Restaurants (Colored)

I’ve spent most of this trip interviewing folks who lived in what we called South Cape. I’ve learned some things about that area that most of us “north of the hill” – Tollgate Hill – never knew.I'[ve heard tales of prejudice and discrimination in Cape – and the amazing lack of it in some other cases.

It’s going to take some time for me to boil it down and digest it. I need to talk with more folks, but it’s time for me to saddle up and head back to Florida.

Today was a wrapping-up day. The car had to go in for a minor repair; I was supposed to pick up some rubber stamps (not in); I roamed around shooting some quick topics to give me stuff to post while I’m on the road. One of my stops was to say goodbye to Friend Shari’s mother, LaFern.

(She thinks I’m a witch or a genius  – she said it was the latter, but the look in her eye let me know it was the former – because I brought her dead computer back to life just by pressing the ON button.) As a reward, she gave me a 1944 Cape County telephone directory. (You can click on the images to make them larger.)

Cape County Restaurants

Like most people, the first thing I did was check for family connections – I recognized some. Then I leafed through the classifieds to do a light-weight piece on businesses that had come and gone. When I got to Page 32, which covered Rental Agencies (see Real Estate) to Service Stations (see Filling Stations), I thought I had found an easy and popular topic: Restaurants.

“Restaurants (Colored)”

Then, I saw the heading that appeared BELOW Restaurants.

When did this become unacceptable?

I wrote about Brother Mark and me hitting a bunch of antique shops in 2008. I ran across this set of postcards for sale and said, in part, “I saw a reminder of just how far we’ve come in this country. One night this week we’re watching Barack Obama stumping to be President of the United States and a day later, we’re looking at a collection of black memorabilia of the most racially offensive nature I ever recall seeing.

There wasn’t a stereotype left untouched. Lil Black Sambo and Aunt Jemima were tame compared to this stuff.

I’m not knocking the antique shop for carrying it. It’s probably valuable to see how crap like this was acceptable at one time.”

“I’m not going to point any moral”

With apologies to The Beatles, “I read the news today, oh, boy.”

We’re going through a period of anger and angst about another group looking for its civil rights.

Pete Seeger said it better than I ever could in his song, “Waist Deep in The Big Muddy:”

Well, I’m not going to point any moral,
I’ll leave that for yourself

Old McKendree Chapel in 1962

Old McKendree Chapel is one of those other places I always swing by when I’m home. Maybe one of the appeals is the way the site changes so little. This photo was taken in 1962.

Some trees are missing

Storms and old age have taken their toll on a lot of the trees, but the grounds look much the same in this photo from 2006. One of the biggest changes in the building itself was the removal of the weatherboard siding in 1977. There’s some controversy over which is the “authentic” rendition of the building. You can read a more complete history of the church in a 2010 post where I described the nefarious trap the Methodists set to recruit wayward Lutherans.

Logs had been covered

The same Lutheran-snagging door shown in this 1962 photo is still there, even if the siding is gone.

Photo used on phone book

One of my 2010 photos was used on the cover of the Cape-Jackson telephone directory.

Lane leading to chapel

The old chapel sticks out when the leaves are off the trees.

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.