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Posted: May 14, 2017 5:00 a.m.

Telling It Like It Is... Yearning for the good old days

I remember hearing my Granny Stapp say “We're living in a different world now” many times and that simple phrase is truer now more than ever. I've always been told I'm a lot like Granny in many ways and I'm perfectly okay with that. There's no telling what Granny would think if she were here to see how much things have changed.

Now I'm not that old, y'all, but I remember when things were a lot simpler and simple things make life easier. Now there's some things I'm thankful for and don't know how we lived without and I hope we never have to again – like indoor plumbing, air conditioning, microwaves, color tv. There are times when I could live without cell phones, tv and other modern conveniencies or at least take a break from them. Now Granny would also say 'if it ain't broke, it doesn't need fixing' but nowadays folks tend to think there's always room for improvement and making things better. We live in a world of convience where things ain't made like they used to be--cars, appliances, tv, furniture, even toys--It's easier to replace with a new, improved version than fix the old one.

Look around at how much things are changing and you can't help but miss the way things were but folks want convenience, anything to make their life as simple as possible. I agree with that to a certain degree but convenience isn't always better.

Even the face of our hometowns as we knew them are changing, too. Trees, pastures, flowers, green grass are disappearing to make way for more roads and blacktop to accommodate traffic. More and more of these roundabouts are creeping up everywhere it seems, even in Social Circle. I attended city meetings and talked with engineers about this but I still dont understood the need for a roundabout in a town barely big enough to warrant the one and only traffic light we have.

Long before the Blue Willow Inn helped put Social Circle on the msp, it was home to parties, social functions and even housed a ball field and community swimming pool complete with a high five. Claude T. Wiley' s mercantile store ceased operations last year but is getting a do over, like many of its downtown neighbors. Social Circle is once again thriving and a great place to visit  and perhaps call home.

Small towns have grown and changed a lot but I miss some of the charms they afforded. I miss community birthday calendars, society pages to see who got engaged, married or had new babies. Sometimes you found out a little more than you needed --who went on vacation, played bridge, who showed up for dinner and what was on the menu. I miss the old cotton mill whistle sounding every morning, at lunch and in the afternoons. Didn't need an alarm clock and businesses closed at 12 on Wednesdays and on Sundays.

Remember when small towns had what many called dime stores, bowling alleys and pool halls? Sam Walton introduced Wal-Mart Discount City in the early 80's and quickly put dime stores like Morrow's 5 & 10 in Social Circle and Harper's in Covington out of business. Not only did Harper's offer a variety of every day items, it also featured a live parrot among its other live animals. Harper's was really focused on the customer, offering fresh popcorn, assorted candy sold by weight and a snack bar. The Hub Drive In and Newton Cinema were a great place to go but drive ins have disappeared and now even a matinee with drinks and popcorn can set you back a few bucks. Another popular activity was bowling at Covington Bowling Alley, located in the corner of Covington Crossing shopping center next to Farmers Furniture.

If you are native to Newton County and Covington, you may recall a time when Highway 278 was scarcely populated by just a handful of businesses. I know that may be hard to believe to newcomers and the younger generation but Covington and Newton County have grown a lot, especially in the last 10-20 years.

Newton Plaza was developed in the late 60's or early 70's as was Covington Crossings shopping center and the two combined brought a lot of business to Newton County. Beyond these two shopping centers, Highway 278 was a blank canvas waiting to be developed as it is today.

Times may change but I still miss the good old days. Take time to slow down and enjoy it while you can.

 

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