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Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017

Picturing the Past 38: Safe driver on the square

Posted Tuesday, December 8, 2009, at 11:38 AM

Shelbyville's "Most Courteous Driver" is honored in October 1952 in front of the old Shelbyville Fire Department headquarters. (T-G file photo)
From Oct. 3, 1952 (actual publication date Oct. 6), here's Mrs. Wallace Ragan being honored as Shelbyville's "Most Courteous Driver" during Business and Professional Women's Week by the local BPW.

The background of this photo is of particular interest; it shows Shelbyville Fire Department when it and City Hall and also Hoover Furniture Co. next door, were where today's Regions Bank building is located. The fire department moved to Lane Parkway in, I think, 1965. One of my earliest memories is of standing just inside the doorway of that old building.

Back to the photo (in those days married women were only identified by their husbands' first names, as if they lost their identity with marriage): From left are Mrs. B.E. Shearin; Mrs. Olin Sanders presenting flowers to Mrs. Ragan (not sure which one is which, original caption wasn't clear - but I'll guess some of you know, so please specify); Mrs. Richard Yell and Police Chief Buford Richardson.

A few other interesting items from the Oct. 6, 1952 Times-Gazette:

* Commenters have mentioned Shelbyville auto dealers from the 1950s previously. How about this one: Cook Motor Co., 110 W. Lane St., a Willys dealer?

* Insurance agent J.B. Kyle was advertising polio insurance. I'd never heard you could obtain that.

* A large cigarette ad proclaimed, "Nose, throat and accessory organs are not adversely affected by smoking Chesterfield" along with alleged doctors' claims of a 6-month study.

Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog. Reader contributions are welcome.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Wish I could help you out with identifying Mrs. Ragan, but I don't recall ever meeting her, although I knew her husband, Wallace(Bob)Ragan very well.

Am I the only one who thinks Chief Richardson might be just a tad uncomfortable in this situation?

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Tue, Dec 8, 2009, at 12:57 PM

I noticed the same thing about the Chief, ilikeoldsongs. Maybe he just didn't like having his picture made.

-- Posted by David Melson on Tue, Dec 8, 2009, at 1:09 PM

I'm 99% sure that the lady, second from left, is Mrs. Olin (Doris) Sanders.

-- Posted by marnold1118 on Tue, Dec 8, 2009, at 1:24 PM

Sorry gang, I have been out of socket ever since late Sunday night. My computer came down with the H1N1, and my computer Doctor said that he would not be able to see it until Saturday. I just had to have my regular Tuesday Picturing the Past fix so I ran over to my daughter's house before the shakes got too bad.

I guess that I probably owe at least a couple of you a return e-mail by now. I will catch up just as soon as I get my computer back on it's feet again. I may try chicken soup.

Thanks David for another great picture. I am sorry, but I can not help you with these identities except to tell you that is either a '49 or '50 Chevrolet Styleline, and I also notice Fred's "Low Rent Corner" in the background.

As for the Chesterfield ad, I can remember that the tobacco companies used a lot of Doctors in their advertising to show that tobacco use was not harmful to your health. I am not sure when the cancer scare first started, but I remember on the Arthur Godfrey Show right after King Size cigarettes came out, he joked that you could smoke regular Chesterfields and get a regular cancer, or you could smoke King Size Chesterfields and get a King Size cancer.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Dec 8, 2009, at 4:22 PM

Miss Johnnie is a very fine Christain lady. She has 3 children: Wallie, Paul,and Jan Lamb.I have known her since I was a child. We went to Edgemont Baptist Church together for at least 48yrs. I don't know of anyone I have more respect for.I always wanted at least half of her sewing ability. She made every thing from clothes to coats to high school band uniforms. She has helped raise her grandchildren and greatgrand children. I love her and call her my friend.

wilderness 68

-- Posted by Wilderness 68 on Tue, Dec 8, 2009, at 8:43 PM

That being the case then she is the middle person in the picture, or the third lady from the left. Her father was Rev. E.A. Rich who married my wife and I.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Dec 9, 2009, at 10:33 AM

There is a really nice article about Bob and Johnnie Ragan in the December 9, 2006 T-G, exactly three years ago. Bob still looks the same as he did in the mid fifties when I became acquainted with him, just a little older. To read the article, just enter "ragan" in the search box, without the quotation marks.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Wed, Dec 9, 2009, at 10:34 AM

I wonder if that is the same Ms Yell that was my 1st grade teacher in 1962?

-- Posted by balloon boy on Thu, Dec 10, 2009, at 1:54 PM

Yes balloon boy, that is Dorothy Yell. She was also my 1st grade teacher -- 1961 --- I'm sure you remember Olis Buchanan -- we all loved him and he loved us, too ------ the old school sat where First Community Bank is now

-- Posted by decorate1956 on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 11:28 AM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.