Columnist played part in grand opening history

This is the last in a two-part series on stone mason Robert Cummings, who was profiled in an article in last week’s Reporter. C ummings has fond memories of building the San

Gabr iel School. There are two heart shaped stones in the building, the large stone on the front and a smaller one on another wall.

The day he was working on the larger stone, Aileen Faulkner watched until the initials were finished and then commented to her friend nearby, “He has carved our initials in the stone, we might get married someday.”

They did.

Her parents lived in Rockdale. Mr. Faulkner was quite a gifted musician who played the piano at many town gatherings.

Those were the days when families dressed in their best, loaded up the family in their automobiles on Saturdays, came to town, found a parking place and spent the day.

While radios and telephone did exist there was little other way to communicate and that day in town was a day to “get the town’s news.”

It was on such a Saturday that Sam Perry’s Hardware, located in the block north of Cameron Street, celebrated its grand opening.

Perry’s was on Main, north of the alley by Preston Perry’s Radio Shop. Entertainment for the event was Aileen Faulkner’s father, who played the piano.

Store employees Avis Middleton, Graham Dickerson, and Preston Voyles were busy waiting on customers and helping to make the event a success.

Jimmy Heap of KTAE radio station in Taylor emceed the event.

The Perrys lived up the street from us and I was asked to sing at the opening. I’ll never forget standing up in the front store window by Mr. Faulkner, seated on the piano stool, singing “An Irish Lullaby.”

It was a big day in my life back then. I do remember I was in Louise Sessions’s fourth grade class and I sang that song all through grammar school on St. Patrick’s Day thereafter.

Rober t Cummings lef t his “mark” on Rockdale and Milam County.

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