Monday, December 13, 2010

Merry Christmas

December brings back so many memories of growing up in Brevard. Although my family didn't go to Asheville often, we always went before Christmas. Snow flurries and holiday music playing over loud speakers were two of the best things about going Christmas shopping in Asheville. Every time I hear "Silver Bells," it reminds me of those annual shopping trips.

Remember the great stores? Ivey's, Bon Marche, John Carroll - I thought they were so elegant. Some even had elevators!

Please post your Christmas memories. I'd love to hear from you!

Merry Christmas to all my friends from Brevard and Transylvania County. May the New Year bring you happiness, health, and your heart's desire.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Final Post

This is my last post on the Brevard blog because comments have dwindled to a trickle. This was intended as a forum where we shared our memories for others to read and enjoy. Without comments, it no longer works.

Thanks to the 3,606 of you who visited the blog during the past three months. I hope it brought back memories of the wonderful town where we grew up, the places we shopped and played, and the ways we passed our childhoods and teens. Who'll ever forget those Fourth of July picnics at Camp Straus or that all-consuming past time of cruising the drive-ins? The loop was the same but the scene was always different - different cars, different people. It was worth the fifty-cents of gas for an evening of checking out who was where!

A special thanks to those of you who shared their memories on the blog. It couldn't have continued without you. I've read the comments multiple times and enjoyed everyone of them. I'm amazed at your recall of places and events.

It's great to receive emails from so many of you. I've reconnected with old friends, become friends with people I didn't know well in school, and made new friends with those of you who went to different schools or are younger/older than I am. I want to stay in touch with you. Please continue exchanging emails!

The blog will remain online and available for reading and for leaving comments.

Go Blue Devils!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I sent an item to The Transylvania Times on August 26 with news about this blog for publication so we could attract additional visitors. But, so far, I haven't seen it. Granted, my papers come thru the mail in random order with a few getting lost along the way so I could've missed it.

Just wondering if anybody has seen it. Or, do you think the paper chose not to publish it? I think 3,500 people who grew up in Brevard and the surrounding area celebrating their childhoods and teens is news! Any ideas?

The new post School Days is below this one so be sure and read it. I think you'll have fun with it. The early comments are entertaining!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

School Days

Fall reminds me of school - buying school clothes, getting new school supplies, worrying about who my teacher was going to be, and if I would have any friends in my room. Everything always worked out. My teachers thru junior high were great. I liked every single one of them but some were really special.

My first grade teacher at Brevard Primary was Mamie Dale. She was Freeman Hayes' sister and looked just like him. She was an extraordinarily sweet woman and ideally suited for starting kids on their academic journey. I hadn't been to any kind of pre-school so school was all new to me. Judy Mims was the first friend I made in the real world and guess what - we reconnected as adults and are still friends.

When I moved over to Brevard Elementary, my favorites were Josephine Clayton and Maxine Whitmire, lovely women and great teachers. Both were from local families. In junior high, I liked Mrs. Dellinger. She was young, attractive, and kinda cool. Her husband worked at the radio station which added an extra layer to her coolness.

My class was in the new high school building for only one year so I didn't have time to develop loyalty to it. When I think of high school, it's always in the old building. I see Brownie Cabe hanging around all day, Peggy Jackson's tiny, little Nash car parked out front, the Chatterbox across the street, the football field next door, and the do-nut shop up the street. Of all the teachers I had in high school, the most memorable (in the good way) was Mrs. Tilson. I had her for Freshman, Sophomore, and Advanced Algebra. She was smart, funny, and an outstanding teacher.

This post is about your memories from school - teachers, classes, friends, activities, whatever you remember. Many of you went to other schools in the county and at different times. We want to hear about those memories too.

Comments have declined significantly with recent postings. Comments are essential to keep the blog going. It can't survive without input. If you've been commenting, keep it up. If you haven't left a comment, now's the time.

Everybody went to school! Everybody has memories!

Go Blue Devils!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Checking Out New Cars

When the new cars came out in the Fall, they really got the town's attention. Remember how the new cars were kept under covers in the dealer showrooms until the Big Day? Then they were unveiled and half the town stopped to check them out. Both sides of Broad Street were lined with parked cars while people went to look at the new Chevys and Fords. My all-time favorite car was the 1960 Chevy Impala - such styling! In this post, tell us about your memories of New Car Days. What was your favorite car?

New people continue to find the blog and many of you keep returning. I need for you to leave comments - that's what makes this fun. My intention in starting this was to gather the memories of a lot of folks as a record of what it was like to grow up in Brevard in the 50's and 60's. As I've said before, all posts remain available for reading and commenting. Whether you're new or a regular visitor, share your experiences with all of us. If you have problems leaving a comment, email me (See Contact Information) and I'll help you.

Go Blue Devils!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Skating, Bowling, and Movies

A recent comment mentioned the roller skating rink that set up under a tent sorta where Ingles' Car Wash is now. It had open sides and attracted a lot of skaters as well as people who sat in their cars and watched. I loved the smooth skating surface - a welcome change from street skating and jumping the many pavement cracks on Probart. Did you skate or did you go check out who was skating?

Remember the old bowling alley on the corner of Caldwell and Probart? It had "people" pin setters. A boy in my class worked as a pin setter until late at night, walked home, and made it to school on time the next day. Not an easy schedule for a kid.

A new bowling alley was built on the current Ingles' property and I think it burned down. What happened after that? Was it rebuilt? Where did you bowl?

And the Co-Ed and Clemson...Right up there with the best memories of my young life. I loved those double-feature westerns at the Clemson on Saturday afternoons. A bag of popcorn and a coke from Ford's Corner next door. What was the cost for the afternoon - about thirty cents?

By the way, I never understood why a movie theatre was called the Co-Ed. Was there a time when females weren't allowed in movies? Anybody know?

The older guys used to go get drinks and food during the songs in musicals! Big exodus when the singing started! Who were your favorite movie stars and your favorite movies?

The blog continues to attract new visitors! So great to see comments from so many of you - keep it up!

Go Blue Devils!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stores of Brevard

The stores in Brevard were the places where we bought everything we needed to live. My family went to Hendersonville or Asheville only occasionally. This post is about the places our families shopped, the store owners and managers and employees, what we bought or wished we could buy, and where the stores were located. Some earlier comments have touched on this topic but we have a lot more to cover.

Two major unfortunate events I remember were when the A&P and Houston's Furniture Store caught fire. Different incidents, of course. It was, also, a big deal when stores moved from one location to another. When I was in Brevard in May, I noticed that many storefronts have been remodeled, making it harder to pinpoint where the older stores used to be.

One of my favorite places when I was a kid was Rose's Dime Store. Cosmetics were near the front so the welcome was the fragrance of cheap perfume which I thought smelled wonderful. My mother had a saying about a woman "smelling like a dime store" but I didn't realize that wasn't a good thing. I loved buying tiny bottles of perfume with my allowance and hoped I "smelled like a dime store." I later learned my mother's saying was actually a criticism of a woman who wore too much perfume or cheap perfume. I was guilty of both and proud of it!

If you've noticed, over 2,500 people have visited this blog. Thanks for getting out the word. I welcome anyone, whether you lived in Brevard or not, who has a memory of town to visit the blog and leave comments.

Go Blue Devils!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Spending Money

This topic was suggested by Michael Brock (BHS 1960) and it's a good one! How did you earn your spending money when you were a kid and later as a teen? Did you start some kind of little business? What jobs did you have? Did you like your job or hate it?

I started a pot holder business when I was about eight years old. I hoofed it up to Rose's Dime Store and invested my allowance in a kit with a metal loom, something like a giant crochet hook, and big bags of colored fabric loops. After I built up an impressive inventory of patterns and colors, I hit the street peddling my craft. That's when my business fell apart. Probart Street had an unusually high population of widows and old maids who weren't about to part with a dollar, including shelling out a quarter for a potholder from an enterprising kid! No surprise - it didn't take long for me to go out of business but we never ran out of potholders!

I'm eager to hear about your money-making ventures and jobs. I know there's some good stories out there.

On a personal note, my youngest daughter (19) and I are leaving Saturday for Helsinki, Finland and Tallin, Estonia and St. Petersburg, Russia. Our primary destinations are the Hermitage Museum and the palaces of Catherine and Peter. Exciting trip!

Keep spreading the word about the blog. I'd like to get some of those early 50's BHS classes involved so if you know any of them who are online, please invite them to participate in the blog. I enjoy reading your comments and expect to find a bunch of new ones when I get back from my trip.

Go Blue Devils!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blue Devils Name

This is more of a question than a topic. Does anybody know why our sports' teams were called "Blue Devils"? Where did the name come from and when did it begin?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fourth of July Picnic

While we're talking about summertime, let's include the July 4th Picnic at Camp Straus. That was the best 4th of July celebration EVER. What a great time to be a kid!!!

In nine days, over 1100 people have visited our Brevard blog. Keep spreading the word. As new people join, go back to the older posts and read their comments as well as add memories that come to you. We can't have too many comments - they spark someone else's memories.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Good Ol' Summertime

First of all, thanks to the more than five-hundred of you who visited my first post. I'm amazed at the response. Your comments are terrific - funny, memory-jogging, and an all-around good discussion about drive-ins - the hub of our teenage social lives. What would we have done without those places to hang-out? Our lives wouldn't have been the same if we hadn't been cruising back and forth between the Triangle and Charlie's with Al's and the Chatterbox conveniently located in the loop. In addition to the good food, checking who else was hanging out was equally important!

If you think of a comment you want to add about drive-ins, by all means go back to the drive-in post and click on comments at the bottom of it. The option to add comments (on all topics) will always be available. We'll be picking up new readers as we go along so keep adding comments as you think of things to say. No topic is finished so go back and read them too.

Continue to spread the word about the blog. I hope we can recruit people from other high school classes from the 50's and 60's. When you visit the blog, be sure to leave comments. As I said before, the comments section is where the action is.

Since we've had our share of heat waves this summer, let's talk about where we used to go swimming - the town pool, lakes, rivers. Which ones did you like and which ones did you not like? Did you go tubing or canoeing or boating? How about Sliding Rock? Back when we were teens, there were no lifeguards, safety features, or dressing rooms. I've heard lots of good stories about Sliding Rock so I know there's plenty of material out there.

A special thanks to those who emailed me. It was great to hear from you! Contact info is on the first page if you want to suggest a topic or just say hello.

I look forward to hearing about everybody's swimming experiences.

Go Blue Devils!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Drive-Ins and the Best Drive-In Food

Growing up in Brevard in the 50's and 60's was a unique experience in a unique place. Years before "Happy Days" rocked onto our TV screens, we lived the real thing. In our small town, everybody really did know everybody else. We had a compact business district where we could buy everything we needed to survive, a bustling economy that provided good livings for many families, and more than enough activities, fun, and mischief to keep kids and teens busy.

This blog is created to collect the memories of those of us who grew up in Brevard. If y'all are like me, you talk and laugh with friends about the places we went and things we did but nobody takes time to write down stories that are too special to be forgotten. We've changed and the town's changed - our memories are the testament of what it used to be like.

I plan to post a new topic often with some thoughts of my own to get the discussion rolling. At the bottom of each post, you can click on "Comments" and add your own recollections to mine. Instructions on how to comment are included if you haven't tried it yet. It's easy and fun once you get going. Make sure to leave your comments under the appropriate topic of interest - it'll be more fun for other readers if the comments are all on the same topic and make them easier to find if you want to reread a post or add a comment at a later date. Also, it'll be more fun if you identify yourself by name and BHS class year or the years when you lived in Brevard.

My first topic is "Drive-Ins and the Best Drive-In Food." Drive-ins were not only places to eat, they were integral to our social lives. Whether it was for an after school Coke or an evening out with friends or a date, a stop at one of the drive-ins was a given. In my teen years, the drive-in hang-outs were the Triangle, Chatterbox, Al's, and Charlie's Chicken Kitchen. When I was much younger, I went with my older sister a few times to Sam's Drive-In at the intersection of the 4-lane and Old Hendersonville Highway and to another one in Pisgah Forest, possibly called McCall's. I hope some of you can fill us in on these earlier spots.

Three things all drive-ins had in common was a loud jukebox, a crowded parking lot, and inexpensive food cooked to order. In this first post, I open the conversation with the question - What was your favorite drive-in and why? Or your favorite drive-in food and what made it special? My personal choice for food is the hot dogs at Charlie Owenby's Chicken Kitchen. A hot dog was just a hot dog until Charlie topped it with his special chili. Add a few chopped onions, a little mustard - the best hot dog ever!

This blog is intended to be fun and to record our recollections in one location where we can all read and enjoy them. Please don't report anything that's hurtful or slanderous. This is about being a kid and teenager in Brevard.

I need for everyone to spread the word about this blog - email your BHS friends, send it out on class email lists, anyway you can think of to get people involved. And urge them to leave comments to share with all of us. This involves audience participation, folks. It doesn't work if you read other people's thoughts without leaving your own!

Be sure to click on Comments directly below the end of this post and read what others had to say - this is where the action's going to be! When you finish reading the comments, leave your own. I want to hear from everybody!

Go Blue Devils!