Welcome to my website, please visit often, and happy reading. 

Brenda S. Brown attended school, married Otto, her high school sweetheart, and their sons were born, while living in the southwestern Georgia town of Richland.  The delights of their life are Joshua, Catherine, Caleb and Christen Brown; the grands. 

When their sons Scott and Arlin were teenagers, they moved to Milledgeville, and have called it home, for over twenty-five years.  In Milledgeville is where Scott met and married Kimberly Collier and Arlin met and married Brenda Baugus. 

For years, her daddy said that she had a way with words, but the meaningful writing didnít begin until a submitted short story, appeared in the Union Recorder newspaper.  Once she saw it in print, she was hooked.   

When the editor of the newspaper, Patricia Edwards, asked for more stories, she agreed to become a community columnist.    A year later "Looking Back" premiered on the second front page of the weekend edition, and has been a popular chronicle for over six years.  Her stories appear in several newspaper to include the Union Recorder, the Macon Telegraph and the Augusta Focus, she writes current event articles for various publications at Georgia Military College, a feature article in The Spring of Life, the monthly newsletter of Black Springs Baptist Church, and is the advisor for the quarterly junior college newsletter, Old Capitol News.

 With encouragement from fans, to include faculty members at work, she has completed her first manuscript.  Precious Gems from Ruby chronicles the life strong-willed, hard-working, women from Georgia.  The story begins near Atlanta in the early 1920s, and weaves its way through several decades of life on a rural farm.      

Ruby Teel Scott was born near Atlanta, but confessed that she didnít grow up until she moved to the farm.  Tough, talented and devoted to family, she transitions from the stranger in town, to a beloved member of the rural community.  Her creative ideas and off-beat sense of humor make her a legend to those who love her.    

If you are enthralled by the short stories, please use the contact spot below and let her know.  She enjoys hearing from readers and is delighted to hear their comments.

The Shrimp Boat in Panama City, Florida 

The reminiscences of my childhood include relaxing in one of my favorite vacation destinations, the emerald coast of Panama City Beach, Florida.  Some of the establishments that I clearly remember are the Old Dutch, the Plaza Motel, the Long Beach Casino and Resort, the Georgian Terrace, and the Shrimp Boat Restaurant on St. Andrews Bay.  Our Saturday afternoon outings included Putt-putt Golf at the spotless facility in town, followed by a scrumptious dinner at the Shrimp Boat.     

The Shrimp Boat was surrounded by wooden slips where pleasure and working boats were docked, and if you arrived early enough you were treated to a window seat where you could watch crews unload the catch of the day.   In the beginning, the restaurant seated about forty customers, and was built almost entirely over the water, and subsequent additions added more tables, floor-space and customers. 

 Over the years our family began going into town early, in order to avoid the long lines that formed outside the popular eatery.  While our seafood feast settled, we strolled about the docks and sometimes purchased items to pack in ice and enjoy back home. 

One memorable summer the sun was especially hot and by evening I was suffering with terrible sunburn; the dreadful kind that results in chills and fever.   The thoughtful waitress realized that I was uncomfortable so she wrapped me in a clean white table cloth so I could enjoy my favorite entrťe, broiled scallops. 

As the years passed, the Shrimp Boat Restaurant succumbed to surrounding squalor and finally closed in the mid 1980s.  Now, sixty years after the original opening, a new and improved Shrimp Boat is scheduled to open in September, in the original location.  The contemporary version, which by the way is three stories high, is designed to resemble a vintage cigar-factory and can seat an astounding seven hundred diners. 

After all these years Iím thrilled to hear about the new Shrimp Boat and although I might not receive a formal invitation to attend the grand opening, I fully intend to one day revisit my past and dine again on St. Andrewís Bay at one of my favorite seafood restaurants.  Who knows, perhaps I will be invited to tour the facility and share my memories with the franchise owner; who I understand is the son of the original proprietor.  

 

An ordinary contraption. 

Years ago everyone had one in their yard, some were more attractive than others, but they are utilitarian pieces so looks wasnít significant.  Before I go any further do you want to speculate about the focus of this communication?

 Well, the subject contraption has been replaced in most households by a modern clothes dryer.  Nanny had a clothesline at every residence she occupied, it might not have been fashionable but it was serviceable, and in her opinion, a necessary household apparatus. 

 Her model was fashioned with tightly strung cord and she refused to use plastic pins, hers were wooden models that looked like stick figures.  She preferred wooden ones because it didnít harm or stain the material like the ones containing metal parts.   

 If you havenít slept on sheets that were dried naturally, then you will never understand why anyone hangs items on a clothesline.  If you too have experienced the smell of clothes dried in the sunshine then you understand the reasoning. 

Hanging out clothes was an activity Nanny enjoyed, and she encouraged us to follow her example.  Adhere to a few simple rules, she explained, and you create a display that collects compliments instead of complaints. 

Yes you skeptics, there is a mystery protocol involved in hanging out the laundry.  Nanny insisted on three lines of cording because she wisely hung specific items on the inside area where they werenít exposed to prying eyes.  When the outside lines were filled with large pieces, she positioned the unmentionable belongings on the inside line. 

Every bed-sheet was hung carefully together, followed by the towels, washcloths and dishtowels.  On the far rack was clothing, male, female and then children; pants, shirts and socks, all in a row and sorted accordingly. 

A glimpse of snow-white sheets flapping in the wind brings back vivid memories of country blue skies filled with billowing clouds, and in the distance, a weathered farmhouse brimming with back-breaking chores and overflowing with warm affection. 

Remembering the movies and Saturday afternoon matinees.

If odd-sounding names like Lash LaRue, Hoot Gibson, Tom Mix, Crash Corrigan, and Hopalong Cassidy sound familiar, then you too have fond memories of the cowboy stars of long ago.  For years their adventures were broadcast on the radio; the introduction of the cinema changed them into legends of the silver screen.   Many were marksmen; they rode handsome horses, performed rope tricks, and a few could even dance, but the most famous of them were singers. 

 

Bullets, bandits, and ballard-singing gents; sidekicks, stagecoaches, and sweet-talking heroines all combined to create captivating chronicles filled with rolling dust, sweaty horses and on occasion, unreciprocated affection. 

 

Stewart-Webster Gas Company was a liquefied-petroleum business, founded and operated by our parents.  In those days, it was located downtown, on West Broad Street, adjacent to the Richland Theatre.  When my brother and I were declared mature enough to behave like young ladies and gentlemen, we were permitted to attend the Saturday afternoon matinee, unattended.  We didnít dream of misbehaving because daddy frequently walked over from next door to check on us. 

 

The price of admission was one dime, and for fifteen cents more we stood in line at the concession stand and purchased a box of hot buttered popcorn served in a red and white cardboard box, and a paper-cup full of ice-cold ďco-cola.Ē  I remember it as afternoons packed with excitement and refreshment, all for twenty-five cents.  Occasionally mamma furnished an extra nickel for a sticky, caramel flavored Sugar Daddy lollipop, or a frozen Milky-Way candy bar on a stick.

 

There was a lighted ticket booth that could be accessed from two sides; the entrance that we frequented, and the access used by our housekeeper, Hattie Mae and her family.  They entered the movie by climbing a dimly lit staircase and viewed the motion picture from a smoked-filled balcony.   

 

When you paid your money to the female in the glass-enclosed box, she dispensed a coupon through the tiny arched opening.  During inclement weather, and until the next customer appeared, she blocked the opening with a chock of wood. 

 

Part 2: 

 

Bullets, bandits, and ballard-singing gents; sidekicks, stagecoaches, and sweet-talking heroines all combined to create captivating chronicles filled with rolling dust, sweaty horses and on occasion, unreciprocated affection.  Letís return for more remembrances about movie houses of the past. 

 

When an admission ticket was presented to the usher, he tore it in half, deposited part into a locked box, and returned the remaining portion.  Sometime during the afternoon, prizes were awarded, so you always kept your ticket stub.  In the evening, attendants carrying flashlights escorted people into the theatre, but on Saturday, we chose our seats, that is, after pausing in the entranceway while our eyes adjusted to the darkness.  

 

Adults rarely attended the Saturday matinee therefore the entertainment was geared toward adolescents and teenagers.  The first offering was a movie reel featuring current events, followed by the coming attractions.  Sometimes the clips were so frightening that I clamped my eyes shut until it concluded.  There was an advertisement about the irresistible specials offered at the concession stand, and for several years there was a commercial featuring our family owned business.   

 

If the projected light-beam was angled just right, you saw wisps of blue smoke in the reflection.  When you heard that familiar flop, flop, flop noise coming from the projection booth, you knew to be patient while they repaired and re-winded the film. 

 

Our favorite presentations were serial short stories starring either Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers; it was our first exposure to science fiction cinema.  Once the black and white serialized adventure concluded, you were treated to a Technicolor cartoon.          

 

The immense structured building was ancient and the interior appeared grimy.  The edges of the colossal screen were encased with oversized, and faded red, heavy velvet drapes.  Although youngsters werenít allowed to examine the stage, we understood that the curtains were filled with the odor of stale tobacco smoke, and contaminated with musty smelling dust. 

 

The metal-framed wooden chairs, complete with armrests, had curved backs and bottoms that folded up when not in use.  In our theater, the rigid chairs had no cushions.  Both of the slanted aisles were covered with well-worn and stained carpet, and the concrete sections under the seats were littered with trash and the floor was everlastingly sticky. 

 

We enjoyed attending a movie on Saturday but Iíll bet seeing it in daylight would truly be a frightening experience.  Even so, in our community, it was a heartbreaking day when the marquee was removed and the movie-house closed forever.       

 

 

For comments, suggestions, etc.

 

Brenda Brown

 

 For additional stories please visit the site of my friend, Jerry Battle:  www.nearplainsgeorgia.com

 

 

 

Edited by Catherine Brown

http://www.coveyridgefarms.com/catherine.htm

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