January 23, 2004
I left out another aunt (Dorothy Beam Savage) and
uncle (Aubrey Savage), both of whom worked at Bibb and lived in
Porterdale. Aubrey Savage ran the theatre during the summer time in
the Porterdale grammar school auditorium
during the 1950's. the first movie I saw there was "creature from
the black lagoon". It scared me to death. I'm thinking it cost 5
cents to go to the movie.
though most people did not have a lot of money, there were many
things to do in Porterdale. The swimming pools
(there were two different pools - the earlier one was up close to
the hill at the end of the grammar school with the playground
towards the road, the new one was built closer to the road after the
playground was gone) were available starting after school was out
either in May or June; there was the gym where you could play
basketball and was the best gym around; the two ball fields were
there when you could get up enough people to play baseball or
softball; the river always had local people fishing in it ( anyone
remember the race, garhole, second Eddie, pine hole?); the large
formation of granite rock called the "rock house", protruding from a
hillside overlooking the river was there for adventures in climbing
and crawling/looking into the many caves located there you can see
the "rock house" if you take the first road to the left after you
get into Porterdale coming from Covington that goes to the treatment
facility. Just when you can see a full view of the river, look
across it and there it will be; there was ample land owned by Bibb
for hunting; there were small streams and creeks (anyone remember
"rooster falls" behind elm street?) available to wade in, dam up or
use a piece of screen wire as a seine to catch minnows, crawfish and
other little critters of which I did not know their names.
remember Porterdale as a robust little town, especially at shift
change. at 3:00 p.m. when the 1st shift left and the 2nd shift
reported, downtown Porterdale was like a "mini New York City". from
a youngsters point of view it was a mad house. I do remember going
there near 3:00 p.m. and waiting at Ray Moore's service station,
which was the last building on the right before you crossed the
bridge going south (it is still there). Then when the hustle &
bustle was over, go down to the main gates and pick up a few of the
largest cigarette buts I could find. Y'all figure out the rest by
one occasion in 1964 I was driving my dad's car home from Covington.
as I crossed the bridge I noticed a police car pull up behind me
with the blue lights on. I knew I had did nothing wrong. I looked
thru my side view mirror to see "Ray Potts" the police chief, get
out and walk up to my window. In his deep, rough, grouch voice say "Heh,
you caught any fish lately?" I said no, haven't had a chance to go.
He said "Okay, that's all I wanted to know", then he turned around,
got back in the police car and left.
some reason or another, I don't know why, but during my earlier
years at Porterdale the teenagers and younger ones called the ones
living on the "south side" of Porterdale "river rats". I don't
recall what we called them (the ones living on the North side of the
river). But still, we all had good times.
S. I left myself out as working for Bibb. I worked summers while
attending college and for a short period after I quit college. I
worked in all three mills in various positions. I don't know if I
would qualify to be put on the list.