Author Archives: Bob Lawrence

About Bob Lawrence

artist, photographer, reader, anime fan, poet

An Evening with Canon

canonfront

canonback

This was probably 1982.  Jim wasn’t at the Ft. Henry Drive all that long and, by 1993, the next time a Thursday fell on September 30, he had moved to the Eastman Road location.

I miss camera shops.  Back then, I couldn’t afford much in the way of cameras and lenses.  I made do, thanks to some horse trading with Jim, but I really yearned after the new cameras and the fast (for then) lenses.

Jim and Janet and Paul and Jeff.  Great people to work with (I did some camera repair) and to talk with.

 

Oakwood Market #2

Yesterday (May 18), this building was completely gutted by fire.
It’s latest label had been as an IGA, before Food City opened their downtown location on the former Kingsport Press property.  The IGA closed shortly thereafter. Earlier, it had been a White’s Supermarket, but it had been built as Oakwood Market #2 in 1949 and was the first of the grocery stores to make up what would be known as Supermarket Row, along Canal Street.  Wallace Boyd, Sr. had come into Kingsport from Kentucky and  had opened the first Oakwood Market in Greenacres in 1947 (this is from a story in a 1947 issue of the Kingsport Times).
The store in Greenacres had an “exotic” canned food section that mom and I would drop by and snicker at.  Chocolate-covered grasshoppers and snails and the like.  But, like some of the things you see in antique stores, they hadn’t moved in years.

Btw, when Oakwood #2 was built, it had a waterfall on top.  It was a triangular structure over the middle of the building.  At the top of this, say, 20′ waterfall was the Oakwood sign, painted by Carter’s Art Shop (I used to know a guy who did some of the painting), and under it, on either side, was a continuously-cycling flow of water down a simulated rock waterfall.  Most amazing.  It is the nature of water to go anywhere there’s an opening, so I suspect that it leaked.

The Stuff That’s Coming

World War II had ended a little over a year before this ad was published in the July 1946 Intermountain Telephone Company Telephone Directory for Kingsport, Gate City and Sullivan Gardens.  Dobyns-Taylor was, in essence, priming the pump.  Little did they know the flood of products that would soon wash over them.

The Shaheen Building

This corner building, the red brick part, was once known as the Shaheen Building and home of the Palace of Sweets, owned by Charles Joseph, Sr., who had come here from Lebanon (the country).  He and M.F. Kabool (of Iager or Iaeger WV) opened the Phoenix Restaurant here (302 East Sullivan) in 1927.  It was remodeled in 1937, to much celebration in the local newspaper.  Apparently, it was a quite well respected eatery.

It was still open in 1948, but I lose track of it after that.  It wasn’t the open as the Phoenix in 1957-1959, when I lived downtown, but the large sign over the doorway was still there. Years ago, I asked my stepdad if he knew anything about the place (he’d been in Kingsport in the 30s) and he recalled staying in one of the rooms upstairs.

Down from the Phoenix…I think where the other red brick building is, was the Liberty Cafe (305 East Sullivan), also owned by Mr. Joseph.  The building in the light tan brick was, in 1959, part of McKarem’s Department Store.

In 1947, the Phoenix Grill advertised aggressively in the paper that it sold beer by the case for off premise consumption…and they’d deliver!

Dam!

 

It’s rare to find a postcard with a blatant grammatical error in the first two words of the description on the back.  “Heavy buttresses impounds…”  My Adam’s apple bobs up and down as I hesitantly raise a trembling hand to voice that, generally, the subject and the verb should agree.

Anyway, this picture was taken in the early to mid-60s.  The dam was actually finished in 1917 (100 years ago! Go, dam!).  You’re looking at a pile of rocks holding back over 100 million gallons of water.  After the Boone Dam imbroglio, a crew came in and inspected this dam.  It’s holding up quite well.

Credit line is Photo by John Sullins.  It was printed by International Graphics, Inc. in Hollywood FL.