I would like to start with a big thank you to all of you for the kind comments on my article. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it, as I have had so much enjoyment writing about Porterdale. I have a funny story to start off with in this column.
How many of you remember the "sand spurs?" Ouch, especially those purple ones? I have been told (if you have another version of this, let me know.) that the Bibb Manufacturing Company planted them around the mills in order to keep people from getting close to them. They would have employees throwing items out of the mill and later coming back to retrieve them to sell. The "sand spurs" would help deter them from getting close enough to retrieve their items from the mill.
Now for another use for those sand spurs. I will tell you a story I was told by one of our former Porterdale residents a few Saturdays ago at the Friends of Porterdale reunion. This lady told me she had a brother whom she loved so much; he had been born a twin and his brother died. He was very small in size and this bully wanted to beat him up. Of course, she wasn’t going to let that happen, so she got an idea about the purple sand spurs. She would pick a bunch of them and come to her brother’s rescue and use them to beat up the bully. I am quite sure he never bothered her brother again. I guess those sand spurs were good for something. Of course those of us who got them in our feet might not think they were good. Those things hurt.
During the reunion, the town of Porterdale was full of people; some came from in and around the state and a few from out of state. I heard the count was as high as 400. Each of them met to share great memories with each other and raise funds for the rebuilding of the Porterdale Gym. I was not able to take down all the locations or the farthest distance traveled. But one this is for sure; they all love this little mill town we once shared together.
The main focus of the reunion is to raise funds needed to rebuild the gym. The gym means so much to them, and they have memories of it being this grand place to play basketball or to come to at holiday time. Back when the Bibb company ran the mill, they would have the community gather in the gym and it was a time to see friends and family. The gym is where so many kids spent time with the late B.C. Crowell as he worked to shape their lives and prepare them for adulthood. There are so many special memories of a place and time when life was simple and people cared about others. Together as past and present residents, we can work together to help preserve the historical integrity of the city of Porterdale. We can promote the positive image of our community that is well known for its family values and the well being of all who reside there. This is the mission statement of the Friends of Porterdale.
Working together we are creating so many new memories to share for years to come around this precious place we call our home; our roots are planted along with the purple sand spurs. If you have not purchased a brick, then you should contact the Friends of Porterdale. Bricks are being sold in honor and memory of loved ones we all hold dear to our hearts. I will say thanks to those of you who have purchased these and challenge those who have not to get yours before the next reunion. The bricks are being installed in the alley between what was once the Standard Pharmacy and White’s Department store. To purchase bricks, go to the Friends of Porterdale website at friendsofporterdale.org or write to P.O. Box 874, Porterdale, GA 30070. The order forms are also available in the downtown merchants of Porterdale.
Sherry Shaw is also working to gather funds to rebuild the gym. You can send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her by phone at (770) 289-8707.
I am thankful for the memories we shared at the Porterdale Reunion.
If you have any memories you want to share, send them to me at email@example.com.