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Peachtree Street: 1957

Peachtree Street: 1957

We are looking north on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta on August 30, 1957. On the left is one of Atlanta's two principal department stores, Davidson's; also, the Roxy Theater that ran second runs. I remember seeing "Grapes of Wrath" there. The clowns on the tiny motorcycle are part of the annual Shriners' convention. Kodachrome slide by me, William D. Volkmer. View full size.

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RE: S & W Cafeteria

Nostalgia is a wonderful thing we all find comforting and fun, but need to occasionally remove a little of the sugar coating. Adjusted for inflation, $5.50 would be $45.35 today, which is about right for two meals.

Couple of Things:

The department store was Davison's, not "Davidson's." It was originally The Davison-Paxon Company, but was acquired by Macy's in the '50s or early '60s. It remained Davison's until the '80s, when Macy's began the branding madness that destroyed local department store history all across America. It was the less popular of Atlanta's two major department stores, with the fabled Rich's being most shoppers' first choice, despite Rich's having a less convenient downtown location. The Roxy did end up as a second-run theater, but at the time of the photo and for many years afterwards, was a first-run house. Two of its major runs were 1962's "Cleopatra" and 1964's "My Fair Lady," the latter of which ran there for eight months, if memory serves.

S & W Cafeteria

I discovered the S&W cafeteria in 1962 while attending my first AT&T school. For five weeks, I ate lunch and dinner there every day. With a dish of strawberry shortcake for dessert. All of $5.50 a day for meals. We also got $2 a week for bus fare. We walked to and from the hotel and classroom (both a little farther up Peachtree Street) and bought a carton of unfiltered Pall Mall cigarettes. Good times.

Pickup truck

If I owned that Chevy pickup right now, the only thing I'd change would be the spark plugs.

Yellow & Green

That '54 Chevrolet on the right was the exact color combo my parents new '54 Chevrolet. Popular at the time, but Dad always bought white cars after that. Even at 10 I thought it was a bit much.

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