Thursday, October 23, 2014

AND NOW FOR A LITTLE DIVERSION: PARKING METERS IN THE OLDEN DAYS!

Update: also on the left far back is Davison's Department Store (Macy's) where I worked from 1972 to 1976 (two years later it moved to the Mall and eventually took on the name of its owner, Macy's). Also, Broad Street was the second widest downtown street in the USA second only to New Orlean's Canal Street. (Unfortunately, the famous architect I.M. Pei changed that in the 1970's to keep people downtown by building a building in the middle of the street, created sunken parking and a clear divide in the middle that became tree-lined. Pluses and minuses with the new look.

I love this photo for two reasons: first it shows all these glorious parking meters and second it is downtown Augusta in 1958 and how I remembered it in the 1960's and 70's prior to it being "malled" to death around 1978. Parking meters were removed around the 1980's. But there is talk about placing new ones back!

In this period of downtown Augusta, going there on a Saturday was like being in New York City, there were so many people, cars and traffic. The sidewalks were packed with moving people. All the stores and entertainment were on Broad Street and side streets. Oh for the memories. I wish it could return, but alas!
Please notice the War Monument to all our Confederate dead. A Confederate soldier is atop the monument but not seen in this photo of the monument. It is still there.

14 comments:

Joseph Johnson said...

I believe Savannah still has these ('last time I was there) but they are now digital/electronic. Being the mechanical-minded retro-man that I am, I used to like the mechanical ones where you had to turn that knob (which wound up the clockwork inside) after depositing the coins (then the little red "expired" flag would pop up after it wound down).

I also miss the mental satisfaction of clicking down the levers and throwing the big red register vote/curtain lever on the old mechanical Shoup voting machines as well as the dinging bell and carriage-return lever on manual typewriters.

I have often thought that modern devices (though they may be internally electronic) should still retain the same style of external controls and mimick the older devices they replaced in terms of external appearance, etc.

Pater Ignotus said...

JJ - I remember being very surprised the first time I voted at the effort that was required to move that Big Red Lever in the old machines. As I recall, the motion was accompanied by a metallic clicking-clacking as the innards of the machine counted the votes, and a DING! as the lever reached its resting position. Oh, and the curtains mysteriously and majestically parted, too!

Now all we get is the sound of a plastic card being spit out of the macine at us!

Anonymous said...

Ff. McDonald, I have kin in Augusta---how about making it a "See" city (diocese)---with Papal approval of course! Don't think we have any diocese by that name in this world. I work in mapping so how about a diocese running to Lake Oconee in the west (Greene County), up to about Elberton at Lake Russell and down to Sylvania/Swainsboro. I guess the downside would be size---too small (maybe 10,000-15,000 Catholics in Richmond County, 5,000-10,000 in Columbia but few elsewhere in that scenario---and of course it would reduce finances for the Diocese of Savannah. Just a wild dream....

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I've often thought about that too. The Augusta Deanery is the second largest deaner in the diocese after Savannah. However, the metro area to include North Augusta, Edgefield, the little towns after that all the way to Aiken has far more Catholics than Savannah proper.

I think there is a precedence of having a diocese carved out of two states. So expand into South Carolina which is only one diocese for the whole state and go as far as Aiken and take some from Atlanta's Archdiocese and make Augusta the See City. However, I might suggest the name be the Diocese of Augusta, Georgia-lina!

Anonymous said...

Gosh...If we could only go back to 1958...mechanical parking meters, mechanical voting machines, Latin and lace...no women on the altar, altar railings....nuns knew their place...the Pope knew his place...everybody went to confession every Saturday...priests wore cassocks or Roman collars....there wasn't all of this talk about "discrimination" or "gay rights"...sighhh...

rcg said...

Considering the musical inspiration of 'Carolina' and 'Georgia' it could be called the Diocese of Ray Charleston.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Gosh, no terrorism, and yes, at that time in Augusta one kept one's house unlocked even when away and keys in cars and there were big families, few divorces, families ate meals together, went to church on Sundays, 98% both Catholic and Protestant, no major drug problems destroying the family, black family very strong, strong Catholic schools and institutions like hospitals run by nuns and morality mattered, sin was understood and people went to confession and Mass every week.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

No AIDS, no Ebola, no polio, no white flight to the suburbs, strong downtowns, less materialistic, less consumeristic, more patriotic, oh it goes on and on and on in a positive way but mr. negative only sees the fly in the ointment!

Anonymous said...

Fr,, take another look. you repeated a number of the same things I said.

You seem to have missed the cold war and the possibility of us all blowing ourselves up.

No white flight....the "darkies" or "nigras", as they were called in polite white society, also knew their place...had their very own "neighborhoods" (say ghettos) and we white guys had all the rest and best. You could hire a "girl" or a "boy" to clean your house, cut your grass or raise your children for 50 cents an hour....

Those were the days, my friend. We thought they'd never end.

Anonymous said...

Father, the Archdiocese of Washington takes in part of Maryland, so while DC of course is not a state, it could be treated as one for purposes of a diocese in two "state-like" jurisdictions.

And Aiken is certainly closer to Augusta than it is to Charleston!

A Protestant friend of mine said that one thing he likes about our Church, when a parish gets too big, the bishop often carves out another parish, much as voting officials, when a voting precinct gets too big, creates additional precincts.

Savannah is such a large diocese (in geography) and the Atlanta Archdiocese is getting so large, we require 3 bishops. A third diocese for Georgia would demonstrate the Church's growing strength in the Bible Belt. And isn't Holy Trinity (where you once served) the state's oldest parish, or at least oldest parish building? Anyway, just a wild dream here, but a pleasant diversion from the chaos of recent weeks!!!



Gene said...

My Uncle Douglas owned Williams Wholesale Grocery on Broad Street. I remember going there and him cutting me a big slice of cheese off the hoop of cheddar he kept on the counter in a big glass cheese holder. Big barrels of peanuts, raw and roasted, bins of grains and huge bags of feed, flour, rice, corn meal. Good times.

Jon from Augusta said...

Hey y'all, I live and work in Augusta (Holy Trinity is as beautiful as you left it, Father!) and yes, the Good Ol Days are much missed around here--even by the black folks I work with. Recently I heard one black fellow at work reminiscing about going down to the 'Negro' theatre--the Show Palace Theatre on Laney Walker Blvd; "Whites Not Allowed", read the sign outside--to watch movies as a child in the 50s and how much he missed the sense of community present then. Other black coworkers began chiming in on the (black-owned) groceries and markets and diners that all closed up in the 70s when everything changed. One had even been to the Immaculate Conception School and remembered some of the nuns there by name! It has since been demolished, and the lot is overgrown with weeds. I asked them if they'd rather that time & place than this, and they were all emphatic: YES. The black community in Augusta has since suffered so much in the way of violence, unemployment, drug use and the scourge of gangs that older, wiser folks in that community describe themselves as dead men walking. Yankee wags will never get this. Fine. But it's true and here and every day. Please pray for Augusta.

Anonymous said...

So...Jon from Augusta, are you REALLY saying that "black folks" preferred segregation....that they miss it...that they think it was a good old part of the good old days?

Should we go back to both the Latin Mass and to segregation....slavery maybe?

(BTW...It's said by many that when English translations of the Bible were made, the word that was often translated as "worker" or "servant" meant neither of those....it meant slave.)

Jon from Augusta said...

Hey anon: Those were their words, not mine. You can come on over to Augusta and ask them yourself--you might even get an answer (if you do it nicely). For my part, I've cultivated these relationships over years, so they might be more candid with me than you.