Friday, June 13, 2014

Sepia Saturday: Dial 6-1624

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.




This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt is transportation.  My paternal grandparents’ entrepreneurial venture with public transportation was a financial disaster for them, but I have only good memories of the Burlington Cab Company.

Burlington Cab Company 1956
One of the cab drivers 1956
The office and garage in the background

Granddaddy Slade was a victim of bad timing.  He bought a taxi company about the same time that the city of Portsmouth introduced busses.  The competition with cheap public transportation was too great to survive in the taxi business.  Ever positive and confident in the viability of taxis, he and my grandmother moved to Burlington, North Carolina and purchased another struggling cab company. 

In 1952 Daddy moved us to Burlington to help his parents by driving a cab for them.  We lived in their house.  The office and taxi garage were in the backyard.  There was also a kennel for Granddaddy’s beagles next to the little office. 

Burlington Cab Company 1956
Cabs parked beside our house

Home of Fred and Julia Slade 1950s Burlington, NC
Home of Fred and Julia Slade 














Granny Slade between the office and kennel


Even though I was very young, a few memories are crystal clear:
  • Brushing and “styling” Granny’s hair as she sat in the office working as the dispatcher
  • Riding in the front seat of Granddaddy’s cab and talking to my granny on the two-way radio
  • The smell of the garage 









What a cute brick building --
I wish I could remember what it was used for.
  • The sound of bottles tumbling down the chute of the Coke machine in the garage
  • The taste of one of those Cokes that Granddaddy would buy for me
  • Sitting on top of a doghouse while Granddaddy fed his hunting dogs
  • The big round Coca Cola sign at the corner of the yard welcoming us home



Burlington Cab Company 1956
Cousin Mary Lois Slade
Unknown with dog
Granny Julia Slade








Call a cab or hop on a bus because the Sepia Saturday train is pulling out!













© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


32 comments:

  1. What lovely memories you have of them and their business - running your own business is a tough thing to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Running your own business is hard, that's for sure.

      Delete
  2. That sounds like a fun atmosphere and a good learning experience for a young child.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My memories are only good ones, so I suppose it was a fun atmosphere.

      Delete
  3. Taxi driving is such a precarious business. I'm glad your grandad was so optimistic and the you had a chance at the great memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Today the taxi business is rather scary, at least where I live.

      Delete
  4. Great memories.I enjoyed the thought of you brushing granny's hair. I think we were all potential hairdressers at one stage or another in our childhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I practiced my hairdresser skills on a lot of dolls.

      Delete
  5. I think there are more memorable story lines set around taxi cabs than buses. Those early 1950 cars were great beasts and now look like dinosaurs. Were they yellow?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those cars do look rather clunky and the tires look spongy.

      Delete
    2. Oh by the way, I checked with my aunt, and she says the taxis were not yellow but she doesn't remember what color they were. Maybe grey? Carolina Clay?

      Delete
  6. Whoa! You had access to an honest-to-gosh Coke machine in your grandfather's garage? I'll bet you were popular with the neighborhood kids!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But I didn't have access to money -- except through a doting grandfather.

      Delete
  7. I agree with Barbara, some great memories to have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truly -- I'm fortunate to have had a good childhood.

      Delete
  8. Glad you wrote this, because I never heard you talk about living there. I figured you were too little to remember.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great memories. I can hear that Coke tumbling down!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's something about the sound of an old Coke machine.

      Delete
  10. And now I have to use taxis because our local bus service has been withdraw as not viable anymore! Strange to see a cab company suffer due to the buses. Is it still the same these days? I hoped you were going to include a shot of the Beagles. The dog in the last shot looks more like a Corgi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come to think of it, the bus system here reduced service many years back. I'd have to take a taxi to get to a bus stop.

      Oh, I have some great pictures of those Beagles. I didn't even think to feature them.

      Delete
  11. I enjoyed the pairing of the photographs with your very vivid memories. Don’t all little girls style granny’s hair? - I know I did!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, I'll have to ask my girls if they ever styled my mother's hair.

      Delete
  12. I could just taste that ice cold coke as you described it coming out of the machine. Loved your story and hearing of your grandfather's perseverance and your father's loyalty to help him out. What a great family story.
    Nancy
    Ladies of the Grove

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a real difference in the taste of Coke in a glass bottle from Coke in a can or a plastic bottle.

      Delete
  13. You have such great collections of photographs, Wendy! I thought it was interesting to read how many senses were involved in your memories. You didn't say if the business did well in Burlington but I hope it did!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess Granddaddy did well for awhile, but he bought a business that was in trouble to begin with so it was hard to overcome and then get ahead. Still, he stayed with it for a long time.

      Delete
  14. What lovely memories and so well written that we could all picture them. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, well, you're being kind. thanks ~

      Delete
  15. It must have been fun talking over the two-way radio. Great memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it was fun -- especially for a little kid.

      Delete