Remembering July 4th, Dry Cleaning and Wayne

Published 10:37 am Thursday, July 16, 2020

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By Garland O. Goodwin

Remember When column

The Town of Columbus has put on a “Fabulous Fourth” celebration for more than half a century. My late nephew Steve came from his home in California every year to visit relatives here and in Virginia and Durham.

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While here, Steve enjoyed the Fabulous Fourth all day. He loved people, and to eat, so he was in his element. He met and talked baseball with his Dad’s friends, who well remembered Bill’s baseball prowess.

Bill’s 575-foot homer at Harmon Field is still talked about among the guys at McDonald’s who remember. Bill, Joe Dedman and I measured it with my 100-foot tape. Easy, because the ball bounced off the refreshment stand roof (that little building is no longer there!) over by the river!

Here’s another change I just thought of from bygone days: does anyone “Remember When” dry cleaners picked up and delivered your dry cleaning? I rode with both Uncles L. C. in Durham and Ethan in Spartanburg in the panel trucks they drove for local dry cleaning businesses. This activity was only a day for me when visiting my uncles as a teenager.

I would take the freshly cleaned and pressed clothing on hangers to the door and accept a wad of soiled clothing to carry back to the truck. I don’t remember the details of identifying them . . .

Jenny Sue Rector sat in an office where the park is now, outside of the Tryon town offices, and took in laundry and dry cleaning. It was washed and dried, or cleaned and pressed, at Rector’s facility down behind Curt Eargle’s Ice Plant, and returned to Jenny’s office. I don’t remember any home delivery trucks associated with that business.

Marion Brock opened a dry cleaning business down on the corner of Maple and Palmer; I went into the Air Force about that time, so I don’t remember whether he had a delivery truck. Rector’s and Marion are long gone, but Brock’s Cleaners still thrives.

As the Cookie Lady, Fran had been baking cookies to share with other Western North Carolina Air Museum members who gathered in cars to observe the Hendersonville Fireworks on this July 4th. Believe it or not, she brought some back home! The moon was big and bright, to rival the fireworks display.

I never met her late mother (who just died), but I did know Sue Wilson’s father, Bill. Sue is the multi-talented retired nurse who plays acoustic guitar. Bill used to let me into Pacolet Baptist to tune the piano. That was my Aunt Mildred’s church and Mrs. Clarence (Ramona) Rhodes was their pianist when I visited once. It was interesting to hear hymns played initially with expression, instead of pounded out when leading the singing!

The large pale green frame building that used to stand next to Carl Story’s brick store was the original Pacolet Baptist church, where I was the “Boy in the Amen Corner.” Realtor Pat Martin bought both buildings, remodeling one into her office etc. and dismantling the other for its building material. The church building’s siding was found to be a perfect match for the building in Tryon in which Eunice Waymon/Nina Simone grew up.

Wayne Duncan, husband of Mary Frances Story, has finished his course here with us. I have not seen him since we stopped having the Lynn Reunions, but Wayne was a faithful attendee who always welcomed me. And I also have not seen Mary Frances since White Oak closed their medical facility to visitors; she and I have met there nearly every Sunday for years as we both visited friends.

This one’s another wide-ranging, much varied ramble which son Thomas would complain of as covering too many subjects, no flow. Too bad, Son, for this is my interpretation of Mr. Seth Vining Sr.’s newspaper credo of mentioning as many people, living or dead, as possible!