|Perry Drive Inn|
Photo Courtesy: Antoinette Harrell
Back in the late 60s my mother would stop at Perry's Drive-in and bring home some of the best tasting mouth-watering grilled hamburgers from Perry's. Perry's was owned by Lois and Esther Irving Perry, they were an icon in the community. Glyniss Vernon Gordon, my grandson Connor, and I stopped to take few pictures and I decided to ring the doorbell to find someone to talk with. A young man I met last year came out and, I was happy to see him. He told me that he was the great nephew of Floyd and Lois. Blair Williams is name and Blair has a great interest in his family history. He told me that I needed to talk with his father, Donald Williams. We sat under the carport the catching some of the cool breezes and talking about a little history and the importance of passing it on.
"My father is the one you should be talking with," said Blair. He and my uncle can tell you more then I can. Blair called his father on the phone, and his father said that he would be right over. While waiting for his father to come, Blair told me about some pictures on the wall and I wanted to see the images.
|Donald Williams and his son Blair Williams|
Photo Courtesy: Antoinette Harrell
As soon as Donald arrived and greeted us, he offered us something to cool to drink as most people in the Deep South would do. He sat down and started talking a little about the Lemuel Irving history and how Lem remained in the Town of Roseland. Donald lit a cigarette and start going back down memory lane. I started traveling down memory lane with him. I wanted to know more about Perry's Drive Inn.
Everybody came to Perry's Drive Inn. It was the place to be. My Aunt Lois was a good cook, she enjoyed cooking and did it well he said. She would get up early in the morning and cook breakfast, dinner, and supper. "You see, back in those days lunch was called dinner and dinner was called supper," said Donald. Aunt Lois cooked every day three times a day and, that was just the way it was. Donald said that the cost of lunch was fifteen cents back in his day. One day he went to school and gave a boy his fifteen cents for a sandwich. I wanted a sandwich because Aunt Lois never gave us sandwiches to eat not even on the weekend.
Glyniss recalled the many communities and political meetings that were held at Perry's. There were other African-American owned businesses in the communities. Donald mentioned Steptoes Lounge and some of the musicians that played there. I heard Blair say that Al Green played there and I was once told by someone that James Brown played there.
I post a picture of Perry Drive Inn on my social media site to generate conversations around the images. I read the comments that were posted and want to share a few of them.
Robert Daniels Best ' Fish' boxes. Delicious! A very Clean and comfortable place. Maybe someone will decide to reopen it. May need a little remodeling on the inside.
Priscilla Jackson Yes I remember going to Perry's Drive Inn the best burgers, fish plates, fries, and malt shakes you ever tasted. The atmosphere was like everyone was family. Boy, I missed them days.
Atlanta Marie Daniels Woods I remember going there with my mama and brother and sisters on Friday night's and we would eat and play music on the jukebox. A great childhood memory!!!! I miss those days.
Sharon Boykins Brown Teenagers could hang out and get some really good food!
Michael Woods Boy! how do I remember those days best burgers milkshakes in town?
Sharetta Richardson Best cheeseburger and fries ever $3.26.