Did you Meet me on Franklin Street?

I pretty much lived in the shops, offices, bars, and nooks and crannies of Franklin Street when I was a kid in the 70's. The Inimate Bookshop (RIP) even had a corner in the children's section named after me. I can't wait to see this exhibit at the Chapel Hill Museum.

Remember the Flower Ladies? Manner-correcting Otelia Conner and her umbrella thwacks? The Intimate book store and Danziger's sweet shop?

Unless you're a longtime resident, you may not. But that's OK -- a new permanent exhibit at the Chapel Hill Museum will detail those and more of the characters and places that make Franklin Street, well, Franklin Street.
- chapelhillnews.com | Memory lane on display, 10/10/07

Here's the 411: http://www.downtownchapelhill.com/newsreader.php?id=52




You're right, it was Chinaberry not Womencraft.

As I wrote here once before, in fact I think I DID meet you on Franklin Street. When you were running for Town Council, I think you flyered me on Franklin Street.

The sidewalk had a plywood detour around construction of the NCNB Plaza. That temporary wall was plastered with anti-war stuff. Seemed like the building took forever. This was in the very early 70's. The flower ladies were very sweet. George's Cheap Joint occupied one of the narrower storefronts.

I think I met you in front of the Earth Shoe store when you were a toddler. And later in the same space when that space housed Andromeda.

The Museum show is really wonderful. At the opening I had a great time watching folks a bit older than me look at the streetscape of the 40s and suddenly chuckle as they remembered little personal incidents that took place in each store and the unmentionable and unrecorded capers that went on in their youth. As one guy started, "I went in there my first night after starting medical school and." He stopped and looked at his wife and smiled and said no more.

Thanks for bringing attention to the Museum's exhibit - I'm planning to return to really study on the photos without being distracted by the wonderful food and friends at the opening.

I'd like to ask OP readers who were here in the 70's and earlier if they have any recollections of the 300 block of Rosemary Street. I understand there were several "hippie houses" there and I've always wondered if our house -324 Rosemary, Coach Fetzer's house - was one of them.

The house was moved from Rosemary Street to make way for the Western Sizzler (now Breadman's) in 1974 (or so we've been told) and my husband and I bought it when we moved here in 1979. When we bought it, we were told that the move and restaurant construction caused an uproar because a very large tree had to be cut down. Which was ironic because at that very time I was in charge of issuing tree removal permits for a small city in Florida as one of my planner duities.

Anyway, it was a rental house for many years after the Fetzers died and again after it was moved - I've met one family that lived in it on Rosemary Street but have wondered who else lived there.

The "funny" part is that we were told that the house was built for the Fetzers in 1952 and that was our family lore until two weeks ago. A couple pulled up to the house and asked if they could take its picture. It turned out that their father, Mr. Roof, was the builder and they had lived in it for about four years 1948-1952. They came inside and remembered where everything was even though they were very young children then and it was in a different location.

Turned our family lore on its head.

Linda Convissor

Linda, there a is a little cluster of 5 or 6 houses that remain on other side of the Breadmean's (née Western Sizzlin') parking lot. I htink it's still called Amity Court. My mom used to take me there with her when she went to play volleyball in that neighborhood. I remember the residents and their friends were VERY mad when much of the woods that buffered them from Rosemary Street were removed to put in a chain restaurant.

That's about all I remember, except that a certain mayor of Carrboro also lived in one of those houses in the early 90's.

As Paul mentioned, if any of you bought Earth Shoes in Chapel Hill in the 1970's, it was from my mom or dad. After they split, my mom moved the store from above The Hub over to next door to Schoolkids Records and it became Andromeda. This space was also the home of Back Then, quite probably Chapel Hill's first vintage store.

"Manner-correcting Otelia Conner and her umbrella thwacks?"

Oh, yes, I remember having my feet up on the furniture in the Undergrad library circa 1968 and Otelia Connor came by and thwacked them. She made regular rounds thwacking people's feet. All of us thought she was some Neanderthal, but I was later told she had been active in the ACLU and civil rights stuff, manners were her pet peeve.

"Danziger's sweet shop
There are posters and menus from Danzigers Old World Restaurant and Gift Shop, run by Austrian immigrant "Papa D." A menu boasts that the shop is "The dating place of U.N.C. coeds," where students could buy their dates a piece of apple strudle for 10 cents, or a cup cake for six cents."

My father, who was in school at Carolina 1941-43 and back for a short time in 1946 told me a lot about Danziger's. Seems the waiters came around with trays of the pastries, you took one of the tray and they ran a tab -- many students, my father included, took far more pastries and spent far more money than they planned when they entered the restaturant.

My Earth Shoe purchase was possibly the most extravagant thing I ever did in my life. I was dirt poor in those days. Never mind that walking in Earth Shoes was a real drag.

Didn't that upstairs location morph into Womencraft after a while?

All I recall is that the upstairs place was Chinaberry after the Earth Shoe store, then it was SeraTec when I came back after being gone for much of the 80's.

I miss Gibson Smith and Kevin Clyde.

do you all remember lacocks and porthole

Porthole - pretty good rolls, cheap....

yep the first meal i ate out at


Community Guidelines

By using this site, you agree to our community guidelines. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will result in moderation or eviction.


Content license

By contributing to OrangePolitics, you agree to license your contributions under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Creative Commons License

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.