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John Long Remembers

Mary and John Long
on their 50th wedding anniversary

"I was born here in Stanley, but we moved to Mariposa and then to Mt. Holly. My brother, Boots, was born in Mariposa. When I was about five years old, in 1923, we moved back to Stanley, in a wagon, of course. My mom and the little children, 3 or 4 of us, came on the train."

"Before the silent movies they would have these shows come to town; outside stage shows - medicine shows - right up there where Doc's Chicken (restaurant) is now. That was the location that Katie's (Allen) dad (Mr. Bob Shook) went into grocery business with Warren Abernathy after leaving where he started in the Shook-Wallace building. Then Mr. Bob Shook moved on down to the McLurd building."

"The theaters had stage shows, occasionally, in the days of the silent movies. They moved the movie theater over to the Wallace Furniture Building. Linda Cannon played the piano for a lot of the silent movies. I played the phonograph at the movie when it was across the street near Dr. Taylor's office (now Dr. Weather's office) and got in free. Of course, you could hear, all over the theater, people reading (the sub-titles) to other people who couldn't read. At that time Lee Smith ran the movie for Dr. Taylor when it was over there in Dr. Taylor's building. Ben Jenkins ran the movie back around 1927-1928."

"Ed McKelvey ran a drugstore for Dr. Weathers. I worked there too. I remember I would work some at night. We closed around 8:00. I remember one night it was snowing so hard. He (Dr. Weathers) said, "just lock the door and come and go with me I have to go to Mr. Sadler's." I said O.K. - Snow was deep by then. We did pretty good til we reached Sadler Road. We went closer and then got stuck up. He said, "You stay here and I will go on." He left the motor running and went with his medical bag and was gone about 30-35 minutes. Later I saw George Sadler and Dr. Weathers coming up the hill with his team of mules to pull us out. I think about that when now you can't even get a doctor to come out to your house. Dr. Weathers went out to homes as long as he practiced."

"Stanley got their water system when Slick Rhyne was mayor. Before that there were community wells. They had community wells down on the mill village. One well was right in front of my grandfather Long's front yard."

"Sometime back around the late 1920's, the only street lights were placed in the town limits and none were out in the country. In Stanley, there was only one, maybe two, lights and they were placed at the old Lola Mills. Everywhere else in town was pitch dark at night."

"On this one particular night visibility of the Aurora Borealis (or the Northern Lights) had extended far enough south that they could be seen in the Stanley area."

"Back in the 1920's the world seemed larger, people weren't as aware of happenings in the rest of the world. There was only one telephone in Stanley and that was in McKelvey's Drug Store. Communication was mostly by word of mouth."

"All of a sudden one night a large red ball of light appeared in the northern sky and seemed to be rolling down from the Lincolnton area. People passed the word, from one neighbor to another down the line from Lincolnton to Stanley. Someone called McKelvey's to warn Stanley people that this ball of red light could be seen in the north."

"All around could be seen people out in their yards, out in the streets, crying and praying for a lot of tem truly believed this was the end of the world."

Up Alfred Rhyne C. Armstrong Dan Long John Long Olin Handsel Jack Moore Faye Moore

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