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Roger Hensley

Page Updated

  Railroads of Madison County
Bey Joseph Abolt

1950s Downtown Anderson

From: Bey Joseph Abolt
Subject: Thanks!
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002

Dear Mr. Hensley,
Encountered your website inadvertently, but enjoyed it very much, especially the 'memory' page. Anderson was my boyhood home thru my 11th year or 1951, and then we moved away for 2 years and then returned for 7 months in 1953-54 and then never returned. As a city it was just the right size for a boy with a bicycle and endless curiosity about the inner workings of Anderson. Many happy hours were spent loitering around the Big Four and Pennsy passenger stations watching the trains and dreaming of far away places. My life long intense interest in urban geography was no doubt nurtured by Anderson.

The 2 tenuous contacts I have now from my St. Mary's School days tell me the downtown is a derelict shadow of it's former bustling prosperous days, albeit the State and Paramount movie theatres have been well preserved. Like you I preferred the Times over the Riviera because it was a better deal at the popcorn stand, although I do remember 14 cents got me into the Riviera for a rerun double feature. As we daily commuted to school via the then excellent city bus service, we St. Mary's kids were intensely involved with Meridian Street and downtown Anderson.

I often lunched at Hills Snappy Service just 3 blocks down/up the hill from St. Mary's for the best hamburgers for the price. There was another place by the inter-city bus station, I think called "The Barrel", that I loved for the best 'Sloppy Joe's' and pressed tenderloin sandwiches.

So long ago and far away now, but the memories live on vividly. I truly loved Anderson, and I've always missed it. Thanks for the memories, Mr. Hensley.

B.J. Abolt Tujunga, CA

Picture Credits:
CIRy 1 (SW1) was the first and only locomotive ever purchased new by the CI - Photo courtesy of Ed Belknap, deceased
CIRy 67 The CI's caboose - Photo courtesy of Ed Belknap, deceased

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