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Remembering old neighborhood businesses – Washington Daily News

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Remembering businesses in the old district

Posted at 20:08, Monday, November 7, 2022

Driving through the old neighborhood with a clothes delivery last week, I noticed a lot of changes; some that I am used to and others that were made after I went to school. The first thing I noticed was that there were no children playing outside. I guess they were playing with their computers or in a game connected to the computer. Jennifer Smallo told me that it was an active neighborhood and the kids got along with each other as friends. It was in the morning and maybe they were at school? I’ll have to believe Jennifer until summertime rolls around.

One company that I noticed was missing when I turned from Bridge Street onto Tenth Street was the DS Swain Gas Company. Boy did that bring back fond memories I thought. DS and my father were good friends and hunted together many times. Little DS and I have remained friends over the years as members of the Herring Club. Big DS sold carts along with gasoline at the back of his store. He had people who could fix the bike and we raced them on Wichard Beach Road just off Highway 17. The only buffer we had were the wheat straw bundles on the side of the track. The building was gone before I went to college, but I still miss it.

Another company I passed was Mr. Columbus Snow’s tractor shop! Later he gave it to Mr. Kenneth Snow and moved to 264 west after giving it to Little Ken and the late Sam Snow, his two boys. Any kid could tidy up the shop for $1 and he could spend it however he wanted. We usually got a drink from the Dr. Pepper box in the back on our way home. Big Kenneth always paid in quarters. Along with his family, he was a member of the First Christian Church.

The next business that didn’t exist was Smoke’s Tire Service. At the end of the day, there was always a big puff of black smoke over his tire burning business. Mrs. Gibbs, who lived across the street from Smoke, always complained about it, but never called the landlord. She accepted it as a business and lived with it. I don’t know who owned Smoke’s Tire Service, but he really had a thriving business.

Next to Donnie Waters on Eleventh Street was Cangelton’s Store, which later became Jefferson’s Store. I know Joy Jefferson as a friend because she married my classmate Thomas Earl Waters. There’s a house there now, but I remember playing days on Eleventh Street and nothing tasted better than a cold Dr. Pepper with peanuts.

These were the businesses I remembered from my neighborhood that are gone today. I wonder if the kid could get a job like the one Mr. Kenneth gave me?

It was the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, NC! The original Washington!

Harold Jr

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