Sep 15 2008
07:19 am
By: WhitesCreek

By Ray Collett

Hello Readers,
I recently received an email from Doug Strader (Class of 1960). I remember Doug very well and am sure most of y'all do too. Doug worked while going to school and was kind enough to share his memories with us. Let's dig deep into the mailbag, go back to the 50's and early 60's and see what Doug was up to.....Doug wrote," Hi Ray, This is the first time I've shared anything with you, but I certainly enjoy reading Rockwood Memories. I was in Rockwood recently and had lunch with Terry Kirby, widow of Wayne Kirby, and Richard and Phyllis Hayes. Terry, Richard, and Phyllis graduated from Rockwood High School in the 60's."
"Now, jobs I've had. I started working when I was 13 years old, (around 1955), carrying papers for the Knoxville News-Sentinel. At that time, the paperboy had to collect for the paper. As I recall, I did it from memory. I didn't have a log of who had paid, I just remembered who owed me money. After a year of so, I started delivering the Chattanooga paper too. Carrying papers in the morning and afternoon got old in a hurry though, so I dropped the Chattanooga paper."
"My next job was with Thomas-Hill Department store. I was probably 15 or 16 at the time. The store was located next to the railroad tracks across from the pool room. The men's store was on the left and women's on the right. There was a door that connected the two stores in the middle. As i recall, my manager's name was Ed Gibson and my job was anything that Ed told me to do. I enjoyed selling suits and shoes though, and this is most likely what led me to JCPenney, where I worked for 32 years."
"Next i worked for Simmons Super Market. I worked every day after school and weekends. I took Wednesday night off so I could go to the evening services at the First Baptist Church. Herb Crouch worked checkout and was the fastest man on the register I've ever seen. There were no barcodes, so each item had to be rung up. He never looked at the keys and would whistle while keying items in. I really enjoyed working at Simmon's Super Market with Lee Mayes, who worked in the produce department and was Assistant Manager. Buddy Lorimer, a 1960 Rockwood High School graduate, also worked at Simmons."
Lee Mayes left Simmons and opened his own grocery store on Rockwood Street, and that was the last place I worked before leaving for college. Lee taught me the art of mopping floors. He was retired Navy and apparently that is where he learned to mop. I passed Lee's "Mopping 101" course and it's fortunate I did, because I used that very skill in our kitchen this morning....Doug Strader"
Thanks Doug, I mastered the Navy's course in "Swabbing" (just don't let my wife know). It was when I graduated from that course and the art of "Buffering" is what gave me a fit.
And let's not leave out the ladies....Mary Ellen (Burkett) Varnell (Class of 1955) sent this email,"Boy, do I have a memory of a job I had in Rockwood. My Mother got it for me without my knowledge. It was at the B & J Cafe. She wanted me to be where she knew I was, 10 hours a day,. 35 cents per hour, no friends around me. The first person I served (beef stew), I dropped the bowl in his lap. He didn't get mad, I was mortified. After 3 days and having to mop the entire space, I quit, Mother or not...Ellen Burkett Varnell" Thanks Ellen for your letter.
Howard Devaney (Class of 1961) mentioned where he worked, but didn't go into any details, which I can understand...BOOTH FUNERAL HOME...Thanks Howard, bet you could really tell some stories...
With "Yonder Hollow" being closed until October 3rd, I have had the opportunity to attend Rockwood's football games. I have a question...When did the cheerleaders go to black and green colors? Or am I colorblind?
That winds up this week's column, keep the emails coming in so they can be included in the next "Rockwood Memories" book......Until next week, Ray

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid / TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.