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Good Job Ray: 1961

Good Job Ray: 1961

The Columbus, Georgia, Holiday Inn circa 1961. GOOD JOB RAY WRIGHT. This particular Inn had a swimming pool and a trampoline. 4x5 inch acetate negative. View full size.


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No fence

In the postcard picture the first thing I noticed was the lack of a fence around the pool. It really was a different time in America.

[1961, to be specific. - Dave]

Numbers Game

The address on the postcard posted by Doug Floor Plan, 3510 Victory Drive, has us thrown off a bit, I think. Indeed, that may have once been this motel's address, but I'm pretty certain this Holiday Inn building still stands at 3170 Victory Drive. Built in 1958, the motel was most recently seen in Budgetel livery, but it also did some time as a Days Inn.

Did they move the building to a new address? Of course not! It's much more likely that the address was changed, probably for alignment with a new numbering system.

[By 1965, the address was 3170. - Dave]

Ray Wright

Raymond Michael Wright 1914-1995

Married in Wake County, NC, in 1944. Marriage record lists Army rank as Staff Sergeant. Possibly ended up in Columbus from a tour at Fort Benning.

He began as a carpenter and in the early '50s started a contracting business. His obituary lists past president of local and state home builders associations. He was inducted into the National Homebuilders Hall of Fame in 1980.

Holiday Inn was pleased with his work.

My guess

Ray Wright updates the message board.

Raymond Wright of Columbus

was feted at Macon in September 1961 at the annual meeting of the Home Builders Association of Georgia as the association's retiring president. I suspect the marquee refers to this milestone. His firm, Raymond M. Wright, Inc., is still building homes in Georgia, primarily the Columbus area:

Dressed up '50 Ford

On the far right! Skirts, spinner hubcaps, sun visor on the windshield AND on the side windows. At 11 years old might belong to the help. Fastest car on the lot is probably the '58 Pontiac next to the 1960 Ford, but the '55 Olds 88 on the far left has a Rocket under its hood.

Holiday Inn Memories!

In the 1960s and '70s my dad (who worked for GM and got an annual two-week vacation) and the rest of the family, Mom and four kids, would go on a road trip and we always stayed in Holiday Inns because Dad could make reservations ahead. The Inns were always the same, and to my delight when the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village (Dearborn, Mi.) renovated their "Automobile and American Life" exhibit in the '90s, they built a Holiday Inn room! EXACTLY like every one I remembered, right down to the blue shag carpet and the little paper hats on the drinking glasses! I sometimes see those chairs in an antique store or secondhand shop and I think "I know where you came from!" Here's a pic of the Museum's exhibit (courtesy Missy S on Pinterest).

This place is tops

I found this postcard on eBay with a date stamp 1961. The address on the card is 3510 Victory Drive, Google Street View below.

My parents were among the founding members of the United Methodist Church in which I grew up. Years later, I heard a comedian do a bit about religions. He said "Methodism is the Holiday Inn of religions. You check in. You get comfortable. As long as you pay your bill and don't trash the room, everything is okay."

Click to embiggen.


Ray must be a very important person -- they even have the ENTRANCE sign pointing directly at him!

[Because he's entranced? - Dave]

More Holiday Inn memories

Commishbob, your story parallels my own, except for a lot more moving on my part. My dad was on the traveling auditing staff for Shell, so we not only lived in Houston and NY/NJ twice each, but multiple other places--Chicago (twice), St. Louis (three times!), Atlanta, LA, San Francisco, Seattle--almost all before I was in kindergarten. (The usual length of an audit was apparently around three months, and then we'd be off somewhere else.) Thankfully, by the time I hit third grade, we settled in Houston for good.

I was the only kid for all but the last move, and I pretty much grew up in the back of a Ford Country Squire station wagon. We lived in many different types of houses and apartments, but our home away from home was always a Holiday Inn. The blinking star atop what writer James Lileks calls "The Great Sign" was a shiny beacon to me; it told me we were "home" for a while.

(Mom and Dad are still around, so I'll be sending them this link.)

Potemkin Motel

they just keep moving the same cars from lot-to-lot. '61? it's Georgia, alright -- this is a decoy target built in Tbilisi during the Cold War.


What is that thing on the far right in the hotel courtyard below the gent contemplating going out? Looks like some kind of a carousel or something, but made of pretty heavy duty pipe.

Holiday Inn memories

My father was transferred by Shell Oil between NY/NJ and Houston twice in the 60s. With Shell toting the bill we turned each trip into a summer vacation with every night being spent at a Holiday Inn. Each day's routine was the same -- up at 6, breakfast (blueberry pancakes for me) in the motel dining room, drive until 2 and checking into the next Holiday Inn. We swam every afternoon in the motel pool and then dressed up and drove to the closest firehouse where my father asked for dinner recommendations.

There were four of us kids packed in the back of our non-air-conditioned Impala and you'd think we would have been miserable but my memories are of the classic Holiday Inn signs that meant "home on the road" and those blueberry pancakes.

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