Back to the fifties


Beverly Wittler

Columnist


Maybe we need to pray to God to hit His ‘rewind’ button and take our world back to the calm time of the fifties. I’m sure that the weather would be much nicer too, know it was never hot when we were growing up without AC. Still remember a new motel advertising that it had AIR CONDITIONING! Saw that on a couple of store front doors too and bet I’ve already mentioned going to ‘the picture show’ because of that neat new invention.

Listening to my radio station 92.1 a few days ago, DJ Ed Hoard invited us to call in on Friday morning and relate memories from the past in Butts County and Jackson, Georgia. Of course I called and reminisced about my lifeguarding days, at the Hoard private pool where visitors could rent a swimsuit if they needed one. And every Wednesday I’d have to dive in and ‘save’ the head lifeguard Elbert. He was maybe six feet tall, probably 150 pounds and I weighed a mere 99 pounds, but with his training I was able to get him up from the bottom and to the shallow end. Neat that came in handy many years later as a Davis Brothers Motel worker dove in and began the drowning process. Whew!

Heard lots of other neat stories that morning, people remembering the bowling alley where paid workers set up the pins after each ball knocked them down. Neat merry-go-round with music playing as it slowly turned, and back in those days we didn’t have to pay for a parking pass to enter Indian Springs State Park. Still smile when I think about the Saturday night gatherings at a friend’s home where we sat while several local guitar players entertained us with their songs, including gospel and what we now refer to as country. On the weekends some of us would ride up to Glidewell’s Restaurant where we’d play pinball between dining on home-made burgers and fries. Ride out to Jackson Lake on Wednesday afternoon (when all the stores in Jackson were closed) and we’d fish and swim. If we had luck with the bait, supper would be fried catfish and my Mom’s awesome hushpuppies. If we didn’t catch enough fish, we’d always enjoy grilled cheese sandwiches and Campbell’s tomato soup, the one night my Mom didn’t cook an entire meal from scratch!

Another calmer time when it came to presidential elections too … no ranting and raving on the TV set nor caustic articles in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. I do like that I can get on my laptop and research the latest scandal to learn if it’s really true. Studying the libertarian candidate and so far that almost silent man has done a good job governing his state. Still miss the little pre-election meeting our kind Mr. Wilkerson would hold for those of us who were unsure. Kind of interesting how we bankers helped count the paper ballots, double checking as we went into early Wednesday morning after the Tuesday voting day. Maybe we shouldn’t get God to hit ‘rewind’ on that particular action … I like the little card and the touch screen list of voting possibilities.

Still remember sitting on the front porch, waving to neighbors who drove by, or walked from ‘the Square’ as we often did too. Glad my parents brought us up treating all our Butts county residents as equals. Oh there were a few who lived in much nicer homes but they didn’t treat anyone different either. If a family was struggling, we’d all help. I see Henry county groups today that are manning up to assist certain charities, and also reach out to those struggling. PTL!

Beverly Wittler has four children, eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. She lives in McDonough with her husband.