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So many things to remember
History: Liberty lore
H-ville police dept
The old Hinesville Police Department was where the new law enforcement center stands today.
Next Wednesday will be a huge milestone in my life. I’ll be the big 60.
It seems so strange that I am that old. Only yesterday I was getting on the bus for the exciting first grade school year. Spanning the past 60 years, I have thought of things that stand out. It’s funny how we remember some things and not others.
I remember when I was 3 and visiting with our neighbor, Sheriff Cecil Nobles’ grandmother, who was bedridden. I was moving about on her bed and Mama told me to be still as I was disturbing the lady. The lady told me I was not bothering her at all. I know I was 3 because of the date on her tombstone when she died.
I remember gathering eggs from all the hidden nests our hens used. One cold day I had eight eggs in my coat pocket and crawled through an old wrecked car and remembered the eggs too late. What a mess! We never bought eggs until after I was 16. Egg gravy and thin cornbread was a favorite quick food.
I remember having to take a fried egg between a sliced fresh baked biscuit to school for lunch. Mama wrapped it in newspaper and tied it with flour sack twine. It smelled so good. At lunchtime, I hid it under the table in my lap and took a bite when no one was looking. I was embarrassed not to have a sandwich made with store-bought bread.
When I was 6 my sister Helen was born. The lady at the store sent Mama a carton of small Coca-Colas. I thought one day I would have a baby so I could get a whole carton of Cokes for myself.
I remember Daddy snatching me up and whipping me hard just because I kicked my brother in the stomach and he accidentally landed in the fireplace with a fire burning. He did not get burned and he still chewed the bubble gum he had stolen.
I remember the morning Daddy came into the bedroom, woke us and told us our little two day old sister had died and that it was no use to cry. I did anyway and all the time while I watched her little coffin being built on the front porch. I was 7.
I remember not having a dime to pay for the movie at school and having to stay in the classroom. I did not mind as the teacher let me stand beside her desk and read aloud which I thoroughly loved. That is where my love of reading began.
I remember being embarrassed when I had to undress for the fifth grade teacher to try a green dress on that she had made for my part in the school operetta. I was playing an orange zinnia. The slip I was wearing was handmade from a white flour sack.
I remember the first hamburger I ate in a restaurant on the way to Miami with my uncle. I was in the fifth grade and I still like a good hamburger.
I remember not knowing how to dial a telephone in the eighth grade. The secretary asked me to call the mechanic shop for her and I told her I couldn’t as I had never dialed a phone before.
I remember how happy I was to hear I had a new baby sister when I was 14. And how heartbroken I was the next minute to hear that she had been born with spina bifida and would not live long. She died a year later with me holding her hand while she had a raging fever. But, I will never forget the precious little angel we had for a short time.
I remember the long hot sticky days stringing tobacco on a picker in the tobacco patch and the boys putting those monstrous green horn worms down my collar. This stopped when I climbed off the picker and the boys’ daddy put an end to the worm deal. The pay was $7.50 from daylight until dark.
I remember getting my first birthday cake from my boyfriend when I was 17. The next year he became my husband for 34 years. We got married May 2, 1965, in the Bethlehem Baptist Church near where the Tomato Patch Murder took place many years later. Between the two of us, we didn’t have a dollar.
I remember my first acquaintance with Hinesville other than knowing it was the home of the Coca-Cola. Harlon was in the Liberty Memorial Hospital and had surgery by Dr. Frank Robbins after we had been married only 10 days. There was hardly any place to eat, except a burger trailer under a large oak about where the Coastal Bank is today. It pulled the counter in early in the evening and closed.
I remember my first job at a sewing factory in Reidsville. I earned $1.25 an hour when I began and 15 months later when I quit to have my first child, I still earned $1.25 an hour. My hat goes off to anyone that works on a production line. I used my first paycheck to buy a set of Club Aluminum pots in sandalwood color. The pots were $39.95.
I remember the cold day, March 17, 1971, when we moved to Liberty County. I recall telling some of the Walthourville Baptist Church members they had about as well move over and make room as we were here to stay.
I remember coming to the Greenberg Furniture Store that was where The Heritage Bank parking lot is today. I bought groceries at the Friendly Grocery and the Red and White. Harlon worked at the furniture store and while visiting him there I would see ladies keep walking by across the street dressed in red and white uniforms. I thought they worked at the Dairy Queen. They worked at the new City Hall. Never did I dream I would one day be one of those workers.
I remember the day, Aug. 28, 1972, that Harlon dressed in his Hinesville Police uniform for his first day on duty and how proud I was of him. I was equally proud of my youngest son Bruce when he stood by his father dressed in his Georgia State Patrol uniform many years later.
I remember Paula, 4, asking me to open a Pepsi for her while I was rocking Bruce, two weeks old, to sleep. I told her to be quiet and wait a few minutes. She looked at me and began stomping her little foot on the floor loudly and saying, “I wish you would send that baby back where he came from. We can’t get anything done for us anymore!”
I remember in 1976 taking the three kids to the health department for their shots and being told that we were on the poverty level. The nurse asked if we had applied for food stamps. No, I told her. My husband worked for the city of Hinesville and was a police lieutenant. This was embarrassing to me but I thought we were doing pretty well.
I remember asking my husband what was going on in Hinesville and Liberty County and he told me “nothing.” I subscribed to the Coastal Courier and found there was plenty.
I remember when Hinesville really became a boom town. In September 1976, Burger King opened. Hardee’s opened on Nov. 11, 1976, and gave away a Looney Tune glass with each purchase of a small or large soft drink. TG&Y opened in February 1977 followed by Winn Dixie in March. Many years later I saw the opening of Kmart, Piggly Wiggly and Wal-Mart. Then the super Wal-Mart which is so crowded each day now.
I remember interviewing for a job with the Liberty County Board of Education and was told to come to work the following morning. I worked in the classrooms and library for eight years. I took a history class under Bill Cox and became interested in the vast history in Liberty County. Years later I become president of the Liberty County Historical Society for four years. Last month I stepped down to vice president. Three years ago this month I began writing Liberty Lore articles.
I remember walking up the back steps into Hinesville City Hall for my new job working in the finance department on June 24, 1985. From a little girl not having a dime for a movie to getting to spend millions is a long distance! And now, my son David could go to college at Georgia Southern University.
I remember the police department used a small space in the old Liberty County Jail for their operations in the 1970s. It was my husband’s dream after he became chief to have a building that the department and city could be proud of. In June 1998 the huge law enforcement center next to city hall opened.
I distinctly remember Feb. 18, 1999, eight years ago today in the Huddle House in Ludowici. After eating supper, my husband slumped over on the bench and then he sat up. I had my arm around his shoulder and asked him if he was okay. He said, “Nothing’s the matter. Are you ready to go home?” And immediately he went to his eternal home. He had a massive heart attack in February, Heart Month.
I remember the outpouring of love and respect at the funeral home and funeral from the people of Liberty County and surrounding area.
I remember how slowly the days seemed to go by until two years later I met Gene Love, a retired state wildlife biologist, again after 36 years. We were married in May 2001. The time flies by now as we stay busy with my work and our happy times on the heritage farm we are creating in Tattnall County. Eleven wonderful grandchildren keep us young!
What do you remember about your past? Please take time to jot down your memories as they are so important to your family history and for posterity.
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