Let's go back a few years and take a leisurely drive through Summerville circa 1961.  Might as well pretend we're in a new Corvette just like those guys on Route 66.  Turn on the AM to WGTA.  I hear Ricky Nelson singing Travelin' Man.  That's the spirit.  Here we go....  

big friendly
Yea, I know, we're in Trion, but might as well stop by the Big Friendly Store.  Looks like they're having a sale.  Let's head south on Hwy 27.

You say you're hungry?  Let's stop at the A&W Root Beer place and get a footlong for 25 cents.  I'm gonna wash mine down with a root beer float.

Supreme Oil
The few miles to Summerville and it's clear this Corvette's a real gas guzzler.  Here's the Supreme station on North Commerce Street.  What? 29.9 for a gallon of gas? That's ridiculous!

Troy's Drive-In is next to the Supreme.  Don't tell me you're hungry again.

I gotta stop at the Gulf station and check the radiator.

Jackson Chevrolet-Oldsmobile sells new and A-1 used cars.  With gas prices so high, maybe I should trade the 'Vette in on a Corvair.

Marks Auto Sales has several creampuffs for sale.  Looks like Mr. Mark's a Chevy man, too.

The way I've been peeling rubber on Highway 27 has worn out the treads.  I'll have Mr. Prince give me a quote for some new tires at the Western Auto store.

Pesterfield's has the latest fashions.  You should buy something for your mom, maybe by Oleg Cassini.  He makes stuff for the president's wife.

Allen Hardware is open today.  Glad it's not Wednesday afternoon or else all the stores would be closed.

jackson drugs
OK, we'll walk next door to Jackson Drug Company and see how Mr. Jackson and Mr. Hendrix are doing.  Don't forget to put a penny in the parking meter.  

Duff's Flowers and Gifts has something for your mom since you passed on the Oleg Cassini dress at Pesterfield's.

Mr. Harry at McGinnis Drug Company shows how they made elixer back in the day.  In certain circles, making your own elixer is quite fashionable.

Fuller's Jewelry Store has china, silver punch bowls, and everything else for entertaining at home.  Just add a few of those new TV dinners served atop TV trays and you'll be ready.

Everyone goes to Shamblin Hardware for their fine selection of paint.  I know, that's got nothing to do with my fake Corvette scenario, but maybe we can paint some flames on the side of the 'Vette.  Then, we'll really be a couple of hep cats.

Let's stop at Toles Drive-In and get a malted.  The root beer float from the A & W is wearing off.

Don't you dare spill that chili dog on this red upholstery!

I'll turn the 'Vette around and head back into town.

What happened to that baby chick your mom bought you last Easter at Farmers Supply Store?  It grew up and chased you around the yard? Then, Grandma strung it up and whacked its head clean off?  Too bad there aren't any therapist for you in 1961.

The People's Laundry.  That sounds like a Soviet-style laundry to me. Better call the John Birch Society.

The Sinclair station sells "Co-Colas" out of a machine for a nickel.

Bagley's Standard Oil is a good place for a tune-up.  Maybe they've got some STP for the 'Vette.

Does Packer's Shoe Store have a free x-ray machine for your feet?  You can never have enough gamma rays.

The State Restaurant looks like a hangout for the local gentry.

Southern 5 & 10 has recently moved into the old Clemon Brothers Appliance store.  Good for them.

Malcolm Thomas Insurance refuses to cover my Corvette ever since I tipped the speedometer past 140 mph on the highway south of Chattoogaville.  Who told Mr. Thomas about that little incident?

Here we are at Lowry's Department Store.  What are you gonna buy your mom?  No, don't buy her perfume.  Only idiots buy perfume.  That's lame brain stuff.  Buy her something nice like an ashtray for the living room.  Oh, and that mannequin looks evil.  Send it to Old Navy.

Let's drive past Croker Ford on East Washington and watch them drool over the Corvette.  You like the Thunderbird better?  Get outta my car!

Selman Hardware is the place to be.  Farm living is the life for me.

It's too bad they tore down the old Taylor Mercantile building, but Wilson Motors is making good use of the lot.  Those trees surrounding the courthouse make for a nice backdrop.

It's time to turn in the keys to the Corvette.  Besides, it just about burned up that twenty-five cents of gasoline we bought at the Supreme station.

The photos above were scanned from the sponsor ads in the 1961 Summerville High School Sequoyah.  Thanks to Gene McGinnis for providing the yearbook.

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Copyright 2010 Greg W. McCollum.  All rights reserved.