Category Archives: Uncategorized

Kingsport Oil Specialty

 

kptoilback

kptoilopen

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

5points

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).

Olde West

oldewest

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.

Clifton’s Radiator Service

cliftons

This paint-up is not that old, but it’s beginning to fade.  Clifton’s is on corner of East Market and Unicoi Streets.  Years ago, Unicoi Street came up in some news story or other and I was perplexed…I’d never heard of it and I’ve lived in Kingsport since Hector was a pup*.  The street is a one-blocker, though, and forever didn’t have much of anything located on it and, more importantly, it wasn’t on any of my paper routes.

* Obsolete phrase. See https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/since+Hector+was+a+pup

 

Coming Down!

wardsfeed

It looks like this old building on the corner of East Main and Cherokee Streets is coming down…literally.

Back in the 50’s, this building was mostly Ward’s Feed Store & Hatchery.  There were some other businesses downstairs and apartments upstairs.  I delivered the newspaper to a lady who lived in one.  She always had a snuff stick in her mouth.  But she always paid her subscription on time (I collected weekly for the paper delivery).

It appears that there are condemnation notices on the whole building, but only the back portion is blocked off.