In early December last year, I wrote a column paraphrasing a hodgepodge of news bits taken from a variety of newspapers spanning 1890 to 1928. Today’s column follows that same vein with news from the years 1924 through 1947.
In November 2009, Alan Bridwell and I interviewed Ruth Cacy Fink at her Johnson City home. I then wrote a feature story about her long life in East Tennessee. She rewarded me with a copy of her well-written 21-page journal that documented her past remembrances. In addition, Julia Fisher-Rhees, her granddaughter, made a DVD of our dialogue and produced copies for family members.
Lewis Brown commented on my Nov. 21 reader response column in which Thomas Beckner mentioned the Krystal-type hamburger place in Johnson City that was across from the old Hamilton Bank building on E. Main. Tom believed the burgers were five or ten cents each. He said he could still recall the smell of the place.
"Go west, young man (and grow up with the country)” became a rallying cry in the United States in 1865, popularized by American author, Horace Greeley. It concerned Manifest Destiny, massive expansion across the continent.
October 6, 1895 was a historic day for Johnson City and numerous other towns in the South. The Liberty Bell, perhaps the most precious relic of the birth of our nation traveled by rail from Philadelphia through our city to Atlanta to reside as a major exhibit in the Cotton States and International Exposition being held there.
A few months ago, my “yesteryear” e-mail abruptly stopped showing in my electronic mailbox. I began to realize something was wrong. Fortunately, after the problem was corrected, I received all of my undelivered mail. I apologize to my readers for not responding to your much-appreciated notes. Today’s column excerpts some of this correspondence.
One of my favorite writers of yesteryear is Hal Boyle (1911-1974), a colorful and witty AP award-winning journalist who frequently wrote about Appalachia. Typical of the writer’s work is a 1955 article commenting about how modern factories were affecting the lifestyle of residents of the Great Smoky Mountains.
“I am in love with Johnson City,” proclaimed George Buda during an interview at his and Wanda’s “tree streets” neighborhood home. For the next two hours, George tirelessly unleashed a barrage of favorite memories beginning with his family. John and Ethel Buda, George’s parents, came to America from Albania prior to 1920 before migrating to Johnson City that year.