Bill's Old Place!!
The above picture is of Irene "Fat Mammie" Shaw with her
daughter, Kandi Kaye. It was made in the summer of 1960. Now, for the location,
and I would imagine that most know where this gas pump was located. Yes, that is
Highway 62 in the background and the gas pump has been operational from about 1957
until 1960. Mr. Turley had a grocery and filling station in the front part of
Bill Tooley's old place. Turley's "Mini-Mart" type of operation was from about
1957-1960. In the meantime, Lake Saling had leased a part of the store and was
running a restaurant. Lake's part started in about 1956 and he stayed for about
a year. Fay and Anna Dean Fulkerson took over in 1957 and kept the restaurant
opened for almost two years. About this time, I think that most of the Guy
Fulkerson family (Fay's parents) moved to Hammond Indiana. So, in 1959, Bill
Tooley's old place was vacant again.
Along came Adrial and Irene Shaw. Whether they wanted one more chance to operate
a restaurant or they were just looking for an opportunity, I don't know. It could
have been that they just could not stand to see any empty building in an inactive
state. Anyway, in the later years of the nineteen-fifties, the Shaw's moved to the
old concrete block building and they were soon serving hamburgers.
Today, this old building, that was built back in the late forties is serving the
small town of Rockport well. For nearly forty years, this old concrete block
building has been serving as a post office. Can you imagine-almost forty years?
When it comes to times and dates, I have been known to be off base by a few years
and I certainly do not mind any form of corrections. Remember, I am the one that
did not and still can not remember gas pumps in front of the place, nor of Mr.
Turley running a "Mini Mart" type of operation. I am going out on a limb and
will give a listing of the operators from this old building since it was built
in the late forties. You know, just for fun and games! I am sure that I will
leave out several operators and I will get some dates wrong. If so, any of you
that discover these mistakes, are encouraged to make me aware of any mistakes
that are found. Come on now, you know that my memory is not that good.
In the late forties, nineteen forty-nine or so, Bill and Irene Tooley built and
started a restaurant in a new concrete block building. Soon it would be painted
a light green. It was large enough for a small restaurant with enough room in
the back for a bedroom and a living room, thus a small family could live on
the site. Bill and Irene continued with the restaurant until about 1955.
David and Gloria Heltsley took over after Bill and Irene. David gave the place
a make-over and renamed the place-"The Green Lantern". They were in operation
for about a year and then Lake Saling wanted to try his hand as a restaurant
owner. Lake lived on the premise for a short period of time until he allowed
Bill Turley to have enough room in the building to operate a "Mini-Mart" type of
operation. Mr. Turley ran a gas station/grocery store in a part of the building
from about 1957 until 1960. Lake started a business career, at this small store,
and carried over his knowledge and experience to a larger "Boat Building Place"
in Morgantown. Faye and Anna Dean Fulkerson replaced Lake in the restaurant
part of the building and stayed until 1959. Mr. Turley decided to close his
part of the operation in about the same time frame.
In late 1960, Adral and Irene Shaw became the new restaurant operators. They moved
into the back of the building and opened a restaurant in the front part. Another
Shaw's Cafe became operational. They stayed for about six years this time and
probably closed sometime in late 1966 or early 1967. Kandi Kaye thinks they closed
and moved to the old Holiness Church Building in downtown Rockport about the same
time the old Rockport High School building burned and that was on Friday, September
the first in 1967.
Soon after Ardal and Irene closed the place, new operators took over. This time,
Delbert and Cora Mae Brown tried their luck. The new restaurant family moved into
the white house behind the restaurant and opened the new eatery in 1967. They
would continue for about two years and then went their way.
Thomas and Dorothy Harris were not new to the restaurant business when they opened
the restaurant in about 1968. Several years earlier, they had a restaurant in
downtown Rockport. The Harris' continued for about two years and eventually closed
in 1970. By this time James Haynes had purchased the building, remodeled and leased
the property to the United States Post Office. Today, a neat and clean post office
is still in the business on the same location. Way to go old building. Hope you
have many more years of existance.