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Growing Up on 5th Street - "Street Getting Shorter"

By Butch Hurford

As I was getting older I’m running out of Fifth Street stories. I want to tell you about the neighborhood grocery stores. On 5th st we had four stores, the Chinaman, Sam Wing, was on the corner of south and north 5th st. There was also Graysons, Whitehead and Mrs. Sellers. Mrs. Whitehead had four pretty daughters, two about my age, and one younger and one older. When Mama sent me after bread, which store do you think I went to? You guessed it, Whiteheads! I liked those girls very much and always considered them my friends. Mama always wondered why it took me so long to ride my bike two blocks for bread!

In this part of the simple story I’ve been writing I will jump around. As we had no TV or phone we played games at night. We played “kick the can”, “piggy in the pen wants a motion” and “hid and go seek”. We would play until after dark. When it was time to come in, someone’s mama would holler for their kids to come in!

Before Mrs. Grayson opened her store on 5th st she had one on the NW side of town. She had a TV in the store and we went over once a week to watch. She would turn the lights off until a customer came in and then she would turn them back on. We watched, Cisco Kid, Groucho Marx, Life of Riley, the news and then go home!!

There was a few years my PaPa didn’t need me in the shoe shop and I would work different jobs. Our next door neighbor “hauled” cotton choppers. Mama made me chop cotton one summer. That was very hard but a good experience for me. The next summer I made sure I had a lawn mower!! Donald and I mowed yards together.

Another summer I worked at Edwin’s Service Center. I worked with Mr. Edwin and Charles Hollis. I had never been around two better people. Charles had a lot of patience with me teaching me how to fix flats and etc. One day, my girl friend Ruth Ann, was walking home from work by the station. Charles asked if she was walking home? She lived over a mile from the station! He told me to “take that girl home”, “I will do your job until you get back”!! When I got back he ask me if I got a kiss? I said No, her mama was sitting on the front porch!

Hurford Collection

I’ll finish today with a “celebrity story”! In 1955 Elvis Presley came to Augusta for a concert in the High School Auditorium. I had never heard of Elvis Presley. I was over there the day they were unloading their equipment. Elvis saw me standing there and said “Hey son, what’s your name?” I told him Butch, he nodded and walked on by carrying his guitar!

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