Perry's Prattle

Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 08:58 PM.

Today also finds the local McDonald’s Restaurant missing from the landscape of Chipley as it, too, fell victim to the demolition wrecking crew early in the week. May 18 was the last opportunity for McDonald’s customer to eat their last Big Mac in the Chipley facility prior to its being razed for a much improved and beautiful structure. 

The original McDonald’s eatery made its debut in Chipley in 1981 and was owned and operated by Cecil Sandifer, who also owned the Bonifay and Marianna stores.  Don Barnes, Jerry Smelcer, Sr. and Paul Drayon are remembered as long time employees of the previous owners.

Two others owners followed Cecil Sandifer before Dennis LaRue and wife, Linda, Chicago natives, took the reins of the three business seven years ago. Dennis told me that he was in the banking business when the opportunity came to become associated with McDonald’s.                            

He reports receiving training in Los Angeles before beginning the businesses in this area.  Harold Stansell, who built the original McDonald’s store here, will be the builder for the new facility, according to Dennis. The present owners are excited about the new building, which is to be immediately under construction. The new structure is designed for easier access to the two drive-through windows. There will also be provisions to exit the premises to avoid re entering Highway 77.   There will be other improvement inside the restaurant, which will be beautifully decorated using historic pictures, and other items, depicting the heritage of the area.

Today also marks 31 years since the mammoth and historic two-day Railroad Centennial Celebration held in Chipley May 22-23, 1982. It was headed by Dick and Polly Kneiss, then relatively newcomers to our town. (The full story of this event is recorded in the “Heritage Book of Washington County,” page 76).

Also today, John Donald Brock and wife, Virgina of Panama City, could well be reading the above book as they purchased one May 7 while in town for the Vernon High School Alumni monthly luncheon.  His family of Brocks was included in a story for the above book, page 158, written by his sister, Dorothy Brock Peters, of Marianna.

Also enjoying the above-mentioned treasured book is Joe N. Hays of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  He called me after leaning of the book in “Perry’s Prattle.” This gentlemen is 89 years old and was reared on Brickyard Road in Chipley by parents Charley Hays and wife, Martha Jane Levins (Leavins) Hays.   His book was mailed on May 8 and confirmation of delivery was shown as May13.

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