The above picture is of Adral and Irene "Fat Mammie" Shaw.
I apologize for the quality of the picture, but the best that I have for the time
being. Kandi Kaye Shaw Brown sent me the picture and is working on a more clear
picture. I will update when I get a better picture. Until recently, I was not
sure that the Shaw's ever operated a restaurant in Bill Tooley's old place. I
don't remember them being there, but in that time frame I was in the service and
was not able to return to Rockport very often. The time frame is in the early
sixties, possibly early fall of 1960. Now, for the location, and I would imagine
that most know where this place of business was located. Yes, that is Highway 62
in the background and Adral and Irene are in the restaurant business once more.
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 1960, 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 early years the nineteen sixties, the Shaw's moved to the
old concrete block building and they were soon serving hamburgers.
In the 1960's, Rockport's growth was similar to the growth of the larger cities and
other small towns. Downtown, Any City USA, was just not cool. All of the growth was
heading to the outskirts and Rockport was no exception. If any housing was being
built, it was along highway 62 or highway 1245, the highway that goes to Echols.
Now, a new restaurant was about to open.
For five or six years or until 1966, "Fat Mammie's" was once again the in place to be.
At least, the restaurant business paid the rent and in Bill's Old Place, an added
feature was an extra few rooms where a small family could live. Small town
basketball was still popular and on "Game Nights", a good crowd was to be expected.
In the "Sixties", the area was booming, and the restaurant business saw working
people, busy people, hunters, fishermen, and others that would grab a sandwich or
a burger for lunch. Small time restaurant business is a demanding job and if any
type of profit is to be made, one must have good food and be available at about
all hours. Guess that "Fat Mammie" eventually tired of the demand and decided
to try her luck elsewhere. She placed a job application in to the Ohio County
Hospital and was selected. Then, until retirement, she was a valuable asset to
the hospital and was nearly running that place before she retired. Guess of all
of the work that she has ever done, the "Nursing" part was the most fulfilling.
She talked about the work to her daughter so much, that her daughter decided to
become a nurse.
End of the journey in more ways that one. End of story, but hoping that some
gifted and hard working soul will decide to try their luck in "Running a Restaurant"
in small town America.