TOP PHOTO: Oda Anderson, who turned 90 on Friday, shares some La Follette history.
JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – On Monday, WLAF shared a 90th birthday story on long time barber Oda Anderson. Today, is some history of La Follette through Oda’s eyes and memories.
Anderson was born during The Great Depression and remembers how hard the road out of the depression was on children. “Food and clothing were scarce in our poverty ridden area,” said Anderson. He adds that there was only one factory in Campbell County.
When Anderson returned home from the war in Korea, he took a barber course and started cutting hair at Shelley Ivey’s Barber Shop in 1956. A haircut was seventy-five cents and a shave fifty-cents. Competition was real stiff with 23 barbers in town, according to Oda.
“The Army was easy. Coming back to La Follette was tough. There was always something going on in those days,” Anderson noted. “You had to go north from here to get a job. We called it the four Rs, reading, writing, rithmatic and route 25 north to get work,” added Oda.
On the weekends, streets were full. There were street preachers in town on Saturdays, and a story comes with that. “On the corner of Central and Tennessee where Riggs used to be, there was a preacher there one Saturday raising hell. He came to a word in the Bible he didn’t know and someone corrected him. The preacher knocked that fella in the street,” said Anderson.
The Royal Pool Room was the center of the culture. At the Royal, there was news, gossip and anything that happened came through there. The restaurant was opened by a couple of war veterans.
“There was this one man, about 60, who came in the barber shop, and he had his nose hair and ear hair curled up with wax along with long eyebrows. I started to trim his eyebrows, and he said “hold it boy, God put those hairs there.” said Anderson. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 07/26/2022-6AM)