Joel Thomas Sr.
Gary Thomas grew up in Chattooga County and graduated from Chattooga High School in 1970. He was kind enough to share these two photographs of his father, Joel Thomas Sr.
Gary writes, "The Big Friendly photograph was taken in the mid-1950s, exact date is unknown. Tom Day on the left and my father, Joel Thomas Sr. on the right. The market was located in the rear of the Big Friendly, near the Restaurant. Dad learned to cut meat in this market and worked as a butcher. Later, he managed all the Piggly Wiggly markets in Chattooga County for Mr. J.B. Woodard until my father's death.
The Restaurant is where my mother and father met. Prior to working in the market, Dad and Mom (Amy Cordle Thomas) worked in the restaurant. One of Mother's favorite stories was about their first date. They were to go out on a date after work and, not wanting to be late, Mom did not completely inspect the Pinto Beans which were to be soaked overnight. Dried beans had small rocks mixed in with them which made this inspection very important. When the beans were served, Mom's error was discovered by one of Big Friendly bosses and she almost lost her job."
"This photograph taken at White's Auto Store shows Dad trying out the latest technology in photography: the Polaroid Land Camera. The year was approximately 1967. Mrs. Reba McSherry is standing on the left. Dad was fascinated by instant photography, as was the rest of America, and a couple of years later, he and mom bought a Polaroid Swinger for me. Dad was good friends with the McSherrys, owners of White's Auto Store."
Photographs courtesy of Gary Thomas.