Remembering the businesses in the old neighborhood

Published 8:08 pm Monday, November 7, 2022

Passing through the old neighborhood delivering clothes last week, I noticed there were many changes; some that I was used to, and others that were done after I left for school. The first thing I noticed was there were no kids playing outside.  Guess they were playing with their computers or games attached to the computer.  I have been told by Jennifer Small, that it was an active neighborhood and the kids got along with one another as friends.  It was in the morning and maybe they were in school? I will have to believe Jennifer until the summer time gets here.

One business I noticed that wasn’t there while turning off of Bridge Street onto Tenth Street was D.S. Swain Gas Company.  Boy, it brought back fond memories as I thought. D.S. and my father were good friends and hunted together many times.  Little D.S. and I have remained friends through the years as members of the Herring Club. Big D.S. sold go-carts along with gas in the back of his store.  He had men who could fix a bike and we raced them over on the Whichard Beach Road just off Highway 17.  Only buffer we had was wheat straw bundles on the side of the track.  The building was gone before I left for college, but I still miss it.

The other business that I passed was Mr. Columbus Snow’s Tractor shop!  He later gave it to Mr. Kenneth Snow and he moved out to 264 west after he gave it to Little Ken and the late Sam Snow, his two boys Any kid could clean up the shop for $1 and he could spend it like he wanted. Usually, we got a drink from the Dr. Pepper box in the back as we left for home.  Big Kenneth always paid in quarters.  He was a member of the First Christian Church along with his family.

The next business that was missing was Smoke’s Tire Service.  He always had at the end of a day big, black smoke circling over his business where he burned his tires.  Mrs. Gibbs who lived across the street from Smoke’s always complained about it but never called the owner.  She accepted it as a business and lived with it.  I do not know who owned Smoke’s Tire Service but he sure had a thriving business.

On Eleventh Street beside Donnie Waters, was Congelton‘s store later to become Jefferson’s.  I know Joy Jefferson as a friend because she married a classmate of mine, Thomas Earl Waters.  There is a house there now but I can remember the days of playing on Eleventh St. and nothing tasted better than a cold Dr. Pepper with peanuts in it.

They were businesses that I remembered from my neighborhood that are missing today. I wonder if a kid could get a job like Mr. Kenneth gave me now?

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, N.C.!  The Original Washington!

Harold Jr.