Photo of The Month – Mar 2004
Picture contributor: Madeline Scruggs Hardin
On duty on this day in December 1954, in front of Hamrick’s Garage, was Joe Beason, Albert Bridges and Paul “Whitey” Bridges. Note that Albert is picking his teeth (probably with a wooden kitchen match, remember those?) and Whitey is dranking a Co-Coler. That Prestone thermometer by the garage entrance indicates it’s a mild day. In the window, there’s a placard for the Carolina Theater (in Shelby) advertising some sort of entertainment that no one in Cliffside would likely go see.
To be “on duty” in Cliffside was not a responsibility to be taken lightly. It was a task that required two or more men or boys, who would station themselves against a sunny wall in winter, and a shaded one in summer. Their mission: to see who would disembark from a Trailways bus, if one happened along; to notice if anyone hurried out of the mill in mid-shift, and to wonder why; to watch for a delivery truck leaving the Hawkins Hardware dock across the street, and speculate who had bought that new Bendix washer or Frigidaire; to observe any taxicab activity. If Jackson Scruggs or Spur Campbell left the square in his taxi, his direction would be noted, and the possible destination would be discussed
Although the job paid little or nothing, it gave one great personal satisfaction to render a valuable service to the people of Cliffside. Plus the hours were good and the schedule flexible.