In the world of air travel I am known as a ‘white knuckler.’ Consequently, when flying, I try to busy myself either with conversation or reading. On a recent trip, while flying at an altitude of 28,000 feet, I was trying to find something to eliminate the woes of a turbulent ride. I had read all of the material located in the back of the seat when I opened my briefcase and found a copy of Southern Living. Although somewhat outdated it would take my mind off the plane ride. Thumbing through the magazine I was struck by the article “News from the Social Circular.” As I read the article outlining stores and events from the town of Social Circle, Georgia I immediately began having flash backs of yesteryear when I worked at Fred C. Hale’s grocery in Social Circle. A store where everyone was called by their first name preceded by Mr. or Miz. It was a culture where political correctness had not been discovered. Saturdays saw this small southern town packed with patrons waiting for the weekly drawing entitling the lucky winner with goods and merchandise from the local merchants. It wasn’t the shopping that created “street to street” people, but, rather, camaraderie of a community who enjoyed fellowship with each other. It was a community where these merchants closed early on Friday night to watch’ Social High’ play rival schools in basketball. It was a community that embraced fun, laughter, apple pie and God. It was truly a ‘social circle.’
Although time has separated me physically, I still become nostalgic and filled with emotions when I travel in my mind to those days. The stores are quiet now, there are no Saturdays filled with the voices of the people excited because they were among their friends or they had won the weekly drawing. The town sits in stark contrast to those earlier days.
As I embarked from the plane I’m sure the other passengers wondered why I was smiling after a rough plane ride. They did not know that I had been in the midst of ‘bobbie socks, “duck tails” the “Platters” and friends that I dearly loved. I had just walked down memory lane with enough memories to last a lifetime. O’ the joy of it all.
P. S. Tell Dorothy Parker Congratulations on her victory in our game of h-o-r-s-e.