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Picturing the Past 78: Flying with Uncle BillyPosted Tuesday, September 14, 2010, at 1:36 PM
William "Uncle Billy" Bartlett, right, stands with pilot Jerry Hill after taking his first airplane flight as a 95th birthday present. (T-G file photo)
On the morning of May 7, 1952, William "Uncle Billy" Bartlett took to the air for the first time and the Times-Gazette was there to picture his big moment. Seems Uncle Billy's 95th birthday wish was to ride in an airplane, and the gift came courtesy of his son, Perry Bartlett.
This photo was apparently taken after Uncle Billy's flight. He said he "felt like I could fly all day," said it was "the best ride" he'd ever had and wanted another for his 96th birthday.
Piloting "Uncle Billy" was Jerry Hill of Shelbyville, who is listed in the original photo caption as a "computer" with what was then known as the Tennessee Highway Department.
Also going on in Shelbyville in early May 1952:
* The Saddle Restaurant, on North Main in the building that housed El Mexico until earlier this summer, was closed for two weeks to install air conditioning.
* Remember International brand trucks and vans? George Crenshaw & Co., a farm implement dealership on Madison Street in the building still existing next to First Christian Church, was advertising International Metro vans. I can remember seeing old International brand trucks still on the road not so many years ago.
* Yearwood Motors, in what's now the old part of the Times-Gazette building, was advertising Dodge trucks.
* Guy's Market was around for years on South Cannon Boulevard. But a Guy's ad in early 1952 lists its address as 702 Lewis Ave. Where was that? There's no building on Lewis Avenue that looks like it was ever used as a business -- except the greenhouse behind Mary's Flowers, which is at 702 Adams Dr.
Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog and in Wednesday's print edition of the Times-Gazette. Your contributions are welcome.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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