Opening the Yesteryear Mailbag, September 2011

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.

1. Glenn Stroup – Carl “Cocky” Cox Wreck: “Carl was my first cousin – son of my Mom's sister, Narcissus Adams. I was in high school when the horrible accident happened and I remember looking at the remains of the car after it was picked up for storage. It is amazing that the driver lived for even a few hours. Carl was very popular in Johnson City and was a big contributor to charities. There was a large crowd at his funeral.”

2. Louise Odom – Authors Card Game: “You mentioned Ray Reaves. I called him several times about two or three years ago. My grandfather, Frank Davis, was married (second wife) to Delia Sneed. When he passed away, Delia married Ferd Reaves. They had a small neighborhood store and raised rabbits. Mr. Reaves passed away in 1963 and was buried in Highland Cemetery in Elizabethton. When Delia remarried, the Reaves children had their father's grave moved beside their mother. I always enjoyed talking to Ray Reaves. He was very alert and I considered him a friend.” (Sadly, Ray passed away in July 2011.)

3. Jimmy Staten – Tip Top Restaurant: “I saw your article about Earl Brown. Earl and my daddy worked for years at the Railroad Express. Jim and I would spent Sundays at the depot playing ball along the tracks. I spent a lot of time at their house on E. Fairview. They lived right by the tracks.”

4. Doyle Ollis – Local Orphanage Fire: “Do you know of an orphanage burning in the Johnson City area around 1940? I would like to know the name of the orphanage, the date it burned and where the children were sent?” (Doyle, this one also stumps me. Hopefully, a reader will know.)

5. Theresa Billings – SHHS Memorial: “Bob, I am in the early stages of planning a memorial at SHHS to honor those students there who gave their lives in the major conflicts.  Jenny Brock and I are working together on it and have gotten the approval of Science Hill and the School Board.  Since so many people read your articles in the JC Press, I would really appreciate your including this on the heritage page.”

6. Katy Rosolowski – Munsey Swimming Pool: “By the 1940's, Munsey needed more room for its growing congregation and expanding programs. World War II delayed construction of the education building, but it was finally realized in 1949, also containing a swimming pool. The church was forced to close the pool in 2001 because of structural issues. In the fall of 2007, a renovation to the pool floor occurred to provide additional meeting space.”

7. Fred Waage – Munsey Swimming Pool: “I don’t know if it’s the same space as in your article today, but in the early 1980’s I was the only ‘daddy’ in a swimming program called ‘Mommy and Me’ for extremely little kids at Munsey pool.  In fact, there was a picture in the Press of me with my daughter Melissa (1981, I think) in the pool.”

 8. Jane Doe – Bluff City Pioneer Plant: “One error in your article caught my eye. As far as I know, B.L. Dulaney was not a forefather of Mrs. Jay Gump (Sara Adelaide (Miller) Gump). I suspect your source had this wrong.”

9. Bridget D. Forrester – The Busy Bee Restaurant: “I was so surprised to open the paper and find a photo of my Uncle Mike Dimma, the owner of the Busy Bee. It was open 24 hours a day and was a very popular destination. My Uncle Mike and Aunt Stella Dimma lived at 200 East Eighth Ave. in a house built by my great grandfather's construction company, J.K. Jaynes and Company. Mike loved the restaurant business and after The Busy Bee closed he went on to own and operate The Varsity Grill.”

10. Becky Lewis – Busy Bee Restaurant: “I was so excited to see your article in Sunday’s JC Press. My mother has been looking for a picture of the Busy Bee for years. My grandmother, Pauline Young Cox, worked there as a cashier. Thanks for the article.”

 11. Kathleen Belew – Belew-Carr Wedding: “You wrote an article on April 25 about my great-grandmother's (and namesake's) engagement and wedding. It was a pleasure to read.”