Rockport Stores Remembered!
Time May Be Immortal-Grocery Stores and Restaurant Are Not!
Stat & Photos by jrd. 5/15/04

Greetings all and a Good Day to you. May your dreams soon become real and your needs be of such small consequences that they will tend to just go away.

Over the past few years, and as time has permitted, I have come up with a series of "Bits & Pieces" of business places in the Rockport area and especially of the grocery stores, service stations and restaurants. The time frame of this series has basically been in the mid-twentieth century. Some of these places I remember vividly, others somewhat, and a few are not etched very well in the old brain. Like citizens of Rockport, some of these places stayed open for more than one generation and others only a few months. Thelma's Place was in operation when I was born and only closed a few years back. Jamie and Shim were mainstays in the Rockport Grocery business for most of the years that I roamed the Rockport area. A few others were relatively short lived. Some of the buildings lasted without tenants and some with a multitude of tenants. This stat is about three of those business. Where the Rockport "Quick Pick" is located today, at one time, there was a restaurant. Where the Barnes' have a repair shop, Bill McGuyer once ran several different business and likewise, Charlie Sheffield tried several type of business in his place next to the Highway Bridge.

The top left picture is the Rockport "Quick Pick" as it is today. It may still be called "Sack & Pack". This site contained another type a shelter in the late forties and early fifties. H. T. Kennedy and Buddy Reid built a small building on this property, in the late forties, and operated a restaurant for several years. Johnny Welborn bought them out and ran the restaurant for a few more years. Not sure who took over after Johnny left. I don't have a good recollection of this restaurant, guess mainly because a pre-teen kid just does not think much in terms of a place of business. The "New" Rockport High School was located next to this restaurant. Many a student ate lunch here. Then, a lunch was not provided by the school system and most of the younger students brought their lunches. This was before the metal lunch box craze as most of the lunches were in paper sacks. Some of the students went home for lunch and some of the older kids ate at places like Johnny Welborn's and Thelma's which was on the other side of the school from Johnny's.  Thelma's Place building is still standing and Johnny's place has been gone for years.  The building probably burned down in the late fifties and the land was vacant for several years. Some years later, Ronnie Curtis bought the land and placed a building on the site where a multi-purpose store was formed. Think that it was called "Sack and Pack" and it is operational today.

I don't have a picture of Bill and Gladys McGuyer's place of business. Wish that I did and wish that I had other pictures of Rockport. A large structure was located next to where the McGuyer's had their home. Over the years, probably from about the mid forties until the mid eighties, or a period of about forty years, this old building housed a multitude of different businesses. My first recollection of this building was of a service station. In that time frame, service stations were plentiful and every small town had a few. Cars in those days were just not very well made and they were in constant need of mechanic work. Oil changes were done at about a thousand mile interval. Every part of the motor was subject to regular failures and a mechanic could just about stay busy. He might not get rich, but he could stay busy. If a person could get fifteen to eighteen thousand miles on a set of tires, he was in an elite group. Thus, I can remember McGuyer's Garage. As I recall, it was a three bay garage with one bay being more for storage area rather than a work area. Seems that Charles Geary worked for Bill, as a mechanic, for most of the time that this place was operational. Some years later, the garage part was closed and a Restaurant was opened. Later on a "Hamburger/Ice Cream" place was opened. Don't remember the name of the new place, something like "Dairy Dip", but most of that type places were being called a similar name. Then a motel was added to the back part. It was a three or four unit motel. After that, two of the motel rooms were remodeled and turned into a beauty shop. Wow, this old structure, gone now, had seen many different styles of operation.

Last but certainly not least, and further on down the road toward Central City and on the left, just before crossing the Green River, was Charlie Sheffield Place. Like the McGuyer building, this one room structure saw a lot of different activity over the years. Charlie was a typical business man and he tried his hand at a lot of different business in this place. Guess that my first recollection of this place was of a Service Station. Charlie sold DX gasoline and DX products. Several attempts at a grocery store was tried here, but none lasted very long. Charlie and his family lived just up the hill and on the back side of the building and it was easy for him to run his business at this particular location. Sue Sheffield, Charlie's daughter, was raised in this house. There was an older daughter, but my memory is vague here as think that she may have been married and gone from home by the time that I was able to venture a few miles from home. At another time, Charlie specialized in fresh vegetables and vegetables was just about all that he sold. Then he tried the place as a meat market and specialized in Green River Fish. I remember this type place well, as I was one of the fisherman that tried to keep his "Fish Market" stocked. He promised me that he would take all of the fish that I caught, which was not that many. I did have fun trying, but the profit was mostly on the negative side. The picture on the lower left is a picture of where Charlie's Place was located. The building fell down several years back after many years of neglect.

Of the five photos in this stat, two are of Irises' from our back yard. The two larger pictures have previously been identified. The middle one on the right is another picture of the "Rockport Sack & Pack".

Guess that if you have reached this point, you have read some of the text for this stat. Do appreciate your time and effort in looking and reading. Without a reader, my time and effort would be for naught. Thanks.

Wishing you all a great day.

See you......
jrd

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