the cycle…

pencil and collage-jay herron 2006
Originally uploaded by jayfherron

It definitely says you are getting old when you have lived long enough to see a hill of acreage go from what was once duplex houses built for the veterans after World War Two-to being scooped down by bulldozers and turned into a shopping center,which is now being scooped down by bulldozers to build a new shopping center.
I can imagine what the real old timers of this area thought when the construction of the ‘FlaVettes’ went up on what once was used for grazing cattle. Now I get turned around on a road I know I’ve been on and have to scope out something left from the past to remind me where I am. Sometimes that takes a few blocks.
To kind of give you an example what I mean…find a copy of the old movie-The Yearling (it was filmed in the 1946 about five miles from where I am talking about) and as you are watching the movie (if you can find a copy-it is based on real people  starred Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman) cross your eyes in your mind and envision all that open territory as houses.

I remember during the hippie days of the 1970’s-the old FlaVettes were long over run-mostly because they were built quickly and cheaply to house all of the GI’s returning and taking the opportunity of an education on the GI Bill. For many years one could travel around the county and find a surviving FlaVette-though most have now just crumbled into history.
The entire neighborhood of FlaVettes which overlooked Archer Road also overlooked the airport across the way-where Wal Mart now stands,and Lowes…which came later.
In the 1970’s every one of those FlaVettes became a hippie settlement of sorts-of course it was mixed with students,then the only industry in the area…and most of them took on the hippie dress and lifestyle.
Every Sunday the lawns would fill up with people on lawn chairs and blankets-the sky was a show of those crazy enough to dive out of an airplane and we dug every minute of it.

I had a friend once that had some money he got from an accident he was in. For 1970-it was a good chunk of change. I tried to impress him to buy a few acres of land up by the interstate-he laughed at me and said I was a fool.
Uh-oh…well,it was slightly easy to follow his logic. At that time there was no exit at the interstate and Archer Road. Now there is…and with it the big stuff. As a matter of fact-it seems to keep on going. One lot I saw a sign on said 1.5 million bucks for the property. Poor pal of mine.

I feel really odd about this. I worked in construction during the building of the shopping center they are now tearing down. It will be for certain that entire intersection has completely gone full cycle.
I recall once a small airplane took off from that airport and it no sooner got up and it went down. Crazy to think-it was a few days before anybody knew it. Now there’s a Shell station just about where the plane had crashed. It doesn’t seem that long ago.

I truly remember the only place you could rent a car then was at the gas station Willie worked at. Yup…really-Willie!! We’d go in and rent a coupe and take it out on the grade (which is now SW 22nd Ave) and drive back and forth and there was always a few party’s going on around the lake there (yes…there’s a lake behind the Oaks Mall) and me and my friend would act like a pair of fat cat hippie’s in our rental car. One such time we had a rental car and spun it out on the dirt and peeled the tires off the rims. Willie said “You ain’t rentin’ no cars no more !”

I bet there’ hardly anyone around that remembers the gas station attendants and the white cap they wore? I had that job for a few days until somebody recognized me-and that ended that. I didn’t even last long enough to get the white uniform,or better yet-the grey one with your name badge. Most everyone has forgotten the glass jars filled with motor oil….more less forgetting the taboo about using Quaker State in your ’55 Chevy (or some such clunker).

I remember it was nothing to get out on the road and stick your thumb out-and most times,in minutes…you was on your way. Once a long time back there was an old store in a big wood frame building where the owners lived in the back. It stood on the corner across from the Tower Road Publix is. The folks who owned it had a few pool tables in the front and sold ice cold beer and there was always someone in and out of that place. It was the ‘greyhound stop’ of the hitchhikers dreams. You would only have to stand there for a few minutes and someone would come along and carry you on.
I couldn’t even imagine what it would feel like to hitch a ride today…those days are long gone-it wasn’t that much fun then either,but it got you around

There were dozens of those old Mom and Pop stores around the area-most of them gone now,if not all of them. There was one in my town-The Save-A-Stop,although Roy did not live in the back of the store-he was there every morning at 5 a/m and stayed until he closed at 7 p/m.
Roy-like most Ma and Pa’s…kept a card on those trusted customers. It took a few years of doing business with Roy before I got to be on a card.
Local credit! The weeks purchases written down on an index card-payed on pay day. Friday was Roy’s busiest day
I even earned my way onto a card at the corner store across from Publix…limited to beer and cigarettes only (go figger).
Although there was no interest-Roy did have a scheme of pay back where he would sell a drunk a quart of beer and write him down for two…but it was only certain drunks he did that with-the stupid ones!
Ahhh….these were the times now gone from us.

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4 Responses to “the cycle…”

  1. Dale Says:

    They put in a mall where people had houses? How sad! Where did those people go? I thought America was supposed to be a place where you bought your land, you builded on it, you owned it, and no one could take it from you. That sounds like stealing, doesn’t it? How do they get away with that? Could they do that to your land as well? What’s that song Joni Mitchell used to sing about Paradise and a Parking Lot? Could you put Quaker Oil in an Edsel? I can’t remember.

  2. jayherron Says:

    no…no…you misunderstood what I said-
    where the movie was filmed-the scenery in the film is now gone-it is alll houses.The property where that film was made is now a sub-division.
    The Mall? It is built over (as everything) where once a forest was…
    My son-however-can give you a good arguement about where you can buy and build.
    He purdchased eight acres several years back-but has been told he can never build on it!
    This is going to be interesting!
    No…get off that about America being free to do as you wish…not exactly so!

  3. jayherron Says:

    Once was said “You should’nt ever use Quaker Oil”…in an Edsel or any other machine-something about the coal oil???

  4. jayherron Says:

    ahhh…I misunderstood you,Dale…I thought when you said Mall-I was thinking Mall,but yes…they did build a shopping center where houses once were. But the houses were falling apart on their own.
    Here a shopping center and a mall are a bit different.

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