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4-15-05 Small Towns - Bogart and Oconee County in the 40’s and 50’s

You could burn leaves or trash anytime during the year; There was no “running water”; everyone had a well; No one locked their doors; Everyone left their car keys in the ignition where they belonged; Everyone said “Christmas” instead of “The Holidays”; You treated WW II and Korean Vets with great respect; All of the children said, “Yes Sir,”, “Yes Mamm”, etc.



April 11, 2005


Small Towns- Bogart and Oconee County in the 40’s and 50’s


By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.

I have always had a feeling of “kinship” with Bogart folks even though I went to

“Watkinsville School” and cheered for Watkinsville in the vigorous basketball competitions of the 40’s and 50’s.


Several things have caused this fascination:


-          My mother and her family were living in Bogart when she married;

-          Many of my maternal relatives had many friends in Bogart;

-          One paternal Aunt, one maternal aunt and one maternal uncle lived in the Bogart area and their children were loyal to Bogart High School;

-          My Great-Uncle, DeWitt Daniell, a favorite of that generation, lived at the corner of the entrance of the now Bogart Recreation Complex;

-          Aunt Ola Daniell was the long-time librarian at Bogart;

-          Many of the county officials from my youth and adolescence were from Bogart;

-          Many “Daniell Cousins” and descendants live in the Bogart area;

-          As a youngster, Dr. Lindsey Elder was our family doctor and we made many trips to his office in Bogart- and he made “house calls”;

-          My last two years of High School was at consolidated OCHS and many classmates and teachers were from Bogart.   


While many folks in Bogart were and are friends, one of my favorites was Reverend B. C. Hogan, Minister of the Church of Christ in Bogart, an educator and Oconee County School Superintendent when I was in school.He cast a big shadow in Bogart and there is a memorial to him next to the Library.


“Preacher Hogan” served as Mayor for many years.He had three sons, Jack (four years older) whom I did not know as well as the other two, Donald and Larry who attended the consolidated Oconee County High School of the late 50’s.Donald and I are married to first cousins and former classmates, OCHS 1958, and we have seen each other over the years at many reunions and funerals.He and I frequently email - he has a great sense of humor.


Through OconeeTeachers.Com, another AVOC website, (http://oconeeteachers.com/ ) I have heard from and communicated with Jack Hogan.   I have learned that we share an interest in history of Oconee County and Bogart- especially from the 40’s and 50’s.


He wrote this article on Bogart memories recently and most of us of our era can enjoy and appreciate his remembrances.



I Miss Bogart of the 40’s and 50’s


By Jack Hogan

Class of 54, Bogart High School

(Editor’s Note:Jack is retired and lives in a rural area of Tennessee near Chattanooga)

March 30, 2005.

You Knew You WereFrom Bogart, Georgia in the forties and fifties..


By Jack Hogan

1.You could not find a phone book in town.

2.You had only one phone, and no need for recording things because someone was always home.

3.You had only one radio and one TV set, with three channels, but there was only one with something worthy the view.

4.Church Street was on the edge of town.

5.The “road hog” in front of you on Main Street was a farmer’s combine.

6.You could leave your jacket on the back of the chair at Cantrell’s Cafe, and when you went back the next day, it would still be there ------ on the same chair.

7.You didn’t signal turns because everyone knew where you were going.

8.No social events could be scheduled when Mutt Stephens was out of town because he was the only one with a key to the gym.

9.You called a wrong number and the operator would supply you with the correct one.

10. Everyone knew all the news before it was published; they just read the Athens Banner to see whether the publisher got it right.

       11 The Dairy Queen in Athens near Bogart only had chairs and tables on the outside.

13. A “Night on the Town” took only 5 minutes.

14. You had to name several surrounding towns like Athens, Winder,

Lawrenceville, and even Atlanta to explain to people where you’re from.

15. Headline news in town was who bought a new car.

16. You could name everyone in your class, and perhaps everyone in high school.

17. School was canceled once because of cooties.

18. Anyone you wanted could be found at either Patat’s Grocery and Feed

Store or the Post Office.

19. Directions were given using the “Train Depot” or “Church Buildings” as a


       20. It was cool to date someone from a neighboring town.

     21. You could hear the Baptist Church chimes all over town.

22. Not only did you know where everyone lived, but you knew the names of their dogs and cats.

23. It always rained the day after the chain-gang worked on the dirt roads in town.

24. Students who lived in town could run to school and arrive before roll call while the opening bell was ringing.

25. You could hunt for rabbits or squirrels in the town limits.

26. The Greyhound Bus always stopped in front of Walt Crowe’s store, coming or going.

27. There was no “trick or treat” in the town during Halloween.

28. You could burn leaves or trash anytime during the year.

29. There was no “running water”; everyone had a well.

30. No one locked their doors.

31. Everyone left their car keys in the ignition where they belonged.

32. Everyone said “Christmas” instead of “The Holidays.”

33. You treated WW II and Korean Vets with great respect.

34. All of the children said, “Yes Sir”, “Yes Mamm”, etc.

35. Every student before eating lunch at school would say, “God is great,

God is good, let us thank You for the food. Amen.”

36. Everyone knew where Dr. Elder lived.

37. It was taboo for a boy and girl to hold hands on school grounds.

38. There were any problems, you would simply call Sheriff Bond.

39. The train whistle during the night gave you a sense of belonging.

40. Life revolved around the school, church, and the community.

41. You could hear all over town “girls” like Ann Patat and Joann Owens, singing on Ann’s front porch.

42. High school students could smoke on school grounds, but only under the smoking tree located near the gymnasium.

43. At times during basketball games, the smoke was so bad that Mutt

Stephens would ask smokers to go outside to do so until the smog lifted.

44. Your mailed letters were delivered the next day for 3 cents without a lot of junk mail.

45. Basketball games were delayed because of a leaky roof.

46. “Uncle Bud” was the icon for the community.

47. The girls and boys basketball coaches sometimes would smoke during the game.

48. You could hear turkeys all over town.

49. You had to be careful what you said on the phone because someone was always listening. What do you expect with a party line. Our signal to answer the phone was 2 short rings.

50. When you can charge at every store in town.

51. When you decide to excise by going for walk, 5 people would pull their cars over and ask if you needed a ride.

52. Getting paid minimum wage was a great job!

53. You went snipe hunting or cow-tipping.

54. When no one had air-conditioning.

Life in Bogart seemed so much easier and slower. I love the new technology but I sure miss those good old days. I’m such a sentimental idiot. Perhaps I should be looking forward instead of backward.