John Brittingham - Bicycle

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David
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John Brittingham - Bicycle

Postby David » Wed December 25, 2013, 9:33 pm

When I was about 12 I built a bicycle from two old bikes that I found in the back of the garage. One had been my brothers and the other my sisters. I then took over a Charlotte Observer from Bennie Suggs. It was an afternoon route and it seemed to go all over Hamlet. I delivered papers to quite a few characters around Hamlet. Dink Singletary's parents were my custmers, Buster War, Balk Bullock, ...Bernard Sutton, Marie Lackey and some folks right downtown on main street. Every day I would ride down the sidewalk on Main Street and stop at the drug store for a drink. Jimmy Ritter was working at the soda fountain at Mabry's drug store then.

Main street was jammed with people I knew. Back then there was the Nurses Home right on the corner. There were always girls and guys on the front porch. Fancy cars parked on main street as a lot of guys visited there. Ashley Fetner and Kay were a fun couple I knew who were often there. Julia Shortridge was at the bank and she always took care of me with special services. If I wrote a nsf check she would call my mom across the street so she could run some money over.

My Uncle by marriage owned the Hamlet News Messanger and my mom and her sister Virginia worked there. Virginia ran the show and mom was a bookkeeper and writer and sold things in the office supply store. I knew everyone who worked the like Catherine Monk, Jean Raby, Bill Long and of course Roger Simmons.

Next door was the City Cleaners run by my Dad's cousin Benard Sutton. Bernard was a little loud at times and he scared my sister but he and I got along very well. I still have some Popular Machinics magazines from the 1930s that he gave me when I was a boy. Mary Sutton was a neat little lady who was alway sweet to me. They were Bobbie Pruitts Mom and Dad.

Then there was the Colonial Store. It was a grocery store in a building that now houses a Resterant . It seemed big at the time but by todays standards it would be a convenience store.

Hill Atkinson ran the pool hall at the time and for many years prior. His son Bobbie worked there at the time and took it over after Hill died. Hill was a special friend to me. One day when my dad and I were fishing out at Bernard Suttons pond Hill was there fishing as well. Hill caught a nice bass and I caught nothing. So Hill offered to let me take that fish home and tell my mother that I caught it. I said but I did not catch it. So he threw that fish to me three times before I finally caught it. Dad and I took it home, he cleaned it and we ate it. That was the best fish I ever "caught". When I was in my twenties I raised a litter of German Short Hair puppies that I was trying to sell. So I gave Hill one of the puppies. He trained the dog to hunt. When word got out about Hill getting a dog from me other folks from Hamlet came all the way to Spartanburg to get one.

Arthur Graham ran the feed and seed store next door. From time to time Arthur also sold pets. He sold pet lizards one time and all the kids had to have one. I think he sold rabbits and chickens and hampsters too. Arthur was a nice nice guy and easy to talk to.

On the other side of the street was Gibsons Hardware. Gibsons was where Mr. Richardson worked for years. When Gibson retired it became Richardson and son hardware. When Richardson retired it became Son Hardware. I think it is a vacant building now.

Hugelet Jewelers was on that side of the street as well. Jewels Hugelet was a guy a few years older than me who was famous. Jewels was known where ever you went. If you told someone you were from Hamlet they would ask you if you knew Jewels. I ran into an old army buddy of Jewel's a few years ago in Spartanburg. I dialed Jewel's number on my cell phone and handed it to him. They had a great reunion. He said to me that he could not go home from fort Bragg for the weekends so Jewel's took him to Hamlet when he went. His father had run the store for years then his mother and then Jewels turned it into a part time antique store. At one time jewelry stores were very important to railroad men because they had to have their watches inspected, cleaned and certified. Jewels passed away last year and I am really going to miss seeing him around.

At that time the Terminal Hotel was still in downtown Hamlet. I think it belonged to Dr. Ralph Garison. It was the only one of several hotels left from the hayday of the Hamlet terminal. When we were kids there was a teen club that had weekend dances in the basement. We thought is was a really good thing. One night while attending that club Bill Lindsey and I were in the parking lot when Vance Land pulled up in his Model A Ford. We both stepped up on the running board. When Vance was ready to leave he told us to get off. Bill responded before the car started to move but I hesitated. When I stepped back the force from the movement of the car threw me off balance and I fell back on the pavement. I broke my wrist. I kept the broken wrist a secret from my parents until Sunday afternoon and I finally had to tell them how. When I did tell them how I did not tell the exact truth. I left out the part about me stepping up on the running board of the car and being to stupid to get off while it was not moving. Dr. Bill had to come into town from Hoot n Holler to fix my arm in the emergency room. He had been playing ping pong with Vance when he got the call and he knew the whole story. After her fixed my arm he looked me in the eye and said " when someone says get off you better get off next time". That brought on a lot of questions from my Mom and I finally had to tell the truth. I have not ridden on a running board since.

I know ther are a lot of businesses and people I have left out. If you are from Hamlet perhaps you want to add to the story with your comments?

freddie hassler
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Re: John Brittingham - Bicycle

Postby freddie hassler » Wed December 25, 2013, 10:41 pm

John, I remember the teen club, "Bobby's Canteen was the name, but I don't know who Bobby was rode in Vance Land's old Ford a few times after school, there was a Barber Shop on the corner of Main and Raleigh don't remember it's name

lynnsteen
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Re: John Brittingham - Bicycle

Postby lynnsteen » Wed December 25, 2013, 11:29 pm

Freddie, the barber shop you referenced was the City Barber Shop if memory serves me correctly. It contained four chairs, with Mr. Stegall who ran the place in the chair nearest Main Street. The other barbers were Boyd Taylor, Ernest Meacham, and Tom Rankin. Swapped many a tale in there myself between '56 and '60 getting one of those flat top cuts. Wish I had the hair now to continue wearing that cut, but life moves on.
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Lynn Steen
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Wayne Fuller
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Re: John Brittingham - Bicycle

Postby Wayne Fuller » Thu December 26, 2013, 12:46 am

Concur with Lynn. Ted Phillips also cut hair there for a while.

freddie hassler
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Re: John Brittingham - Bicycle

Postby freddie hassler » Fri January 3, 2014, 4:25 am

My Dad , Dan Smith got his Flat Top at the City Barber Shop once a week I remember he and a barber talking about WWII, and Gen. Patton, and the barber said he still had the Pray Card that Patton gave each troop under his command

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Bill Sapp
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Re: John Brittingham - Bicycle

Postby Bill Sapp » Fri January 3, 2014, 9:03 am

freddie hassler wrote:My Dad , Dan Smith got his Flat Top at the City Barber Shop once a week I remember he and a barber talking about WWII, and Gen. Patton, and the barber said he still had the Pray Card that Patton gave each troop under his command



When I was growing up, my dad also got his Flat top haircut at City Barber Shop on a regular basis. His barber of choice was Mr. Boyd Taylor and alternatively, Mr. Meacham. Unfortunately, at my father's direction, I always received a Flat top haircut too.

Bill Sapp

lynnsteen
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Re: John Brittingham - Bicycle

Postby lynnsteen » Fri January 3, 2014, 1:27 pm

Incidentally Bill, that was my barber preference also.
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Re: John Brittingham - Bicycle

Postby jamesharoldsmith » Fri January 3, 2014, 6:01 pm

When I was having my hair cut, Taylor-that is what he wanted to be called-would cut my flattop also. Like you Lynn, wish I still had my hair!! When I was going there, it was only Taylor and another barber.

Jim Smith
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