DeMonia is shown in this circa 1940 photograph taken in front of the
Chattooga County courthouse. Notice the power poles on either
side of Commerce Street.
Harper "Shorty" DeMonia was born in Lindale, Georgia in 1914 and, except for a few years operating his taxi service in Chattooga County, spent most of his life in Rome and Floyd County. His daughter, Linda Hagler, says of her father, "He was the most kind-hearted man you would ever want to meet. When he died, he was running an EZ Store on South Broad Street in Rome. We found IOUs for bread and milk for people who couldn't affort to pay for it. He would take the money out of his pocket and pay for it. He was so very generous.'
"My most tearful memory of him was when (my sister) Sandra and I were majorettes. The band had been invited to go to Thomasville to march in the parade. We knew we couldn't afford to make the trip so we didn't tell him about it. One morning we were getting ready for school and he walked in with $10 apiece and told us never to keep anything like that from him again. He had worked all day and had gone to work all night sweeping a parking lot to make the money for us to go. I still cry when I remember it."
Shorty DeMonia died in 1967 at age 53.
Thanks to Linda Hagler for sharing her memories of her father, to Gene Espy for the photograph, and to Steve Strickland for the link to DeMonia's obituary in the Rome News-Tribune.
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Copyright 2012 Greg W. McCollum. All rights reserved.