Kathryn Mulkey Graham
5-1-05 Compiled by: Joyce Millsaps Bryson
I was born in Atco eighty-three years ago (1920) to A.H. & Lonie Askea Mulkey. My Dad worked for the American Textile Company, the forerunner of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. We lived on Defender (100) Street when I was born. I had an older sister, Alvie, who was 8, and my brother Clarence, who was 2 years old. I have never understood why we moved several times to different houses in the “Old Village”. Example, we moved to #12 (200) Puritan Street, 4 years later moved to #1 Parmenter (800), 1 year later to #29 Ohio (900) to a 4 room house that was the only one we lived in that had a toilet on the back porch, then a few years later back to #16 Puritan Street. My Dad then built a house on U.S. 41 about 2 miles from the Village. Shortly after that I married Welton and moved back to the Village to #5 Litchfield St. (1100) which has water in the kitchen and a bathroom, where I have lived for the past 52 years.
I attended Atco Elementary School which was the only elementary school in Bartow County that had Physical Education and Home Economics. I remember that once the whole class made pink shorts to wear in the Field Day Parade. My parents didn’t allow me to wear shorts so they took us to the Ga. State Fair in Atlanta on the day I was supposed to wear the shorts. I was never allowed to attend the “night happenings” on field day, because they danced and Baptist didn’t dance. We girls also were not allowed to wear a bathing suit and go swimming in the local pool.
I wanted to attend Cartersville High School when I graduated from Atco. The tuition for county students was $3.00 per month. Times were hard in Atco in 1940, but my parents were able to pay for two years. In The fall of 1942 I had to transfer to Cass High, the county school which had no tuition for county students.
We all respected the policemen in the Village. Once my brother Clarence and I picked up cigarette ducks (butts) and were trying to smoke them. Policeman Day caught us and took us home and reported what we were doing to our parents. Years later, when I worked in the personal department at the mill I ran across some old police records. On one he had written, “house at # Street had a light on in the kitchen at 11 o’clock p.m.
I attended the Atco Baptist/Methodist Church until 1950 when each church got its own building. In 1948 My Dad, who was a Deacon in the Baptist Church, was one of the few who had the vision, and the tremendous faith it took, to build a parsonage with the hopes that God would send the right pastor to live there. This was the 1st step toward a full time Baptist Church.
I feel my opportunity to grow up and spend all my adult life in the Atco Goodyear Village is a blessing. I was happy to raise my son in the same setting. I had an abundance of love and lots of people who cared about me. We shared sad times and good times, and all the times in between.