  The only groups on the sewing floor that routinely beat minimum wage were pockets and steam press/quality control, to my best recollection.

(The top earner on the floor, by the way, was the last in the production line: steam press. Just try to imagine steam pressing garments one after another in an un-airconditioned building during the hot summers of the Piney Woods.)

When I worked there in 1969 or '70, many of the outwear garments were made for Sears and Roebuck and sold under the label Sir Jac.

As always, if you recognize anyone in these photos, or if you have a memory of Stahl Urban, please leave word here or on my Facebook page.

UPDATE:  Here is a link on the Stahl Urban story, provided by Jerry Case, whose father Houston had an extremely interesting story about how the garment factory came to relocate to Brookhaven from Terre Haute.  The story is well written and well worth the time it takes to read.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

A WPA Project Brings JOBS

From the Don Jackson Collection, LLF Library
"The parking lot is full at Stahl Urban." -- Library caption.

As a teenager and next door neighbor of the head of personnel, I actually worked in this building one summer as a payroll clerk and got an inside look at the operations.  

By then, the building was showing its age and there were cracks through which daylight poured in countless places.  Whenever I had to go into the "safe," a rather large room with a steel door that we never closed, I always was warned by my fellow co-workers to watch out for snakes, as more than one had been spotted in there among the books and papers.  

That warning was always followed up with the story of a seamstress who was bitten on the leg by a snake that had crawled into the bundles she was working on.  Yikes!  No wonder I have an inordinate fear of snakes (herpetophobia) to this day.

I have presented pictures of the interior of the building and the workers on my Facebook page, but not here.  Stay tuned for a reprise of those.  For the curious, here is an earlier posting of a Library of Congress photo of the building as it looked right after completion in the 1930s.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Styling in a Straw Boater and a Coachman's Hat

From the John Holly Williams Collection, LLF Library
"J.W. Hedgepeth -- This photo is (of) two boys sitting together. It was filed with a young man's picture and an older man's picture. The two men are sitting on the ground in front of a board fence. The photo is dated 1/1945." -- Library caption.

Best guess is this one is from the so-called Gilded Age.  

If anyone recognizes these folks, please leave word here or on Facebook.  

(My initial thought that they could be related to my uncle J.H. Hedgepeth was quickly dispelled when I checked out the additional photographs in the digital archives.)  

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Family of Eleven Watches the Birdie

From the John Holly Williams Collection, LLF
"A copy of a family photo was made for L B Herring in November 1945." -- Library caption.

I wish I could present this one full-sized, as a close up reveals even more, including the hand painted faces on the dolls being held by the two younger girls.  I would guesstimate that this photo was taken in the late 1800s, early 1900s.

I grew curious about the "Watch the Birdie" expression that has been around in photography for ages and found this photographer's website that explains the history of distracting impatient subjects while the photographer did his magic behind the camera.  If you're curious to read more, click on this link

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Roberts Farm Supply and More

Both B&W photos from the Don Jackson Collection at LLF Library.
If anyone recognizes any of the men in the first photo, please offer up names and possible dates, here or on Facebook.  I am not clear where the brick building may have been located, but I believe the tin building is not far from the old Arrington Machine Works.  The smokestack in both photos is a good indicator of the location, although it is a part of town that I am not too familiar with.

The photo below is one I took a few years ago in the same vicinity.  These tractors reminded me of those in my favorite animated movie Cars.  I offer it here just because I like it and it serves as a reminder of days gone by.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Screaming Tires, the Busting Glass ...

From the Don Jackson Collection -- LLF Library

"A photo of a wrecked car is taken for Southern Farm Insurance on 9/9/1964. May be used for a claim." -- Library caption.

The same car shows up elsewhere has having been taken in front of Hill's Body Shop.  I don't recognize the make of the car, although it could be a 1954 Buick.  One always has to wonder what the circumstances were of such a car accident.

Comments welcomed here or on my Facebook page.
Don Jackson Collection
"A photo of a wrecked car is taken for Southern Farm Insurance on 9/9/1964. May be used for a claim." -- Library caption.

Here's the same car from another angle.  Would not have wanted to have been a passenger in the front seat.  Note the license plate.  I had forgotten that Lincoln County plates started with a 43 back in the day.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Why Is This Woman Smiling?

From the Don Jackson Collection, LLF Library
"The manager of the A & P is awarding a lady with a gift. The date is May 1967." -- Library caption.

Why shouldn't she be smiling?  Forget Piggly Wiggly's carload special on Maxwell House coffee!  This woman just won $100 in purchases from A&P!  Think of the amount of orange drink she could buy at 2 for $.69.

As always, if you recognize these folks, please leave word here or on my Facebook page.  The man doesn't look familiar, but the lady's face is ringing a bell, however distantly.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Freight for the Rails

From the Don Jackson Collection -- LLF Library
"Men (and boy and dog) with boxes (for) shipment are at the depot waiting for the train." -- Library caption,

Not sure what the occasion is, the date or much else.  Forget the towering boxes, I love the sheer number of wagons.  Today, I do believe there's only one left and it's part of the museum display at the old depot.

As always, if someone recognizes the folks in the photo or knows more about the event that led up to this photo, please leave word here or on Facebook. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

We're Moving On ...

Both photos from the Don Jackson Collection -- LLF Library
These photos are likely from the late 1940s or 1950s, though I cannot be certain because I have no real eye for truck cab makes and models.

I like these photos for any number of reasons: starting with the size of the trailer, which, if compared to today's moving vans, well, it goes to show that households and the contents therein were imminently smaller than they are today.

The first photo also gives us a glimpse of the old Railroad Freight Station, which I believe has long since been torn down.  The corrugated metal building in the background is also of interest, but I cannot place where it is/was.

I don't remember exactly where the old freight station was, so if someone cares to chime in or has information on Reeds Transfer and the men pictured herein, please feel free to do so here or on Facebook.

UPDATE:  This company was started by W.C. Reed right after his discharge from the Navy post WWII.  Each of the trucks was named after a family member, this, according to Monty Reed. Thanks, Monty!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Piggly Wiggly Car Load Sale

From the Don Jackson Collection, LLF Library
Now I ask you, when was the last time a pound of Maxwell House coffee cost $.69?