First of all, I found some Shoals pictures on Google in the Life Magazine section. Evidently, Life Magazine came to Shoals in 1950 to photograph the Robert Sanders family. Robert had been captured by the North Koreans during the Korean War. I did a Google search and found only one piece of info about him on the website of the Korean War Project. There was this post by Tony Sanders, his nephew, from 1998:
21st Inf Reg
Looking for information re service record of my late uncle, Paul Robert Sanders. Captured and POW for 38 months, Korea. Don’t know a lot about his service there. Life Magazine did a piece on him and my grandparents in their 20 Sept 1950 issue. I have discovered that he was a POW from 7-11-50 to 8-29-53. I believe that he was a Sgt. at the time of capture, not sure.
That would be an amazing thing to have a piece of your family’s life documented, no less than by Life Magazine. The photos they took are really interesting. Here they are in all their black and white glory. My favorites are of the downtown scenes. When did we have trees on Main Street? Well, I guess in 1950, but I sure don’t remember them, and I was born in ’56. And we had a Ford dealer downtown too? I can’t remember the post office being on Main Street, but I remember when the new post office was built, so I’m sure I went to the old one. What in the world is the building at the new post office location? Was it a large home or a hotel or something? I also love the depot pictures. You can see the Cutsinger Hotel where Lucille stayed (presently the American Legion) and even part of the Sherfick Furniture Factory in the background. It would only be two more years before the factory would burn down. I wish these photos would be in color though as I would love to know if the cars were different colors–like that popular 50′s turquoise color–or if it was not quite the fashion yet in 1950 and so all the cars were shades of gray. Also, was the sign that said Meats part of the original Tredway grocery store? I have a picture of the inside on my genealogy website. Did Coca-Cola give away free signs or something? It seems like every store had a Coca-Cola sign.
My second find was at a YouTube site. After my first success at Google Images, I tried searching for Shoals on YouTube and found this great video. It must have been made by a Terre Haute TV station, although I’m not sure which one. It tells the story of two unusual Indiana Mascot names. Ironically, I lived at both places. Shoals Jug Rox and Speedway Sparkplugs are the featured mascots. I lived in Speedway for two years when I first got married in 1978. It was the time of the Speedway bombings and the Burger Chef murders. Four kids who closed the restaurant were taken out to some fields and gun-downed. Oh, and I also worked there up to a few weeks before–arrrggg. You know, after that happened, I seriously began to wonder about myself. My grandma was in a horrible fatality, and her car was brought in to the Ford dealership while I was at my high school prom–right next door. I go to the University of Evansville, and the whole basketball team and several others die in a horrible plane crash. Then I move to Speedway, and a bomb goes off in a dumpster in the shopping center right next to my apartment. Not to mention the Burger Chef murders where I worked just for the fun of it. I knew two of the four kids killed. Wouldn’t you know that my brother-in-law was in the Pentagon on 9-11 in the very section where the plane hit it?
Well, at least this video is cheery. It shows my sister’s classmate, Mike Harding. And one thing more, the plaster Jug Rock on the principal’s desk in the video was made by my grandmother (the very same one who was killed on my prom night). I know because she created the mold at her flower shop. Are you hearing any weird Twilight Zone music? Doo doo doo doo . . . . . . .
Good finds. Happy hunting.