Author: Judy Rowell
Laurine Dixson was born in Bowdon, Georgia on August 25, 1912. She married Forrest Entrekin in 1930.
In 1950, at the age of 38, she was a homemaker with 2 children Jerry, age 16, and Linda, age 8. In November of that year, Forrest Entrekin died at age 42. She owned a car but did not drive and had few options to support her family.
She took a job at Scoggins 5 &10, a dime store in Bowdon soon after the death of her husband. James and Sarah Scoggins had purchased their store in 1949, the year before Mrs. Entrekin became a widow. At that time most counters had a small cash register, and the sales force consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Scoggins plus two or three full-time employees. Laurine Entrekin was one of those valuable employees.
Customers, with the aid of one of the sales staff, when needed, would go to different counters to find items they wished to purchase and pay for their purchases at that area. Customers might often pay at two or three different cash registers before leaving the store.
Mrs. Entrekin worked there for approximately one year before a relative helped her secure a job at Warren Sewell Clothing Company in Bowdon. She was hired as a seamstress and sewed the collar on a man’s suit. She was a petite lady, and handling the entire coat (especially the wool coats during summer) was difficult as she was expected to make production (complete a required number of sewn collars) each day.
In addition to working from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday for Sewell’s (the colloquial name for the apparel) company, she continued to work at Scoggins 5 & 10 during her one-hour lunch break from 1:00 to 2:00, and all day on Saturdays. During the later years of Mrs. Entrekin continuing to work a second job, the dime store changed to self-service with cash registers at the entrance. It was most important to have help during lunch as the “Sewell lunch hour” was the busiest time of the day. Mrs. Entrekin would eat the lunch she had brought from home, run “up town” and assist the then full-time clerks at the cash registers.
Customers usually found what they needed and carried the items they desired to purchase to one of the “check outs” as they were commonly called. As items were rung they would be bagged and ready to leave the store as soon as they were paid for. Often times customers would hand a hand full of items over to the cashier along with a couple of dollars and say, “Put these on layaway for me.” Many times the cashier would have no idea who the person was, but before anything could be said, Mrs. Entrekin would grab the layaway and already had the name written down. She knew almost everyone who worked at the plant.
With hourly wages at the plant standing at $1.00 in 1961, a 5 &10 lunch hour job for the employees such as Mrs. Entrekin, gained a bit of extra income and were favored with a discount on purchases. The practice benefitted the merchant owner, as well. With the limited time for shopping and especially during the holiday seasons of Christmas, Easter, and Mother’s Day when items were placed on layaway, the clerks like Mrs. Entrekin expedited the process by being familiar with the names of the people from the plants coming in to pay a dollar or fifty cents on their chosen items. Time was saved for the shopper as well as the merchant. Thursday and Friday (payday) were especially busy days.
Laurine Entrekin worked at Warren Sewell Clothing for 24 years, retiring in 1976. The Bowdon Bulletin noted her retirement on Monday, June 16, which was marked with a retirement dinner and a picture in the “Sewell Life” section of the paper. She passed away on October 26. 2005, at the age of 93.