After his service in the Navy during World War II, Hemon Johnson returned to Rockport, KY. With honorable discharge papers in his hand, he was returning as a war hero. By now, he was married and he and his wife, Nellie, opened a restaurant in the old bank building. Times were good, although money was not very plentiful. Even so, the Johnson's kept this local restaurant going for several years. In 1947 we moved across Main Street from Hemon and Nellie's place. It was an exciting time and the restaurant seem to be doing well. It was more that just a place to get a burger and to socialize. I am not sure that a "Plate Type" lunch was available for the period of time that the cafe was open, but plate lunches were served at one time or another. In the time frame of the mid-forties to the early fifties, Johnson's Cafe served Rockport well.
The above picture and the names of those pictured came from a book that Hilma was able to obtain. I knew and can remember four of the five pictured. Margarette Porter and Dorothy Crunk were only a few years older than me, but at that age, a few years is a lifetime. Betty Reid had graduated from high school and living in another city, thus I saw her on occasions when she was back for a visit. Of course Clemmie Johnson was the daughter of Hemon Johnson. Sam Drake is a misprint. The young man that has been identified as Sam Drake is actually Sammie Russell Maple. He was the son of Earl Maple and a resident of Rockport in this time frame.
Mr. & Mrs. Hemon Johnson lived on the second floor of the bank building, with the restaurant part located on the main floor. Access to the second floor was by a covered, outside stairway. This stairway is shown on the Bank Building Web page called "OldBankBldg". To view that web page, click on the following link.
Old Bank Building.
The Hemon Johnson children consisted of two boys and a girl. I did not know Clemmie nor Johnnie very well. The other son, Richard Johnson, was a few years younger than me, but that did not prevent him from trying to keep up with us. We called him "Dickie" or "Dickie Bird". In the early fifties, Hemon and family quit the Rockport restaurant business and moved. I had not heard from him until years later. He and his son were in the Heating and Air Conditioning business in Hartford. Hemon's grandson, Pride, followed Hemon in the Heating and Air condition business and worked in Muhlenberg County. Suspect that Richard Johnson is retired by now. Pride may still be working. Hemon was in a truck driven by his brother at Echols when they wrecked. Hemon died several years ago as a result of injuries from the wreck.
10/26/07. It seems that I had a few errors in the original write-up about Hemon. Dale Thomas and Betty Sublett came back to me with some more factual information and the proceeding information has now been updated. I certainly appreciate these two. Their minds are sharp as tacks and they try to keep this old brain functioning correctly. Thanks, you two.
Hope you enjoyed.