Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Some Who Have Made A Difference II

For boys and young men growing up in Meridian in our era, the contibutions to our lives on the part of the Davidson Family was huge. When they morphed out of the St. Louis Junk Company the very successful Southern Pipe and Southern Electric Companies, the result to us was that they provided many jobs — when jobs were precious and hard to find — and guidance to those of us who sought to strike out on our own. I have searched in vain to obtain brief biographies of Sammie and Meyer Davidson. Alas, I fear they won’t exist until someone decides to write and publish their remarkable stories.

I personally spent many Saturdays helping Sue Hillis maintain the lighting fixtures in the Southern Electric Showroom. I mounted and electrically connected the fixtures in the dropout mounting “tiles”. I enjoyed the work and, at that young age, I really enjoyed the ‘farmer’s daughter-type” jokes told by the contractors when they dropped by to select fixtures.

In my opinion, Jews were the “glue” that held together many small towns and small cities during our tumultous era. There is an active gentrification effort going on throughout the South, attempting to restore the nature and endearing character of these places back to that that existed before the Walmart-type, big box stores hollowed them out with their outskirts locations.

Are there price differences at the big box stores to add to their customer appeal? Yes, decidedly there are. But, do the store managers know shoppers by their first names and often allow folks to purchase items, knowing full well that the person just lost his— or her — job, but is of good character and will pay for the merchandise... eventually? Don’t bet on it.

This recognition is, in no way, a depreciation of all the others who have made Meridian that pleasant place of which we have fond memories. Many, many people have added a texture and meaning to our town. I just don’t want to let our memory of the large value- added that the Davidsons have made escape mention as we review our past.

I honor the contribution(s) Jews have made to my Meridian, in particular, and Southern life, in general. It is immeasurable. And knowledge of this is indelibly imprinted into my mind.

If you want to learn more about this subject, click on:

Jewish Contributions to our Meridian

I welcome input about other important contributors to our young lives who are no longer around.

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