The Goodyear Service Pin used in our logo is courtesy Jerry Bell. The pin belonged to his dad, Adolphus. R. Bell.

03 January, 2011

Grady Woodford "Jack" Bryson, Jr

GRADY WOODFORD “JACK” BRYSON, JR. (1975)

GOODYEAR ATCO VILLAGE MEMORIES

I HAVE MANY HAPPY MEMORIES OF LIFE IN THE GOODYEAR ATCO VILLAGE, CARTERSVILLE, GEORGIA. IN 1929 THE GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER COMPANY BOUGHT THE AMERICAN TEXTILE COMPANY (ATCO) WHICH CONSISTED OF A COTTON MILL & HOUSES. BY THE TIME WE MOVED THERE FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME IN 1946 THERE WERE 282 HOUSES ON 14 SHORT STREETS IN AN AREA WITH ONE ENTRANCE CALLED THE “GATE” ON HIGHWAY U.S. 41. WE LIVED ON PATHFINDER STREET, BETTER KNOWN AS “FIVE HUNDRED”. I STILL DO NOT UNDERSTOOD WHY AFTER A FEW MONTHS MY DAD MOVED US BACK TO THE ECHOTA MILL VILLAGE AT CALHOUN.

AFTER MOVING BACK TO ECHOTA MY FATHER DECIDED THAT ATCO WAS DEFINITELY THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK. HE AND I WENT BACK TO ATCO AND GOT A JOB, BUT THERE WAS NO COMPANY HOUSING AVAILABLE AT THAT TIME. FOR A FEW MONTHS I STAYED AT AUNT SARAH’S BOARDING HOUSE ON DEFENDER STREET NEAR THE BASEBALL PARK. SEVERAL MEN WHO WORKED DIFFERENT SHIFTS IN THE MILL STAYED THERE. BECAUSE THERE WAS MORE BOARDERS THAN BEDS, WHEN SOMEONE ON ONE SHIFT GOT UP AND WENT TO THE MILL THEY MADE THE BED AND ANOTHER PERSON CAME IN FROM WORK AND SLEPT IN THE SAME BED.

THE TWO LADIES WHO RAN THE BOARDING HOUSE WERE VERY GOOD COOKS AND SERVED THREE MEALS EACH DAY FAMILY STYLE ON A VERY LARGE TABLE. USUALLY BREAKFAST CONSISTED OF SAUSAGE, EGGS, GRITS, HOMEMAND BISCUITS, JELLY AND ALL THE FRESH HOME CHURNED BUTTER WE COULD EAT. THEY KEPT TWO COWS IN THE GOODYEAR PASTURE AND MILKED THEM TWICE A DAY. DINNER AND SUPPER WAS AN EQUALLY DELICIOUS SPREAD WITH ALL THE SWEET MILK AND BUTTER MILK WE COULD DRINK.

I REALLY MISSED MY FAMILY AND WAS GLAD WHEN MY DAD GOT A HOUSE JULY 17, 1947 ON OHIO STREET AND MY MOTHER, VENNIE MAE, ROLAND, & BILLY MOVED THERE. HE PAID $5.00 DEPOSIT TO THE GEORGIA POWER COMPANY ON FEBRUARY 27, 1947. MY SISTER EVELYN HAD MARRIED EUGENE JONES AND LIVED IN THE ECHOTA MILL VILLAGE.MY OLDER BROTHER MARVIN WHO MARRIED BEATRICE LEONARD FROM WOODS BEND, ALABAMA, HAD MOVED THERE TO BE NEAR HER FAMILY ON THE FARM.

I REMEMBER MANY THINGS THAT HAPPENED BETWEEN 1947 AND 1950 WHEN I JOINED THE ARMY AND STARTED MARCHING TO THE TUNE – “YOU HAD A GOOD HOME, BUT YOU LEFT, YOU’RE RIGHT”. NEITHER I NOR MANY OF MY FRIENDS HAD A CAR, SO MOST OF THE GOOD AND BAD THINGS WE DID WERE LIMITED TO THE VILLAGE.

THE GOODYEAR COMPANY PROVIDED ONE POLICEMAN ON EACH SHIFT TO PATROL THE VILLAGE. ALMOST EVERY PROBLEM THAT AROSE WAS TAKEN CARE OF BY THESE MEN. WITH THE COMPANY OWNING THE SCHOOL BUILDING & SUPPLEMENTING THE TEACHERS, OWNING THE BARBER SHOP, BEAUTY SHOP, STORE/POST OFFICE BUILDING, TENNIS COURTS, BALLPARK, SWIMMING POOL, CHURCH BUILDING AND ALL THE HOUSES, IT REALLY DID TAKE THE VILLAGE TO RAISE THE CHILDREN.

IT WAS USUALLY THE SECOND SHIFT (4PM-12) POLICEMAN THAT WE GAVE THE GREATEST CHALLENGE. SOMETIMES THE CHALLENGES BACKFIRED AS WHEN WE GOT CAUGHT AT ONE OF OUR HABITS OF CLIMBING THE FENCE AND SNEAKING IN THE SWIMMING POOL AFTER THE POOL CLOSED AT DARK. OUR REASONING WAS, “WE HAD VERY HOT SUMMERS IN BARTOW COUNTY AND NONE OF US KNEW ANYONE WHO HAD AN AIR CONDITIONER”. NATURALLY WE COOLED BETTER WITHOUT OUR CLOTHES. ONE NIGHT ONE OF THE BOYS HIT A CANNONBALL WHICH MADE A REALLY LOUD NOISE. IT GOODYEAR ATCO VILLAGE MEMORIES.

WAS LOUD ENOUGH “BIG BOY” SUTTON, THE POLICEMAN SITTING IN HIS POLICE CAR ON THE CORNER A BLOCK AWAY HEARD IT. HE FLASHED HIS LIGHT THAT WAY AND WE ALL SCAMPERED OVER THE FENCE TOWARD THE SCHOOL HOUSE. CHARLES, “LITTLE ROSEY” BUCHANAN AND I HID BEHIND THE SCHOOL UNTIL HE STOPPED FLASHING THE LIGHT. SINCE MY CLOTHES WERE STILL AT THE POOL AND I KNEW IT WAS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME UNTIL HE FOUND US, I MADE A 100 YARD DASH ACROSS THE BASEBALL FIELD TO THE LARGER HEDGES ON “BOSS ROW”. THERE WAS A HOUSE ON THE CORNER ACROSS FROM THE SCHOOL WHERE SOME GIRLS WERE SITTING ON THE PORCH. WE THOUGHT THE NIGHT WAS SO DARK THEY WOULD NEVER SEE US RUNNING FOR COVER.

DUH! JUST AS WE GOT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OPEN SPACE A BOLT OF LIGHTENING LIT UP THE SKY AND THE BALLFIELD. “BIG BOY” RAN FOR COVER AND SO DID WE. IN THE CONFUSION ROSEY AND I BECAME SEPARATED AND I SAT FOR WHAT SEEMED LIKE HOURS WONDERING HOW I WAS GOING TO GET HOME ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE VILLAGE, WELL, UH, NAKED. IN THE QUIETNESS OF THE NIGHT AFTER THE STORM SUBSIDED I HEARD SOMEONE WHISTLE AND IN A LOUD WHISPERING VOICE SAY “JACK, WHERE ARE YOU?”. IT WAS ROSEY FULLY DRESSED WITH MY CLOTHES IN HAND. BY THAT TIME “BIG BOY” THE POLICEMAN’S SHIFT WAS OVER AND HE HAD GONE HOME.

USUALLY MY DAD HEARD OF OUR ESCAPADES BEFORE HE GOT OFF WORK IN THE MILL AT MIDNIGHT. MY BEING 17 YEARS AND GROWING WOULD NOT HAVE PREVENTED MY WHIPPING WITH HIS BELT IF HE HAD HEARD ABOUT IT. MAYBE “BIG BOY” KNEW THAT, ANYHOW I NEVER HEARD ANOTHER WORD ABOUT IT.

ROSEY AND I JOINED THE SERVICE TOGETHER THREE YEARS LATER ALONG WITH FOUR OTHER ATCO FRIENDS. HAROLD WHITLEY, LOUIE LANE, JOHN COWART,CHARLES “ROSEY” BUCHANAN, AND I DROVE OUT THE VILLAGE GATES TO ANOTHER WORLD. HUGH CHAMBERS FROM CARTERSVILLE WENT WITH US TO A RECRUITING STATION ON PONCE DE LEON AVE AND THEN ON TO FT. MCPHERSON. ALL EXCEPT HAROLD WENT TO CAMP PICKET VA. TO BASIC TRAINING THEN ON TO SOUTH KOREA WHERE THERE WAS A “CONFLICT”. HUGH CHAMBERS CAME BACK TO CARTERSVILLE IN A FLAG DRAPED COFFIN. THE REST OF US WERE VERY LUCKY.

MY YOUNGER BROTHER “CURLEY” WASN’T NEARLY AS LUCKY WITH MOST OF HIS MISCHIEF. ONE NIGHT THE ATCO METHODIST YOUTH FELLOWSHIP WAS GOING TO HAVE A WATER MELON SOCIAL. THEY WERE INSIDE THE CHURCH HAVING THEIR DEVOTION WHILE THE WATERMELLONS WERE LYING ON THE CHURCH PORCH AND THE BOYS WERE SITTING ON THE CORNER. ONE OF THE BOYS THOUGHT OUT LOUD, “WOULDN’T IT BE FUNNY IF THEY CAME OUT AND THE WATERMELLONS WERE GONE?”. IT WASN’T! ONE OF THE LEADERS CALLED BUNION BAILEY THE POLICEMAN ON DUTY THAT NIGHT AND FILED CHARGES. THEY CALLED MY DAD AND HE PAID THE $5.00 FINE. THE BOYS DIDN’T HEAR FROM THE CHARGES AGAIN, BUT THEY HAD HECK TO PAY AT HOME. IT WAS THE ONLY FINE MY DAD EVER HAD TO PAY FOR ONE OF HIS SONS.

JACK MCCOY WAS ANOTHER POLICEMAN WHO DID HIS SHARE OF CHASING THESE ENTERGETIC YOUNG MEN. SOMEHOW HE COULDN’T BELIEVE THEY WERE ON THEIR WAY TO BECOMING RESPECTABLE CITIZENS, OR MAYBE HE COULD. HE DID HIS BEST TO POINT THEM IN THAT DIRECTION. I DON’T REMEMBER THE POLICE USING THEIR POLICE CAR VERY MUCH EXCEPT TO DRIVE AROUND AND PATROL THE VILLAGE. USUALLY THEY WERE ON FOOT. I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT I HAD DONE ONE NIGHT

GOODYEAR ATCO VILLAGE MEMORIES

WHEN HE WAS ON MY HEELS RUNNING THROUGH A BACK ALLEY TO GET INSIDE THE DOOR AT HOME. I DO REMEMBER HANGING MY NECK ON A WIRE CLOTHES LINE AND FALLING IN MY OWN TRACKS. HE WATCHED ME GET UP IN REAL PAIN AND RUN ON HOME. I GUESS OUR MOST DISALLUSIONING PART OF THESE EXPERIENCES WAS THAT THEY USUALLY DIDN’T KNOW WHO THE CULPRIT WAS.

ONE NIGHT MY FRIEND FLOYD PARR CAUGHT A LOT OF SPARROWS WHICH HE PUT IN A GROCERY SACK AND CARRIED TO A HOUSE WHERE A FAMILY WITH SEVERAL GIRLS LIVED. HE OPENED THE BAG OF BIRDS AND SET IT BETWEEN THE SCREEN DOOR AND THE DOOR. HE KNOCKED ON THE DOOR THEN RAN ACROSS THE STREET TO WATCH THE EXCITEMENT WITH HIS FRIENDS. WHEN ONE OF THE GIRLS OPENED THE DOOR AND THE FLOCK OF BIRDS FLEW IN SHE PASSED OUT COLD BEFORE THEIR EYES. THIS SCARED THE BOYS MORE THAN HEARING HER MOTHER RANT THAT SHE WOULD KILL THEM IF SHE CAUGHT THEM. THAT WAS THE ONLY TIME THEY PULLED THAT “JOKE”.

THE ONLY AIR CONDITIONING ANYONE HAD WAS TO OPEN THE WINDOWS. THIS WAS BEFORE T.V. CAME TO THE VILLAGE SO A LOT OF PEOPLE LISTENED TO THE RADIO. WITH THE OPEN WINDOWS I COULD LEAVE MY HOUSE ON AKRON STREET AT NOON AND LISTEN TO SAME PROGRAM, USUALLY THE LEFEVRE TRIO SINGING ALL THE WAY TO THE POOL AND TENNIS COURTS. I LOVED TO PLAY TENNIS ON THE DIRT COURTS IN THE VILLAGE. THE GROUNDS KEEPER REALLY KEPT THEM IN GOOD SHAPE. THE BOYS OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE PLAYED ON THE DIRT COURTS AT TINSLEY PARK IN CARTERSVILLE. THEY WERE GREAT COMPETITION IN EVERYTHING, BUT WE WON ON THE TENNIS COURTS. WE ALL LIVED WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF THE COURTS WHERE WE PRACTICED MORE AND COULD GIVE THEM A RUN FOR THEIR MONEY. WE PRACTICALLY LIVED AT THE BASEBALL PARK, TENNIS COURTS, AND SWIMMING POOL.

IT WAS A VERY DIFFERENT LIFE THAN MY FATHER HAD AS A SHARECROPPER DURING HIS EARLY TEENS. GOODYEAR PAID SOMEONE TO DO THE YARD WORK AND OTHER CHORES THAT TEENS USUALLY HAD TO DO. IN THE FALL WE GOT OUT OF SCHOOL TWO WEEKS TO PICK COTTON. AFTER I GOT THE KNACK OF IT I EARNED WHAT I THOUGHT WAS BIG MONEY ON THE T.R. COX AND THE BARNEY BAKER FARMS. THE COTTON FARMS WERE A GOOD LESSON ON LIFE OUTSIDE THE MILL VILLAGE.

WINTER TIME WAS ANOTHER STORY. ALL THE PLACES WHERE WE PLAYED OUTDOOR SPORTS WERE CLOSED. TO COMPENSATE FOR THIS THE GROUNDS KEEPER PUT UP SAW HORSES AT EACH END OF THE STREET IN FRONT OF THE PARK BY THE MILL. THIS BLOCKED OFF THE STREET FOR ROLLER SKATING. IT DIDN’T TAKE US LONG TO LEARN TO SKATE BECAUSE THE CONCRETE DID A NUMBER ON US WHEN WE FELL. THE ONLY PROBLEM THE BRYSON KIDS HAD WITH SKATING WAS BEING ABLE TO AFFORD THE SKATES.

WE ALSO PLAYED TAG FOOTBALL IN THE WINTER. A GOOD FOOTBALL WAS HARD TO COME BY IF YOU WERE ONE OF SEVERAL CHILDREN. NO ONE GOT RICH WORKING IN THE MILL; HOWEVER, THE FAMILIES WHO ONLY HAD ONE OR TWO CHILDREN TO SUPPORT SEEMED A LOT RICHER. THE OLDER BOYS I RAN WITH FELL IN THE CATEGORY OF LOTS OF CHILDREN SO WE DIDN’T HAVE A GOOD FOOTBALL IN THE CROWD. WE USUALLY DIDN’T LET THE LITTLE KIDS PLAY, BUT WE LET GERALD WADE, AN ONLY CHILD, PLAY BECAUSE HE HAD A FOOTBALL. SOMETIME WE PLAYED FOR HOURS UNTIL HIS MOTHER WHISTLED TWO BLOCK AWAY AND HE WENT DRAGGING HOME.

HE LATER MADE 1ST STRING QUARTERBACK AT CARTERSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL HIS FRESHMAN YEAR WHICH WAS UNUSUAL FOR THE ERA OF NO FEEDER MIDDLE SCHOOLS. I THINK WE TAUGHT HIM THE RULES AND ENDURANCE EARLY IN LIFE.

SATURDAY WE WOULD RIDE THE BUS TO CARTERSVILLE TO THE GRAND “PICTURE SHOW”. IT COST A DIME TO RIDE THE BUS EACH WAY AND A DIME ADMISSION TO THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON MATINAE. WE STAYED SEVERAL HOURS AND HAD POPCORN TOO, FOR FIFTY CENTS. THERE WAS ALWAYS A GOOD COWBOY SHOW ON WHERE THE GOOD GUYS WON ALL THE FIST FIGHTS, GOT THE GIRL, AND KISSED THE HORSE.

BOYS AND GIRLS FROM THE ATCO VILLAGE WERE STARS ON THE CASS HIGH BASKETBALL TEAMS. LATER WHEN CASS STARTED A FOOTBALL PROGRAM TOMMY PAYNE AND OTHERS FROM THE VILLAGE WERE OUTSTANDING PLAYERS. MOST OF THE ATCO KIDS WENT TO CASS BECAUSE THE COUNTY SCHOOL BUS PICKED THEM UP. THE ONES WHO CHOSE TO GO TO CARTERSVILLE HIGH HAD TO FURNISH THEIR OWN TRANSPORTATION. SEVERAL BOYS MY AGE CHOSE TO GO TO CARTERSVILLE TO PLAY FOOTBALL. CASS ONLY OFFERED BASKETBALL AT THAT TIME. MANY ATCO BOYS WERE STARS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT. HAROLD COLLIER WAS ONE OF THE BEST 1940’S RUNNING BACKS. HE HAD A TRY-OUT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, BUT WALLY BUTTS SAID HE WAS TOO SMALL FOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL. ON THAT SAME TEAM A FEW OF THE ATCO BOYS I REMEMBER WERE WALLACE “ROOSTER” BEARDEN, LAWRENCE COLLIER, AND DON “DUCK” JOHNSON. THEY BEAT A LOT OF BIG SCHOOLS.

IN THE EARLY 1950’S MY YOUNGER BROTHER ROLAND “CURLEY” PLAYED ON THE CARTERSVILLE HIGH TEAM. HARRY “POD” GREEN, ROY AARON, AND OTHERS WENT FROM THE ATCO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TO THE CARTERSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAM. THEIR TEAMMATE LAMAR LEACHMAN WENT ON TO PLAY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AND COACH AT GEORGIA TECH BEFORE GOING ON THE NFL TO COACH THE DETROIT LIONS.

TO BE CONTINUED AS MY 74 YEAR OLD MIND REMEMBERS……..
JUNE 2003

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ATCO, Georgia, The Village by Yvonne Mashburn Schmidt and ATCO Kids, Individually, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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