Weekly Acorns

Archive for November, 2008

Enhancements To Weekly Acorns

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #59

While I am still researching information and waiting on pending interviews, I decided to make some enhancements to the existing Weekly Acorns.

Most of my posts include photos, plats, or maps which are sometimes difficult to view because I had to reduce the size to fit them in the article.  Now all of the photos, plats, and maps can easily be enlarged simply by clicking on them.   A much larger size will be opened in a new browser window.  Also, all of the previous “links” have now been cleaned up and replaced with underlined text (hyperlink) to take you to that location by name.

I will continue working on more enhancements throughout the next week or two to make your viewing experience more informative and pleasant.  In the meantime, please continue to catch up on any Weekly Acorns you have not already read.

Again, thank you for your patience.

No Article This Week

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Weekly Acorn #58 

Due to some pending interviews and additional research, and a very busy schedule, I do not currently have a post ready to publish.  Please check back often though (weekly), because I will post another article as soon as I have one completed.  

Thank you for your patience and for taking time to visit my website and read the history of Oak Crest.   Now would be a great time for you to catch up on reading all of the Weekly Acorns if you have not already done so.  They are all archived by month/year listed in the margin on the right.

This wouild also be a good time for you to visit the Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery, where you will find lots of interesting photos and historic facts. 

**Please note - I am currently updating the captions under the photos in the Weekly Acorns and adding new “links” to expand the photos, so, some captions may be temporarily duplicated or confusing until I complete these updates.   The updates should make it much easier to view the larger versions and to access the entire photo gallery.

I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Oak Crest Businesses (Part 5) - Kivett’s Florist

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #57

In addition to Eleanor Lyon’s Oak Crest Florist, there was another neighborhood florist that got its start much earlier.   In August 1937, Rachel and Phillip (Phil) Kivett purchased a lot at 134 Idlewild Dr and then built a small house on it in 1941.  The house sat way back off the street and was very small.  It only had a living room, kitchen, bedroom and a bathroom.  

Later (I am not sure exactly what year) the Kivett’s built a flower shop beside the house and opened Kivett’s Florist.  The shop was actually larger than their little house.   Mr and Mrs Kivett both ran the florist together.  It was a full service florist, catering to weddings, funerals, dances, and other special occasions.   They also sold special gifts in the shop as well, such as christmas ornaments.  


This is the Kivett’s house and flower shop at 134 Idlewild Dr.  The house was the portion on the left side with the little front stoop and the flower shop was the portion on the right side with the two large windows.  The portion in the center that connects the house and shop was added after the Kivetts sold the property.  Click on the photo above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

Many neighbors and nearby residents patronized Kivett’s Florist.   Marcia Weatherly Barnes, who grew up in the area and currently lives on Long Dr, recalls visiting the florist when she was a little girl with her mother and brother, Royce.  Marcia and Royce always looked forward to picking out a christmas ornament for their tree each year.  

The Kivetts would also host an annual Holiday Open House.  Polly Crater would always assist with the open house.  Mrs Crater lives across the street at 127 Idlewild Dr and was also the first resident to build and live on the street……and still lives here over seventy years later. 

At some point the Kivetts added a large family room on to the back of their house.   Eventually, in the late 1970’s they closed the florist, sold the property, and moved to the mountains.   They have since passed away.  

Martha Martinat purchased the property from the Kivetts in October 1978.   She eventually built another addition that connected the house and the flower shop.   Then in 1989 she sold the property to her daughter, Karen.   Since then, it has been sold several times and it is now a rental house.  

Oak Crest Businesses (Part 4) - Parks’ Grocery Store

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #56

I cannot discuss neighborhood businesses and not mention Parks’ Grocery Store, better known simply as “Parks’.”  Although it was not located directly in Oak Crest,  it was still a fixture for many years in the area.   Located at 4014 N Cherry St at the corner of Polo Rd, Parks’ was a family owned and operated grocery store.  

Troy Parks, Jr got his start in the grocery business by working part time in a grocery store while he was still attending Reynolds High School.   After high school he went on to serve 3 years in WWII where he became a First Sergeant.  When he returned home after the war he went back into the grocery business and purchased an existing grocery store that was located on old Cherry St near Northwest Blvd.  He called the store T A Parks Grocery. 

Troy’s father, Troy Sr, had worked for many years at R J Reynolds Tobacco Co, but he had some back problems and needed to work in a less strenuous environment.  So, Troy had his father to come work with him at the grocery store.  

Then in 1950, Troy purchased the property at the corner of Cherry St and Polo Rd and built a new store.  At the same time he also partnered with his father and his brother, Gorrell Parks,  and brother in law, Randall Jones.  The building was also large enough that they rented out space for a barber shop next door and several apartments upstairs.  


This building at 4014 N Cherry St was built in 1950 and was the location of Parks’ Grocery Store for nearly 40 years.   The building also contained a small barber shop next to the store and several apartments upstairs.  Click on the photo above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

When Troy purchased the first store, many of the customers had credit accounts, which he continued to allow them to maintain.   However, when he moved into the new store, he discontinued the credit accounts.  

Although they shared the responsibilities of the store, one would usually find Troy in the meat department.  His brother Gorrell was in charge of the checkers, and Randall was a “floater” and the head stockboy.   Mary Hawks was one of their checkers for many years.   

Even though I was a small child, I remember them all very well.   My mother would take me with her to the store all the time.   Everyone there was very personable and friendly.   If Mom needed a special cut of meat, Troy would prepare it and bring it out to her in the store.  

Randall was frequently putting out stock and I would always go over and visit with him.   I also remember that they had an incinerator on the back of the building where they would burn the empty boxes.  This was long before the days of recycling.   Sometimes I would see Randall outside throwing boxes into the incinerator, so I would stay outside and visit with him while he disposed of the boxes.   Sometimes he would even let me throw some boxes into the fire.  

Mary was my favorite checker, so if she was available, I would always have Mom to go through her line.   In those days, there were only two or three check out lines and one rarely had to wait to be checked out.  

Troy was also the originator of Shop Rite Food Stores, which was a co-op that was formed for the sole purpose of advertising.   This co-op grew to include 12 stores.  Today, there are two Shop Rite locations remaining with one in East Bend and the other in Midway.  

In 1989 Troy Sr passed away, so Troy and his partners decided to close the store.   Since Parks’ closed Gorrell Parks has passed away as well as Mary Hawks.   Troy and his wife, Margaret, are still in the area and doing well and so is Randall Jones and his wife, Iris.

UPDATE: Sadly, Troy Parks passed away on August 28, 2011 at the age of 88.

For nearly 40 years Parks’ was a community grocery store with a personal touch.  I will always have fond memories of those simpler times when people took time to know one another and trade with one another in their small businesses.  

Oak Crest Businesses (Part 3) - Friendship Beauty Shop

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

Weekly Acorn #55

In 1938, two sisters, Gladys Reid Dunnagan and Zelda Reid Taylor, were among the very first residents to build their homes on Idlewild Dr.   Mrs Taylor built her home at 135 Idlewild Dr and Mrs Dunnagan built hers further down the street at 175 Idlewild Dr.  They have remained in Oak Crest ever since.  They are both in their nineties and Mrs Taylor, the eldest, just celebrated her 95th birthday. 

After living in Oak Crest for several years, the Dunnagans purchased a lot and built another home at 222 Friendship Cr.  The reason they moved from Idlewild Dr was because in those days the street was not paved, and because of the steep hill, whenever it would rain the road became very muddy and rutted out making it difficult to drive up the hill.  Mrs Dunnagan told me how the Idlewild residents would sometimes park their cars at the top of the street or along Friendship Cr when it would rain so they would not get stuck in the mud.  So, for this reason, the Dunnagans moved to higher ground. 

Just after WWII the Dunnagans began to build their new home at 222 Friendship Cr.  The detached garage/apartment was built first because building materials were not readily available after the war.  Mrs Dunnagan and her husband, Ed, created a living space in the garage and they lived in it with their two children, Sandra and Alan, for several years until they built the house in 1950. 

Prior to living in Oak Crest and getting married, Gladys and Zelda Reid opened a beauty shop in downtown Winston-Salem in the mid 1930’s.  It was called Win-Sal Beauty Shop.  They ran the shop for several years and finally sold it.  Mrs Taylor went on to work at Town & Counrty Furniture in Old Town.  

Then, a few years later,  Mrs Dunnagan opened a small beauty shop in the basement of her home on Friendship Cr that she called Friendship Beauty Shop.  There she worked part-time hours and saw some of the clients from when she had the shop downtown as well as some of the women in the neighborhood.   Martha Sather (154 Crepe Myrtle Cr) was one of her clients.   This arrangement gave Mrs Dunnagan the flexibility to work, be a homemaker, and raise her children. 


This house at 222 Friendship Cr is the home of Gladys Dunnagan.  It was in the basement of this house that Mrs Dunnagan ran a part-time beauty shop for several years called Friendship Beauty Shop.   Click on the photo above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

After a few years, Mrs Dunnagan wanted a change, so she closed the shop and went to work at the Reynolda Branch Public Library, where she worked for many years.   She continued to work at other jobs over the years until she was well in her eighties.   She attributes all of her years of hard work to her father who had a strong work ethic and worked hard all of his life.   Her father put her to work at a very early age as so many folks had to do in those days. 

Although she is not able to get out and work now, Mrs Dunnagan still likes to help others.   One of the ways she does this is to crochet little baby blankets for sick infants in the hospital.     

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