Editor's note: Bobbie Cannon Motley's family has lived at Oaklawn, in the Cannon Crossroads community for generations. These are memories of days gone by, before all the development in western Cabarrus County.
My birthday was Saturday, July 27 and as I remember the first of August fast approaching, school was not far away.
My mother would start getting ready for the school year as soon as my birthday came and went. She would start looking in the Sears and Roebuck catalog for clothes to order for me.
We would go to Concord early on a Saturday morning and she would park at least a half mile away from downtown and we would walk to the stores. There was a Belk, Efird, Woolworth, Baucom shoe store and of course, Porter Drug Store.
First, we would go to the shoe store where an iron goose was at the front door advertising Red Goose shoes. We would go in and the salesman would measure my foot, get a pair of the ugly Red Goose shoes and place them on my feet. We would then go to the x-ray foot machine and he and Mother would look at my feet inside the shoes to be sure they were big enough and were not going to pinch my feet.
Mother would then get a pair of Sunday shoes because this was the only day I could wear them along with a white pair of socks that could also only be worn Sunday.
We would then head over to Belk’s basement where the clothes were second and were a lot cheaper than those up on the main floor.
I had no say in what she made me try on and selected. I was told that this is what we are buying for school. We also got a coat for winter while we were there.
When mother finished her chore of doing all this, we would go to the lunch counter in Belk’s basement and I could order a toasted pimento cheese sandwich and a coke. I don’t remember what Mother ate, but I am sure it was not expensive.
Sometimes we went in Woolworth 5 and 10 cent store where she purchased thread and needles for her sewing machine and sometimes she bought me one of the painted turtles for a nickel or a dime. We had no idea that these painted turtles carried salmonella and could make me sick.
I would keep the turtle for a few weeks, feeding it with the little box of food we also bought. My daddy would talk to me about the turtle having to live in a small container and he would convince me that we should take it down to the branch near the river and let it go. I would agree with this, so off we would go to set the turtle free.
When I started first grade at Odell, I was so afraid and Mother got a neighbor girl, Joyce Rankin, to sit with me on the bus and make sure I got to the correct classroom. Joyce would meet me at the end of the school day and get me back on the correct bus. She did this for about two or three weeks until I knew my way around the school.
I often think of those days and wonder where Joyce is today. She was so sweet and nice to me.