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Changing city
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Dot Fincher has seen many things change in Covington in her lifetime. During the sixty-plus years she's worked on Covington Square, she's seen shops come and go, neighborhoods and society change and history pass by.

Fincher's mother worked at Porterdale Mill and raised her and her two brothers alone.

"She worked hard," said Fincher. "I tried not to give her any trouble. I'm not going to say I was good," she said, "but I thought I was."

Fincher fondly remembers the fun she had as a child during simpler times, such as going to pick blackberries on the other side of town.

"That was really big when I was growing up," she said. "The only time we'd have a pie is to go pick blackberries. We couldn't afford things like that. But we'd have a good time doing it. And we'd play out in the street at night. Oh, we'd have a good time."

"Kids didn't get into trouble back then like they do now, she said. "They've got to have store-bought toys; they've got to be entertained. We used to get out in the yard and we'd make a play house in the dirt, get old broken dishes and have a good time."

One school, located where the Covington Police Department is presently, housed all the grades when she was growing up.

The students would be released during lunch and they'd walk to the ice cream parlor, where 17-year-old Fincher worked, for hot dogs and hamburgers. The kids also hung out at the parlor on Sunday evenings since it was the only place for them to go.

The parlor was Fincher's first job and the beginning of a series of jobs on Covington Square lasting about 60 years. After the parlor, she worked for almost 30 years at Evan's Drug Store, then a year at Red & White's, about 10 years at White's, 10 years at Pool's, and for the last nine years she has been greeting and assisting customers at R&L's.

"Every place I've worked, it's just like family," she said. "It's the people. I love people."

Most of her customers, she says, are easy to wait on, but she can spot the difficult ones as soon as they come through the door because they'll complain about everything.

Other ways Covington has changed, said Fincher, is the traffic and people's relationships.

"You don't know everybody like you did back then," she said. "We knew everybody. We'd walk everywhere we went. We walked to school. We could. But now with traffic, I think I'm about ready to give up my car, there's so much traffic."

The square has also changed immensely, said Fincher. All the shops she remembers have gone now, except Fletcher's, and the way people used to spend time in the square has disappeared as well.

"On Saturday, it was so funny," she recalled. "People would come to town and set out in their cars to watch people walking up the street. Just people watching people. They don't do that anymore. Things have changed so much."