2017-08-31 / Front Page

‘Those were the good ol’ days’

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when food and other items were rationed, and quarterly stamps were issued as currency so that people had to raise their own food to sur­vive, she still asserted that “we had a good life.”

Graduating in 1937 from Lincoln­ton High School, Cunningham also proudly reminisced on the night she received her diploma in a brand new evening dress, and was garnished with a beautiful bouquet made of ribbons and sweet pea trimmings, plucked freshly from her mother’s garden.

“When you graduated you were given a new evening dress, high heels, silk stockings, hat, gloves, and a pocket book. It was the first time you’d ever had a new full suit bought for you – that was a treat, and everyone really enjoyed it,” she said, explaining that the men would be congratulated with new trousers, white shirts, and dark ties.

The following year, the tradition of caps and gowns was instated at Lincolnton High School.

In 1938, Cunningham crossed the bridge leading to Augusta to visit a nearby justice of the peace, and married her husband Earl.

“You couldn’t get married with­out your parent’s permission if you weren’t 21, so you had to go across the bridge off the Augusta Highway and go see Judge Parker – they had to run away, but everyone one did that. Church weddings were un­heard of. It cost too much money, so that was just money thrown away,” she said.

When her son “Little Earl” reached the fifth grade, Cunningham and her family moved to Florida. Since her husband was a trucker, his work led them further South, and she remained there until about seven years or so when she returned to Georgia. She is now a resident of the Lake Crossing Health Center in Appling.

“We had a lot of loving, and a lot of care. Our parents were strict, but they were good to us. We might have had more than other people, more than we deserved, but that’s just the way things go sometimes. I’d rather be from Lincolnton than any other place in the world, and anyone else from there that hears me say that is thinking the same thing,” Cunningham said.

“Those were the good ol’ days, everyone will tell that those were the good ol’ days,” she concluded. “I think if I had to go back over it, I’d do the same again – you just do the best you can with what you’ve got.”

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