Author Archives: Bob Lawrence

About Bob Lawrence

artist, photographer, reader, animation fan, jazz listener, poet who dislikes rhyming

Warriors’ Path (early)

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It’s actually 950 acres, according to current information.  This is mid- to late-60s.

Tennessee acquired the land for the park in 1952. Fort Patrick Henry Lake was fully impounded in 1953.

Looking over old maps of this area, I found that Duck Island didn’t exist, as an island, before the impounding of the lake.  It was just the eastern shore of the South Fork of the Holston River above Wexler Bend.  And somewhere in there, it got ducks.

Center Dale Service Station

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Back in June of 1967, I was working as a photographer for the Kingsport Times-News.  I got dispatched to this service station, then known as Smith Shell, to photograph the aftermath of an accident: a lady driving away from getting gas snagged the hose  of one of the pumps.  The pump overturned, electrical connections were severed and a fire ensued, quickly extinguished by the Kingsport Fire Department.  By the time I got there, the fire was out and the KFD was mopping up.

I just looked up the photo I took.  It’s at newspapers.com.

The station was built in 1955 by J.D. Smith.  I remember him well, but from the 1980s or so.

Kingsport Oil Specialty

 

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Kingsport Oil Company, the area Shell gasoline distributor, was founded in 1946 by, I think, A. R. Brashear, Jr.  In the 50s, he traveled in the rarified air of bank directors and committee chairmen.  And judging from a quick scan of newspaper archives, the company was a ball of fire when it came to giveaways and contests.  At one point, in the early 50s, they gave away a new car.  This 2.5 x 4″ handy (it’s been used!) little sewing kit was probably thrust at you when you filled up the tank in your merry Oldsmobile.

The Brabant Needle Company, Ltd., of Redditch, England, is long gone.  There was a Duchy in Germany held by the Duke of Brabant, fwiw.

The generous-hearted Carl Swann gave this to me.  And it was much appreciated, since it’s getting harder and harder finding Kingsport stuff lying in the open.

Five Points Sunoco

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Ran across this in Johnson City.  It poses a problem for me.  This gas station was next to Craft Motors on Sullivan Street.  The fully numeric telephone number places it no earlier than the mid-1960s.  But I have absolutely no memory of what the place looked like and I’ve lived downtown for most of my adult life.  It amazes me how much I don’t really see around me (I mean, I know the way the eyes process and edit input, but it’s still amazing what I miss).

Methodist Church

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This postcard, copyright 1964, was published by the Colorcraft Studios in New York.  I can’t find any information about this company, but it was credited with a lot of 1964/1965 World’s Fair postcards.   On the back: BROAD STREET METHODIST CHURCH P.O. Box 907 Kingsport, Tennessee 37662

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First Broad Street United Methodist Church, 50 years later.

Olde West

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Home of beef tips and noodles and earnest actors on the dinner theater circuit. The inside reads, white letters on red, “Olde West Dinner Theatre  Airport Road. Hwy. 75
call: Johnson City.. 928-2121  Kingsport…323-4151
Open Tuesday thru Saturday
Buffet  from 7 til 8
Curtain 8:30

My first job after I came back from my Air Force stint was for Joan Hensley at Olde West.
I wanted to design sets.  She had no budget.  Shortly, I went to work at the Times-News.