Answers to a few questions
Think it is time I tried to answer some of your questions. [My home town] Hemet is approx 100 miles east of L.A. About 10 to 12 miles as the crow flies over the mountain west of Palm Springs but it takes a drive of 50 miles or so to get there.
I think the movies were shown in the town hall about 1940 when the theatre projection booth was being added to the rear outside of the theater. Wayne Stacy used to be the projectionist and I have spent time with him in the booth but was never employed there. Used to have glass slides with local advertisements on them. I did “get” to work the slide projector.
The photo of our mother, Doris and RG must have been about ’23. I was born in ’21 and there was 2 years spacing between most of the 7 kids.
I collect ‘mechanical puzzles’ with some paper folding puzzles, some paper weaving etc. Have no interest in jig saws although I do have a few genuine antiques, hand cut on wood and a few I have sawn from wood as simple little things for kids as young as 18 months and up. Most of what I make is of wood with some metal or wire, some string puzzles…Just today received a set of beautiful metal puzzles that are secret opening puzzles…another $400 spent.
As far as I know the road down the hill by the memorial bldg did not have a name. Proctor used to have the cafe downstairs (later Henry Sorgee). Pick Biggerstaff had one barber shop and Bob Sparks the other. Bob was always a great story teller, he could drag out a story for the whole length of a haircut. But he never offended anyone for he liked to tell them so he was the butt of the jokes.
Yep, things have changed. Dr. Mills had Shorty McDivett working there [in the drugstore] and he could and would compound medicine, fill scripts etc without being a pharmacist. One cold winter morning I was at school early to use the tools in the wood shop. No one else there (I used to carry the keys to the building) and, foolish like, I had a kick back on the jointer and cut a finger pretty bad. I wrapped it up with a rag, walked down town and waited for Shorty to come in and open the drug store. Shorty fixed me up with a proper bandage and I went back to school.
And talking about school, there was once a house burned down on the road leading to the old trash pile. John Ezell and I were out of class for some reason and we were drawn by the smoke to the fire. All of a sudden Mr. Beatty also showed up. We just knew we were in trouble but Beatty never mentioned that he had seen us there.
Yes, Solon [Smart] did have an early TV in the hardware store window and we moved it to the cafe over the garage, used to be Walter Haynes’ duck pin bowling alley. The TV stayed there for quite a while. Folks would sit for hours looking at the Indian head [test pattern]. Buck Hawkins lived in the large house on the left just past the graveyard. I installed a TV set for him. He and Bud (Black) were not at home. There was an old colored lady there taking care of their baby. At that time it took a lot of finagling to get the weak signals to stand still on the screen and I was down on the floor twisting controls on the rear of the set when I became aware of a funny noise. At first I couldn’t figure out what it was. The old colored lady was rocking the baby and chuckling about what she was seeing. She could not believe that those people talking were really down at Charlotte. At that time some folks covered up their TV at night or when dressing for it was thought that “If I can see them, they must be able to see me” …Things have changed.
While still in school I tore up the radios in Cliffside. Had an old model T spark coil hooked up, used half a hacksaw blade to make a “key”and transmitted Morse code to another guy who listened to his father’s radio, as did I… Can’t recall the name now but [in the] second house from the bridge on Shelby highway a young man had an oscillator transmitter. He would take a phone message and dedicate a record to anyone who asked him to do so. That was in the mid thirties. I guess the FCC finally found him.
P.S. Did you know there was at one time alligators in what was later the fish pond beside the mill office building?