Mixsonian Larry


Barbara finished the seventh grade the summer of 1945 and did quite well. Fred, having made considerable money with his chenille business bought a new house in East Lake Drive in Atlanta.

Junior house on East Lake Drive
Junior house on East Lake Drive

Gary and his ponyGary on his Pony

It was a grand house, two stories in front and a walk out basement in back with a five-level terraced back yard with one terrace a rose garden and the lowest terrace having a stable with horses and a pony for young Gary.  Being a such a large house, Waive hired a full time maid and Fred a man to maintain the yard, garden and stable.  On Sunday nights after church services, Fred would stop at the Krispy Cream and buy donuts and when they got home Fred would make milkshakes.  

   Barbara and Sue got a raise in their allowances so every Saturday afternoon after finishing their house chores they would ride the street car down town Atlanta to shop. They would first stop at the Woolworth's where they would eat at the lunch counter, a turkey dinner cost 35 cents. After eating they would go to Rich's Department Store and look and look at all the clothes.  There was a red coat that Barbara fell in love with as red was her favorite color.  She saved up several months of allowance and bought the red coat just in time for Christmas.  It was the first time she had bought any clothes without her mother with her and was concerned what her mother would say.  When she got home her mother approved and Barbara was so excited to wear it to church the following Sunday.   Loving to read, Barbara and Sue would buy a new Nancy Drew book every week. Barbara was so happy to later find a used bookstore where they could buy them half price.

Fred's church on Pryor Street

The Goodwill Baptist Church
on Pryor Street

Fred’s chenille business was doing quite well and with the money he had made, bought two big old houses in a poor, run-down section of Atlanta on Pryor Street where he created the Pryor Street Mission.  One house was remodeled into the Goodwill Baptist Church and the other made into a place for people to live in until they got back on their feet again. 

The school year started with Barbara starting the eighth grade at Murphy Junior High School which she had to take the streetcar to attend.  Feeling more comfortable at the new school, Barbara quickly made new friends some of which she kept in touch with her whole life.  Life was good. 

Even late in life, Barbara remembered vividly the voice of President Roosevelt in 1945 announcing over the radio that the war was over.  Fred got Waive and the five kids into the car and we drove to down-town Atlanta where they parked by the curb at the Lowes Grand Theater and watched as confetti blew through the air thrown from all the tall buildings, men and women—some who didn’t even know each other—kissing, horns blowing, cheering and singing—because the war had ended.

When Dixie was in her 60’s she wrote in her memoirs about living in Atlanta.  

 Gary: Sitting on Dad’s shoulders to watch the victory parade on Peachtree Street where we saw two jet planes fly over.  None of us had ever seen a jet and it nearly scared us to death.  Women screamed. Pryor Street Mission: Dad’s ordination there.  

The man with no legs who went to Pryor Street Mission pushing himself around on a little cart with his hands.  

We weren’t allowed go to movies or dances or anything else “worldly”—we had to come up with our own fun.  The scary radio shows we loved to listen to were:  “The Phantom,” “The squeaking Door,” and “Inter-Sanctum.”  We also loved other programs like “Amos and Andy” and “Fiber McGee and Molly.”  These were all on at night. I remember that Mother listened to “Old Ma Perkins,” “Stella Dallas,” and “as the World Turns,” her radio soap operas, while doing her daily ironing.  Her favorite saying was, “WELL, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.”


Updated: 08-08-2023