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John Steed's Memories:

Memories of Ellenton–A Young Boy's Perspective

I lived in Ellenton from shortly after my birth(in Grovetown, Ga, 1936) until we moved to Jackson. I attended Ellenton school grades 1-10. I moved to Jackson High School in the 10th grade. My most vivid memories of school was the 1st grade and meeting Ms Mary Harley, my teacher. I carried my lunch to school walking about 1 mile. The school room had Miss Muffett linoleum carpet. The ABC's were on the blackboard. I remember going to the 3rd grade classroom and spelling the word "chair" for the class. They must have really thought I was a dork! We went through the "beltline" upon entering the 7th grade. Ms. Louise Cassels, our 6th grade teacher started us off and we ran through a gauntlet of upper classmen to the finish. After this initiation, I ran looking for Jack Harden, for he had hit me with the belt buckle!. My other memories of school included the halloween carnivals, square dances(my Father was the caller), Future Farmers of America initiations, and Ms Player who as my 7th grade teacher, made me memorize the Gettsyburg address. Bless her!

My outside time was spent with my friends, pick-up football games(we had no school team), hunting and fishing with my father, delivering newspapers(The Augusta Chronicle), going to the swimming hole at three runs creek with Ms Grace Sudlow or Ms Cubie Hill driving and my friends, Robert & Harry Sudlow, Robert Hill, Jerry Risher, Homer & Joe Smith. During the summers I also attended vacation bible school at the Baptist Church(We were Methodist). I spent a lot of time with my Father: summers at the Sawmill, traveling with him during police work, going on daylong trips with Mr. Glenn Franklin to Yemasee to fish.

My daddy, Johnnie E. Steed, was the Chief of Police. He enforced the law very strictly from my point of view. I also feel he was very fair, if strict.After working all day at the sawmill, he would put on his badge and gun and patrol in his car(personal auto, equipped with siren and spotlight)

Some Unique Memories:

The blackouts during WWII. I would ride my bycycle to Sanders' store for milk and bread.We had to use ration stamps for certain items. Sometimes I would hear the air-raid siren, and hurry home. I rode my bycycle every where, including delivering newspapers all over town, because the terrain was so level.

Picking cotton for a black man who owned a large farm. I believe he also owned a "bar" in Ellenton, because I would go there both to pick up my paycheck and also to deliver a newspaper to him. I do not remember his name, but he smoked a cigar and upon weighing my cotton he would make a comment such as: 100 pounds, rocks, sticks and all!

We had a lot of "characters" in Ellenton. One very old lady was "pretty Moore" She befriended Dr. Fred Brinkley and vice-versa and she would massage his head and shoulders. I believe he returned the favor in the form of free medical care. Another character was "uncle Ned" who upon asking, and for a dime, he would promptly stand on his head.

I remember how different the people were in Ellenton. Sophistocated, exceptional, the opposite of Redneck! Mr. A.B. Wise, on page 170 of the Memories of Home book, used the word Cosmopoliton. There were so many people with varied interests. They influenced me, I believe, in a very positive way. We all remember Doctors Brinkley and Cul.breath and what they did for everyone. There were many others I can name: Albert Goodman, carpenter and plumber. He brought my family "indoors" with a new bathroom! Mr. Harvin Burckhalter, Chevrolet mechanic. The best I can remember, and a pretty fair fisherman, too. But the people who really made Ellenton a very special town were Mr. Henry Risher and Mr. Eldon Risher who provided leadership as Mayor and Leader of Industry. Mr. Herbert Linder, who as Mayor issued an order to my father not to allow the KKK to march and demonstrate in the City Limits. These leaders were the "face" of Ellenton to me and I will never forget them.

 


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