One of the lines from my daughter’s Valedictory address was “There is nothing constant but change.” True.
When you start giving directions about the location of a business, try to remember what generation you are speaking to.
For instance if I told you the business was located where the old Minden Building and Loan was located, it would have a lot of answers. The first location in my memory would be in the old Courthouse, later known as the City Hall.
If we mentioned the site where J. C. and I first borrowed money to buy our home, those folks who are in their forties and fifties might not know where I meant. That location was on Pearl Street just after you cross Green Street (which is really an alley.)
If I said where the Minden Building and Loan was for that generation, it would mean on the corner of Broadway and Pine Street, just down from the Civic Center and next door to the Kitchens Law firm. And now this new generation has a new location, and a lovely new office building, on the corner of Main and Pine Street. So one set of directions would be lost on another generation.
Chevy on the Move
The Chevrolet dealership was known as “Standard Chevrolet” in my childhood and young adult years and was located on the corner of Highway 80 (East Union St.) and what we called “Back Street.” Later it moved on out on East Union Street, on the corner just across from McClung’s Service Station. After many more years it was moved out on the Homer Road, and named “Ken Burnham Chevrolet.” Finally the Chevrolet dealership was relocaated to the corner of Homer Road and Highway 531 in a new building. The old location is now a Chrysler dealership. So, I can’t just say “where the old Chevrolet dealership was.”
David Drug was located where Vivian’s used to be. Later, it moved across the street and was located in a much bigger building. For a good many years it stayed there. Finally it moved out Maiden Lane and was at the intersection of some small streets there. Three locations, all the site of David Drug Store.
Walmart has also had three locations. The first was next to Sonic Drive In (now Yummy Shushi.) Later it was moved out the Homer Road and occupied one end of the Town East Shopping Center. Now it is still further out the Homer Road on the corner of Country Club Circle in a building of its own. Now it is a Super Center with groceries,wearing apparel, and all sorts of notions, a pharmacy, a bakery, a florist and much more.
Many stores have had two locations such as Thad’s Cafe, St. Paul’s Catholic Church, the Chrysler/ Dodge dealership. Quade Studio was in at least two locations before the recent move. Vivian’s Dress Shop has now moved out to the shopping center on the Homer Road. Beall’s was in two locations and since then the name has been changed to “Stage.”
The Ford dealership was Andress Motors Company there on Main Street for about 4 or 5 decades, the name was changed when it was sold to Bolen-Speede, and eventually J. C. Johnson bought it and built a new dealership out on Industrial Drive and so now, our Ford Dealership is now J. C. Johnson Ford – Mercury – Lincoln for over three decades.
And so has our vocabulary changed. My generation used the words “queer” and “gay” as descriptive adjectives, perfectly good words, no double meanings. Today those words are not used as such and, in fact, they are almost vulgar today. It is so hard to break the habit of using them as we did six and seven decades ago. Time marches on, even if my brain cannot keep up.
There are other terms that I have inadvertently used that are also vulgar, and I had no idea I was talking “ugly.” The computer age has brought terms that our old minds are not familiar with, and so has space travel. I have found that it is best to just say things you are sure of, and hope the meaning has not changed.
When I grew up “hot” meant a pan on a lighted stove, or a space heater, and certainly not something that had been stolen or an over aggressive sex pot. So “hot” is out for me now.
When asked in a restaurant if they need more tea, I will say “yes, and thank you.” I notice that this generation says “ I am good.” And that is supposed to mean they do not want anymore tea. So much for words and their meaning.
Many other businesses and stores have been in several locations, such as the City Hall., the First Baptist Church, and the court house. Changes, changes, changes.
I recently wrote how much cheaper it was for high school graduating girls to wear the cap and gown and save on clothes. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I was told that some of the dresses the girls wear to Junior-Senior cost as much as a thousand dollars and more. And I was told that the tuxedos that the boys wear now rent for $135 dollars and more. That the girls corsages may cost $50, and that the tickets to Junior-Senior cost $25 per person. Added to that is the cost of the trip to Shreveport after the party and taking the girl to some fancy place to eat. So even the boys are out lots of money today.
You can see that I am out of step with the world today, the vocabulary, the expenses, the location of businesses and the slang. Just consider this – I’m an almost 82 year old Dodo bird (they are extinct, I think) and I am almost that way myself.
Juanita Agan submitted a weekly column to the Press-Herald for more than 15 years until her death in 2008. She was a resident of Minden since 1935. The Press-Herald is republishing select articles from Mrs. Agan’s Cameos column every Wednesday.